Click on a button to see a list of the news archives in the selected year.

Line Dancing Christmas Party     Village Hall Christmas Bazaar
Ramsden Bellhouse Annual Service of Remembrance
Horticultural Society Charity Event     Intersociety Horticultural Groups Food Fayre
St. Mary's Macmillan Coffee Morning     Horticultural Society Autumn Show
St Mary's Flower Festival     St. Mary's Summer Concert
Summer Fete and Flower Show     St. George's Day Breakfast
St. Mary's/Baptist Church Palm Sunday Service     Village Hall A.G.M. Report

Line Dancing Christmas Party
December 2014

Our line dancing party was great fun with everyone entering into the Christmas spirit.

Line Dancing

As always, Lyn and Jean have us dancing to great music, be it an Irish Shanty or Rock n Roll.

We stopped half way through an extended lesson to partake in a festive drink and nibbles.

If you are interested in joining us, we are at the Village Hall every Monday from 2pm to 3pm, except Bank Holidays, £2 for a very enjoyable hour. Why not come down just to have a look.
Contact No. 01268 710771.

To find out more about the Line Dancing group click here.

To see the Line Dancing Christmas Party photo gallery pictures, click here.

Christmas Bazaar
29th November 2014

The annual Christmas Bazaar was held on Saturday 29th November at the Village Hall.

The Bazaar opened at 12pm with the arrival of Father Christmas. He did his customary walk around the stalls to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and then with ‘Mummy Christmas’ entered his Grotto to await the children.

Craft and fun stalls filled both halls with refreshments, mulled wine and mince pies.

Father Christmas judged the fancy dress which was won by an eighteen month old little girl dressed as a ladybird. A very enjoyable afternoon was had by everyone.

A total of £1,314.40 was raised in aid of the Village Hall, an increase on last year.

Thanks to Ann Wellborne for her excellent organisation of this annual event.

cake stall
Santa and children

To see the Christmas Bazaar photo gallery pictures, click here.


Dedication of the new War Memorial
and Remembrance Day Service
9th November 2014

This year the service took on a special significance, with the dedication of the new War Memorial.

War Memorial

This ambitious project was expected to take five years to complete and, in fact, has been completed within a year.

Memorial with poppies

A garden of remembrance has been built to house the Memorial and it is hoped that this will be a place for people to visit to pay their respects to those who lived in the village of Ramsden, as it was then, and gave their lives for others.

A short service of dedication took place, given by the Rector, Stephen Robertson, and was followed by the two minutes silence and the laying poppy wreaths at the foot of the Memorial.


The names of all those who died in both wars, both military and civilian,was read out.

The Ramsden Bellhouse Scouts and Cubs troops were in attendance and led the way into the hall to continue the service. Jim Hamilton, Minister of the Baptist Church, gave the address and focused on remembrance and what it means. Refreshments were served after the Service, giving time for a chat with friends and neighbours.

Scouts and Cubs

Horticultural Society Charity Event
‘Tanks’ by David Render
25th October 2014

The talk on 25th October in the Village Hall was unique!

Table display

Isabel Johnson, as the Village archivist,had set the mood for the evening with a moving display of memorabilia from the two Wars showing the effects at a local, Village level.

David, now 90 years old, gave his audience a fascinating, fluid talk of his personal experiences in the Sherwood Rangers Tank Corps, as a ‘boy’ of 19 years.

The Hall was full and completely captivated by his personal stories, making light of the dangers but not glorifying his experiences or dwelling on (what must have been) many personal losses.


On several occasions his escape from death was almost miraculous and one feels that he has retained his feeling of being lucky to be alive in the charity work he is still doing to support the widows and families of lost colleagues.   He told of an incident when the tanks were being unloaded in the sea at the Normandy beaches, where the first tank just disappeared below the sea and was lost. David then had to lead the remaining squad, following the ship moving into shallower water, into battle.

Many years later on a visit to the Beaches he observed a deep crater in the sand created by swirling tidal water and realised that this was the reason for the tank submerging and was an accident of fate that it had been unloaded in that particular spot and in no way his fault.   This comment seemed to show how many participants in the fighting probably carried burdens of guilt for various reasons, many unjustified, following the end of hostilities.

cheque presentation

On a somewhat lighter note, it was amusing to hear how David compared the immaculately turned out German Officers to Montgomery who was quite scruffy with his moth eaten jumper down to his knees and Churchill who looked like Benny Hill with his cap.

We were delighted to present David with a cheque for £300 in aid of the Widows of the Sherwood Rangers.

