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

Village Hall Christmas Bazaar     St. Mary's Flower Festival
Isabel's Charity Garden Party     Horticultural Society Tea in the Garden
Annie & Rick's Charity barbeque     Bellhouse Pre-school gardening
Baptist Church Anniversary     'lympic Fete and Fun Day     Jubilee Tea Dance
Charity Square Dance     St Mary's Amble Ramble     Scouts Centenary Celebrations
St George's Day Breakfast     Annual Easter Bonnet Dance
Isabel’s Drop-in Daffodil Day     History of Ramsden 2012
Village Hall A.G.M Report 2012

Christmas Bazaar
8th December 2012

Santa's grotto
The annual Christmas Bazaar was held on Saturday 8th December at the Village Hall.

Father Christmas arrived at mid-day to give out presents from his grotto. The hall was beautifuly decorated and everyone enjoyed mulled wine, mince pies and lots beside.
Christmas hall
Refreshment bar
Full details and photos will follow.

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St Mary's Flower Festival
25th, 26th, 27th August 2012

choir ready to sing
The Flower festival at St Mary's this year over the Bank Holiday weekend with the theme 'Our village today and yesterday' was once again a great success and a credit to all those who were involved in any way in the wonderful flower arrangements in the Church.   A big thank you to them all.
Surviving the storm
After the torrential rain on Saturday we weren't too sure what was going to happen on Sunday and Monday but, thankfully, we were blessed with fine weather which allowed us to have our Songs of Praise service outside in the sunshine.
Commencing the service
Thank you to all those who came and supported us over the weekend helping us to raise £1,862, which will go towards the cost of some badly needed repairs in the Church.

Click here for photos.

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Isabel's Charity Garden Party
Monday 6th August 2012


More than 130 people enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Isabel Johnson's annual garden party.   The sun came out and, despite the dark clouds which kept appearing, the rain held off to enable everyone to enjoy the lovely garden.  There was plenty going on with 'bumpy bowls' competitions and line dancing, in which everyone was encouraged to participate.

As a break from all this activity there was a cup of tea and a choice of delicious cakes to enjoy in the garden.

A total sum of £741.13 was raised in aid of this year's Charity, the J's Hospice.   Thank you to all those who helped erect marquees, arrange tables and chairs, make cakes, serve teas and lots more besides.
group at table

Click here for photos.

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Horticultural Society Tea in the Garden
Sunday 15th July 2012


The 'Tea' was considered to be a success by the Horticulture Society as, instead of the 60 to 80 tickets anticipated, we ended up with 130 guests.   The sun came out for one day only!   It rained the day before and the day after.   The raffle and the plant sales boosted the monies raised for the
J's Hospice which amounted to over £1,000.   Everything on their stand was sold out by the end of the afternoon.   In addition, we had a couple of anonymous donations raising a further £1,050.

It was hard work for the tea ladies, the ladies who baked the cakes and all the other helpers, but it was well worth while, thanks to everyone’s generosity.

To see the photo gallery pictures, click here.

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Charity Barbeque
Saturday 14th July 2012

My name is Annie Banks and, on the 14th July 2012, my husband Ricky and I held our Ramsden Bellhouse BBQ at our home in Ramsden Bellhouse in aid of the J's Hospice. in Chelmsford.

Annie & Ricky
As you can imagine it was quite an unusual event this year; we were almost floating rather than walking with all the rain we had leading up to the 14th. No matter what the weather was going to throw at us we still managed to have a really good time.

The Hog Roast was amazing, but I must confess I did forget the apple sauce which was really naughty, but still much enjoyed. The singer was excellent and, despite the weather, people were dancing and she really got the atmosphere going.

The children were treated to the company of three lovely ponies who were brought to the BBQ by Katie Hamilton from Homestead Road.   We also had a grand show of fireworks which were really fantastic.

Many thanks also to Ron and Ricky who carved the Hog and did a great job and also a big thank you to Brian Greenan who made a wonderful Auctioneer; also to Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall for all the bunting, marquees etc.

Ricky and I would just like to say a huge thank you to all those who helped us with the setting up of the marquees, laying out ground sheets all over the lawn which, in itself, was a mammoth task and also all the clearing up afterwards which was worse as everything was so muddy, but we managed it all.
MANY THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE, you were all great, couldn’t have done it without you.

We must thank all those who donated to the charity:

A total of 120 people turned up, which was amazing considering the weather, and every one had a good time.
Total money raised for this years charity, the J's Hospice,  was £1,407.
Once again many thanks to everyone.
From Annie & Ricky
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To see more photo gallery pictures, click here.

