Violet Gardens & The Paddocks – in June SCDC approved the application by Taylor Wimpey (TW) to build forty-three houses on land to the south of Falkenham Road previously occupied by B&M Concrete. This was despite the opposition of the Parish Council (PC) which had raised concerns about the size of the development, infrastructure, and transport, following a meeting attended by 155 people. Early in the year the PC had declined an invitation to suggest a name for the new road wishing not to give credibility to the application. Soon after the approval, TW sent a glossy leaflet to every house in the village setting out its plans for “Violet Gardens” – the name it had chosen for the development as a whole, reflecting the fact that once upon a time there had been a violet nursery in the vicinity, after various other suggestions had been rejected. In the November issue of the Review the PC made it clear that the road would be named, according to its wishes, “Paddock Close”.

Bucklesham Road – under the Felixstowe Peninsula Area Action Plan, a site had been proposed for the building of fifteen houses on open fields lying between numbers 71 and 101 Bucklesham Road . The suggestion was met with considerable opposition and led to the creation of a new Facebook Group with forty-three members – Kirton Countryside Conservation – . The Group delivered leaflets to every household arguing against the proposal. SCDC held a well-attended exhibition of the Plan on 4th November and the PC subsequently voted in opposition.

Archaeology – two projects were under way. The first was a series of excavations by Wessex Archaeology as a condition of the approval granted for the £2bn Suffolk One along the route of the prospective cable trench from the off-shore wind-farm of 102 turbines, under the Deben and across Falkenham and Kirton en route to Bramford. The results have yet to be published. A drilling barge was at work on the Deben testing for the optimal course for the cable under the riverbed.
The second focussed on a Rubbish Pit on what was previously Rectory land to the east of the Churchyard variously known as “The Paddock” or “The Glade”. The project centred on a hypothesis by Tom Lucking, a UEA Archaeology student, based on the 1896 and 1904 OS maps – that a pond in the first map but missing in the second had been filled in with refuse from the Rectory. Several test-pits were dug yielding numerous finds to confirm his theory. Tom was hopeful that his tutor would agree to a more comprehensive dig in 2016. Desk-based research revealed that the Rectory was occupied at this time by the Rev. Walter Parry Davies and his family along with servants and scholars in their late teens drawn from across the world raising another series of questions. Another line of enquiry stemmed from the etching of the Church by Henry Davy back in 1845 which clearly depicted a cottage to the rear of the church. Experts including Roy Tricker confirmed that Davy’s etchings were clinically accurate and devoid of artistic licence. Research revealed that Davy’s original sketches had been collected by David Elisha Davy in the mid-19th Century and are now in the collection of the British Library. Copies were secured of his sketches for both Kirton and Falkenham, perhaps the first time the images had been back in the parishes since Davy’s original visit. It had been hoped that a geophysical survey in the Glade might show some evidence of the cottage but the site was too contaminated. It is also possible that the cottage lay to the west of the Glade in what subsequently became an extension to the churchyard, a possibility enhanced by the recollection of two villagers that a recently-dug grave had revealed bricks which at the time were assumed to be connected in some way with the old kiln at Kemp’s Farm.

Crime – statistics for reported crimes in 2014 featured in the Star on 9th March, revealing that fourteen had occurred in Kirton. Comparative figures were Hemley none, Falkenham four, Bucklesham seventeen and the two Trimleys 75 each out of a total for SCDC as a whole of 4506.

Deaths on the A14 – In May, Ellie Nixon aged eighteen of Felixstowe tragically died when, late at night, her car crashed into a lorry parked in a lay-by, the sound of the impact being heard in the village. In November Ipswich Coroner’s Court was told that Carl Samuel, aged twenty-two and a prisoner on day release from Hollesley Bay killed himself in January 2011by jumping in front of a lorry on a dual carriageway – “a broken man” after being jailed for causing by dangerous driving, the death of a pedestrian in London. At the end of February William Taylor died, the final victim of a crash in August 2012 having never left hospital – his partner and her grandson having died at the time of the accident.

