Solar Society to close
My old tummy trouble flared up last month so Ollie stepped in to write our news. He also provided the best laugh I've had in ages when Mum caught him trying to converse with a toy parrot! Seeing the superior 'cat who walks by himself' failing to get a response from a stuffed toy cheered me up no end! Next time he mocks my canine intelligence I'll call him Pretty Ollie!
Over the last year the demand for pets has increased dramatically and theft is rife. Dogs have been taken from owners and walkers whilst outdoors and from kennels and gardens in broad daylight. Please stay vigilant at all times to keep your beloved companions safe and avoid the heartbreak of a missing pet. We have a few dogs for rehoming including Tasmin and Tarla, lively five and six year old staffies, homeless through no fault of their own. They are spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and ready for lots of walks and cuddles in a loving home.
Life seems back to normal with the return of the Nayland 10K Run on Sunday 11th July. SESAW is one of the charities to benefit from this excellent event. More details at Although we are not holding any fundraising events, our trusty volunteers sell online and at sales like the monthly Markets in the Christopher Centre, Gainsborough Street, Sudbury; Langham Community Centre and Clare Town Hall.
It's time to accompany Mum on her evening rounds before nightfall then it's a cosy bed by the fire for me, Kenny (the Boss) Chihuahua.
Suffolk & Essex Small Animal Welfare, Registered Charity No.1124029, Stoke Road, Leavenheath, CO6 4PP. Tel: 01787 210888
With regret the Committee of the Solar Society, a daytime education group based in Castle Hedingham's Memorial Hall, has concluded that it is time to call it a day.
The Society provided a varied programme of talks and audience participation experiences over the nine years of its operation. We have been fortunate to attract speakers with national and international reputations on subjects from opera to votes for women, film, art from around the world, the science of poisoning (as it appeared in novels I add hastily) the lives of spies and so much more.
I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the success of the Society, the original Committee Members and those who have been with us from start to finish. No Society can function without a Secretary and Treasurer and to those I offer particular thanks for their contributions. Without them the Society would not have survived half as long. Last, but by no means least, I would like to thank those from near and far who turned up over the years to make our efforts worthwhile. Thank you.
Miles Scrivens
Sometime Chair of the Society.

Braintree Museum Set to Reopen 18th May
Braintree District Museums Trust and the staff are thrilled to be opening the doors of the Museum to the public again.
Although the Museum was closed due to the national lockdown in December, staff and volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes, remotely and on site within the government guidelines, to continue to preserve Braintree’s heritage and deliver popular services virtually to stay connected and engaged with the public.

