Craft-A-Noon Tea - 1st Thursday of every month (12-3pm). Free to come along, meet other crafters, get advice/help on current projects and have fun.
Craft-A-Holics Anonymous - 3rd Wednesday of every month (7-10pm). Free to come along, meet other crafters, chat, get advice/help on a project, craft and have fun. The meetings are at The Three Horseshoes, 74 Church Road, Fordham, Essex, CO6 3NJ. For more info call Emily: 07388.
What a scary day that was! I don't know who Ciara is but she caused a dreadful storm in the garden. Mum was nearly blown over when she went out to check the kennels and stables. The dramatic weather may be a distant memory now but our volunteers are still repairing the damage.
It's been a rough year so far. Apart from battling the elements, we lost dear old Peg, one of our Kune pigs. She and her lifelong pal, Bob, arrived some years ago after their owner died. Sadly Peg became ill recently and on the morning of her demise, Bob laid by her side with his head across her. As you may imagine, a few tears were shed that day.
We have lots of bargains ready for our £1 Sale on Saturday 14th March at Newton Green Village Hall, CO10 0QS. Don't miss it, if only for the delicious homemade cakes! Which reminds me, it's nearly dinner time! It's so cold, even the cats are staying in and taking over our dog beds. As the rain lashes against the window and the wind howls down the chimney, here ends this under the duvet report from me, Kenny (the Boss) Chihuahua.
Suffolk & Essex Small Animal Welfare, Reg. Charity No.1124029, Stoke Road, Leavenheath, CO6 4PP. Tel: 01787 210888, Please check opening hours before visiting
Braintree Museum Presents:
Courtaulds: Origins, Innovations & Family, 1816-1982
Saturday 1st February - Saturday 30 May 2020
More BIG News for Colchester Zoo's White rhino crash with another calf on the way!
* Rare original prints by Paul Gauguin among the highlights of the Braintree Museum’s exhibition documenting the life and legacy of the Courtauld family
* The home of Courtaulds textile business in Braintree will present the story of this extraordinary and influential family
* From pioneering new technology in the textile industry to creating one of the world’s greatest collections of Impressionist art, Samuel Courtauld was a formative figure who began his career in the heart of Essex in the early 19th century

Braintree Museum is proud to present a major new exhibition, in partnership with The Courtauld Gallery, London, which explores the Courtauld family’s extraordinary history - revealing the story of their pioneering development of artificial silk created in their first factory in the heart of Braintree, Essex; the influence of the family and their ongoing local and global legacy.
The textile magnate Samuel Courtauld was the founder of the original Courtaulds Ltd. family textile business in Braintree, which became a successful international company, and allowed Samuel Courtauld to invest in his passion for collecting Impressionist art in the early 19th century. Courtauld was a dedicated advocate for the study of art history, and went on to establish The Courtauld in 1932, with Sir Robert Witt and Viscount Lee of Fareham, as an institute dedicated to the teaching and public dissemination of art history and conservation. Today, The Courtauld continues his founding vision and is one of the world’s leading centres for the study and public enjoyment of art.
The Courtauld Gallery is home to his celebrated collection which included works by Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin among many more. The Gallery is currently closed until Spring 2021 and during this period, The Courtauld has established exhibition and museum partnerships both nationally and internationally to provide unique opportunities for more audiences to engage with its collection.
The Braintree Museum will explore 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 war heroes, local politicians, suffragettes, World War One doctors and Arctic explorers. Visitors can explore artefacts that illuminate the Courtauld family’s history – including a suffragette poster designed by Catherine Courtauld, from the Women’s Library, London; the remains from Augustin Courtauld’s Arctic flag from the Scott Polar Institute, all complimented with loans from the Courtauld Family’s Private Collection shown alongside the Museum’s artefacts for the first time.
A particularly rare presentation of original woodblock prints by the artist Paul Gauguin, on loan from The Courtauld, will also be on display – offering a unique glimpse into the early work of a formative impressionist artist who was championed by Courtauld; coinciding with a major survey of Gauguin’s career at The National Gallery in London.
New stories of past Courtauld company employees and family members recorded by Museum volunteers will be woven into the exhibition alongside newly uncovered documents, images and testimonies.
Sheila Charrington, Chairman of Braintree District Museum Trust, said: “I am delighted with the generosity of support from Braintree District Council, Braintree Museum Volunteers, The Courtauld, The Courtauld family, Essex Record Office, Friends of Braintree Museum, Halstead Museum, Halstead 21st Century Society, Scott Polar Research Institute and Women’s Library, without whom the exhibition would not have been possible. There are so many fascinating stories behind the famous Courtauld name that will come to life in the exhibition and have triggered long-term relationships with our partner organisations.”
The Museum will be hosting a range of events to coincide with the exhibition. There will be talks, walks and The Braintree Textile Fair will be adding on an additional day which will have a Courtauld focus. All events will be published in Braintree Museum’s What’s On from January 2020 and on its website and social media.
