In August, Taylor Wimpey announced the opening of the show house for the new development of 43 houses. Prices ranged from £220,000 to £375,000 but thankfully the developers honoured their commitment by including 14 “affordable housing rental tenure” properties now under the stewardship of Havebury Housing. Copies of the sales particulars have been retained. Issues regarding footpaths, lighting and gates continued over the rest of the year.
The “Saga of the Three Arrows” provided some light relief for several weeks. When the first large roadside sign was erected down at the Farm Shop it was quite impressive…but…. the arrow was pointing the wrong way – back to the Trimley Roundabout. The sign was also parallel to the road and challenging for drivers to observe. It was moved to a better location, initially with a makeshift arrow but eventually one of a more regular design. Meanwhile another large sign was erected on the Village Green dominating the whole area. It was soon replaced.


Residents had been concerned to learn of two new potential developments on the Bucklesham Road – one between number 71-101 and the other in a field opposite Park Lane. It came as some relief then to hear it confirmed, at the Annual Parish Meeting in April, that: “The latest plan (FAAP) now indicates there to be no more need of housing in Kirton, though some windfall can be expected, but not on the Bucklesham Road.” Whether that stance will hold, only time will tell.

Whilst developments elsewhere on the Colneis Peninsula lie beyond the parish boundaries, they inevitably have an impact on Kirton residents’ quality of life. In September SCDC said they had achieved a five-year supply but the expectation is that the target will be increased. Either way, 2106 year saw a bewildering series of plans for housing development coming to the fore. Maintaining an overview is virtually impossible for most people but based on newspaper reports, the following housing plans came to the fore:
Thomas Close 50 (Trinity)
Walton Green North 385 (Trinity)
Walton Green South 190 (Trinity)
Mushroom Farm 66
Howlett Way 360
Trimley Sports & Social 70
Josselyns 98
Seamark Nunn 69
Conway Close 153
Anzani 197
Ferry Road 198
Gulpher/Candlet 560
Then there was Adastral Park with 2,000 houses and Kesgrave with plans for up to 1,000 more.

Again, whilst this lies over the border in Trimley St Martin, the most devastating impact of any industrial development would be felt here in Kirton rather than in adjoining parishes. On 17th February, the Star reported that SCDC had concluded the plan for a 200 acre site “…had been removed from consideration” and would “…be more appropriately considered as part of the Local Plan Review” with the site described as “…of a strategic nature and contrary to the current Core Strategy employment policies.” Of course this meant very little to the average resident. Few are familiar with the arcane niceties of Planning but perhaps more importantly, the feeling is widespread (Brexit/Trump) that the views of little man and woman count for little when multinationals, major corporations, and wealthy charities set their minds to something. [Note: Sure enough, on 3rd January 2017, Bidwells on behalf of Trinity College formally requested “A Scoping Opinion For A Development Brief” from SCDC. This was simply a covering letter to a document sent to the Head of Planning back in August which cited traffic forecasts of 3,200 HGVs and 600 cars a day. The document attracted close on 200 responses.]

The headmaster at Trimley St Martin School, Paul Stock, departed to Rushmere Hall at the end of the Summer term and will be greatly missed. A class borrowed some of the Recorder’s WWII material.

A new Rector was installed in September after a long interregnum. Rev. Ian Wilson, previously Chaplain at Woodbridge School, moved into the Nacton Rectory with his wife Trish with eight parishes under his care. Stephen Harvey had a Reader’s Letter published in the Telegraph on 6th June extolling the excellent services provided by Lay Ministers and Readers in the absence of an appointed rector.

The Artisan Smokehouse and Deli was opened at Goose Barn in Back Road by Gill & Tim Matthews and has proved very popular.

The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at the Rec. on 11th June drew over sixty children.

Susan Harvey as Chair of SCDC was much in the news. She achieved her objective of visiting all 118 parishes in the District. She raised £5,000 for the Home Start charity – arrested and then bailed for peddling Eau de Deben.

