Sedgefield News

Sedgefield News is distributed at the end of every month by a team of over 80 volunteers
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Our Farmers Market DID re-open

Thanks to a quick decision from the SCA, our Farmers Market DID re-open despite the weather, in Ceddesfeld Hall car park. What a joyful occasion it turned out to be!

Our plans for the safe return of the Farmers Market were made even more difficult by a forecast of high, gusting wind. Everyone agreed that the last minute move was a good, workable solution. New volunteers, who allowed the more vulnerable to stay away, were worth their weight in gold and the patience of queueing customers was amazing. We are so grateful.

Customers & traders were delighted to be back and look forward to next time. See you on Sunday 2nd August on the Village Green!

Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

It isn't long since those headlines about wildlife roaming free as humans had to lock themselves indoors. Air quality and visibility in the cities had improved and carbon emissions were dropping. As we regain more freedom, the impact of our daily lives becomes more visible. The pandemic is still very much here as we try to re-establish our lives, but much about our habits has changed, and unfortunately not for the better.

A surge in marine plastic waste has been recorded, a huge amount of it new types of waste - face masks, plastic gloves, hand sanitiser bottles. Supermarkets which had moved away from single use plastic shopping bags have brought them back and all home deliveries have been in plastic bags by default, no chance of opting out. The recycling industry has suffered during the pandemic with many recycling streams not operating. Meanwhile, globally plummeting oil prices have reduced the cost of producing virgin (new) plastic, confronting many companies with a tough decision. Is recycling economically viable or do they opt for new plastic which is cheaper, but not environmentally sustainable. The global market for packaging is estimated to have grown by 5.5 per cent during the pandemic, the vast majority of it plastic! What can we, as customers and consumers, do? Obviously plastic has its uses as it always had and always will, especially at a time when the world is trying to protect itself from the deadly virus, but let's approach it with some common sense.

You need to wear a face covering but must it be a medical grade disposable mask if you don't work in a healthcare sector or could you invest in a reusable one, or make your own following a simple online tutorial? Research has proven that the virus will die when the material is cleaned in soapy water so in most instances a reusable fabric face covering will do the job. Do you need antibacterial hand wipes and hand sanitiser at home? A cheaper option like a bar of soap will do the same job. Do you need disposable wipes and kitchen paper to disinfect your house, or could you use a reusable cloth, which is safe and ready to use again after a cycle in your washer?

Scientists assure us that it is safe to use reusable containers and coffee cups as long as basic hygiene is employed, so hopefully shops and cafés will accept them again soon. Small steps towards sustainability matter now even more than ever before, so let's carry on doing our bit.

New Headteacher for Sedgefield Community College

Mr Geoff Robinson has been appointed the new Headteacher of Sedgefield Community College. Mr Robinson has been a Deputy Headteacher at the college for 11 years, working closely with Mr Davies, to create an Ofsted rated outstanding school. On his appointment Mr Robinson commented “As a parent myself, my rationale has always been to create a school I would be profoundly happy for my daughter or son to attend.”

When Mr Davies took over as Headteacher the school was in serious decline with student achievement amongst the worst in County Durham. The quality of teaching and learning was rated as inconsistent, sometimes poor, and there was very low staff morale. After a lot of hard work Sedgefield Community College is now consistently both the highest performing school in County Durham, and amongst the top 5% of all North East and Cumbria secondary schools. The school regularly features in The Sunday Times list of the UK’s 50 highest performing 11-16 schools.

As well as the academic success Mr Davies and his team have created a school the community can be proud of, with a happy, positive atmosphere for the children who attend.

Mr Davies won’t be going too far as he has accepted a position with the Laidlaw Schools Trust to oversee secondary education provision. He will also oversee the build and development of the teacher training hub located in Sedgefield. Thank you to Mr Davies and his dedicated team, for the hard work and tremendous achievements at the school - and good luck to you and Mr Robinson, in your new roles.


On yer bike!

You can’t have failed to notice the dramatic increase in cyclists around our villages and country lanes. Whether it’s the chance to get outside in the fresh air, get a little fitter and lose some lockdown pounds, or to find a cheaper alternative to getting to work, you might be thinking of giving it a try. But where to start?

