Reviewing the year in Trimley St. Martin – 2019

The Trimley St. Martin Village Recorder’s

Annual Report 2019



This report will be lodged in Suffolk Record Office. It is a summary of the principle events which occurred in the village during 2019. The report  is in three sections and contains information about:

  1. Village events
  2. External events and activities impacting on Trimley St. Martin
  3. The Village Recorder’s Blog

Village Events

Trimley St. Martin’s annual events continued to occur in a regular pattern. Monthly Parish Council and Planning Committee meetings proceeded in the usual manner. The possibility of a new school building was intimated quite a long time before January 2019, as the Parish Clerk,  Caroline Ley informed me. The issue arose at least as early as 2016 in the light of what was then the emerging Felixstowe Area Action Plan. It was at that point that the County Council produced their  accessibility analysis which looked at walk to school times in order to help them in their assessment of potential sites. Since then, of course the position has changed rather in the light of the Felixstowe Garden Village proposals. In terms of the capacity, the Parish Council was told that the new school building would accommodate 315 pupils at the outset with the capacity to expand to 420  as and when the need arises.

The Planning Committee in January 2019 reported  possible changes to St. Martin’s School when they were further addressed by the Schools Planning Manager, Pete Mumford, concerning the necessity for a new Primary school in Trimley St. Martin to replace the existing one. Three options were discussed to cater for a projected population growth of which the preferred option appeared to be the construction of a new school building on the land adjacent to Reeve Lodge.


Land behind Reeve Lodge which does not indicate exact location of proposed new school

This proposition was to re-emerge at the end of December 2019, when following deliberation by the Governing body the school sent a letter to parents, explaining the rationale behind the likely move. This became a lively topic of discussion on the local Face Book pages with several dissenting voices. The proposal was to build a new school on the land adjacent to Reeve Lodge allowing room for an estimated 430 plus pupils.

From February 20th to 23rd, Trimley S.A.I.N.T. players delivered their yearly pantomime, ‘Panto between the Pyramids’, a successful and sell-out production. A second production, equally successful event took place between 19th and 22nd June, a play based on one of Agatha Christie’s books, ‘And then there were none’. Both events took place in the Memorial Hall. In April the Annual Parish Meeting[1] took place in the Methodist Church Hall. Various organisations in the village gave short presentations of their involvement in the life of the village: Lorna Adamson, Vice Chair of Governors, who indicated the proposed re-location of the school; Chris Cushnahan, explained developments at the Sports and Social Club; Christine Moulton of the Methodist Church explained the establishment of a Memory Lane Project. (this was launched in September); Julie Bellamy, Chair of Trimley Saints Players gave a short description of the history and work of this amateur dramatics group; Liz Rastrick gave a short report about the role of the Village Recorder; Gill Haseman spoke about the Cranfield Bowls Club; Yvonne Smart related the work of the Poor’s Committee and also the Allotments Committee; Heather Rodwell described the work of the Memorial Hall Management Committee. This aspect of the meeting helped to raise awareness of aspects of village life, of which some may not have been aware.

The bi-annual Open Gardens event took place over the weekend of 15th – 16th June, swiftly followed by the Trimley SAINTS players production, ‘And then there were none’ from the 19th – 22nd June. There was an additional Open Gardens event on 30th June when Heather Dodman opened her stunning garden to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK. On the 6th July, the Parish Council organised a Community Day in order to promote interest in the possibility Neighbourhood Plan. Survey forms were issued to each household in the village and people had the opportunity to give their views about how the village could be improved, what they would like for the future and their concerns regarding planning. July saw the annual Carnival focused around the Social Club, as well as a Model Railway Exhibition in the Memorial Hall at the end of the month.  During the Autumn, two Art and Craft Fairs were held and the year ended with the annual switching on of lights. In October, the Village acquired a World Champion when Lisa Williams won the World Porridge Championships and was awarded The Golden Spurtle.

External Factors impacting upon Trimley St. Martin

There were two major areas of concern in 2019: the continuing campaign fighting housing and land development off Innocents Lane, Howlett Way and Reeve Lodge; the Bridge construction at the bottom of Gun Lane and dualling of the railway.

Housing and land development

The Kirton and Trimley Community Action Group (K.A.T.C.A.G.) proved to be vigorous and active campaigners. Their objectives were to fight the land developments proposed in the Draft Local Plan published in 2018. Suffolk Coastal District Council met on 3rd January 2019 to approve the Plan. Suffolk Coastal District Council met on 3rd January 2019 to approve the Plan.  K.A.T.C.A.G. supporters from the Trimleys, Kirton, Falkenham and Felixstowe turned out on a dark, wet night to make their feelings known. Employing peaceful tactics, placards were clearly on display as Councillors arrived at the Council Offices in Melton. As the public is entitled to attend the public meeting, many of the protestors later moved into the building, queuing patiently to enter the Council Chamber. Nevertheless, there were still too many people to accommodate and a second room with video connections was opened to accommodate the overflow. Even so, not everyone could be seated and some people were excluded through lack of space.

