Sedgefield News

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Bloomers enjoy sunshine after the storm

Despite a torrential thunderstorm the day before, complete with hailstones, the village was looking lovely and the sun shone throughout the Bloom tour of the centre of the village. A welcoming party of Bloomers and local dignitaries greeted the judges at Ceddesfeld Hall.

On Rectory Row, varied planting along the church wall and Vicar’s Dash leads to the colourful wildflower meadow at Wykes Close. Opposite, magnificent troughs on the social club fence provide a bright splash of colour.

Down to the gardens at Crispin Court, expertly created and tended by Bloomer Barbara Smith, then across to the Bloomers Memorial Garden, designed by vice chairman Alice Hobson, also a guiding hand on the Turnpike Bed at Beacon Lane which was next on the visitor’s itinerary. The agricultural area opposite is a blaze of colour, restored vintage equipment paying tribute to Sedgefield’s farming heritage.

In the village, the judges were particularly impressed by the vibrancy of hanging baskets and tubs, including those of local businesses.

On the green, wonderful displays provided by Sedgefield’s council gardeners always attract comment and the Manor House garden is packed with roses and other beautiful plants which have been particularly stunning this year. Opposite, the Bloom Beacon Bed, very popular ever since its inception in 2012, stands this year as a beacon of hope for a bright future after this difficult time.

Nearby, the Jubilee Bed makes a bold statement and on Rectory Row, the Charter Bed opposite the primary school is now blossoming into a beautiful rainbow.

Our tour always ends in front of The Pickled Parson, looking over the green to St Edmund’s church, the Bloom Bike parked against a handy lamppost. A superb view of a wonderful vibrant village.

The community spirit of Sedgefield has become even more evident during these difficult days. We would like to thank all those residents, visitors, businesses, teams and organisations who have given us such stalwart support.


Want to give someone special a great gift this Christmas? Why not a unique jigsaw?

Jigsaw enthusiasts will soon be able to test their skills on a unique charity fund-raising puzzle – but they will need plenty of time and lots of patience to crack it.

The challenge comes in 1000 pieces and features a striking photograph of Sedgefield’s centuries-old church and surroundings shot by local drone pilot Jonathan Clegg.

It’s being produced by the Friends of St Edmund’s as part of the group’s tireless campaign to keep the fabric of the church in a decent state of repair. Membership secretary Brian Mutch said this week: “It’s a wonderful picture and we are already being asked how soon it will be available because it would make a superb Christmas gift. Orders have flooded in since we circulated information to members of the Friends.”

The limited-edition jigsaw measures 66mm x 52mm and comes with a price tag of £20.

Expressions of interest can be sent to Brian by e-mail at b.mutch@btconnect.com or by ringing him on 01740 622302.


Regular Feature

Greener Sedgefield

No report this month.

Drone reveals damage

Serious damage has been discovered in the stonework at Sedgefield’s ancient St Edmund’s Church – and the repair bill has been estimated at around £10,000. ‘Joints you can put your hand into’ have been found in the water tabling on top of the East Gable wall.

Although it was known that repairs were needed to various parts of the external stonework, it was not until a recent approved flight check by local drone pilot Jonathan Clegg that the full extent of damage to the water- tabling was revealed.

A physical inspection confirmed the need for urgent action.
“This is a very serious situation. In parts of the water tabling, there are joints that require immediate attention”, said Emeritus warden Brian Mutch, who has special responsibility for church buildings in the parish of the Upper Skerne.

“ If we don’t act before the winter, bad weather is likely to cause further serious erosion to both external and internal parts of our historic building and lead to even greater expense.” Once the Diocese of Durham was made aware of the seriousness of the damage, it gave permission for remedial work on the East Gable to begin as soon as possible. Restoration work to other parts of the fabric will now be carried out in the Spring.

The repair bill will be met by the Friends but has come at a particularly challenging time for group members who recently launched a public appeal to help renovate the mechanism and two faces of the community-owned clock on the church tower. Dr Alistair Irvine, Chairman of the Friends, has assured those who have already made donations to the clock appeal that their contributions will be ring-fenced until emergency work on the gable has been completed.

Anyone wanting to make a contribution to the repairs or clock faces can donate at the ‘Just Giving’ page, which can be found on justgiving.com/fo-stedmundschurch or by sending a cheque to the Friends’ membership secretary, Brian Mutch, at 6 Hasledon Grove, Sedgefield TS21 2JW 01740 622302. See also friendsofstedmunds.org.


NETPark hosts Secretary of State

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) visited NETPark on a whistle-stop tour of one of the UK’s premier science, engineering and technology parks. The Secretary of State was hosted by Business Durham and spoke with teams from Kromek, Evince, Filtronic, PragmatIC Semiconductor and INEX Micro Technology.

