Supporting the local community
News by Subject
Essex-&-Suffolk-Water With thanks to Essex & Suffolk Water for funding support of this website through the Abberton Reservoir Community Fund.

Kids’ Activities

Activities for kids

Leonardo da Panto

Leonardo da Panto

It’s that time of year!

Hello All, this year the Peldon Panto moves into St Mary’s as the construction of the new hall gets underway.  An amazing challenge for the players this year as we tread boards previously untrodden in a new setting.

Come to see Leonardo da Panto in a truly authentic(ish) renaissance-style backdrop.  Written by Simon Nunan, this panto looks at the Italian renaissance, with beautiful, scheming Borgias, Machiavellian intrigue, and slap-dash artists.

Cheer for the goodies, boo at the baddies, hiss at the interval wine….

We’d love to see you there, tickets are selling out fast.

  • 25th – 27th Jan 7.30pm
  • 28th Jan 2.00pm and 7.30pm

BOX OFFICE contact Mel Newton on: 07738 000378 or

Hope to see you all there.
PVHMC and the Peldon Players!


Countdown to Zepfest

ZepfestCountdown to Zepfest

Zepfest will open 7 months, 2 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes ago and tickets are now available, click to book.  Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Zeppelin L33 landing in Little Wigborough, the weekend of 24th & 25th September offers a lot of fun.  Hours are 2pm – 8pm on the Saturday and 10am – 4pm on Sunday.  Tickets are £10 adults, £5 children 7-15.  Zepfest takes place in Copt Hall Lane, Little Wigborough, CO5 7RD.

Tickets will be on sale at the gate, but due to ticket numbers being limited you are advised to book online well in advance.

Attractions include:

  • Daily programme of illustrated Talks,
  • Zeppelin archive film and audio show,
  • Static Displays about Zeppelins and the L33 with artefacts, memorabilia, photographs and documents,
  • Zeppelin art display,
  • WW1 aircraft, vehicles and simulators,
  • Flypast of WW1 aircraft from Stow Maries (weather permitting),
  • Walk the crash site and compare it with official 1916 photos,
  • Demonstrations of equipment by the Great War Living Historians,
  • Live music, singers and dancers (including Crossover Band on Saturday evening),
  • Activities for children,
  • Stalls of many kinds,
  • Heavy horse wagon rides,
  • Model T Ford car rides,
  • Kidz Kartz and Bouncy Castle,
  • … and much more!



Peldon Village Fete

Peldon Village Fete 2016Peldon Village Fete 2016

Lots of Traditional Village Fun, the Peldon Village Fete is being held by the Friends of St Mary’s and promises lots of activities for the children in particular.  Taking place at the Peldon Village Hall, Church Road, CO5 7PT, on 11th June between 12-4pm, the fete will offer:

  • Craft stalls,
  • Meet the animals,
  • Bouncy castle,
  • Grand Draw,
  • Street Organ,
  • BBQ & Bar,
  • Light refreshments,
  • Cream teas,
  • Garden games &
  • Brass band.

Entrance is just £2 for adults, 50p for children.  See you there!


PAWS February – Lady Grace

Stacey with Pam, President

Stacey being applauded by Pam (President)

PAWS February – Lady Grace

28 members attended our February meeting when Stacey Belbin gave us a talk on “Lady Grace”.  Her dad was a commercial fisherman and ever since she can remember she helped her dad clean and mend nets and catch fish.  When she left school she worked for a Bank. Her life was all about her career until she met her husband, then she realised life is for living and not for working all the time.

She met Scott at 18, his dad had brought him up in the angling world and hers had brought her up in the netting world.  On their first date, Scott took her angling and since then, her dad lost his crew and they decided to buy their own boat, “Galloper”, to take people angling at weekends.  They both had their day jobs, Scott as a carpenter and Stacey in the bank, but they used to spend weekends running the fishing trips.

Stacey on board

Stacey on board

As the business grew she decided it was time to get her own toy to play with.  In March 2011 they bought “Lady Grace”, it took until the end of August to get her ship-shape for passengers and then she ran her at weekends and continued her weekday job.  In 2012 she then worked “Lady Grace” during the May and October half terms and the full 6 weeks school holidays.  After running “Lady Grace” for 6 weeks solid during the school holidays, in January 2013 she made the decision to give up the day job from the April and run Lady Grace 7 days a week 364 days a year.

Lady Grace off West Mersea

Lady Grace off West Mersea

The first year was testing, but rewarding. Stacey loves working on “Lady Grace”, which was evident by her passionate talk, and every day and every trip being a different one, meeting different people and a forever changing scenery with the tide coming in or going out and the different birdlife visiting through the year. She is also a photographer of all things beautiful on the water, whether it be a landscape, sunrise, sunset or wildlife.