IMG_4002Members of the public queuing to enter the Council Chamber at 7.00 p.m. 3rd January 2019 (Third from the left: Jane McCarthy)

IMG_1610Some of the residual protestors who were unable to view the proceedings due to lack of space. (On the extreme left: Steve and Lisa Williams. Third from the right: Sandra Abbott)

The outcome of the meeting was not affected by the presences of the many objectors and the Local Plan was agreed and approved by the Council officials. This result had been anticipated by K.A.T.C.A.G. and they moved their campaign forward. Firstly, by working towards providing evidence at the Inspector’s Hearing in September and informing people in the affected villages to submit their reasons for opposing the development. Secondly, K.A.T.C.A.G’s Director, Stephen Wrinch, stood as an independent candidate as a District Councillor for ‘Orwell and Villages’, alongside Sherrie Green but they were not elected. The   two Conservative Party candidates, Melissa Allen and Richard Kerry were the successful candidates.  Villagers were kept informed by K.A.T.C.A.G. about the two processes through leaflet drops and social media outlets. Concurrently, they proceeded to develop the other side of their campaign, namely, fund raising to provide legal representation at the Inspector’s hearing. Supporters and residents of the villages were encouraged to send in written representations challenging the legal compliance and soundness of the Plan by 25th February 2019.  K.A.T.C.A.G. mobilised their “Champions”, leaflets were distributed encouraging written responses and all villagers in the Trimleys, Kirton and Falkenham were informed. Fundraising went on to include two ‘Auction of Promises’, which were held on 18th April 2019 and 11th July 2019. Both events had performances from Trimley St. Martin’s Gerry Bremner (Il Tenore) and Keely (Forest), his daughter. The first event was particularly well attended and both Auctions were led by Philip Mayhew. On 21st November, a Quiz was held as a third fund raising event, led by Quiz Master, Kevin Welton. Again, musical entertainment was provided by Il Tenore and Forest.

During August and September, the Suffolk Coastal Local Plan examination took place over four weeks and only those had already made representations to alter the plan could appear. Representations came from K.A.T.C.A.G. and included Stephen Wrinch, Gerry Bremner and Becca Atherstone amongst others. Another strong Trimley St. Martin voice, that of Ian Cowan, was noteworthy in delivering well-reasoned arguments against the proposals.  The results of the hearing will not be made public until Spring 2020 but K.A.T.C.A.G. continued to keep the debate alive and towards the end of the year Becca Atherstone produced a video promoting the protection of the land for wildlife. (‘A walk on the wild side’ may currently be viewed on YouTube.)

In relation to the Inspector’s hearing the Cross Boundary Group was included in those who made representations throughout the process and at the hearing.  The Cross Boundary Group includes representatives of five parish councils: Bucklesham; Levington & Stratton Hall; Kirton and Falkenham; Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary. The two smallest PCs were not in a position to contribute to the cost of professional representation, but nevertheless, as members of the group, they were represented. Kirton & Falkenham, Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary all contributed to the cost of representation.

The Bridge and rail developments in Trimley

The improvement of the Felixstowe to Ipswich railway in Trimley started in February 2018. The dualling of the track progressed, impacting on residents who live on the River side of the tracks, particularly when the level crossings were upgraded from May to July. Those living over the level Crossing at Morston Hall had to access their houses via the temporary haul road between Thorpe Lane and Morston Hall. In May, those living over the railway line had to travel to the Morston Hall end of the haul road to be escorted to their relevant roads. The track has not been returned to farm land but continues to exist as a sandy surfaced track. During the year, four pedestrian crossings in St. Martin’s were closed.    This included two Grimston Lane crossings

Grimston Lane Pedestrian crossing

The old gate crossing from one side of Grimston Lane to the other. 20th January 2018. Numbers 32 to 38 Grimston Lane residents now live in a cul-de-sac.

and one running from Goslings Farm Shop to Goslings track on the bend of Thorpe Lane. The fourth was the most visible and work intensive site, replacing the old agricultural crossing at the end of Gun Lane, leading to Grimston Hall.

Equine crossing

The old rail crossing between Gun Lane and Grimston Hall.

At the start of 2019, this crossing was closed as heavy machinery moved in, excluding fences were erected and the construction of a new Bridge crossing began to take shape.

IMG_4245Construction site  for the new bridge at the end of Gun Lane. 20th January 2019

 The majority of the work was completed by the late summer and the new bridge was officially opened on 2nd September 2019.

