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Written Records

December 2003

The month of November will go down in Feltwell history as the month in which the 75(NZ) Squadron Memorial was unveiled. The New Zealand High Commissioner, the Hon Russell Marshall, performed the unveiling. Unfortunately, at the last minute, RAF Marham had to call off the planned flypast. I've attached a picture of the memorial to this newsletter. One photo I could not resist on the day was of the New Zealand flag flying in front of St Mary's Church - you don't get that very often! Look out for it on the website.

Talking of websites, I know I've done very little of late on the sites but things really have slowed down as regards new material. I've got a bit sitting here and I'm planning to process it all during the Christmas break but I think I've got almost everything there is out there up on the existing sites already, apart from trawling through the newspaper cuttings and the 'hatches, matches and despatches' records, which I know the family history researches would love me to do but, honestly, I don't have the time.

Following a survey of the housing need within the village the Council has decided to take the issue further and is about to begin exploratory talks with a Housing Association. Over the last year a number of larger private houses have been built, which in themselves, meet a need previously identified many years ago but, what with the huge increase in house prices in general, getting a toehold on the housing ladder has become very difficult for young families and virtually impossible for single people. It came, therefore, as no surprise that it is in the area of affordable housing that our biggest need can be found. The only way to provide this is to sell land cheap. But before we do anything we need information, hence the meeting with the Housing Association. I wonder sometimes what will happen when the 'cheap' land runs out. Perhaps we'll end up like Germany and other countries becoming not a nation of householders but of tenants. I worry about my own children and how they will obtain a 'roof over their heads'.

When you live in a village it is often difficult to keep a balanced view on life. What is a minor inconvenience in a town or city becomes a major problem in a village. Take vandalism for example. The other night some person or persons unknown broke into the Community Centre and did some minor damage. This, for Feltwell, is a major issue but to the authorities it's just another statistic. Well, to my mind, the event represents another nail in the Community Centre's coffin. As reported previously the Centre is to be demolished which is a great shame I know but it serves no useful purpose. In a village with more meeting places than you can shake a stick at it is surplus to requirements and a drain on Parish funds so it is to come down. The changing rooms will remain.

Taking the preceding two paragraphs together you can see that next year is going to be a most interesting one for the Parish Council! I'm quite looking forward to it.

Notable emails this month came from Helen Schmidt who wrote, "Many thanks for getting us in touch with Claudine Riches. My mother and her have been in touch over the phone and have exchanged photos and their family details", and from Sue Peavy, "Thank you for the site. I have since been reacquainted with a classmate who also lived on Trenchard Square. It's been terrific fun learning about his life and sharing stories of my own. (He's now an adviser for a Saudi prince and lives in Jeddah, SA)." Now that's what this site is all about. And at Christmas too.

Until next month, have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are and may next year be your best ever.