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'Now that the worst of our Winter is hopefully behind us, perhaps thoughts at last are turning to the Spring and the forthcoming gardening year? If you know of anyone interested in taking an allotment in either Hockley or Hawkwell, the relevant Parish Council has a duty to register each request and, if there is sufficient demand, they are obliged to look further into the possibility of supplying suitable land. SE Essex Organic Gardeners and the Hockley & District Horticultural Society have already researched the possibility of suitable land within the area with positive outcomes. However, to move things forward, this will need interest from at least six local residents. If you know anyone, therefore, who is keen to pursue the opportunity of an allotment to grow their vegetables and flowers, please ask them to contact either Hawkwell or Hockley Parish Council (depending where they live) to register their name with full contact details at either of the following email addresses:
Befrending Scheme My name is Karen Harper and I work for Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services. I am trying to promote the Befriending Scheme that we are running in the Castle Point, Rayleigh & Rochford area. The aim of the service is to provide companionship and emotional support to the residents of these areas from the ages from 18+. It helps:
· to increase their confidence and self esteem,
· have someone to talk to on a regular basis,
· have someone to enjoy activities with,
· help to become involved with the local community
· give confidence and motivate to join new clubs.
I am looking for ways to promote this service and to find volunteers to spend a couple of hours a week befriending our Befriendees and also to let the possible Befriendees find out how to access our scheme. All we look for from our volunteers is a couple of hours a week having a chat with a befriendee over a coffee. I have attached a leaflet to give you a bit more detail about what we do.
Karen Harper - Befriending Scheme PR Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services Ltd The Tyrells Centre, 39 Seamore Avenue, ,Thundersley Essex, SS7 4EX
I would like to congratulate Stibbards funeral directors for the impressive renovation of their 7 Spa Road building. This shop has been a blot on the shopping centre landscape for years. They have brought back to life a building that looked as though the only way forward was to pull it down. Now it is a smart addition to Spa Road inside and out, with the undertakers on the ground floor and two modern flats above. I believe this is an example for the rest of Hockley Shopping Centre and shows the way Hockley should proceed. Unfortunately this is not the way Rochford District Council (RDC) see it, as they would like to destroy the classic buildings and replace them with something new and characterless.
Rectory Road / Main Road Junction
David Wilson Homes (DWH) asked for permission to sell 22 homes of their Clements Gate development before they carry out the required improvements to the Rectory Road / Main Road roundabout. This permission was not granted and they have now started this work that was already behind schedule. There have been a number of complaints about the sequencing of the temporary traffic lights causing hold ups along Main Road. We have brought this to their attention and hopefully by the time you read this article this problem will have been resolved and the work possibly complete.
Since the 26 January we have been plunged into darkness between midnight and 5am thanks to Essex County Council (ECC) street lighting policy. With this central control they can now change to any time they like without consultation. In fact it has been reported that they have switched them back on at the moment because of flood warnings. ECC claim on their website that consultation on the extension of part-night lighting across the county was held during September 2013, but this is news to me, so did they actually tell anyone? I have not heard of any accidents or increase in burglaries so far as a consequence of this policy, but it's early days. Other counties have similar policies but are using lamp dimming or switching off every other lamppost. I believe Southend have at last got something right, they have decided not to switch off lights but are intending to invest in a complete replacement of their street lighting with long lasting and cheap to to run LED lamps. There are many reasons the lights should stay on for the safety of pedestrians and drivers and for public security. Pot holes, flooding, parked cars, raised paving slabs and burglaries are just a few of the issues that can cause disaster. I am not sure ECC will save very much money, as they should have been getting night rate tariffs and I understand that lamps and control gear wear out quicker on the old style lights when switch off and on twice a day. I hope ECC will reconsider their mean and dangerous decision and in the future follow Southend's example.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
Good news, at least Southend Council has got something right announcing they will be keeping the street lights on after midnight and will be reducing energy cost with LED lamps. There are many reasons the lights should stay on for the safety of pedestrians and drivers and for public security. Pot holes, parked cars, raised paving slabs and burglaries are just a few of the issues that will cause disaster. I hope Essex County Council will reconsider their dangerous decision and follow the example of Southend.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
Again we have woken up to heavy overnight rain and the message on the radio that Watery Lane in Hullbridge and the A127 Fairglen Junction have experienced severe flooding and traffic chaos. This is gradually becoming something of a joke as this seems to happen time and time again without anything being done about it. The Fairglen Junction has now become a major player in our area with all the changes that have taken place on the A130 and A13. Surly with all the improvements that have been made to other areas something could be done to eliminate these issues.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
I would like to thank all our residents that responded to the Rochford District Council's (RDC) recent consultation document on the Hockley Area Action Plan (HAAP) proposal, that we believe is unacceptable in its current form. I would to especially like to give a big thank you to our volunteer deliverers that put our leaflets through most doors in Hockley, braving the cold during the Christmas and New Year period. The responses had to be in by the 17 January 2014 and I will let you know when we get the inspectors report. We may not have changed the outcome but we have at least registered our objection to this unpopular plan.
