29th January 2021

Good day to you.  Hope that you are still keeping well.  This is the 10th ‘Newsletter’ I’ve written because meetings have been cancelled, who knew it would get to this stage – and it will go yet further.   Things have come full circle really as in the early days of HiB I used to send out newsletters rather than minutes – what goes round comes round.  Halstead in Bloom has now been in existence for 21 years!  On 18th January 2000 a public meeting was held to determine whether it would be feasible to have a volunteer group responsible for some planting in the town and to take over from the former Council led initiative.  It was decided to go ahead, and I think that this decision has been vindicated.  I’ve been tidying up the ‘archive’ papers for HiB recently (I guess that many lofts/spare rooms, etc. have had the same treatment) and it’s taken longer that it should have because there is so much to read!  I’ve laughed, and I’ve cried, but mostly I feel sad that there is so much that is hidden away and which would be of interest to others.  Four or five years ago the East of England Co-op allowed us to use an empty shop to display some of our past material – do you think it would be an idea to have such an event again?  Would there be interest?  I know the ‘visitor book’ for the last display had some very favourable comments – discuss!!  OK, so some news:

Community Litter Pick should be happening this Sunday but obviously won’t take place as an organised event.  Once again for this month if you can combine some collecting with your permitted daily exercise please do, and do so safely.  The next event should be on Sunday 28th February but will depend on what restrictions are in place then.

Donation of £150 has been received from Mr Buscall who used to live in Halstead.  He requested that a Halstead 2021 calendar be posted to him, which I was happy to do, and he rang to say how lovely the photos are and asked me to congratulate all the contributors.  I was expecting a cheque to cover the cost of calendar and postage, but was amazed when his contribution arrived. I have, of course, written to thank him.

River Colne.  Work on the Riverside footbridge is still ongoing but it is hoped that progress will be made in the near future.  With regard to the stretch between Town Bridge and the Mill a necessary planning application has been made to trim back the trees on Weavers’ Court side of the river and some detailed discussions have taken place about planting both to hide the ugly metal wall on Weavers’ Court side of the river bed and also on the former duck platform area and the other higher pieces of the river bed.  It’s difficult to see where this will happen at present, with the river levels so high, but some stabilising planting and also some under planting will take place either by the Environment Agency or by the River Improvement Group when possible.

Eastlight Homes some time last autumn we were contacted by Eastlight to say that there was planned horticultural work to the car park at Trinity Court and also to the rear garden and asked if HiB would be able to make a contribution to the residents’ group that would fund the work.  It was agreed that the area is very dull and often looks, well, a mess, and HiB agreed to donate £250 provided there was a maintenance plan in place.  We have been assured that this is the case and some replanting and tidying has been done.

RHS Britain in Bloom and Anglia in Bloom As said previously there will be no physical judging for Britain in Bloom this year but a Community Champions campaign instead.  There are 5 categories for entry, but  those five didn’t seem to fit very well with our In Bloom effort . There were two categories for ‘feeding the community’ which isn’t in HiB’s remit and the school and Guides and Brownies produce growing efforts, supported by HiB, obviously haven’t been able to function this year.  There was also a category concerning planting with purpose – i.e. to hide some ugly feature or for some defined outcome and one for ‘green solutions’ to cover tree/hedge planting.  The final category was ‘nature friendly gardening’ – well we could probably have covered that with various areas we manage, but all in all we thought that for this year we would say that perhaps another group, who wouldn’t necessarily have a chance in the usual ‘population’ based campaign might like the kudos of entering Britain in Bloom so declined the invitation from Anglia in Bloom to take part – provided that we are considered for the Britain in Bloom campaign 2022! 
The Anglia in Bloom campaign will also be a virtual one this year, although it is hoped that if the situation permits there might be a one- to- one assessment in the summer with one judge visiting to look at what has been and is being done in Halstead and therefore awarding points towards the regular In Bloom certificates.  We will know more by the middle of next month and I will pass this on to you.  We have been told, however, that there will be a category concerning spring planting so please if you take photos of the flowers on the Bridge, or in the Public Gardens, or snowdrops in St. Andrew’s Churchyard or any other spring flowers please pass them on. 