A brilliant talk, by an exceptional man and an occasion I and others felt privileged to be part of.

Angela Hodivala

Click here to see the photo gallery

Intersociety Horticultural Group Annual Food Fayre
18th October 2014

The Food Fayre took place on Saturday 18th October in the Village Hall. The food ranged from delicious soups to pies and many other autumnal dishes.

Galleywood table

Canvey and Galleywood had two tables each, laden with goodies.  Galleywood had lots of bottles of home made wine and their speciality this year was a ham hock done like a brawn with a home made loaf of bread.

There were a few varieties of soup in large tureens and several war recipes, including beef broth and an enormous Woolton pie made with vegetables (by Angela Hodivala) - absolutely amazing. Click here to get the recipe for Angela's Lord Woolton Pie.

Everyone who came said how enjoyable the evening was, all the more so as it was totally without charge.

Praise must go to all the local horticultural groups who put on the evening, coordinated by Tony Rogers, Chairman of the InterSociety Horticultural Group.

Click here to see more about the Horticultural Society.

St. Mary's Church Macmillan Coffee Morning
26th September 2014

The ladies of St.Mary's Church, Ramsden Bellhouse took part in the 'Biggest Coffee Morning in the World'
in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

More cakes

The weather was kind enough to allow people to sit outside in the Church garden and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together with a selection of delicious cakes. Those not eaten were taken along to the Bowls Club in the afternoon and the Beetle Drive on Saturday evening, bringing the total raised to £377.41.


This is Macmillan's biggest fundraising event, where people across the UK are asked to hold a coffee morning and raise money for people living with cancer.  St. Mary's Church were pleased to be a part of it.

Thank you to everyone who supported this worthwhile cause.

Horticultural Society Autumn Flower & Produce Show
13th September 2014

Our Autumn Flower & Produce Show took place on Saturday 13th September. There were exactly 185 entries, compared with last year's number of 125, which is very encouraging.

Flower arrangement

Like all our activities, we do them to enhance a community spirit.

Hall display

There are no entry fees and no cash prizes. We are always trying to encourage novices and the enthusiasts alike.

It turned out to be a very pleasant morning and afternoon with some new participants also.

There were flowers, vegetables, floral arrangements, cakes, scones and jams and handicrafts. The show was open to the public from 1.30 pm to 3.15 pm.

We will be selling the home grown produce at future shows, so do come as an exhibitor or a visitor to our next show.

Giant pumpkin

Our pumpkin couldn't match the Westminster Hall one of 1,367 lbs!!! but,
nevertheless, weighed a mammoth 112lbs 12oz.
Our winner of the 'guess the weight' competition was Derek Jackson.

To see the Autumn Show photo gallery pictures, click here.

Click here to see more about the Horticultural Society.

St. Mary's Flower Festival & Songs of Praise
23rd to 25th August 2014

The Flower festival at St Mary's over the Bank Holiday weekend was once again a great success and a credit to all those who were involved in any way.

This year's theme was 'The Wonders of Nature' and the display of wonderful flower arrangements in the Church was magnificent.   A big thank you to all.

Messy Church Flowers
Children from our 'Messy Church' group produced a wonderful arrangement depicting a garden full of flowers and insects.
Songs of Praise

The forecasts for the weekend were dismal, but we were blessed with fine weather on Saturday and Sunday, which allowed us to have our 'Songs of Praise' service outside in the sunshine.
Unfortunately, on Monday the forecast proved correct and it rained all day. However, quite a few intrepid visitors braved the weather and were rewarded with a hot drink and delicious food.

Thank you to all those who came and supported us over the weekend.

Click here to see more about St. Mary's Church.

Summer Concert     26th July 2014

On a perfect summer's evening the Church resounded with beautiful singing from a concert given by the Southend Vox Choir.   The theme was 'Songs from the Shows' and included The King & I,Guys & Dolls and many others. The evening ended with a moving version of 'One Day More' from Les Miserables, followed by an upbeat rendition of 'Proud Mary'.

The Church was full with over 80 people attending, raising £653 in aid of well needed Church funds.

A cheese and wine supper was enjoyed during the interval which was held in the Church grounds.   Thank you to Audrey Pegrum and her family for preparing the buffet and to everyone else who helped make the evening such a success.

Click here to see St. Mary's Church.

Summer Fete and Flower Show

Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall held its Annual Summer Fete
on Saturday 28th June.

Fun day

The fete opened to blue skies and warm sunshine and the Wickford Majorettes giving their lively display.   Lots of craft and fun stalls, cakes, china smashing, barbecue and refreshments inside the new hall and outside under the marquees.