Bellhouse Preschool Gardening Morning
June 2012

The children at Bellhouse preschool (with help from three ladies of the Horticultural Society), had lots of fun making the hanging baskets for the hall - they look beautiful!

To enlarge an image, move the mouse over it.

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Ramsden Bellhouse Baptist Church Anniversary and Barbeque
Sunday 24th June 2012

Some of our members got to church early to erect a gazebo, only to have it demolished by the wind.   However the Service, which was led by our moderator Jon Stannard, went brilliantly.   We had a full church which included members of the scouts and some of these took part in the service.

After the service the barbeque took place without the gazebo and the weather was quite kind.   Windy but dry.   Because of the wind most of us ate our food in the hall, although a few hardy people braved the wind outside.

We had burgers and hot dogs from the barbeque and our ladies had lots of goodies to follow; strawberries and cream and a variety of cakes and other desserts.
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Altogether a very successful day.   God is good.

'lympic Fete, Fun Day & Flower Show

Raising funds for Good Causes

Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall held its 'lympic Fete & Funday
on Saturday 23rd June.

Fun day

The day got off to a good start as singer, presenter, writer and ex-star of hit Show Towie, Linzi Peel, opened the proceedings.  

This was followed by a parade from the Majorettes group and the day continued with lots of events, including a a Giant Inflatable Obstacle Course and a football shootout.

To see the Fun Day photo gallery pictures, click here.

Fun day

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.

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

Fun day
Fun day
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Diamond Jubilee Tea Dance - 3rd June 2012

The hall was decked out with flags and bunting thanks to the efforts of Joan, our lady in charge. Members attended dressed as befitting such an occasion.
Jubilee decorations

The evening finished with a chorus of Land of Hope and Glory and the National Anthem.

As we say life begins on a Sunday evening – come and see for yourself.

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Click here for full report.

Charity Square Dance - Saturday 19th May 2012

The Dance section held its Charity Square Dance in aid of the J's Hospice on 19th May 2012.
Square dance caller
It was well attended with people from local to Barkingside.

The proceedings were under the control of Peter Skiffens, our professional caller who hails from Hertfordshire.   If needed for your event he can be contacted via  squarecaresound@btconnec.com.

As you can see from the smiles and looks of concentration it was an evening of trying to remember left, right, forward, backward, sideways, partners, corners and such like. We did, however, successfully raise £330 for the charity and thanks to all those for coming out for a good time and to give to others.

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Click here for full report.

St. Mary's Amble Ramble - Saturday 5th May 2012

Ramble walkers

We met at the Baptist Church at 10am; well most of us anyway, two were late and met us half way round.

Once off the road we trampled through our first field of long grass then climbed the first three of our 13 stiles to reach a gentle uphill walk across another field.

Ramble style climbing

Pace and talking slowed for a while but all found enough energy to complete the short, approximately 3 mile walk, chosen by Kay to show some of the lovely scenery around Ramsden.
Isabel having fun in the puddle

Following the very wet April and start of May there were plenty of puddles and muddy areas for Isabel, our oldest walker, to enjoy splashing through.

Ramsden view

After the walk we all enjoyed lunch – soup, rolls cheese & biscuits etc at the Baptist Church Hall, kindly prepared and served by Hilda & Joan.

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First Ramsden and Downham Scouts Centenary Celebrations

We have written evidence that Scouts were in existence in this area in 1912 as 1st Ramsden & Downham Group.

Scouts centenary group
Officially they were registered in 1922 ( Registration number 3006 ) and although there have been several name changes since then, the registration number has been carried forward to the present day.   This makes us 100 years old and as such we celebrated our Centenary on April 29th this year.

Our present meeting place is at the Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall but, in the past, the venue has been in several places, most of which are now non-existent.

The celebrations consisted of a short Anniversary Service at the Village Hall at noon, followed by a light lunch.
In the afternoon there was an exhibition of scouting memorabilia and photographs, a series of bases to keep the youngsters occupied and cream tea and refreshments if so required.

The Service was conducted by Geoffrey Griggs, the retired Baptist Minister and Reverend Stephen Robertson from the Parish Church.   Also present was the Deputy Lord Mayor of Basildon, the Regional Scout Commissioner, the Assistant County Scout Commissioner and the District Scout Commissioner, together with 160 parents and families, with past and present cubs and scouts.   After the service there were short talks by the Deputy Lord Mayor and the Regional Scout Commissioner.   This completed the formalities and we all retired for our soup.
Scouts Centenary hall
The exhibition was mainly laid out in the new hall together with some of the bases.   Other bases were laid out in the old hall.   A total of 12 bases were set up, consisting of key fob branding, circus skills, games, the black hole (tunnel maze), coconut ice making and other events.   While the children went around the bases the adults perused the photographs, reflecting on their youth and meeting old friends. The afternoon finished at 4pm.