Old cottage names & locations – before the advent of numbering, the majority of houses and cottages had their own names. The 1938 Poll register included many, some of them since demolished. Only the older residents know their location and so it was very kind of Mrs June Shepherd to indicate where they were on a map.

David Hockney had spent some time in the village as a young artist and at Christie’s September auction of the paintings of the late Brian Sewell, one of his Kirton paintings, “the village street” dedicated to Mr & Mrs Roe, sold for £32,500.

The Rectory Rubbish Project wound up. A write-up was furnished to the Star but sadly they declined to publish it. The lead archaeologist Tom Lucking gave a talk at the Parish Council AGM which was very well received. A display was mounted at the Fete on 4th June. Residents of a care home in Felixstowe enjoyed a little talk from the Recorder. Two mysteries remained both arising from the 1845 etchings of Henry Davy: firstly the location of the cottage depicted to the north-east of the church now thought to be just inside the extended churchyard and then the font, in that the one depicted in the Davy collection at the British Library is not the one we have at present. There was a rumour that the present one was found in a local garden but then what happened to the one observed by Davy? The project led to other findings including the will of the Rev. W.P. Davies and Gill Garnham kindly lent documents relating to the renovation of the Rectory.

Natural History – a plague of wood pigeons seemed to be affecting the whole village. A colony of European tree bumblebees, bombus hypnorum, bees took up residence at a house in Park Lane. In the same area for several weeks in late spring/early summer, a hyperactive jackdaw nursery was a welcome sight and especially sound. A late-flying pipistrelle was observed on 15th November.

The Kirton Blokes Club had a busy inaugural year.

The WI were in the news having won £200 for their role in the “Love East Suffolk” litter-pick. In the December Review the WI recorded how they had enjoyed their trip to Ladies Day at Newmarket and that they may have another next year “….perhaps in company with the Kirton “Blokes” if they are agreeable”.
Kirton Guides celebrated their 40th anniversary featuring in the Star on 10th February.

The Walton GP Surgery revealed that the Suffolk GP Federation would be taking over with Dr Billy McKee, going part-time, having been at the practice since 1992.

The EA1/EA3 Cable Project was pending – the Star on 14th December noting that on-shore works to include road-widening and passing places were about to start.

Brown Bin Collections would continue to be free after a scare that SCDC might introduce charges. Opening hours at the rubbish tips – now known as “household waste recycling centres” – were reduced and none would open on Wednesdays – closing on different days would have been more user-friendly. Meanwhile fly-tipping was a major problem across the County.

The Methodists held an Open Gardens event on 26th June.

An amusing and informative map of the village was created by the Shepherd family and displayed on the Green.

The Bucklesham Plough Day was held in lovely weather on 2nd October.

The Field Family – a lady, Lin Burton, was in touch researching her family history and we were able to provide some useful information as to their presence in the locality in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sad departures included Dick Shepherd, Ralph Ryder, Peggy Cole, Michael Dredge of the Treasure Chest Bookshop.

All-in-all – it seemed to be an unusually dramatic year. 23rd June saw the EU Referendum with a majority in the UK voting to leave. Associated literature from all sides has been retained. The East Suffolk results were:
Remain: 37,218 47%
Leave: 41,966 53%
Electorate: 98,195
Verified Ballot Papers: 79,231
Turnout: 80.7%
Ballot Papers Counted: 79,226 Valid Votes: 79,184 Rejected: 42

In August, the UK came second in the Rio Olympics. In September, the new £5 notes were issued with polymer replacing paper. In early November, Donald Trump won the US presidential election. Over the summer many people enjoyed the Ipswich Pigs Gone Wild sculpture trail with 40 larger-than-life pig sculptures and 30 junior sculptures decorated by schools and community groups. All this against a seemingly relentless stream of depressing news encompassing – refugees, the housing crisis, the NHS – GPs & Hospitals, the Ambulance Service, care homes, child abuse, terrorism.


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