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

2016 EVENTS:
Village Hall Christmas Bazaar     Joan Kelly      Macmillan Coffee Morning
Horticultural Society Autumn Show     St. Mary's Church Flower Festival
Tea at the Ritz      Ramsden Bellhouse Music Festival
Horticultural Society Summer Show     St. Mary's Church Musical Evening
Horticultural Society Charity Beetle Drive     St. George's Day Breakfast
Women's World Day of Prayer     Village Hall Annual General Meeting

Christmas Bazaar
3rd December 2016

The annual Christmas Bazaar was held on Saturday 3rd December at the Village Hall.

fancy dress

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 entered his Grotto to await the children.

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


The Cubs and Scouts did a great job serving lunches, cakes and tea and coffee.

Despite a major power cut in the middle of the day, everyone carried on regardless. Many thanks to the power company and an engineer who just happened to be in the area when the call went out and came straight over and reinstalled the power.

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

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

Joan Kelly
1925 – 2016

Joan Kelly died on 6th February 2016. Joan lived for many years in 'The Glen' Ramsden Park Road.  She worked tirelessly for the Village Hall on numerous committees, and organised fetes, Christmas Bazaars and many other activities. Our sympathies go to her family.

Joan Kelly

She was mostly known for her Annual Art Shows every August Bank Holiday as well as the Singing Day.

When not doing the organising, she could be found running the raffle or on the door. At one time she was editor of the Village Magazine. WI, Horticultural Society, History of Ramsden, Medau and Bowls, Teddies for Tragedies, Fun Whist and the Management Committee all benefitted from her membership. Best of all she enjoyed every minute of it.

On Sunday 9th October 2016 a plaque was unveiled in the Village Hall entrance hall by the Chairman, Clive Jeffree .

Joan Kelly

About 30 people attended the ceremony, including members of Joan's family, which was followed by tea, coffee and cakes.

The plaque reads

"She did so much for this Hall and enjoyed
every minute of it."

St. Mary's Church Macmillan Coffee Morning
24th September 2016

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 including Joan Wright's beautiful madeleines. Over £300 was raised for the Charity.


Thank you to all those ladies who made cakes and provided the teas and coffees, as well as those who supported this worthwhile cause.

Horticultural Society Autumn Show
Saturday 10th September 2016

September 10th was a lovely sunny day which always helps to set the tone for a horticultural
get together. Because of the time of the year, the vegetable section of the show was brimming with entries.


A new addition to the exhibits this year was potatoes grown in a bag. Earlier in the year some potato seeds,
soil and a bag were given to members to grow at home and bring back at the Autumn Show. The potatoes were then weighed and the heaviest was the winner. The winning entry weighed over 2kg. It was very interesting
to see just how much difference there was in each entry's weight and size.

Best in Show

The floral art section had some lovely displays and the homecraft (cookery) classes with the cakes and jams, discovered some new talents from our male and female members.

The 'Best in Show' prize was won by Joan Lewis for her beautiful arrangement in the 'petite basket' category.  Well done Joan.

To see the full photo gallery click here.

St. Mary's Flower Festival, Songs of Praise
and Big Band Concert
27th to 29th August 2016

Over the bank holiday weekend St Mary's Church held its annual Flower Festival.

Sid Bolan Big Band

The Festival weekend started on a high note with a concert by the Sid Bolan Big Band –  held this time in the Church grounds on a beatiful hot evening. Some 80 people attended, bringing their own picnics and many compliments were made on the entertainment provided by the Band and the Vocalist. The concert raised £706.


The theme of this year's flower display in the Church was Thank you for the Music, each arrangement telling the story of the musicals.

The Church was alive with beautiful colours and arrangements.   Our thanks go to the talented and creative people who made them.

Grateful thanks to the many people who assisted in running the event, including erecting the tents, manning the stalls and providing and serving the refreshments and, of course, to our visitors who came along and made it all worthwhile.

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

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

Tea at the Ritz - 16th July 2016

On a lovely summer afternoon, the members of the Baptist Church held their now very popular and famous "Tea at the Ritz". As with past "Teas" the afternoon fully lived up to expectations, with superb waiter service, delicious well present food, and a hall dressed to
compliment the famous name.

Afternoon Tea

After tea we were entertained by Heidi and John Langley, with a selection of songs from the Shows, a lovely way to end a perfect summer afternoon.

Thank you to everyone who helped run the event, which took an enormous amount of planning, organisation and hard work.

Click here to read a fuller report.   Click here to view more photos.

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Ramsden Bellhouse Music Festival
25th June 2016

We did it again! The village came together once again for our second Music Festival.  It was very well attended, everyone ready to have a really good time.  Nearly 300 people attended the Festival and we made just over £2,000 profit which goes to upkeep the Village Hall.


Once again, D’ukes opened the Festival at 4pm with a rousing selection of music.

Next to perform was Idreiss, a great soul and pop singer who gave a moving performance.  Unfortunately, it was then we experienced some rain, but it didn't dampen everyone's spirits as they were able to shelter under the marquees.

Sal Bashir

Up next was Sal Bashir, the No. 1 Elvis tribute, who brought the sunshine with him, serenading the ladies with his seductive charm and swivelling hips. His repertoire included all the favourites and he left the stage to a standing ovation.

The last act to appear was the duo Minaji, a funk and soul duo vocalist and saxophonist belting out exciting sounds.