You can follow Stacey and “Lady Grace” on Facebook.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is on the 22nd March and is our AGM and therefore a closed meeting.  However visitors are welcome afterwards from 8.00pm, for a Quiz and Nibbles, at a cost of £5.00. Details of all our meetings and speakers can be found on the diary of the home page of the Winstred 100 website. If you would like further information about P.A.W.S please ring either of the following committee members: Alice Holmes 01206 735510 or Jane Anderson 01206 735505.


February Half term 2016

February Half  Term 2016

With February half term next week Colchester Museums, Leisure World and Essex Outdoors are all running extra activities to keep the kids occupied:

Colchester Museums

Colchester Museums have events running every day with art and craft workshops at Hollytrees Museum, storytelling and castle making at the Castle and monkey and fossil activities at the Natural History Museum:

Date Venue Description Times Cost Booking
Mon 15 Feb Hollytrees Museum Portraits in Shadow
Work as a group to turn your shadow into a striking silhouette portrait. Minimum age 4 years old
Workshops at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm £3 per person Required, please call 01206 282941
Mon 15 Feb Colchester Castle Queen of the Iceni
Come and meet Boudica, the brave warrior Queen.
Storytelling at 11am, 1pm and 3pm Free after normal admission price to the Castle Not required
Tue 16 Feb Hollytrees Museum Mini Model Homes
Be inspired by our Victorian doll’s house and make your own room in miniature.
Workshops at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm £3 per person Required, please call 01206 282941
Wed 17 Feb Natural History Museum Monkey Business
Celebrate the Chinese Year of the Monkey with us at the Natural History Museum. Create, personalise and take home your own glove monkey.
Workshops at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm £3 per person Required, please call 01206 282941
Thurs 18 Feb Natural History Museum Go Live! Fantastic Fossils
Are you fascinated by fossils? Come and meet the fossil experts and have your own fossils identified.
Drop in 10-12pm and 2-4pm Free event Not required
Fri 19 Feb Colchester Castle Crafty Castles
From rubbish to ramparts, discover how the Normans built Colchester Castle out of recycled material. Make your own castle out of recycled items.
Workshops at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm £2 per person after normal castle admission Required, please call 01206 282941

Leisure World

As well as its regular activities, Leisure World (call 282000 for bookings and more information) offers further half-term ones including art & craft and sports related as follows:

Date Times Activity Ages Cost
Mon 15 Feb 1.30 – 3.00  Arts & Crafts – Fun and mess with hands on activities using creativity and imagination 5 – 11 yrs £5.80
Tue 16 Feb 3.00 – 4.00  Creative Dance – Come along and sing and dance. Use your imagination while developing skills of movement and dance 1.5 – 4yrs £4.20
4.00 – 5.00 Mini Street 5 – 7 yrs £4.20
4.00 – 6.00 Whiz Kids – Fun activities for children with disabilities, including trampolining, bouncy castle, basketball, football and much much more 0 – 16 yrs £4.60
Wed 17 Feb 1.30 – 3.00 Team Games – Join in with a variety of sports and games: running, jumping, throwing and catching, but most off all having fun! 7 – 12 yrs £6.50
Thurs 18 Feb 1.30 – 3.00 Badminton & Short Tennis – Two fun ways to enjoy racket sports and learn new skills 7 – 12 yrs £6.50
Fri 19 Feb 1.30 – 3.00 Arts & Crafts – Fun and mess with hands on activities using creativity and imagination  5 – 11 yrs  £5.80

Base Camp

With different activities every day including such as multi sports, leisure pool, cinema visit etc., Base camp runs from 58am until 5:30pm for £30 a day.

Kid’s Camp

For school years 1 – 6 only these offer action packed days running from 9am to 3pm for £25 or 8am to 5:30pm for £30 per day.

Essex Outdoors

Essex Outdoors’ action-packed activity day experiences run at our 4 centres during the school holidays  and are the ideal way for young people aged 8-16 to try exciting new experiences in the outdoors!

Working in groups of around 10 young people, your child will have the opportunity to take part in up to four fun and challenging activities each day, ranging from archery, canoeing and climbing to mountain biking, high ropes and zip wire.

Constant supervision during the day by our professional instructors will give parents peace of mind and ensure kids have a memorable day!  All technical equipment is provided – participants just need to bring, comfortable (and waterproof!) clothing and footwear as well as a packed lunch and a drink.

Special offer for February Half Term – School Holiday Activity Days will be just £15 per child, per day, a saving of 50%.