If you have a bike gathering dust in the shed or garage, perhaps needing minor repairs – a puncture or maybe it’s stuck in that really tough gear, this is where your local bike shops can help. Bike shops were considered essential during lockdown and many remained open and will be happy to help get your old bike on the road. If you don’t have a bike or want to upgrade to something a little smarter, there are schemes that can help. The biggest is the government’s Cycle to Work initiative, which allows employees to buy bike & accessories, saving at least 25% while spreading the cost over monthly instalments. The scheme is pretty simple:
- Your employer registers with a scheme provider. Many employers have already done this (they save on national savings contributions and get a healthier employee)
- You choose the bike and any accessories
- Your employer pays for the bike and accessories
- You pay your employer with monthly contributions taken from your salary

How does this save you money? The monthly contributions are taken from your gross salary, before tax has been deducted, meaning you don’t pay tax or national insurance contributions on the monthly amount. This works out at a 32% saving for a basic rate taxpayer. Reducing your gross salary may impact other benefits so make sure you check this out.
For more information Sustrans, a national cycling charity, has a good guide at www.sustrans.org.uk.

As the name of the scheme implies the bike should be used for commuting to work, but this doesn’t need to be every day (or even every week) and you are free to use it for other cycling adventures. Don’t forget to think about using your bike for shorter journeys. A bike can be a great way to get to all the great local shops, cafes and restaurants


Nervous on your bike, particularly on busy roads?

If you’re interested in joining other beginners, and people getting back into the saddle, on some short easy rides on quiet roads to gain confidence in your cycling, please get in touch by emailing diary.sedgefieldnews@gmail.com

Also the Sedgefield Get Active cycling group for more mature members of our community, meets at the far end of the Hardwick Park car park on Tuesdays from 9.30am - 11am. Led by trained Marshalls, this is social cycling for fun & fitness. Beginners are welcome with full training given. Bikes & helmets available for anyone who requires them. For more information on this scheme, please call Leo McCormack on 01740 621037.


Sedgefield News: from the past

by Martin F Peagam, The Time Traveller, for Sedgefield Local History Society.

This year, Sedgefield Show takes on a different look - it goes virtual! In doing so, the organisers are maintaining an event with a long history, but in a new format.
The website for Sedgefield Show says that Sedgefield & District Agricultural and Horticultural Society have held a show for 164 years with the exceptions of Foot and Mouth outbreaks. However, there have been years when no show took place - during the war years, for example. And 100 years ago, in August 1920, the Sedgefield Show was revived after a period of 16 years when no show took place.

The Show held on Saturday 14 August 1920 was a great success. There were 800 entries, and whilst the number of cattle entered was disappointing, there were 153 entries in the classes for agricultural horses. Those attending enjoyed not only cattle and horses, but also dogs, rabbits and poultry, lots of farming produce, a pony scamper and a musical ride, and were entertained by Mainsforth Colliery Band in the afternoon.

At Sedgefield Show in 1928 the pony scamper saw two ponies run into the crowd. A gamekeeper and two children were knocked down: the former was ‘severely bruised’ and the latter received ‘extensive cuts’: the newspaper reported ‘Their injuries were not serious, however’, suggesting that people really were made of stronger stuff in the past! The first Sedgefield Show took place on 7 October 1859 and for the first decade shows took place in October, before moving to September, then late August, before settling on the second Saturday in August. Once the event was merged with the Durham County Show, as on Monday 7 August 1939, just a month before the start of the Second World War. Sadly, due to Covid 19 and ongoing restrictions Sedgefield Show cannot take place this August in its traditional format, but the Virtual Show must go on!

Classes will be judged on Facebook in a public in a count of ‘Likes’ during the week before what would have been show day (2nd-6th August) and winners will be announced on Saturday 8th August. Winners will receive a rainbow rosette in recognition as well as being celebrated on the Facebook page for Sedgefield Show. Martin F Peagam: The Time Traveller, on behalf of Sedgefield LHS.
For more about your local history, visit Facebook/Sedgefield Local History Society


Sedgefield Charities Education grants for students

The Trustees of Sedgefield Charities make a number of awards each year to help students from lower income families who are taking up full time study beyond A level or equivalent. Students of any age may apply. Applicants must live in Bishop Middleham, Bradbury, Cornforth, Fishburn, Mordon, Sedgefield, Trimdon. Application forms & further information can be obtained from the new joint Clerk to the Trustees, Anne Gladwin & Simon Nott 46 White House Drive, Sedgefield, TS21 3BU.
Telephone 01740 620811
e: sedgefieldcharities@gmail.com
The closing date for applications is September 30th 2020.


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Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust.

Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills. Sedgefield still continue to have the highest switching rate in the country.


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Key dates:

  4th August-Registration Opens
  5th October-Registration Closes
  6th October-Day of Auction
  19th October-Offers letters issued
  17th November-Offer acceptance closure

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Buy Local

Sedgefield Farmers Market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm. The market has about 20 stall holders each month, varying throughout the seasons, providing meats, vegatables, Handmade pies, pastries and cakes, Fish, Spices, Cheeses and more.

To book a stall call Roger Clubley: 01740 620609, email Farmers Market: farmers@sedgefielddevelopmenttrust.co.uk


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