Calendars 2021 Of course any photos of the town could be considered for our next calendar.  The 2021 calendar was very well received. It has been a difficult selling year for us, but Phil the Egg Man (outside Solar store on Thursday/Friday and Saturday) has helped us enormously.  In all he has sold at least 70 and I think he may have one or two left.  We ordered 700 and when we stopped selling we had 54 copies left ‘in stock’.  We decided that rather than send them to recycling we would give 6 copies to each of the Estate Agents in the town and 6 to each of the developers at Sudbury Road and Braintree Road to show prospective new residents just what the town has to offer.  Hopefully this will be successful and we asked that any remainders be put to recycling.
We do still have some face shields left, and I guess that we will all be need to wear some sort of face covering for weeks/months to come.  They cost £2.50 each and just let me know if you need any.

Halstead High Street You may have seen a report in the local paper about some work to revamp the High Street and HiB made a request for various planters to be replaced and hopefully by some of the modern water-retaining type.  We also suggested that new seating was needed both outside WH Smith and also adjacent to the Jubilee Fountain on Market Hill.  Halstead TC took these suggestions on board and will pass on to Braintree DC that is planning the work.  HiB was quite surprised to be asked to be a consultee on this project so if you have any comments please do let me know so that I can pass them on.

I think that’s all for now, let’s look forward to just one more month of meteorological winter  – the days are already getting longer, birds singing earlier and later so there is the prospect of  spring to follow.
Please, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments don’t hesitate to contact us .          
Allthe best, stay safe and keep well.alsteaH Hal

 Halstead River

Chairman: Margaret Eskins- 01787 269443. Plants/Planting: Joan Gibson 01787 473070. Trustee Annie Rees.  Secretary: Julia Smith 01787 461806/email jaygrey@btinternet.com.
Facebook: Halsteadin

29th January 2021

Good day to you.  Hope that you are still keeping well.  This is the 10th ‘Newsletter’ I’ve written because meetings have been cancelled, who knew it would get to this stage – and it will go yet further.   Things have come full circle really as in the early days of HiB I used to send out newsletters rather than minutes – what goes round comes round.  Halstead in Bloom has now been in existence for 21 years!  On 18th January 2000 a public meeting was held to determine whether it would be feasible to have a volunteer group responsible for some planting in the town and to take over from the former Council led initiative.  It was decided to go ahead, and I think that this decision has been vindicated.  I’ve been tidying up the ‘archive’ papers for HiB recently (I guess that many lofts/spare rooms, etc. have had the same treatment) and it’s taken longer that it should have because there is so much to read!  I’ve laughed, and I’ve cried, but mostly I feel sad that there is so much that is hidden away and which would be of interest to others.  Four or five years ago the East of England Co-op allowed us to use an empty shop to display some of our past material – do you think it would be an idea to have such an event again?  Would there be interest?  I know the ‘visitor book’ for the last display had some very favourable comments – discuss!!  OK, so some news:

Community Litter Pick should be happening this Sunday but obviously won’t take place as an organised event.  Once again for this month if you can combine some collecting with your permitted daily exercise please do, and do so safely.  The next event should be on Sunday 28th February but will depend on what restrictions are in place then.

Donation of £150 has been received from Mr Buscall who used to live in Halstead.  He requested that a Halstead 2021 calendar be posted to him, which I was happy to do, and he rang to say how lovely the photos are and asked me to congratulate all the contributors.  I was expecting a cheque to cover the cost of calendar and postage, but was amazed when his contribution arrived. I have, of course, written to thank him.

River Colne.  Work on the Riverside footbridge is still ongoing but it is hoped that progress will be made in the near future.  With regard to the stretch between Town Bridge and the Mill a necessary planning application has been made to trim back the trees on Weavers’ Court side of the river and some detailed discussions have taken place about planting both to hide the ugly metal wall on Weavers’ Court side of the river bed and also on the former duck platform area and the other higher pieces of the river bed.  It’s difficult to see where this will happen at present, with the river levels so high, but some stabilising planting and also some under planting will take place either by the Environment Agency or by the River Improvement Group when possible.