  • Tuesday 16th February – High Ropes & Archery.  Book online.


  • Monday 15th February – Archery, Aerial Trekking, Bushcraft & Obstacle Course
  • Tuesday 16th February – BMX, Zip Wire, Problem Solving & Climbing Wall
  • Wednesday 17th February – Low Ropes, Climbing Wall, Archery & Zip Wire
  • Thursday 18th February – Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Bushcraft & Aerial Trekking
  • Friday 19th February – Archery, Bushcraft, BMX & Zip Wire

Book online.


  • Monday 15th February – Aerial Runway, Archery, Climbing & Team Challenge
  • Thursday 18th February – Climbing, Aerial Runway, Low Ropes & Team Challenge
  • Friday 19th February – Adventure Course, Aerial Runway, Archery & Caving.

Book online.

Short Breaks for Disabled Children

  • Saturday 13th February – Activity Day at Mersea
  • Thursday 18th February – One Night Break at Bradwell

More information here.

Essex County Council

Fri 12 Feb
Lantern Walk on Hadleigh Downs, Hadleigh Park Make a colourful lantern then join other families in a lantern-lit walk across the Olympic mountain bike venue. £5 per child Book now to attend phone 0345 603 7624. Suitable for age 3+
Sat 13 Feb
10am – 5pm
Raspberry Pi Event, Chelmsford  Library We will have interesting activities for all ages and abilities and activities suitable for primary school children/beginners upwards in using a Raspberry Pi. Put on by Essex Libraries and the Southend Raspberry Jam. Book now to attend for free. Phone 0345 603 7628
Sat 13 Feb to
Sat 21 Feb
10.15am – 2pm
Secret Story Walk, starts from Thorndon Country Park South Pavilion Café Explore and experience the woods on this this self- guided trail. The story of your own creature develops as you
enjoy our play activities in the outdoors. You can really use your imagination.
£3 per trail guide. No need to book.
Suitable for children ages 3-9
Sat 13 Feb to
Sat 21 Feb
10am – 3pm
Mini rangers trail, Weald Country Park Buy a Trail booklet from the Visitor Centre, follow the map and stamp each page as you complete your Ranger jobs. Then return to the Visitor Centre to collect a well done gift. Please dress for a walk in the park with lots of mud. Body carriers are advised for small children as not all paths are suitable for buggies. £3 per booklet, no need to book
Mon 15 Feb

