Headquarters
74 High Street
Billericay
Essex CM12 9BS

Affiliated to the Campign for
the Protection of Rural Essex


Number 199
February 2018


CHAIRMAN’S REPORT


Can I remind members that we are moving to the Fold for the 23rd May 2018 meeting?
I know it is a little further out of town but there is good parking available.
WE hope to see you there.
We do not know how long the Billericay Centre will be out of action.

1/ INFORMATION about the FOLD & its official name:
Billericay Arts Association. 72 Laindon Road, Billericay. CM12 9LD. (01277) 65 92 86. Chair of the management committee is Mrs Margaret White
Find out more on-line at www.baathefold.org.uk
DAB a short history of the FOLD - information from Mrs White:

The Fold, from BAA [sheep] is the focus of arts in the town since 1979. It is an enthusiastic outlet for the creative talents for both adults & children. It likes to encourage the next generation. Many classes in various arts & crafts are held. The Fold started at 98A High Street, then to a site in what was to become Waitrose car park, showing films, before moving to its present location.
You can contact the reception at the Fold for an event programme or a list of classes held at the Fold.

2/ LOCAL PLAN update – Notes from CPRE article & proposed future action to respond to proposed Local Plan from BBC:
The following article appeared in the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Essex magazine “Action Essex” published – spring 2013 p8:
Under the heading: “Essex partners”. CPRE’s strap line caption read:

WORKING TO PRESERVE BILLERICAY’S HERITAGE
Walks within a 20 mile radius of their town give Chairman David A. Bremner & members of The Billericay Society (affiliated to CPREssex) a chance to appreciate the joys of their location & to reinforce the importance of preserving it.
Billericay, as a name, was first documented in 1291 in a market charter. The derivation of the name is unknown, despite the various spellings of the name in documents, which do not provide any clues. We have a dozen theories, but no facts.
Billericay has ample evidence for occupation, of this high ground, some 315 feet above sea level, overlooking the Thames & Crouch Rivers in the Stone, Bronze & Iron Ages. Excavation of a Roman settlement on the East escarpment in 1987 verified the town as a Roman settlement. Many artefacts can be seen in the Cater Museum, 74 High Street, and the headquarters of the Billericay Society. This Museum was given to the town by our past President Mrs Cater in honour of her husband and opened in 1960. The Society has also commissioned four, attractive wooden town “Welcome signs” on the cardinal approach roads.
CPRE Billericay was formed in July 1935 to preserve the countryside around the town and the cultural heritage; expressed in its architecturally attractive 1400s & 1500s buildings. Following attempts to knock down these timber framed buildings in the 1960s & 1970s the area around the high Street was made a Conservation Area. There are 39 Grade II listed buildings in the High Street alone, with many more in the immediate environs of the town.
These buildings give the town its character with different architecturally attractive buildings, instead of the ubiquitous cloned High Streets of architecturally unattractive “box” shops. A recent, 2010, formal Character Appraisal Survey, commissioned by Basildon Council, has reinforced this status.
In 1978 the Billericay Society members organised a petition against developers wanting to build on our green area, on the edge of town called Sun Corner, & won. A second attempt in 2004 was resisted and an application made, with Billericay Town Council, who involved the Society in negotiations, to have Sun Corner declared Common Land. In 2012 the area was granted Queen Elizabeth II Field status, securing the land for the town in perpetuity. Another piece of Green Belt saved.
During 2010, the 25 members of the Billericay Society walking group carried out an appraisal of the 70+ listed footpaths in the countryside surrounding Billericay and sent a 40 page report on the general status of the footpaths to the Public Rights of Way Officer in Chelmsford. His immediate action was to walk the sites mentioned with me and have two bridges rebuilt, damaged stiles replaced by kissing gates & replaced damaged finger post signs. The CPRE Billericay walking group organise walks every other Tuesday, rain or shine. Although, we have found, that statistically, Tuesday is the best day for walking. I organise walks within a 20 mile radius of the town centre. The countryside & views are an eye opener; as are the historical churches visited. Young owls, sitting on branches seem to find our group fascinating, as they stare down at us, walking carefully past them.
David A. Bremner C. Eng. Chairman Billericay Society – CPRE.
Considerations for local action concerning the Local Plan, for which options are still being considered by BBC
At a meeting between The Billericay Society, The Resident’s Association & Billericay Action Group, held on12th December 2017, it was agreed that a robust call to action was needed to protect the quality of life in our town for the future.
PUBLICITY
There is a need for publicity to create greater awareness of decisions that are being made as part of the Local Plan by Basildon Borough Council, BBC.
There is a need to inform residents of Billericay about decisions by Basildon Borough Council that could have a detrimental effect on the existing stretched infrastructure in Billericay & the loss of Green Belt land & ancient woodland around the town.
LOCAL PLAN
For the Local Plan: - decisions are being made to allocate extra housing to the designated sites around Billericay. An arbitrary decision to increase the number of proposed houses to be built has increased the number from 1,700 to 2,900 houses. A 70% increase – why? What are the reasons & justification for this decision?
Will associated infrastructure [doctor’s surgeries; schools; road improvements; sewerage & water supplies etc] be established before these houses are built?
A loop road is proposed from the roundabout by Kennel Lane going west then turning north to join the A129. Affecting both the cricket & tennis club lands.