David Wilson Homes (DWH) reopened the access through Thorpe Road for Christmas but unfortunately they closed it again on the 6 January. We have been in touch with Essex County Council (ECC) Highways who inform us that DWH will not be able to reopen this access until the end of February due to drainage works. DWH has so far had a poor record with this development, now they are asking for permission to sell 22 homes before they carry out the required improvements to the Rectory Road / Main Road roundabout. This could mean 100 to 200 additional vehicles passing through this junction per day. We believe DWH should stick to the approved plan for the roundabout, which is already behind schedule.
It looks as though we are in for another police reorganisation, as we are informed further drastic cuts are on the way. I have not so far received the crime figures but I believe there has been an increase in burglary over the past few weeks, although most crime in our area remains low.
As far as I know there has been a delay in introducing the after midnight switch off of street lights in our area. Other counties have similar policies but are using lamp dimming or switching off every other lamppost. Essex County Council prefers the all or nothing approach. We believe this is dangerous for many reasons and hope they have a change of heart.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
Echo Article 21 October 2013 – All the volunteers deserve an award
Raising a glass - Myra Weir. I'm very honoured. I didn't expect it. I don't work any harder than anybody else.
A volunteer from Rochford has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her tireless work at the town's day centre. The centre, in Back Lane, has endured spending cuts in recent years, but it hasn't stopped Myra Weir, 71, devoting much of her time helping to prepare meals. Mrs Weir, of Glenwood Avenue, Hawkwell, also leads the Rochford Old People's Welfare Committee and serves as a parish councillor in Hawkwell. She has been helping out at the centre for nearly 20 years. Her service was also recognised by Labour leader Ed Miliband in 2011. Mrs Weir, also a former Rochford district councillor, said: "I'm very honoured. I didn't expect it. I don't work any harder than anybody else. "I was in the Girl Guides and that trained me for life. I've been on the committee since 1985, and since I retired in 2003 I've been able to helpout a lot more." Mrs Weir spends four days a week at the centre, and as well as preparing meals, she helps organise lifts for those who can't get to the centre themselves. She added: "The centre is social activity for people. A lot of people can't get out and we have a minibus that will collect them. The idea is to stop people being lonely and give them access to a hot meal." Mrs Weir was quick to point out it's not a one-person job though, and that the award recognises the work of others who volunteer at the centre. She said: "It's a whole group that takes part. My poor husband said he didn't get an award. He does the vegetables and takes us to the cash and carry to get the food. It's a group award for the centre really."
Hockley, it’s our village - help keep it that way.
In October, a Government Planning Inspector supported Hockley Residents Association's concerns that Rochford District Council's Hockley Area Action Plan (HAAP) proposal for a maximum 3,000 square metre food supermarket (nearly the size of the Rayleigh Asda) were contrary to the council's own experts' findings. The Inspector ordered revisions to the HAAP and a yet another round of consultation. We know it’s a pain but any further objections to the HAAP will go personally to the Government Planning Inspector, so it’s very important that people have their say. Briefly, however, we believe that the HAAP will change the culture of Hockley by demolishing around 2/3 of the village centre and will not address any of the key concerns regarding existing highways problems. The HRA is grateful for your earlier support on this issue, so please support us this one last time. Please click on: HAAP Schedule of Modificationsto see the RDC proposed HAAP changes and on: HAAP December 2013 Leafletfor a suggested response. If you would like to make your own comments you can do this online or by phoning RDC for information and a blank form. Forms must be returned to Programme Officer, Rochford District Council, South Street, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BW by noon on Friday, 17 January 2014.