Part of the governments phase 2 roadmap to recovery, The Museum Shop opened its doors on April 13th with many locals visiting to support.
On Tuesday 18th May the Museum will be able to open all its doors and welcome back the public with a completely new Warner & Sons Gallery.
Over the last few months we have been busy packing up and moving key objects from our Courtauld exhibition from 2020 into our permanent gallery space. If you didn’t get chance to see the display whilst we were open last year, there is the opportunity to discover the fascinating stories from the family and employees of the silk mills that dominated Braintree for over 150 years. Recordings of past employees created by museum volunteers can be heard, as well as original cine film footage showing the last days of inside the mills before they closed in the early 1980s. The new display also explores how the family’s legacy to the nation went beyond just their textile heritage, unveiling stories of members of the Courtauld family who went on to become local politicians, World War One doctors and Arctic explorers.
Preparation has also begun for our summer exhibition ‘Space: Fact and Fiction’ which will open on 29 June. The exhibition will explore the early concepts of Space with Galileo’s discoveries, telescopes using Newton’s findings from the Whipple Museum, Cambridge to how local company Teledyne is contributing to the digital imaging of our solar system today. Fabrics produced in Braintree by Warner & Sons to commemorate the first landing on the moon, ‘Lunar Rocket’ by Eddie Squires and ‘Moonwalk’ by Sue Thatcher will be on display. The exhibition will also explore the fictional interpretation of space with a life size Dr Who Tardis that visitors can enter as well as a Martian War Machine from War of the Worlds and more. The exhibition will be open until 11 December 2021.
We would like to acknowledge and give thanks to all the support we have received to support us during closure and to help us reopen the Museum.
The New Warner & Sons Gallery
This exhibition explores the history of Warner & Sons Limited and its predecessors and successors through objects from the Warner Textile Archive. Warners produced luxury hand-woven, powerwoven and printed fabrics as well as wallpapers. Founded in 1870 as Warner, Sillett & Ramm, throughout their years of trading, the company amassed a cult-status within the luxury fabric market. Their eye for design straddled traditional and modern, and often employed cutting-edge designers. This exhibition tells the story of Warners and its staff, from 1870 to the present day.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Vintage Day Out is back at Cressing Temple Barns for 2021
Vintage and retro lovers are being invited to roll back the years and dress to impress for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity's A Vintage Day Out on Sunday 27th June 2021, as we celebrate all things vintage from a bygone era!
After last year's event was sadly cancelled due to Government restrictions, we will be celebrating the end of lockdown by hosting our 11th Vintage Day Out at the beautiful Cressing Temple Barns near Braintree.
Showcasing a myriad of vintage stalls, guests can expect affordable vintage fashion, retro second-hand items, pop up hair and beauty parlors, kitchenalia, fashion, jewellery, pre-loved furniture, antiques, collectables and lots more! There's also plenty to keep the kids entertained with too; from arts and crafts, face painting and storytelling, to vintage games and archery, there's something for all the family!
Over 200 classic cars and motorbikes will be on display including vehicles from an American cars club, a Sunbeam, classic Fords, Mustangs as well as Morris Miners, Triumphs, a Wolseley Hornet and members of the Rochford Hundred Vintage Tractor & Engine Club with their stationary engines.
Food and drink will be available to purchase including American fast food, wraps, cakes, waffles, ice cream, vegan food, fresh lemonade and various bars selling alcoholic drinks.
There will be live music from rock'n'roll band Kingsmen who will be playing instruments from the fifties, and dancing from LJ's Jive School where you can watch or join in with modern jive dancing, and singing from the fabulous Harmonettes.
Cressing Temple Barns are steeped in history dating back to the 1100's when it was given to the Knights Templar and home to three Grade I listed barns as well as Tudor built Walled Gardens.
Pre-loved and vintage shopping is an affordable and sustainable way to acquire unique and new items whilst also supporting a worthy cause. In addition, shopping at Helen Rollason Cancer Charity's Vintage Day Out directly impacts the vital care and support offered to those living with cancer and their loved ones in the community. It's a double win!
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity's A Vintage Day Out is on Sunday 27th June 2021, between 10.30am and 4.30pm at Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Essex, CM77 8PD.
Early bird admission prices: Adults £5, Concessions £4 and under 16's go FREE.
Tickets can be purchased from:
Free parking is available and dogs on leads are welcome at the event.

Before you venture out again

Naturally with more people being at home during the Covid19 pandemic burglary numbers have fallen, and internet purchasing has increased resulting in new desirables in our homes.
When you did get out maybe someone was left in the house so locking up would not have been needed. As restrictions begin to be eased again and more of us venture out, we need to get back into our old habits ensuring that when left empty our homes are secure. Burglars are opportunists seeking an empty house that is easy to enter. Whether just popping out for a moment, or longer make it look like someone is in even if no one is there; always making sure you lock up when you leave.