I must thank all those who attended and also those who helped in this very successful event together with all those who, over the years, have kept scouts going in this area.

To see the photos of the event go to www.radscouts.org.

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Clive Jeffree, Assistant Scout Leader

St George’s Day Breakfast - 22nd April 2012

Over the years this event has proved very successful.   Each year we budget for an increase in custom and each year we always end up getting more supplies from our local shop (Hemmings Two) and this year was no exception.   On the final count we catered for over 200 breakfasts.   While the event is in progress it is hard work as the Committee and helpers struggle to keep pace with the flow of customers and I must apologise for any time spent in a queue at the door.

St. Georges Day Breakfast
Next year the event will take place on the 21st April 2013, so mark it off in your diaries.   Come along and bring your friends, relations or others; use it as a meeting place and do a bit of socialising.   If there is anybody who would like to help in anyway at this or other events please contact us as we always need extra help.   I must at this point thank all those who helped in the success of this event and hope that I can count on your support 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.

Our next event is the Fete/Funday on 23rd June 2012, so try to come along and support your local Village Hall.
Clive Jeffree, RBVH Chairman

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Annual Easter Bonnet Dance

The Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall Dance Section held their Annual Easter Bonnet Dance on the 8th April 2012 well attended by members who had various funny ways of expressing the theme.

Easter Bonnet Dance
Easter Bonnet Dance

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Isabel’s Drop-in Daffodil Day - March 13th 2012

In spite of being held on the 13th, Daffodil Day proved to be one of the most successful.

Daffodil entrance
A steady stream of visitors “dropped in” to Bramhill throughout the day, with only lunch time being somewhat empty.
We were delighted to have visitors from Anvil House (even if we did have to bribe David with a cream bun to go home). There was a very relaxed and happy atmosphere and in all £419.50 was handed over to the Friends of St Mary’s.
Daffodil table

This is not an outside event so, next year, don’t worry if it’s raining – no-one will force you to walk round a muddy garden.

Isabel C Johnson
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History of Ramsden 2012

History of Ramsden - past
“It’s the same old thing again” someone said.  Well! Pictorial history cannot change, though its interpretation can of course.

This Exhibition consists of a large collection of pictures, maps and documents of Ramsden and the surrounding areas.

Vintage Car

So, it was the same old thing again, except for the star of Saturday’s show – a “Jovett Long 4” motor car, registered in 1926 to Mr Garvey of Glebe Road, Ramsden Bellhouse.  It has been lovingly restored by Antony Gouldsmith, who wished to learn all he could of its previous owners.   Many people (especially the males) enjoyed seeing it in the Village Hall car park and the owner left with photos and information on the Garvey family.

History of Ramsden - future
Apart from this, a steady stream of visitors came from all parts of Essex showing great interest. Some even came both days!   We brought it right up to date and into the future with the showing of the Ramsden website by Steve, Barbara and Clive.

The Visitors’ book is full of very complimentary comments, even though “someone” only came for the coffee and cake.   I have been organising this for more than twenty years, with the help of many willing helpers, especially Frank.   To them I say – thank you very much, together we raised £348 for our Village Hall but, more importantly, we gave a lot of people the pleasure of seeing the past of this area of Essex.

To see the photo gallery pictures, click here.

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Isabel C Johnson

Village A.G.M. Report

This year's A.G.M. on Sunday 29th January 2012 opened at 3.00pm with apologies for absence and the presentation of last years minutes.   The Chairman then presented his report for last year, outlining the social activities and a résumé of the maintenance work carried out.   He ended with a thanks to the committee for their support and the effort that they and others put in to the success of the hall over the last year.
The Treasurer’s report was next to be presented, showing the present financial position.   After questions, the Secretary and the Bookings Secretary said a few words each.   The reporting stage of the AGM now over, the meeting turned its attention to the selection of next year’s charity.  

There were three speakers, each supporting one of the following charities:
The selection, by a show of hands, was with THE J’S HOSPICE being successful as the next year’s charity.   This charity aims to offer all young adults aged 18 to 40 with a life limiting illness, the choice to receive the care and support that they need in the comfort of their own homes, so come on let us see what we can do for them.

Charity 2011 Presentation
This was then followed with the presentation of a cheque for £3,019 to a representative of last year’s charity, HELP FOR HEROES.

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.

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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