Front Page News

All the fun of the Fayre

Saturday 21 May sees the return of Sedgefield’s popular Mediaeval Fayre on the Village Green and Ceddesfeld Hall.

The Fayre is SCA’s largest and longest standing community event. As well as being a great family day out, which attracts hundreds of visitors to the town, it is also an important source of income for the SCA, contributing to the day-to-day running of Ceddesfeld Hall, which benefits all residents.

SCA usually run several community stalls (books, toys, bric-a-brac, grocery/tins etc), stocked with donations from residents, collected during the house-to-house visits in the week running up to the fayre. This year things are different! It was felt and agreed that because of continued high cases of Covid infection in the community, knocking on residents’ doors, and asking volunteers to sort through household items was not appropriate this year.

Instead, there will be two SCA tombola stalls, one for grown-ups and one for children and we are asking residents to donate a tombola prize (suitable for either child or adult), to be dropped in to Ceddesfeld Hall bar any evening (Monday to Friday from 7.30 pm) or to be collected by contacting one of the numbers below.

A much wider range of unusual craft stalls have been organised to replace the community stalls, so there will still be plenty of lovely things to see and buy.

Help on the day is also very much needed; to carry across, set up, take down and carry back gazebos (and weights) and to set up the performance arena in the middle of the green. We’re looking for strong, fit people to help between 7:30am to 9am and from 4pm to 5:30 pm. The gazebos are easily erected, best done with 4 people, one on each corner.

SCA is truly delighted to resurrect the annual Mediaeval Fayre following a two-year absence. A very small management committee organise the event, but it is not possible for them to put everything out on the day – hence this very important and necessary plea for help.

If you, your friends, team or colleagues can help, please do get in touch soon.

Contact or telephone one of the team: Tony and Sarah 01740 622185
John 01740 620042
Maggie 07970 761844

A round up from the Schools

Science Investigators

Science Week has once again been a real triumph in Sedgefield Primary School, and we certainly believe that we have succeeded in imbuing our children with an even greater passion for the subject. Although it looked a little bit different this year, the enthusiasm and buzz around the school has not changed at all.

During the week, pupils carried out a variety of investigations, some linked to the current theme ‘Growth’. In Reception, the children planted potatoes, beans, onions, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.

They are now very excited to watch how they change and grow over the next few months. In Year 4, we started with a couple of demonstrations. In one, we used kitchen roll, felt tip pens and water to 'grow a rainbow'.

Afterwards, the pupils were presented with the ‘Egg Drop Challenge’. Here, each group had to design and construct a structure (with limited budget, materials and timescale) to protect an egg. This was the ideal opportunity for the children to demonstrate inventiveness and use problem-solving strategies to overcome the challenge.

Fittingly, this inspiring week culminated with the task of designing a poster on the theme of ‘Growth’, with the best five entries being chosen to represent our school in the British Science Week 2022 poster competition. This proved to be a very difficult task for our judge, Dr Gill, as the standard of entries was exceptional. Fantastic work Sedgefield Primary!

Nursery self-care

Sedgefield Primary School's Nursery Class have been learning all about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle.

They have been chopping up and tasting a range of fruit and vegetables. To develop their speaking and listening skills we have been talking about what they need to eat and drink to keep their bodies healthy.

They have been developing their gross motor skills by moving in a variety of different ways both in the indoor and outdoor classroom.

They have discussed why it is important to exercise and how this makes us feel good. To further develop their knowledge and understanding of the world they have been investigating personal hygiene; we have discussed the importance of washing our hands and looking after our teeth.

Fantastic fundraising

Over the past few weeks, at Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School, a few Year 6 children have taken it upon themselves, to raise an astonishing amount of money for a number of charities, including The Dogs Trust, Cancer Research UK and the Ukrainian Appeal.

Through their extraordinary efforts and amazing ideas they have raised over £1,500. The whole school community has supported the endeavours of their inspiring journey to help others in need.

The Year 6 pupils managed to achieve this remarkable goal by selling baked goods and wrist-wear which were gratefully received.

Hannah (one of the Year 6 fundraisers) stated, “I have designed these yellow and blue wristbands which are embossed with ‘I stand with Ukraine’ and I have sold them at many places. Also, a famous celebrity called Sara Davies (from Dragons’ Den) got in touch with me through social media and bought four bracelets.”