ACTIVATION ABOUT LOCAL PLAN
There is a need to approach the local Parish Councils & Billericay Town Council & get them involved.
We need to make active preparation of details & comments about each proposed site by site, once they have all been officially identified.
Use of local knowledge needs to be applied with objections site by site & the impact of the sites on the community & nearby residents. Traffic mitigation & parking considerations are needed. Ecological survey & site limitations of existing town infrastructure & impact of the extra houses should be investigated.
Trains to London are already overcrowded &what will be the impact of cross-rail {Elizabeth Line}?
Can we propose Green Belt as Queen Elizabeth II Fields?
Mr John Buchanan, Chairman BDRA will be writing to Mr John Jennings with our concerns.
Mr Buchanan proposed that a template letter with alternative options & space for individual personal comments for residents to send into Basildon Council.
Time scales: Draft March 2018 - Final April 2018. What will be the impact of the Council elections in May 2018!
Present:
Billericay Society: David Bremner & Bob Reeves;
Residents Association: John Buchanan & Ian Davie;
BAG: Mike Andrews & Norman Lamb.

Billericay Arts Association. 72 Laindon Road, Billericay. CM12 9LD. (01277) 65 92 86
Our meetings will be held in the performance Centre. Because of the changeover & recent difficulties with speakers not turning up I have decided to use Society committee members as speakers:

David A. Bremner
Chairman, Billericay Society


Letter received From Norman Turner former Billericay Society President.

Dear David
My apologies for not keeping in touch lately. Gene had a stroke in December 2012 which fortunately caused no physical damage except memory loss which gradually deteriorated to the point where she was officially diagnosed with vascular dementia. With her mobility problems, mainly due to type two diabetes, Gene needed quite a lot of looking after, so I had no time at Christmas to send out cards or letters etc.
However, Gene’s behavioural problems developed to a point where I could no longer cope, so she went into a local residential care home in early April 2017. I visit every other day and she does appreciate it.

In the meantime, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer but thankfully a course of injections has kept it at bay, I am grateful to my son Martin and daughter Christine for making all the arrangements and their continuing support.

Thank you for your Xmas card. I don’t hear from any other society members as I have probably outlived most of them, I saw Bet recently, also Tony & Kate Gilbert while shopping.
My hearing loss is such and have to call on my text phone if anyone phones.
I am not lonely as I enjoy my own company and there is always plenty to do
Best Wishes to you and all the members.
Norman Turner


REPORTS TO: Public Rights of Way [PRoW] Council Officers


There is always lots to report to Essex County Council. PROW. Footpath 199 which goes across to Cowbridge farm from Mountnessing road west, when crossing Bluebell road the boards over the ditch are broken.

Also the wooden stairs on St Peters Way when leaving Crondon Golf Course are in a dangerous state so please be careful. These photos were passed on to laura.dunnell@essexhighways.org
If you come across any damage to the public footpath please let me know or email robert.reeves1@hotmail.com

Bob Reeves

ELIZABETH COTTAGE update
I received a phone call from Mr Dawson the owner of Elizabeth Cottage to inform me that planning permission for seven flats had been turned down on a technicality.It has now gone to appeal so goodness knows how long that will take, this was disappointing as I hoped we would see an end to the eyesore which has blighted our high street for so long.
Mr Dawson went onto say that he will at some stage make the building more secure and assured me the building was not going to be knocked down.

Bob Reeves


CONTRIBUTIONS from Members and the committee

CHRISTMAS 2017


As most of you are aware the Christmas Party we had at the Day Centre was our last one therefor the foreseeable future. We are hoping that we can have just as a good time in the Fold which will be our new home from May 2018.
Just before our Christmas Party we were informed that Doreen Potter – our entertainer – hadmet with an accident at home and would not be able to attend. Marian Thilo our socialsecretary quickly set out to find a replacement. She was able to contact Susan and Claire Morley who were very happy to fill the breach. They were able with very short notice to arrange a musical evening for us. Marian Thilo also entertained us with a poem.
It is always nice to see Members who are not always able to come to the monthly meetings.Of course, not forgetting our Members who are regular at our meetings.