The DJ joined the acts together and all went smoothly, with lots of singing, dancing and merriment.

Burgers, hot dogs and a hog roast was on offer, face painting and goodies to buy for the children.


The evening ended at midnight with everyone asking "Are you doing it again next year?" We hope to, but we desperately need help setting up, so if anyone is willing to give a hand it would be much appreciated. 

Contact numbers are:

Ann Wellborne 01268 710250.
Abby Short  01268 711675

Ann Wellborne, Social Secretary
Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall

To see the Music Festival photo gallery click here.

Horticultural Society Summer Show
Saturday 11th June 2016

The Summer Show held on 11th June was very successful with lovely roses and garden flowers on show.


There were over 130 entries from members and visitor numbers were considerably up on recent Shows.

Well done to all who participated in this annual event.

Click here to see the photo gallery.

Southend Vox Choir
Saturday 21st May 2016

On a rather chilly, but dry, evening St. Mary's Church once again resounded with the lovely voices
of the Southend Vox Choir.

Vox Choir

The concert opened with a very unique version of the
Lennon & McCartney song "Let it be" which would certainly
have met with the approval of the composers.  The show continued with both modern and classical numbers, including
the very amusing "The invention of Printing" by Bob Chilcott.

During the interval a cheese and wine buffet was served from a marquee in the Church grounds and the evening concluded with a beautiful version of "May the road rise up to meet you
(Irish Blessing)
", a beautiful song, beautifully sung and a very fitting end to a lovely evening.

The evening raised over £500 for St. Mary's Church funds.

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Charity Beetle Drive
Saturday 30th April 2016

The Beetle Drive ran by the Horticultural Society for the charity, ‘Brainwave’, was a great success.

Beetle Drive

68 people bought tickets to the event which was held in the New Hall. Geraldine from ‘Brainwave’, started the evening by giving a brief resume of the charity’s functions.  Her enthusiasm was infectious and showed in the number of raffle tickets bought for a very generous raffle.

As usual with Beetle Drives, there was much laughter, occasional scouring the floor for an escaped dice and the usual ‘aaagh" as “Beetle” was shouted.  One false alarm caused a lot of confusion as play had to continue after “Beetle” had been called.

An interval gave everyone a chance to have a cup of tea or coffee and a plate of food from the
excellent buffet provided.  Suitably recharged, the second half produced a winner who received a
£10 Garden Voucher.

A lovely evening, incredible value, lots of fun with a complete mix of ages and a final total of
£475 raised for ‘Brainwave’.

If you have never been to a Beetle Drive do think about coming along next time we have one of
our forthcoming events. You won’t be disappointed.

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St George’s Day Breakfast - 24th April 2016

The St. George’s Day breakfast was once again a resounding success.

St. Georges Day Breakfast

From the queue outside the door at 9am through till 1pm.
the hall was filled with people enjoying a wonderful freshly cooked breakfast.

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

St. Georges Day Breakfast

We also enjoyed a birthday celebration. Our Chairman, Clive Jeffree, celebrates his 80th birthday on St. George's Day itself. After everyone had sung 'happy birthday', Clive was presented with, not one but two, birthday cakes, which he shared with everyone.

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.

In the meantime click here to see the photo gallery and see if you can spot yourself.

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Women's World Day of Prayer
4th March 2016


"Receive Children. Receive me"
A service prepared by Christian women from The Bahamas

Our service was held at the Baptist Church, Ramsden Bellhouse at 11.30am.

Men, women and young people of all denominations all are welcome

This year the Women’s World Day of Prayer was written by the women of Cuba and entitled 'Receive Children. Receive me.’


Three children from Downham school were invited to take part in the service - and they read their parts beautifully, including wishing us Buenos Dias (good morning in Cuban), and leading us in some of the prayers from the service sheet as well as those they had written.


They had brought with them the brightly coloured 'prayer parrots’ they had made on which their prayers, and those of others, were written.  Some of these were later displayed in St Margaret’s church for others to see and enjoy.

Terry and Tony gave an inspiring dialogue with an accompanying Powerpoint presentation displayed on a screen.  We also learned some lovely new worship songs as well as spending time in friendship and fellowship together over a delicious lunch.

A very big thank you for all who contributed to the event in any way, especially for the contribution by the children and those who prepared the lunch for us.

For further information and resources please see the WWDP website: www.wwdp.org.uk

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Annual General Meeting
31st January 2016

The Village Hall AGM was held on Sunday 31st January 2016 in the New Hall at 3pm.

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. The Music Festival, held in June, proved to be a great success and will be repeated in 2016 and thanks were given to all those who helped make all the events so enjoyable.

The next subject was the nomination for the next year’s charity.  Presentations were made on behalf of two charities, followed by a vote.  The vote is restricted to either persons living in Ramsden Bellhouse or those associated with the hall or any club at the hall.

Brainwave ladies

There were three speakers, each supporting one of the following charities:


The selection, by a show of hands, elected BRAINWAVE as this year’s charity.

Charity presentation

To read more about ‘Brainwave’ Charity click here.

This was then followed with the presentation of a cheque for £3,262.17 to a representative of last year’s charity, ST. LUKES HOSPICE.

Photographs were taken and a short thank you speech made to all who contributed to the effort.

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. Two new people put their names forward to serve on the Committee as public members.

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

Finally, questions from the floor were put forward to the Committee for clarification.

The meeting then ended with refreshments and time for a chat.


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