Two Sisters Arts Centre

I should also include of the excellent new Arts Centre which has opened in St. Mary’s Church, even though it is not is Trimley St. Martin. However, the benefit to both villages is inestimable, with a regular and varied programme of theatrical and musical productions. It is true to say some of the jazz performer are world class standard. The jazz finale  of the season, provided by Mambo Chutney saw some of the audience dancing in the aisles.

Village Recorder’s Blog

In  2019, forty four Blogs were written and published on the Villager Recorder’s WordPress site ( The intention to publish one a week was largely covered. The blogs covered events, people and historic research. Research related blogs created correspondence, in particular the narrative of a Trimley St. Martin nineteenth woman, Lydia Rackham, who was transported to Van Dieman’s Land in 1851. David Cripps, a Tasmanian and direct descendent of Lydia, responded to her story which he came across by chance. A second correspondent, Jo Hyland, in Western Australia, also contacted the Village Recorder and between the three researchers, Lydia’s story was extended and amplified. As a result of Jo’s interest and knowledge, the story was lodged with the Female Convicts Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, who exist to promote interest in the women transported to Van Dieman’s land. The story was further researched in the nearby parish of Wherstead, who also had connections with the Rackhams. Other historical blogs included: The Ralphs of Grimston Hall; Morston Hall on fire; Grimston Hall on fire; Ernest William Packard, one of the men on the village War Memorial.

The existence of the Blog has generated several enquiries throughout the year, including: one from a member of the Coulson Family ( ); an enquiry about The Bridge; an extended enquiry concerning a member of the Ralph family and the location of a specific house in Trimley (; requests for information about Trimley in the Second World War; a request for information about Ernest William Packard ( )

The Blog went into temporary hibernation at the end of October but was due to be re-launched at the start of 2020. During 2019 it received in excess of 12,000 visitors mainly from the United Kingdom but also from 40 other countries.  Please note this site is not funded by any public money.

Pictorial view of the Year



IMG_4182View from Morston Hall Lane towards the River Orwell, 3rd January 2019



IMG_3939The gathering protestors outside Suffolk Coastal District Council offices in Melton at 6.30, 3rd January 2019



View of the two Trimley churches from Florys’s Farm, 11th February 2019 before the erection of  The Bridge

IMG_1686Follow the plough… Field adjacent to Thorpe Lane looking towards the railway line, February 2019


IMG_4479Clouds over Innocence Farm, looking towards the A14 and Trimley St Martin, 7th March 2019

IMG_4574The new pedestrian and equine rail bridge under construction, 24th March 2019

A view of the two churches from Flory’s Farm, 11th February 2019



Philip Mayhew, the Auctioneer at K.A.T.C.A. Gs Auction of Promises, 18th April 2019


IMG_4879Pristine Sinclair C5s gather outside Seamark Nunn for the Vintage Vehicle run from Ipswich to Felixstowe, 5th May 2019 

IMG_5069Thorpe Lane level crossing closed for signalling improvements, May 2019


Trimley Open Gardens

IMG_5135.jpeg The Lemon Tree Garden, 15th June 2019

IMG_5095View of part of Lynne and Steve Bozier’s garden, 15th June 2019

IMG_5315The summer solstice.  The sun rises over Loompit lake. 4.15 a.m. 21st June 2019

IMG_5319The Summer Solstice. Looking down the River Orwell, towards Shotley from Loompit Lake. 4.17,  21st June 2019


IMG_5341Heather Dodman opened her garden to raise funds for  Alzheimer  UK, 30th June 2019



IMG_5381Community Day in the Memorial Hall, 6th July 2019



DD05E81B-EBC2-4808-8F85-84DDA0B396EC_1_201_aCarnival Day, outside the Memorial Hall. 13th July 2019

IMG_2058Model Railway Exhibition in the Memorial Hall, 27th July 2019


IMG_2070 2One of the layouts at the Model Railway Exhibition in the Memorial Hall, 27thJuly 2019


The Bridge opens

IMG_5706The new green pedestrian and equine bridge is officially opened by Felixstowe’s Opportunity Group. 2nd September 2019


IMG_2235V.I.P Guests and Volker Fitzpatrick workers watch the first train go under the Bridge after its official opening. ‘Good for one hundred and twenty years’, said one of the Volker workmen.  2nd September 2019

IMG_5697The new view towards the Thorpe Lane Level Crossing from the Bridge with the completed dual track clearly visible. 2nd September 2019


IMG_4209Trimley St. Martin’s World Champion, Lisa Williams, the winner of the 2019 World Porridge Championship and new holder of the Golden Spurtle. 13th October 2019. (Photo: courtesy of Lisa Williams)

IMG_2419.jpegTrimley St. Martin’s Craft Fair, 26th October 2019



IMG_2629Friends of Trimley Station Craft Fair in the Memorial Hall, 16th November 2019


IMG_2701Sam Cowley blesses the Christmas tree outside the Memorial Hall, 3rd December 2019.