Eastlight Homes some time last autumn we were contacted by Eastlight to say that there was planned horticultural work to the car park at Trinity Court and also to the rear garden and asked if HiB would be able to make a contribution to the residents’ group that would fund the work.  It was agreed that the area is very dull and often looks, well, a mess, and HiB agreed to donate £250 provided there was a maintenance plan in place.  We have been assured that this is the case and some replanting and tidying has been done.

RHS Britain in Bloom and Anglia in Bloom As said previously there will be no physical judging for Britain in Bloom this year but a Community Champions campaign instead.  There are 5 categories for entry, but  those five didn’t seem to fit very well with our In Bloom effort . There were two categories for ‘feeding the community’ which isn’t in HiB’s remit and the school and Guides and Brownies produce growing efforts, supported by HiB, obviously haven’t been able to function this year.  There was also a category concerning planting with purpose – i.e. to hide some ugly feature or for some defined outcome and one for ‘green solutions’ to cover tree/hedge planting.  The final category was ‘nature friendly gardening’ – well we could probably have covered that with various areas we manage, but all in all we thought that for this year we would say that perhaps another group, who wouldn’t necessarily have a chance in the usual ‘population’ based campaign might like the kudos of entering Britain in Bloom so declined the invitation from Anglia in Bloom to take part – provided that we are considered for the Britain in Bloom campaign 2022! 
The Anglia in Bloom campaign will also be a virtual one this year, although it is hoped that if the situation permits there might be a one- to- one assessment in the summer with one judge visiting to look at what has been and is being done in Halstead and therefore awarding points towards the regular In Bloom certificates.  We will know more by the middle of next month and I will pass this on to you.  We have been told, however, that there will be a category concerning spring planting so please if you take photos of the flowers on the Bridge, or in the Public Gardens, or snowdrops in St. Andrew’s Churchyard or any other spring flowers please pass them on. 

Calendars 2021 Of course any photos of the town could be considered for our next calendar.  The 2021 calendar was very well received. It has been a difficult selling year for us, but Phil the Egg Man (outside Solar store on Thursday/Friday and Saturday) has helped us enormously.  In all he has sold at least 70 and I think he may have one or two left.  We ordered 700 and when we stopped selling we had 54 copies left ‘in stock’.  We decided that rather than send them to recycling we would give 6 copies to each of the Estate Agents in the town and 6 to each of the developers at Sudbury Road and Braintree Road to show prospective new residents just what the town has to offer.  Hopefully this will be successful and we asked that any remainders be put to recycling.
We do still have some face shields left, and I guess that we will all be need to wear some sort of face covering for weeks/months to come.  They cost £2.50 each and just let me know if you need any.

Halstead High Street You may have seen a report in the local paper about some work to revamp the High Street and HiB made a request for various planters to be replaced and hopefully by some of the modern water-retaining type.  We also suggested that new seating was needed both outside WH Smith and also adjacent to the Jubilee Fountain on Market Hill.  Halstead TC took these suggestions on board and will pass on to Braintree DC that is planning the work.  HiB was quite surprised to be asked to be a consultee on this project so if you have any comments please do let me know so that I can pass them on.

I think that’s all for now, let’s look forward to just one more month of meteorological winter  – the days are already getting longer, birds singing earlier and later so there is the prospect of  spring to follow.
Please, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments don’t hesitate to contact us .          
Allthe best, stay safe and keep well.alsteaH Hal

 Halstead River

Chairman: Margaret Eskins- 01787 269443. Plants/Planting: Joan Gibson 01787 473070. Trustee Annie Rees.  Secretary: Julia Smith 01787 461806/email jaygrey@btinternet.com.
Facebook: Halsteadin

Chairman: Margaret Eskins- 01787 269443. Plants/Planting: Joan Gibson 01787 473070. Trustee Annie Rees.  Secretary: Julia Smith 01787 461806/email jaygrey@btinternet.com.
Facebook: Halsteadin