I never cease to be amazed at how much the village changes with the seasons. Winter brings a dismal light, usually, and the village is all dull greys and muddy browns, even the green of the grass loses its lustre but then it snows, as it did this week, and the clear open skies together with the brilliant whiteness of the snow changes the village overnight into a Christmas card spectacle. Unfortunately the snow only lasted two days and we are now back to greys and browns and wind and rain, a truly miserable end to January. On the brighter side my Head closed the school for two days so I managed to get quite a bit of website work out of the way midweek.
There will be a fairly large upgrade going live later today including the illustrated memories of Barry Davies of his time with No. 3 Flight Training School, Feltwell, from 1955-56. The link is on the Times Remembered page and the extensive article is well worth reading. New photographs also appear on various pages within the Work & Play gallery and several captions, particularly on the RAF Memorial pages have been edited following knowledgeable input from various correspondents. Also look out for photos of the 75th Memorial unveiling on the chronology page. Extra pics on Site 3 will follow in some future month.
On the 16th Jan I did the annual presentation on the website to the A&H Society and, despite hearing and seeing it for what must now be at least the fifth time, the members were still enthralled by the old photos and I was asked back next year. Two days later we started an OFSTED inspection at school! For those who don't know anything about a British OFSTED let me explain. OFSTED stands for The Office of Standards in Education, a government quango of the worst kind. They come, they take a "snapshot" of the school, make judgements, write a report and shackle your development for the next 6 years (providing your exams results keep on going up otherwise they come back sooner!). And that's if you pass! If you end up in Special Measures, well...... I have just deleted three sentences because I was getting a bit vitriolic in my ramblings and that's not what this newsletter is for. Suffice it to say the week was stressful but I don't expect them back for a further 6 years. Champagne all round and lots of happy, smiling teachers. So what did I do? Together with my wife we ran one of the most successful Quiz Nights for many a year on the Saturday immediately following the inspection! Over £300 was raised for Methwold High PTA. What a wonderful way to lift one's spirits. And the food was delicious as well. So the two days off due to the snow this week were the icing on the cake.
On the evening of the 26th the Parish Council met with a representative of a Housing Agency with a view to moving forward on our plans to develop some allotment land into affordable housing for village residents. Although the process is likely to take at least 2 years from obtaining permission to change the use of the land to actually having some houses for rent the idea is sound and supported by the results of a recent housing survey to which I have referred in a previous newsletter. As a Council we are trapped between trying to maintain a village whilst at the same time helping to provide housing for young families which inevitably makes the village larger. What we cannot do is nothing. Our youngsters must have somewhere to live and where better than here?