We have interesting speakers booked for 2018 and during our move members of our
Committee will be giving various talks. All the speakers for the year are listed in your
Membership Card. So even if you find just one talk that you like please come along and join
Us, you will be more than welcome.
Julie Smith

If you want add an article to the Newsletter drop me an email, robert.reeves1@hotmail.com
Tel 01277 631726


Monthly Talks& Walks

THIS YEAR’S Programme of talks – SUMMARY:

In January Brian Carline entertained us with amusing anecdotes about his gardening experiences.

21st February Margaret Mills talks about the Triumphs & Torment of Charles Darwin, as he struggled with his new theory about evolution & the religious attitudes of the time.
21st March is our AGM so the meeting starts at 19.30 Please come and express your views of the society & its future. Younger committee members are needed to take the society forward & to safe guard the town’s future.Plus Alan Thorpe will take us to Iceland with a talk about its birds
18th April Ann Harding will talk about the secrets of the royal jewels
23rd May we move to the FoldBillericay Arts Association 72 Laindon Road CM12 9LD Tel 01277 659286.
We will then have a talk by Bob Reeves How the Railway came to Billericay and David Brenmer will give us talk on Oceania, the geology of the Earth & cruising experiences.
20th June Tony Beard will talk about Terence Cuneo the artist and his mouse.
18th July John Humphries will talk about anecdotes in the RAF

WALKS

David Bremner led a walk around Hatfield Peverel in July. For the August walks, Ian Fuller ledaround Great Burstead, followed by a John Humphies walk to Fyfield and David Bremner’s walk around Herongate. A walk from Mill Green, Ingatestone, was followed by a sea-front walk from Leigh to Southend in September. The October Canvey Island walk was cancelled.

Programme
Close to the date of the walk, check with the chairman, or our website, for any changes. Before setting out please check the walks listing and note the walk starting point. Most walks start at 10:00am and may cross stiles. Suitable clothing should be worn. Footwear should reflect the weather conditions and the state of the ground. No dogs please. If you use a pub car park please at least have a drink, if only a soft one.

6th February, Great Burstead Park at the King’s Head CM11 2PS 01277 637135
20TH February Stock Park at the Bakers Arms CM4 9NF 01277 841831
6th March Six Bells Boreham CM3 3JE 01245 467232
20TH March Jolly Sailor Heybridge Basin CM9 4RS 01621 854210
3rd April Horse& Groom Galleywood CM2 8PG 01245 261653
17th April Canewdon Pub to be arranged.
1st May Maldon David Saffron tea rooms Tel 01621 856111 Beeleigh
15th May Althorne B1010 Doug three horse shoes P76 Strolls CM3 6DP Tel 01621 740307 Crouch
29th May Fuller Street/Terling David Square Compass P56 Dog Walk CM3 2BB Tel 01245 361477
12th June Great Waltham David Rose & Crown CM3 1AG 01245 360359
26TH June Thorndon South John 0.5 Way House CM13 3LL 811235
10th July Bicknacre/Danbury David Brewers Arms p43 Strolls 01245 224061 Grid Ref 183/788 022
24th July Fobbing White Lion 01375 673281 SS17 9JR
07 August Weald Country Park Doug White Horse Coxtie Green CM145PX 372410
21 August Chipping Ongar John Two Brewers p95 .50 Walks CM5 9HD 362445
04 Sept Paglesham David Plough & Sail 01702 258242
18th Sept North Weald Bassett John Kings Head 01992 525001
02 Oct Feering David Bell Inn p67 Family 01376 570 385
16th Oct W. Hanningfield John Tree Compasses CM2 8UQ 01245 400447
30TH Oct Langdon Hills Doug Harvester p41 secret Baz Combe Wood SS16 6HU 01268 544714
13TH NovIan Writtle? Rose & Crown p22 Strolls CM1 3DT 01245 420266
27th NovIan Chelmsford Park?
11th Dec Lunch

AGM AGENDA:

Present;
Apologies;
Minutes of 2017 AGM; matters arising?
Chairman’s report;
Treasurer’s report;
President;
Chairman & Committee Elections;
A. O. B;
Close meeting next Speaker:


PUBLISHED BY THE BILLERICAY SOCIETY

President Ian Fuller Billericay 655564
Chairman David Bremner Billericay 626674
Vice Chairman & Fire Marshall Doug Smith Billericay 623560
Secretary Lynne Beard Billericay 624282
Treasurer Julie Smith Billericay 623560
Membership Secretaries Lesley & John Humphries Billericay 656527
Social Secretary Marian Thilo Billericay 624502
Publicity Janet Warren Billericay 634912
Newsletter Editor & Reception Bob Reeves Billericay 631726