The bouncy castle and football shootout were once again popular with children and adults alike.

The Kazen Kai Martial Arts team gave a very impressive display which was enjoyed by everyone.

Essex Air Ambulance

Our resident line dancers made their annual appearance and the Essex Air Ambulance Trust (our chosen charity this year) had a stall displaying their literature.

When the heavens opened at 3.15p.m. everyone moved into the new hall for more tea and cake.

The next major event to put in your diary is the Christmas Bazaar on the 29th November in the Village Hall.

As well as enjoying 'all the fun of the fete' the Horticultural Society held their Summer Flower Show in the Village Hall, with lots of wonderful flower and vegetables to look at.

Ann Wellborne
Social Secretary, Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall

St George’s Day Breakfast - 27th April 2014

The St. George's Day Breakfast was a resounding success, with 191 people attending over the three hours, becoming the most successful event we hold during the year.

St. Georges Day Breakfast
Apologies if there were any delays in receiving your breakfasts.

We hope you all enjoyed your 'Full English' or half breakfast, if preferred, among friends and neighbours.

For those who have not yet visited, come along next year and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and good food.   See you all next year.

Lastly, all the money raised will go towards the running costs of the hall in order to keep the cost of hiring to a minimum.

Clive Jeffree, RBVH Chairman

Palm Sunday   Sunday 13th April 2014

St Mary's

On a beautiful spring morning the Palm Sunday worship commenced at Ramsden Bellhouse Baptist Church with the distribution of palm crosses.   This was due to be followed by a procession of witness to St. Mary's Church for a combined service of Holy Communion but, unfortunately, an electrical breakdown at the Church caused a quick change of plan.


In no time at all cars went to collect those already in St. Mary’s and brought them to the Baptist Church, along with the Communion elements.   In no time at all, everything was set up and worship began.  The service was taken by the Reverend Stephenson Robertson and the sermon given by Jim Hamilton, the Baptist Minister.

Following the service the congregation joined together for refreshments.  This was a very different, but enjoyable and uplifting, morning.

Annual General Meeting
19th January 2014

The Village Hall AGM was held on Sunday 19th January 2014 in the New Hall at 3pm. The attendance was slightly down on last year but the meeting went well.

AGM attenders
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming those present, apologies were received and last year’s minutes were approved. He opened his report by outlining the last year’s events, thanking all those who helped in their execution, as some of these events require a lot of hard work. He also outlined the maintenance work done during the year together with the future proposals such as the overhauling the kitchen internally and the remembrance garden outside. He then thanked all those who helped in any way with any of the above projects towards their social and financial success. He finally extended a special thanks to the committee for their help and time in the functioning of the meeting over the year.
The next subject raised was the improvements to the war memorial.
The committee, in conjunction with the Parish Council, are seeking a grant from Basildon Council to carry out improvements to the War Memorial. It is hoped that with help of a grant, the village we will be able to have a more appropriate Memorial. The grant application has been submitted and we await their approval. It is hoped to carry out the alterations before November this year in time for Remembrance Day.
The next report was in the hands of the Treasurer, Mr Derek Swan, who submitted the accounts to the meeting for the last year, after some discussion the meeting approved them. The accounts show a healthy reserve of over £29,000. Some of this will be used for the upgrade of the kitchen, some on the memorial and the rest (excuse the pun) for a rainy day.
There followed a short discussion on bookings and the secretarial work. The next subject was the nomination for the next year’s charity. Presentations were made on behalf of both these charities, followed by a vote. The vote this year was restricted to either persons living in Ramsden Bellhouse or persons associated with the hall or any club at the hall.

Next on the list was the election of officers to the hall management committee, all the officers and members of the present committee had agreed to be nominated to sit for another year.

The reporting stage of the AGM now over, the meeting turned its attention to the selection of next year’s charity.  

There were two speakers each supporting one of the following charities:

Cheque presentation
The selection was by a show of hands with ESSEX AIR AMBULANCE being successful as the next year’s charity.  

This was then followed with the presentation of a cheque for £2,275 to a representative of last year’s charity,
THE BILLERICAY & WICKFORD PARKINSONS SOCIETY. Photographs were then taken and a short thank you speech made to all who contributed to the effort.

The final section on the agenda was the voting in of the Committee to serve for the coming year.   The list below were proposed, seconded and voted in by the meeting.

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Finally, questions from the floor were put forward to the Committee for clarification.   The meeting then ended with refreshments and time for a chat.