10.30am – 3pm

Art Workshop at Loughton Library Come along to lessons in drawing and colouring, held by professional artists. £6 per person. Book now by phoning 0345 603 7628
Suitable for Ages 7+
(Parents welcome although they must book and participate)
Mon 15 Feb
10.30am – 3pm
Recycle Themed Dinosaur Events, Witham Library Come and visit Steggy, the Stegosaurus Rex made up completely from recycled electronic materials. Come along for quizzes, treasure trails and more No need to book; drop in any time for free entry
Mon 15 Feb
2 – 3pm
Harry Potter Night of Spells, Wickford Library Join us to celebrate the magic of the Harry Potter series with crafts, colouring, and activities to entertain young witches and wizards aged 7 and up. It would be Riddikulus to miss this! Ages 7 and over. No need to book; drop in any time for free entry.
Mon 15 Feb Pop up Drama, Harlow Library A unique drama and art workshop that will stretch your child’s imagination, build their confidence and
teach them invaluable art and drama skills.
Book now by phoning 0345603 7628. £10 per child
Mon 15 Feb
Teddy Bears picnic at Southminster Library Make your own Paddington Bear, quiz trail and other activities. Bring a snack and decorate a cake for a teddy
bears picnic storytime.
Free of charge, no need to book.
Suitable for under fives However elder siblings are welcome.
Mon 15 Feb
10.30am – 12 noon and 1.30pm – 3pm
How to Draw and How to Colour, Loughton Library Children’s workshops Must book before-hand.
Phone 01992 564000
Mon 15 Feb to
Fri 19 Feb
Bear Hunt, Great Baddow library Going on a Bear Hunt’ themed week including Teddy bears story time – bring your teddy, find the famous bear trail and teddy bear crafts. Open to all children aged 0-11 years old.
No need to book. Drop in for free.
Mon 15 Feb to
Sat 20 Feb
Harry Potter Week, Chelmsford Library Drop in to participate in a load of fun, Harry Potter related activities such as word scrabble, colouring, and making your own Hogwarts tie No need to book. Drop in any time for free entry.
Tue 16 Feb
10am – 12pm
Knex workshop, Frinton Library Create Knex models using your problem solving skills, imagination and communication. Limited spaces. Pop in or phone to book a place on 01255  672581.
Tue 16 Feb
10.30am to 12.00pm
Bugs and Other Creepy Crawlies, Maldon Library Event will involve story time, making bug related craft, and making fresh fruit kebabs. Children up to 11 years old. Free entry and no need to book.
Tue 16 Feb
2pm – 3pm
Real Life Fireman, Sible Hedingham Library Come and meet a REAL fireman, hear some great stories and make your own fire engine! Aimed at under sevens and is free of charge. No need to book.
Tue 16 Feb
2pm to 4pm
Knex Workshop, Clacton Library Create Knex models using your problem solving skills, imagination and communication. Ticketed event. To book, phone 0345 603 7628.
Wed 17 Feb
10am – 11.30am
Where’s Wally? trail, quizzes, crafts and fun, Broomfield Library Be the best dressed Wally in red and white Free entry and no need to book. Suitable for ages up to eight.
Wed 17 Feb 11am – 1pm Harry Potter Event, Rayleigh Library Come in costume and join in with the activities for children No need to book. Drop in any time for free. Suitable for children ages 5-9.
Wed 17 Feb
11am – 2pm
Wild Wednesday, Danbury Country Park Free children’s activities, including making dens and mud pies, wading in the stream, splashing in puddles, kicking leaves, forest crafts, finding fish and more. Free of charge. No need to book.
Wed 17 Feb
Paddington Bear story time and Activities Event, Wickham Bishops Join in with story time, colouring and craft activities Free entry and no need to book. Suitable for under fives. However, elder siblings are welcome.
Wed 17 Feb
Family Bike Ride, Hadleigh Park This is a fun ride for families, taking in the beautiful landscape of the Hadleigh Downs and Thames estuary. Helmets MUST be worn – “no helmet, no ride”. Please ensure your bike is in a safe riding condition. Book now to attend. Phone 01702 551076. This event is free if you bring your own bike. Alternatively bike hire is available – please reserve a bike in advance by phoning 01702 551076.
Suitable for families with children aged 10+ (all children must be accompanied)
Thu 18 Feb
10am – 12 noon
Kite Making, Hadleigh Park Make your very own kite with the help of the rangers, then send it soaring over the downs. Suitable for ages 4+£5 per kite. No need to book.
Thu 18 Feb
10am – 12 noon
Drop in Pirate and Princess Event, Brightlingsea Library Drop in Pirate and Princesses Event at Brightlingsea Library. Children welcome to dress up. Story time at 11am. Crafts between 10 –12. No need to book. Drop in anytime for free. Children of all ages welcome.
Thu 18 Feb
Harry Potter Event, Brentwood Library Come along and take part in our Harry Potter quizzes and join us as we make a spell trail No need to book. Drop in any time for free entry.
Fri 19 Feb
2pm – 4pm
Owls From Plop to Hedwig, Danbury Library Free children’s crafts – make an owl. Share a story. Learn more about owls by following our puzzle trail. No booking required. Drop in for free.
Sat 20 Feb
10am – 12 noon
Hour of Code Event, Rayleigh Library Take the opportunity to spend a fun hour learning to code with Star Wars, Minecraft or Frozen. For children aged 7-11.
Sat 20 Feb
2.30pm – 4.30pm
Reading Dangerously, Colchester Library Come along to an afternoon with the Year of Reading Dangerously team, who will be sharing their enthusiasm for writers from around the world, through a number of activities, including speed- dating with books. Includes afternoon tea and a chance to chat to other readers. Drop in  for free. No booking required.
Sun 21 Feb
1pm – 3.30pm
Iron Age Roundhouse Open Afternoon, Hadleigh Park Explore our replica Iron Age roundhouse and learn how your ancestors lived 2000 years ago. Find out how charcoal was made – without it, there wouldn’t have been an Iron Age. Drop in event. Free entry to Roundhouse.

Wigboroughs’ February Church Update

Wigboroughs’ February Church Update

In the entrance porch of St. Stephen’s Church, Gt Wigborough, we now have a Prayer tree. If you have a prayer request for yourself, or someone else, you are invited to hang a leaf upon our prayer tree with your request and we will include it in our prayers on a Sunday morning. You will find the leaves and pens in the porch. Your request need not be named; we can still pray for you.

Another new event is the Café service which we are starting on 28th February!  This will be relevant for all ages, with particular activities for children.