This is only the beginning of their fundraising experience and all the Year 6 fundraisers (Lily, Ben, Ellie, Eva-Grace, Rosie, Alicia, Jasper and Amelia) agreed, “We want to thank all the children and staff for their generous donations, without them we would never have achieved what we set out to do.”

World Class Schools

In 2019, Sedgefield Community College achieved World Class School status, and this year we are reaccrediting. As part of this process, six of our World Class students travelled to Warwickshire to participate in a project at Houlton School, Rugby.

Our students had to liaise with students at other World Class Schools in preparation for the event and worked really hard to design and create tree hangings, a sign and a sculpture to reflect the values of Houlton School. Students organised the project entirely by themselves, including producing a budget, a risk assessment, an environmental report, minutes of meetings and media to promote their work.

It was a busy but exciting time for the students involved and we are incredibly proud of them. We will find out later in the year whether our reaccreditation has been successful!

Making Tracks Railway Society

The MTRS (Making Tracks Railway Society) is based in the old Turners Taxi Office above the Hive in Rectory Row. Our website can be viewed at

The society was formed in October 2021 and hosted our inaugural Model Railway Exhibition in the Parish Hall on 31 October 2021 which was an excellent success getting many plaudits from other societies for the welcome they received.

We were hosts to model railway societies in the north of England bringing along their club layouts to view and also had a number of trade stands onsite to allow visitors to browse their products on sale. We meet twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday evenings between 18.30 and 22.00 and would like to invite anyone wishing to know more about our society to come along and view what we are doing and hopefully get involved in the practical aspects of model railways.

If you like the sound of that then you might also be interested in the Model Railway Exhibition to be held in Bishop Middleham Village Hall, 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday 18 June. The event will feature some 10 working layouts including “Humphrey Road Sidings” by the Raven Group which featured recently in “Hornby” magazine.

Entry is £4 for adults, children 50p (accompanied children up to age 15 go free). Wheelchair users go free. There will be a café serving bacon butties, hot dogs, sandwiches and drinks.

Further information from John Burrows,, 07870 210269

Mayor’s Update

10 March was a beautiful morning and I was invited to unveil a new bench at old Stockton Road. The bench, designed by Walter Howell, was dedicated to Sedgefield in Bloom members past, present and future. Approximately 50 people attended, mainly Bloom members, and following the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon, a short speech was given by Chair Alice Hobson.

The bench is beautiful and well worth a visit for a chill out or a sandwich stop. This was a very happy occasion followed by coffee and scones in the Dun Cow. Great Aycliffe Ball in Woodham Golf Club was a very enjoyable event also raising money in aid of Children’s Blessing.

One of my volunteering roles under normal circumstances is in the prison. They have become very short of 8” knitted teddies. A teddy is given to every child who visits the Visitor Centre. Due to the restrictions with the pandemic people had stopped knitting. I sent out an appeal and had a great response from an army of knitters who have swung into action. I think the children will be receiving teddies very soon.

I attended the Mayor of Ferryhill’s Charity Dinner which helped support local charities, including Treasures Autism Society, Youth FC and Care for Casualties.

During the last month I’ve visited businesses in the town to promote our Council and also make them aware of my role and my appreciation of their support.

On Saturday 2 April I attended the official opening of Sedgefield Fire Station with it’s “new look”. The official opening was by the Combined Fire Authority Chair, Cllr John Shuttleworth with a demonstration by fire cadets aged 13 to 17 years who are prospective firefighters. They were great. This was followed by a tour of the station, this was very interesting, their facilities are excellent. They also house an ambulance ready for call outs.

This has again been an interesting month, the best part being interaction with the people living here in our town. Best regards, Ann Carr Mayor and Town Council Councillor

Signs and symptoms of ALL

Anne Rickaby is urging us all to take note of changes in our bodies to spot potential symptoms of blood cancers.

Anne’s husband, Stephen (aka Rickers) was, after a number of GP telephone appointments and tests, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Due to the non-specific nature of the symptoms and relative rarity of leukaemia, people are often misdiagnosed by their GP or attend several times before diagnosis and early diagnosis saves lives. The signs are:
- Fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or night sweats
- Bruising or bleeding
- Bone/joint pain
- Repeated infections
Stephen also had the symptom of thirst. Anne told Sedgefield News about what happened to Stephen:

Stephen was one of life's angels. He would do anything for anyone; he always saw the best in people and was so incredibly positive. He adored me and our two sons, Seb (15) and Hugo (8), and loved his friends. That's why our story is so incredibly devastating and heartbreaking. He has left a massive hole in all our lives.