    A month after White rhino Emily gave birth to her 3rd calf, Lottie. Colchester Zoo are excited to announce that young Lottie will have a play mate later this year as one of the zoos other female White rhinos, Astrid, is expecting a calf of her own!
Astrid is due to give birth at the end of September/early October 2020 after a pregnancy of 16 months. The pregnancy was confirmed in 2019 via hormone analysis from faecal samples sent to a specialised lab after the Animal Care Team had their suspicions. This will be Astrid's first calf fathered by our male Otto making this youngster the half sibling of our current bundle of joy, Lottie!
Colchester Zoo has had great success as part of the breeding programme for White rhinos and this new arrival will be the 6th calf to be born at the park. With previous youngsters having departed to join other zoos in the hope that they too become part of a successful breeding programme.
Astrid arrived at Colchester Zoo in 2016 and lives with our male Otto, along with Emily and more recently with Binta, a third female white rhino that joined us from Knowsley Safari Park in November 2019. Otto had previously been temporarily transferred to Woburn Safari Park whilst Emily was pregnant. The purpose of this move was a recommendation from the studbook keeper to see if he would mate with their female rhinos. Unfortunately, Otto did not breed whilst at Woburn but on his return to Colchester Zoo he reignited his flame with Emily but it also seems Otto found a new love with Astrid, who arrived whilst Otto was away, as she became pregnant within a year of his return.
White rhinos are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, this is due to the poaching crisis and ivory trade, so this pregnancy is brilliant news for the conservation of this magnificent species.
St. Andrew's Church, Earls Colne, Lunchtime Recitals 2020
New year, new challenge? Bring on the Big Battle with Helen Rollason Cancer Charity!
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity are inviting the brave and courageous to take part in our second Big Battle challenge on Sunday 5th April 2020.
The 5km course will test your endurance, speed and strength, all in the name of charity. A personal trainer will escort and encourage groups of participants around the course which will see you take on the famous Nuclear Races obstacles including the 15 lane Zip-wire into water and 20’ free-fall Deathslide. Have you got the nerve?
Participants should expect an ultra-muddy and obstacle-loaded course from Nuclear Races who are well known for delivering award winning races with high quality obstacles that will test your fitness as well as your nerve. Held at The Event Village, Parsonage Farm, Ongar Road, Brentwood, opposite the Secret Nuclear Bunker in Kelvedon Hatch; the event is open to individuals and teams aged 13 or over.
Our very first Big Battle saw 48 brave supporters take part raising over £5,000 for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity!
Katie Gardner and colleagues from Lambert Chapman LLP took part as part of a team building day;
“When we initially heard about the event, I tentatively circulated the details expecting maybe one or two brave and/or bonkers members of staff to sign up, but I was delighted when I quickly had a list of 10 eager participants. Our team of intrepid accountants had a fantastic time!”
Janet Peacock, 63 and Charlie Spires, 24 representing J C Designs Ltd in Braintree were two brave individuals who took on the challenge; “Charlie supported me throughout the event and my family came along to cheer me on. It was completely out of my comfort zone but I set myself the challenge and I was determined to complete it, and I did!”
Sarah Rayner, 30 from Hutton works at ProMedical Personnel Ltd based in Brentwood; she was part of a team of 15 colleagues who took part; “As well as raising money for an invaluable charity, it was also a fantastic team building exercise for our company; we definitely bonded and helped each other throughout the run. I loved being part of the team!”
Nadije Butler, 58 from Ilford also took part in the challenge; “I am already a supporter, fundraiser and volunteer for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and I wanted to challenge myself to an event which is going to be much harder.
The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity means a lot to me; as a breast cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand how important complimentary therapies and support are for cancer patients and their nearest and dearest. I am delighted to support the charity – they do amazing work and have helped so many people and their families.”
Our Big Battle challenges all levels of fitness ability and ages, testing courage, determination, teamwork and physical strength. Based on permanent farmland with mud, woods, rivers and lakes, Big Battle pushes participant’s limits over a fun combination of big and small obstacles.
So expect to enjoy a muddy memorable time, to get wet, dirty and to #LoveMud for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity!
Tickets are £50 per person and must be booked in advance as places are limited.
Don’t delay; book your place today! Call the Fundraising Office on 01245 380719 or visit
2020 sees our Lunchtime Recitals entering their fifth year and we have a very exciting programme to offer.
We will see the return of the ever popular Lizzie Gutteridge and Aurora Voices who also sang for us just before Christmas. We will be welcoming some new performers too. Kim Peek a ballad singer, the Sokolowski Trio and Malcolm Ball playing the Ondes Marenot.
Thursday 9th April - To be advised
Thursday 14th May - Lizzie Gutteridge with Blondel
Thursday 11th June - Kim Peek solo singer accompanied by Edward Preston on piano
Thursday 9th July - Aurora Voices
Thursday 13th August - Sokolowski Trio
Thursday 10th September - Malcolm Ball playing Ondes Martenot accompanied by Peter Humphrey on piano.
Recitals are free (retiring collection) and commence at 1pm. Refreshments available from 12.30pm

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