Sedgefield News

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Blooming Spring is on the way
Volunteers of the Sedgefield in Bloom team were out in force in the run up to Christmas and very swiftly into the New Year. The Bloom tractor has proved invaluable in shifting leaves and other debris, while developments are cracking on apace in various areas of the village. Major work has taken place in Ceddesfeld Gardens, creating a woodland Bluebell Walk. The Turnpike Bed at Beacon Lane is also to receive a make-over, and improvements continue at Malton Terrace, near the Golden Lion, where the former central herb bed has been replanted and dedicated to the memory of volunteer Bloomers lost in recent months.

Thanks to the excellent partnership of Bloomers with council gardeners Stephen and Ben, Sedgefield has a very proud record of winning gold medals and Best Small Town in Northumbria. Having also won three consecutive golds in Britain in Bloom (2012-2014), we are honoured to have been invited once again to take part in the national competition. Northumbria in Bloom judges will visit in April and July, followed by Britain in Bloom judges in early August. It takes a great deal of hard work and a lot of much-valued community support to do so well. We are very grateful to our loyal band of sponsors whose contributions allow us to buy plants and equipment. Thanks to the sterling efforts of many of our shopkeepers and business proprietors the village is attractive throughout the year. The involvement of local organisations, interest groups, our primary schools and other young people’s groups is also key to the success of Sedgefield in Bloom.

Bloomers meet for gardening tasks every Wednesday at 10 am at Ceddesfeld Hall. Recently, we have been delighted to welcome an influx of new members, all of whom have proved invaluable. If you’d like to join us, please come along. If you have just retired, recently moved to the village or just want to do your bit to help out, come and join us. No experience necessary. Don’t worry if you don’t know a hoe from a hollyhock. Now’s your chance to learn. We also hold regular fundraising events. See the diary page for our next. We look forward to meeting you.

For further information, email norma@neal.myzen.co.uk. or ring 01740 620091
Every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

In The News

‘Exciting time’ forecast as Upper Skerne churches welcome new clergy
Sedgefield News Article
Church members and well-wishers from many parts of the North East flocked to St Edmund’s Church, Sedgefield, this week to celebrate the institution and induction of a new Team Rector and the licensing of a new Team Vicar in the parish of the Upper Skerne. The service was led by the Bishop of Durham, the Right Revd. Paul Butler, who described the occasion as “a very exciting moment in the life of the parish”.

New Team Rector is the Revd. Geoffrey Short, who comes to the parish from the Diocese of Newcastle where he was Team Vicar of Christ the King in the North Tyneside village of Wideopen. He replaces the Revd. Michael Gobbett who left Sedgefield more than two years ago to become Rector of Whitby with Ruswarp in the Diocese of York.

New Team Vicar is the Revd. Elizabeth Bland, formerly Team Vicar in the Great Aycliffe Team ministry, who has been appointed to a half-time post. She takes over from the Revd. Michael Thompson who retired in August.

Their arrival in the community has been warmly welcomed by church members throughout the parish which includes the villages of Fishburn, the Trimdons and Bishop Middleham. Typical of the comments at the induction service was that by parish warden Brian Mutch who said: “The ministry team has done a sterling job in very challenging circumstances during the past two years and we are now looking forward to working with Geoff and Elizabeth to grow our churches and to make them more attractive to the wider community, particularly our young people” The new Rector has already moved into Sedgefield Rectory on Durham Road. The Team Vicar will make her home at the Vicarage at Trimdon Grange.

The induction service saw the Rector having his hand placed on the entrance door to St Edmund’s by the Archdeacon of Auckland, the Ven. Rick Simpson, and presented with a set of keys to the church before he caused the church bell to be rung to signify his acceptance of responsibility for the pastoral care for parishioners. Both he and the Team Vicar were then formally welcomed by representatives of other ecumenical partners, civic dignitaries and the local community.

During the service, the Team Rector and Team Vicar were each presented with a unique stained glass cross for their new homes made by the Bishop’s wife to mark the double celebration.
We will remember them
Sedgefield News Article
December 17th 2018 saw the final commemoration for Sedgefield men lost in the Great War of 1914-18. Sedgefield Local History Society, Sedgefield Village Veterans and other residents joined with three generations of the Robinson family in honour of Richard Robinson, who died in Salonika, Greece 100 years ago. Nephew Peter, great nephew Will, great niece Ailsa and great-great nephew Henry Joseph, aged 8 months, stood in tribute to Richard, who fell victim to Spanish flu shortly after the armistice brought the war to an end on 11 November 1918.