The minister was impressed with the warm welcome and commented that NETPark is an exemplar for collaboration, innovation, cutting edge technology and manufacturing in the UK saying, “NETPark and the wider north-east location have multi-level benefits for investors who will appreciate the assets and the unique core skill base in this region of the UK.”

Local leaders, including Sedgefield MP, Paul Howell and Leader of Durham County Council, Councillor Amanda Hopgood, were on hand to showcase future plans and make the case for further government support for innovation and investment in NETPark and County Durham as a whole.


Congratulations to the Class of 2021

It has been an extremely challenging time for all of our students since the COVID-19 lockdown closed schools to most students in March 2020. This is especially the case for our class of 2021, Year 11 students. They had their GCSE exam preparations interrupted in the first lockdown when they were in Year 10 and then once again in January 2021 when schools were forced to close to most students due to the resurgence of the pandemic.

It was at this point we became aware that GCSE exams in their ‘normal’ form would not be able to go ahead. Sadly, to add increased anxiety to all GCSE students nationally, clear details of how GCSE grades would eventually be determined were not immediately forthcoming, leading to many weeks of speculation. In a time of uncertainty, Year 11 showed great maturity and fortitude to continue to work incredibly hard, knowing that their efforts would be called upon as evidence for their GCSE grades. The class of 2021 have continued to build solidly on the school’s track record of exceptional GCSE achievement. Regardless of the turmoil our students have had to encounter, we are delighted that their hard work and perseverance has been officially recognised with the excellent grades they have worked so hard to achieve.

More than outstanding results, it is their initiative, tenacity and commitment that will see them go on to succeed in whatever the future holds for them. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the class of 2021 can now progress onto the next stage of their life with confidence and be proud of what they have achieved, knowing the grades represent a triumph over all the hurdles put in their way.
Extract from Headteacher’s letter to parents August 2021


New lip reading group

- Are you having difficulty following conversations?
- Is your hearing loss causing problems at home or at work?
- Do you feel isolated even in the family unit?
- Would you like to improve your communication skills?
- Would you like to meet others in the same situation, in a friendly supportive atmosphere?
If you can answer yes to any of the above, we look forward to seeing you at our Local Community Support Group at Ceddesfeld Hall, Sedgefield on Thursdays 2pm to 4pm.

For more information or to reserve your place (places by reservation only), contact Durham Deafened Support 0191 583358 or admin@ddsupport.org.uk.


Ultra-runner friends raise over £7,000 for charity

THREE friends who challenged themselves to run 48 miles in 48 hours raised more than £7,350 for charity with incredible support from local residents, schools and fellow runners.

Supporters took to the streets of Sedgefield, day and night, to cheer for runners Kate Stanley, Jo Bowman and Catherine Sutcliffe, as they completed their own 'Goggins Challenge', running four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours. Friends, family, local schoolchildren and runners also donned their trainers and joined the fundraising trio on many of their 12 runs to help in their efforts to raise awareness and money for Pancreatic Cancer UK. Catherine, from The Meadows, said: 'We were overwhelmed by the incredible support, with people beeping horns, ringing bells and cheering as we made our way round Sedgefield on each of our four-mile runs.

'Even on the gruelling 1am and 5am runs we had friends running alongside us and hardened supporters at their doors waving. It was just what we needed to get us through the challenge." The three friends set themselves the 4x4x48 challenge to raise money in memory of Kate's father David Bowman, who died of pancreatic cancer ten years ago.

'The original idea was to raise money in my dad's honour, yet the number of people who told us they too had lost a loved one to this dreadful disease really touched us," said Kate, from Church View. 'As a result, we dedicated each of our runs to different people who had also lost their brave battle to Pancreatic Cancer. Aside from being incredibly challenging, the 48 hours were also very emotional and inspiring." The women barely slept during the 48-hour challenge and in the final hours, struggled to eat properly or prevent muscle fatigue. They kept followers on their '48in48forCancer' social media platforms updated with live videos and posts after each four-mile loop, and BBC Radio Tees interviewed them for its daytime show with Gary Philipson.

Jo, from St Edmunds Manor, said: 'In total, with online donations, gift aid and cash, we have raised about £7,350, which is just a staggering amount we never expected to achieve. We want to say a heartfelt thank you to all who supported us." To donate www.justgiving.com/48in48forcancer.


Aunt Sally tournament

Regular readers of the Sedgefield News will recall how Rosedale Close residents enjoyed street parties last summer and a series of quizzes through the winter, organised by Brian Cobb, to help alleviate some of the hardships caused by the pandemic. Well he's been at it again.

On the afternoon of Saturday 24th July, Brian organised a socially distanced tournament of Aunt Sally, complete with hot dogs for all.

Each competitor had to throw 6 wooden sticks (a bit like rolling pins) at a skittle on a pole. There were 3 rounds of throws. The eventual winner was young Emilia, who just pipped Dave Jasper to the title and the unique prize.
Dave Jasper


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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:

  Tuesday 3rd August-Registration Opens
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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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