Just a few tips to remind you:
• Ensure that windows, doors, outbuildings and gates are closed and locked correctly, make sure all tools are put away too. Remember with PVCu and similar doors – when locking Lift the handle, turn and remove the key. If you have a night latch and a mortice lock ensure that you lock both not just the night latch.
• No keys outside in hidey holes please, the thief will find them no matter how well you think they are hidden.
• Create the illusion of occupancy: A radio on, a chair that looks like you have just got up, book or magazine open with a pair of spectacles and a mug next to it, a vacuum cleaner with the lead trailing out of sight (not plugged in), the usual signs of habitation and don’t leave it too tidy.
• Consider a doorbell that you can answer remotely on your smartphone. A lot of these you can add further CCTV cameras that you listen and speak through too.
• Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it gets dark, also consider a “Fake TV” unit discretely hidden from view.
• If you have an intruder alarm make sure that you set it before leaving and ensure that your neighbours know who the keyholders are.
• Keys to other cars; put them away and in a “faraday bag” if you have a keyless car.

If you do get away for a longer period:
• Curtains open or curtains closed? – The worse thing is half open half closed, day or night the thief will know you are out. I go by the principle that some people do not close all curtains at night, but most are open during the day especially in those “lived in” rooms. So as long as you have evidence visible that looks like you are in the house somewhere then it makes sense to leave them open.
• Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries, delay ordering online purchases before you go away or have them delivered to friends or family that are at home to hold until you return.
• Use the Royal Mail's 'Keepsafe' service - they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you're away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away.
• Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway.
• Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites, watch what you are posting including photographs (they may be date stamped) while you are away too or you may find you are giving useful information that the burglar or fraudster may use.

Don’t forget the car when you leave it unattended:
• Close the windows and lock it, verify it is locked by the sound, the flash of the lights or try the handle.
• Leave nothing on show, remember to the thief even the empty bag or jacket is inviting, they don’t know what they may contain until looking in it after damaging your car getting in.
• Choose a safe place to park, with lots of visibility over it, if you can look for a “Parkmark” accredited car park .
Further advice can be found at or

Mali & Tatau join Tiga at Rajang's Forest - Colchester Zoo
We are pleased to announce the long-awaited arrival of Bornean orangutans Mali and Tatau at Colchester Zoo! 25-year-old Mali is mum to 8-year-old daughter Tatau, both of whom joined us from Paignton Zoo in Devon.
Their safe arrival has been one we had been looking forward to for some time and we were finally able to welcome the pair at the start of February 2021. Due to the Zoo's temporary closure and having to keep indoor areas closed since reopening, we are so pleased to finally be able to share this exciting news with you all!
We have enjoyed watching mum and daughter settle in and get to know the Animal Care Team over the last few months. Mali is a devoted mum who enjoys one-on-one time with the care team, and loves a fruit tea! Young Tatau has been nick named 'Tatti' and is often very playful, swinging and interacting with the care team through the mesh!
Mali and Tatau have also been introduced to our male Orangutan, Tiga! Tiga is 19 years old and had been living on his own since we sadly lost our beloved Rajang the Orangutan in December 2018. Orangutans are solitary in the wild therefore this hasn't affected Tiga, however, we are pleased to see him with not one, but two new companions.
Tiga has a gentle and inquisitive nature and has accepted his new companions very quickly. Older female, Mali, can often be seen foraging for food and enjoying enrichment with him. As a more mature Orangutan, Mali also knows that Tiga is the dominant male and happily gives him space when he needs it. Young Tatau enjoys watching Tiga and pays particular attention to how he deals with puzzles and enrichment that the Animal Care Team provides and often copies him!
Bornean orangutans, such as our group, eat over 300 types of fruit and vegetation, bark, insects, and eggs. They enjoy making nests to sleep in, which our male, Tiga, is particularly skilled at, and can live for around 50 years. Sadly, this species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, which is mainly due to the destruction of the orangutans' habitat.
Our Animal Care Team will continue to monitor the pair closely, as they become accustomed to seeing the faces of our visitors in their new home at Rajang's Forest, and will continue to work with mum and daughter, gaining their trust and creating strong relationships to ensure they are happy in their new home.

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