Born in Sedgefield in 1891, the fourth child of seven, Richard served as a driver with the 2nd Regiment of Royal Engineers, the Royal Army Service Corps. His younger brother William served with the Machine Gun Corps. Wounded in spring 1918, patched up and returned to the front, William was one of the allied troops ‘holding the line’ after the armistice. On December 22, a letter from his sister May passed on the sad news of their brother’s death. Richard was 27, brother William just 20. Richard is remembered at Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece, lost after peace was declared.

Sedgefield Local History Society are very grateful for the unfailing support of Sedgefield Village Veterans throughout four years of commemorations and exhibitions in tribute to Sedgefield men lost in the Great War. Local people and some from further afield have stood alongside us in honour of each one. Many have shared information, stories, letters, photographs and mementoes from 100 years ago. It has been an honour and privilege to acknowledge the bravery and sacrifice of those 42 men and their families. We will remember them.
Wheels 2 Work
Sedgefield News Article Wheels 2 Work is a moped-loan scheme which aims to help people access employment, training or education that would otherwise be inaccessible due to poor public transport connections or out-of-hour work patterns. It is available to people living in the Sedgefield/Fishburn area.

This is how it has helped a local family.
Lee, 32, lives in Coxhoe and is employed as a Sales Order Processor at Made for Trade. Lee’s commute to work was already difficult due to the lack of public transport to start his morning shift. However, with an impending move to a different site he would find it impossible to get to work on public transport. It was vital that Lee was able to remain in work having his partner and 2 year old son to provide for. Lee found out about the Wheels 2 Work County Durham and applied in September 2018. He passed his CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) in early October. Lee’s commute reduced to 40 minutes and he was able to have extra time in bed, a good breakfast and still arrive in plenty of time for work. Lee now arrives home quickly and he says he has much more quality time with his son. Lee feels he is a much more reliable and flexible employee. Lee loves the freedom and independence he has since acquiring the moped and the fact that he can nip to the shops or to see family and friends so easily now.

Lee thinks the Wheels 2 Work Scheme is ‘amazing’ and would highly recommend it to others saying ‘I can’t praise Wheels 2 Work highly enough.’ Lee thinks the costs are ‘spot on’ and suggests that anyone having issues getting to work should contact the friendly staff at Wheels 2 Work. Contact: info@w2wcd.org.uk or 07472 668884.
A Family Affair
Sedgefield News Article Next on The Sedgefield News tour of social amenities in Sedgefield is Julia and Sofia’s Italian Restaurant in Church View. I have to confess, my family and I have eaten there at least six times in its first year of business; so it was no hardship to say “yes” to this particular assignment.

Prior to our visit I had arranged to speak with one of the owners of the restaurant. Tony Troci, together with his business partner Nico, is the co-owner of Julia & Sofia’s. I started by asking if the name of the restaurant has any special significance. Tony explained that their aim, as a family business, was to create a cosy and comfortable, family-friendly environment in which customers could enjoy a range of freshly prepared food. He, and his partner, reasoned that a family centred name for a family oriented business would be an appropriate choice; and so, as each partner has a daughter the restaurant became Julia & Sofia’s.

At 6.30 one Saturday evening in January my wife and I, together with my son and his girlfriend, happily convened in Julia and Sofia’s to do our duty for The Sedgefield News. We always find the atmosphere in the restaurant is pleasant and homely, just what you need for that “cosy and comfortable” feeling that the owners aspired to. The décor is understated but agreeable and the staff are attentive, pleasant to a fault and extremely helpful. They dealt helpfully with the nut allergy queries from one of our party; and without fuss. The menu has a range of simple and inexpensive Italian staples together with a number of more complex and adventurous dishes. Our food was excellent as ever and the bill for the four of us came in at around Eighty Pounds for starters, mains, two desserts and drinks.

When speaking to Mr Troci, I asked him about the lack of dietary information on the menu. He advised me that staff routinely deal with dietary requests in the ordering process. They feel that the restaurant’s food being freshly prepared in the kitchens gives them the flexibility to respond to customer’s requests in this way. Certainly our experience in this respect was positive. Nevertheless, they plan to introduce revised menus, complete with dietary information very soon.

Wheelchair access is restricted although it is possible to access some of the eating areas, as one customer demonstrated on the evening we visited. Unfortunately, due to structural reasons wheelchairs are not able to pass through the entrance to the toilet facilities.

All in all another pleasant evening in Julia & Sofia’s for us. A quick trawl through the comments on Trip Advisor and the restaurant’s social media will show that we are far from alone in that opinion.