The services planned for the next few weeks are…

  • 31 Jan., 10am, Benefice service at Rowhedge church (postcode: CO5 7EB), led by Revd Patrick McEune
  • 7 Feb., 11am, LW, Holy Communion led by Revd Brian Snelling
  • 14 Feb., 9.30am, GW, Morning Prayer with Bible discussion led by Anne and Peter Owen
  • 21 Feb, 9.15am, GW, Holy Communion led by Revd Patrick McEune
  • 28 Feb, 10am, GW, Café-style all age worship with activities for children, led by Anne and Peter Owen

Messy ChurchThe next Messy Church will take place at 2.30pm on Saturday April 2nd at St Stephens church, Great Wigborough.  This is the weekend after Easter, so hopefully lots of families will be able to come!  We are planning this event together with Peldon, and will be holding the following Messy Church in Peldon at Harvest time.

L33 Zeppelin in LIttle WigboroughPlans for the Zeppelin Commemoration event around Copt Hall, Little Wigborough, on September 24 and 25 are progressing, with the National Trust keen to be involved.  Contacts from the WW1 Aerodrome at Stow Maries are also helping us.  Please let us know if you would like to volunteer and be involved in any way!


With best wishes,
Anne and Peter

Anne Owen
Tel.: 01206 383843


Summer Reading Challenge 2015

guinness-world-recordsSummer Reading Challenge 2015

Help make this a record breaking summer

Every year the national Summer Reading Challenge aims to keep the country’s children reading throughout the holidays and as this year’s theme is ‘Record Breakers’, Essex Libraries wants as many pledges of support as possible to set a new Guinness World Record™ for ‘the most number of pledges received for a reading campaign’, and to contribute to an Essex record.

Children pledge to visit their local library, read six books of their choice and collect stickers in six categories to secure medals. Adults and volunteers pledge to support children to read. Older children can take part in a reading and arts programme called ImagiNation.

Councillor Roger Hirst, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Libraries, Planning and the Environment said:

Getting more children to read for pleasure during the summer holidays will be a fantastic achievement. This record attempt will be used to highlight the importance of reading for pleasure as well as the importance of libraries in communities. I want to see Essex playing its part in creating this new world record.

The Summer Reading Challenge is produced by The Reading Agency in association with Guinness World Records™ and delivered by libraries, bringing together fact and fiction and helping young readers to discover some wonderful and truly amazing records from around the world.

Record Breakers and ImagiNation run from 11 July to Saturday 5 September in all Essex libraries and mobile libraries.

Note – the Mobile Library’s next visits are scheduled for 29th July, 12th August, 26th August and 9th September visiting The Glebe (Peldon), Creek View Cottages (Gt Wigborough) and The Street (Salcott)  on each of those mornings.


Colchester Events – Half Term & Early Summer

Colchester Events – Half Term & Early Summer

Colchester Borough Council have just issued details of a number of events and activities, including some for this half term, as follows: 

Half term fun with Colchester Museums

Banish half term boredom with Colchester Museums this May, as we host activities that are a break from the norm!Get your creative juices flowing with the twisted history of Colchester in cartoon, enjoy a feast for the ears with tales of Roman Food or prepare your very own shell-fishy hand puppet to take home! Find out more here.

Summer Screen

Two weeks of Summer Screen in Castle Park between 29 June and 12 July will be covering everything from live Wimbledon, Amélie, Mamma Mia and Shaun the Sheep: The Movie; all accompanied by a licensed bar, pop up food kiosks, bands and more! Wimbledon is FREE, film tickets just £2, under 3yrs FREE. Find out more here.

King of Pop, The Legend Continues

‘NAVI’ the world’s No.1 Michael Jackson performer will be recreating the magical classics from the early Jackson 5 songs to the mega-hits such as Thriller and Smooth Criminal. A great night of entertainment suitable for the whole family. Tickets £17 and £10 for children 16 years and under. Find out more here

Street wiseBe more streetwise about your well-being

Street Wise, is offering all things ‘street’ and more, for families to enjoy for free this summer – in a bid to help local people become more streetwise about their health and well-being.Street dance, street food and street sports such as football, basketball and skipping are just some of the free activities and attractions on offer at the event on Saturday 13 June, 10am-4pm at the Colchester Institute. Find out more here.


Full Listings

Even more events are listed at


Panto 2015

snowqueenThe Snow Queen Arrives Soon

The Peldon Players proudly present The Snow Queen by Tina & Robert Burbidge between 21st & 24th January at Peldon Village Hall.  This promises to be a real treat for all ages, being based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of ‘The Snow Queen’ it is delivered as an English pantomime – with jokes, songs, and the occasional accident with a large pie.

Tickets are available from Melanie Newton for £6 Wednesday & Thursday (7:30pm curtain) and £7 Friday & Saturday (7:30pm curtain, 2pm matinee on Saturday) – concessions £4 and £5 respectively.  Melanie can be contacted by:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 01206 736118 / 07738 000378