Stephen was never ill. He took pride in his appearance and looked after himself. He went to to gym, played football, ate healthily and had just bought himself a bike to get even fitter. Leukaemia does not care about any of this!

At the beginning of 2021, Stephen started to feel unwell. He was having regular bed sweats, had an uncontrollable thirst and was feeling tired. His telephone appointment with the GP resulted in him being tested for Type 1 diabetes. He spoke to the GP twice more before, on the fourth telephone appointment in April, the GP referred him for an x-ray which revealed a shadow. A CT scan was arranged revealing a tumour on his lung.

In the meantime, Stephen had developed breathing difficulties in early May and was twice rushed to hospital by ambulance. He had his lung drained of fluid. He was incredibly tired during that time and lost his appetite. He was admitted to the Respiratory Ward and he got dramatically worse.

After numerous tests, the hospital originally diagnosed Stephen with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, then a week later with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We were informed that it was a very aggressive and rare type of leukaemia in adults. Stephen's blood tests indicated that he needed to start chemotherapy immediately or he would die within a couple of days.

I don't think either of us had ever been so frightened. However, we were also told that they aimed to cure Stephen and he would have to have a bone marrow transplant. He started chemotherapy that night, but developed tumour lysis, and need dialysis. At that moment, I realised that Stephen might not make it.

Stephen recovered quite quickly after that first initial scare. He responded positively to treatment and came home earlier than expected. He needed full time care due to him being weak, to be taken to hospital appointments and from the amount of medication he was taking, so I had to leave my work as a 1 to 1 English tutor, to care for him. For his second round of chemo, we had to go to James Cook every day for treatment.

This coincided with the school holidays, so our children had to come with us. Sometimes, we would be waiting for Stephen for 5 hours if he needed a blood transfusion, or platelets.

At times Stephen would have to be rushed into hospital because he had a high temperature. Again, our children in tow. It was a relentless journey. Nevertheless, we had the end goal in sight as we visited the Freeman Hospital to make arrangements for his bone marrow transplant to commence in the November.

His third round of chemo started at the end of September, and it involved a hospital stay. During that time, he started to complain that his vision was fuzzy. It transpired that the leukaemia had developed in his right eye. With it then came the unbearable pain and Stephen had to be given morphine. He developed bell's palsy, and had to wear a patch over his eye to be able to see out of his left. It was at this point, we discussed his funeral.

Stephen had his transplant on 29 December, and it was a success; his numbers were great. This was when things started to change for the worse. He got sores in his mouth, chronic hiccups (which he couldn't get rid of), he was constantly dehydrated, and his oxygen levels were low. His mobility also deteriorated; he was incredibly weak and became quite confused.

He was eventually put on a ventilator in the ICU, where he actually made good progress to begin with and I was told he would come off after a week. Then, within days, I was told he would die.

On Wednesday 2 February, Stephen died holding Seb's and my hand. He died peacefully, with dignity and grace, and I thank the Freeman for that.

Stephen has a huge group of friends, who he has known for most of his life. When Stephen was first admitted, they all clubbed together to help us with equipment, to do things in the garden, to help with Christmas, and also for Stephen's reception for after his funeral. They have done so much for us, but its because of how much they thought of Stephen, or 'Rickers' to them! I was overwhelmed when 'The Lads' contacted me about competing in Ride London 2022 in Stephen's honour, to raise money for a charity of our choice.

With a recommendation from the Freeman Haematology department, we are raising money for Bright Red. Bright Red focus support on the northern region, and help patients who are dealing with a wide range of blood cancers. Support includes investment in improving patient care or contributing towards staff development.

Stephen's death was not in vain. If we can raise as much awareness of the signs and symptoms for leukaemia, or any blood cancer, to prevent what we have gone through for another family, then we have turned this horrific, awful thing into something positive. I know Stephen (Rickers) would be so proud. If you would like to support ‘The Lads’ and Blood Red then go to Rickers-Army-RideLondon22.