May 2021
Solar Society to close.
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.

Colchester Zoo is re-opening on Monday 12th April

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity RIDE FOR HELEN on Sunday May 16th 2021. Four circular cycle routes from Hatfield Peverel, Essex. Two free child places with each adult on six mile route. Social distance friendly event, limited spaces available. For more information T: 07732 385431-

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.

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.

Sunday 11th July. Nayland 10K. More details at

Spring Garden Security Advice Part 2 – Sheds, Garages and Objects
We spoke last month about garden security now we look at the shed, garages and objects within it. As mentioned before controlling access is your first line of defence and you may consider using good old gravel on paths and drives or round statues etc as an audible warning and/or a “Driveway Alert Monitor” (can be found by internet search). Sensitively and effectively placed lighting and CCTV may be considered to help protect outbuildings, ornaments, and statues but these should not be your only thoughts. Don’t forget though motion activated lighting may be triggered by animals and shrubs moving in the wind.

Shed and outbuilding security: If you are installing a new shed try and find a place in view of the house and neighbours. The padlock hasp fittings of a shad should be coach-bolted to the frame and door, strengthen the fitting area with a metal plate inside and out; don’t forget the hinges ensure they cannot be unscrewed. Cheap locks and padlocks are a poor investment; use good quality locks, look for a “Close Shackle” padlock or a key operated mortice lock to at least “Sold Secure” Silver or Gold standard. Protect windows with a wire mesh and fit a curtain or whitewash the windows to prevent prying eyes. NB some of this advice can apply to aviaries, kennels, barns and other buildings of similar nature.
On garage doors consider adding locking bolts to both sides of an “up and over door” or a garage door defender in the ground in front of the door. Don’t forget other doors and windows in the garage secure them as you would in a house. LOCKS ARE A WASTE OF TIME IF YOU DO NOT LOCK THEM.
When storing larger items like motorcycles, cycles, lawn mowers etc consider a fixing set/ground anchor into the concrete floor, a heavy chain and again a good quality padlock to secure it. If the chain or lock is lying across the floor it could provide a surface for it to be smashed against so try and keep it tightly secured. Consider a shed alarm if you do not have one, there are shed alarms available that contact you on the phone when activated such as
Products that are fit for purpose can found by looking for the "Secured by Design" or "Sold Secure" logos, or on their websites or .
Tips for Statues, ornaments and pots:
Drill and secure with quality chain/padlock larger pots and ornaments to a secure surface.
Offenders will not want to break valuable containers- however they may still opt to lift out the plant --this is where the Plant Anchors can help.
Make the plant pot heavier with a layer of gravel at the bottom.
Some planters/pots can be marked/post-coded /etched carefully with a small Hobbyist drill or an indelible pen can work sometimes on the base.
Hanging baskets can be secured with chains or cable ties BUT there is a danger the offender may simply wrench from the fixing point making even greater damage.
Where possible position statues, ornaments etc in view of the house and neighbours.
Photograph more unusual ornaments with a scale rule included, and where possible ensure these ornaments are in view of a house and have good lighting. Consider using a property marking product
Only buy plants/ornaments from a reputable source and report any suspicions to Police/Trading Standards.
For further garden security advice see the following webpages:


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