Natural History Highlights – A badger was found dead by the school in early January. Later in the year several bumble-bee nests were found grubbed out along with a hedgehog skin in a garden in Park Lane – typical signs of badger activity, the creatures being known to travel over a wide radius in search of food. In the West Country predation of bumble-bees is becoming of great concern. In the same garden a male bull-finch was observed on 25th January and again on 19th June. Throughout the year an unusually relaxed buzzard frequented the village, hunting on the Recreation ground and landing on rooftops and telegraph poles seemingly unconcerned by the close presence of humans. It was also regularly seen in fields off Park Lane where in the autumn a colony of rats had gathered to feed off the barley stubble. A Brimstone butterfly was seen on 12th March and a Hobby closely observed on 20th April. Early May saw the great escape of thirty-two year-old Freddie the tortoise who was found wandering in the Bucklesham Road and eventually reunited with his owners – in the quest to find them it turned out that several tortoises had been reported missing in various locations at or around the same time. A Painted Lady butterfly was seen on 11th May just beyond the entrance to Kemps Field on Park Lane. It was quite faded and may have over-wintered but it seemed highly territorial being observed on numerous occasions in the same twenty-yard length of lane until a last sighting on 4th July. Stag Beetles appeared to have had a good year judging by the death toll on the roads.

Elections – the national election on 7th May returned the Conservatives with a majority – campaign literature has been retained. With 42 councillors rather than 55 at District level, Kirton was integrated into a new Ward along with Falkenham, Hemley, Waldringfield, Newbourne, Bucklesham, Levington and Stratton Hall. Susan Harvey was returned achieving 1252 votes as against 278 for Keith Bartlett, Labour and 340 for Betsy Reid, Green – a majority of 912 on a turnout of 76.2%. Susan Harvey was then selected as Chair of the SCDC and received wide publicity, not least for her quest to visit every parish in the District during her tenure. In October she organised a Civic Service for SCDC at the Church which was very well attended – order of service retained.

A Defibrillator – provided by the Paul family was set up on the wall of the White Horse.

Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team featured in the Star in June undertaking a rescue exercise at Kirton Creek with a focus on the mud.

The Kirton Five-Mile Run in June attracted over four hundred runners.

The Kirton Community Tea-Shop featured in the Star on 3rd November.

A Priest – was sought for the new benefice – “Colneys Peninsula Villages” in the course of which a “Benefice Profile” was produced giving an excellent snapshot of the eight parishes – copy kept.

Local History Happenings – in January, a family named Baldwin were in contact via Jen & Martin Richmond-Hardy researching the Kirks who had lived at Keeper’s Cottage. Jen and I met them at the Churchyard. They were also put in touch with another Kirk who had been undertaking his research back in 2004. In April a group of U3A Church-Crawlers came for a talk and a tour of the Church and Churchyard. In November Year Five (aka Sheeran) at the School had a little talk on Local History and seemed to enjoy it. In August a couple named Giles from Levington came with two friends from N.Z. researching the Ellis family who had lived at 2 Park Lane in the 19th C. Yvonne Lambert kindly donated to the Archive several aerial photographs of the Village taken by her late partner. Several matters were raised with the Suffolk Local History Council (SLHC) who run the Recorders Scheme including: the importance of mentioning “the Past” when recruiting new Recorders; the value in displaying Recorders’ contact details on the website assuming individual Recorders are happy with this; and the good sense in offering their Speakers List to interested parties in return for a donation.

Sad Departures in 2015 included: Tony Nolloth; Tony Long; Fred Pitt; John Cole; Sheila Cornford; Phil Hadwen; Geoff Moss; Eddie Colvill; Pauline Maynard; Edna Scrivener

Len Lanigan 01394 448568 January 2016


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