The unmade part of Thorpe Road was closed to motor vehicles at the end of May 2013 for 6 months at the request of David Wilson Homes (DWH) to help them carry out a safe building programme at the Clements Gate Estate development. This closure did not include through access for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. There have been a number of complaints that DWH have closed the road to all on occasions, which we believed was against the permission they had. In November they completely closed the road giving just 24 hour notice to local residents, which means for many school children an extra half mile walk along the busy Main Road in Hawkwell and horses holding up traffic. We have met with Essex County Council (ECC) Highways and a bypass route through the site has been found that should be complete before Christmas 2013. We have now been informed by ECC that DWH can close the road during the whole of the building programme, which could go on for 2 years or more. Residents are concerned that when building is complete, the road will be open to motor vehicles once more. This would mean this final section of unmade road will become a dust creating traffic rat run for all the Thorpe road area homes, new and existing. If they can manage without motor vehicle access for 2 years or more, we believe it would make sense to extend this as a permanent arrangement.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
The Hockley Residents Association social secretary organises coach trips including pickup points in Hawkwell:
Friday 21 March 2014 – The Gems & Jewels of London.
Thursday 8 May 2014 – Blossom Tour.
Thursday 17 July 2014 – Ashdown Forest Explorer.
Sunday 31 August to Thursday 4 September 2014 – 5 day Break in Hereford.
Saturday 25 October 2014 – Autumn Tints Tour.
Thursday 27 November 2014 – Trip to Greenwich.
For a list of 2014 coach trips from the Hockley Residents Assiciation with pickup points in Hawkwell please click on Coach Trips 2014 . For further details please visit the Local Events page on the Hockley or Hawkwell RA websites below or phone Brian O’Shea on 01702 204334.
The Hockley Residents Association is an organisation with nearly 60 years of history and the Hawkwell Residents Association nearly 20 years. Brian Guyett resigned as chair of the Hockley Residents Association and I am acting as temporary chair. We are now looking for a permanent chair person, it could be you or someone you may think would be interested in filling this roll. We are looking for anyone that is over the age of 18, male or female and has an interest in Hockley Village now and in the future. If you are interested please contact me on 01702 207297 or at firstname.lastname@example.org come along to our next Hockley Residents Association meeting. Our meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm in Kilnfield House (by the station) and are open to all members of the public.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
As you may remember from our spring newsletter we reluctantly decided to increase our membership subscription from 50p to £1 starting in 2013. We realise this is a 100% increase but this is the first since we were formed in 1994 and our cost have obviously increased. If you have not already paid your subscription for this year, please send £1 per person to one of the addresses on our Join & Contact Us page.
Click on local news, information, newsletters and interesting websites below and also our Local Events Calendar . See Ashlea Simpson 'A Hawkwell lady living in the USA' and the 2011 update, near the end of this page. Also see Alexander Zass (Samson) a Russian strongman buried in Hockley, below and on our History & Photos page. For a list of 2014 coach trips from the Hockley Residents Assiciation with pickup points in Hawkwell please click on Coach Trips 2014 .
In October, a Government Planning Inspector supported Hockley Residents Association's concerns that Rochford District Council's Hockley Area Action Plan (HAAP) proposal for a maximum 3,000 square metre food supermarket (nearly the size of the Rayleigh Asda) were contrary to the council's own experts' findings. The Inspector ordered revisions to the HAAP and a yet another round of consultation. We know its a pain but any further objections to the HAAP will go personally to the Government Planning Inspector, so its very important that people have their say. At the time of this magazine going to print, we do not have full details of the new consultation, but the HRA will publish a suggested response on its website below as soon as possible. Briefly, however, we believe that the HAAP will change the culture of Hockley by demolishing around 2/3rds of the village centre and will not address any of the key concerns regarding existing highways problems. The HRA is grateful for your earlier support on this issue, so please support us one final time.
In September I reported that we had had a number of concerns from our residents about the Clements Gate estate development in Rectory Road, including a rat infestation due to land clearance. We were informed that 7 residents living adjacent to the development have been offered £50 each by Rochford District Council (RDC) to sort out the rat issue as RDC no longer employ someone to do this work. The residents have been promised this money but the total cost after the residents had got a company in to successfully sort this issue out was £70 short. The resident asked for a £70 contribution from David Wilson Homes the Clements Gate developer but they declined.
The unmade part of Thorpe Road was closed to motor vehicles at the end of May 2013 for 6 months at the request of David Wilson Homes to help them carry out a safe building programme at the Clements Gate development. This did not include through access for pedestrians, cyclist and horse riders. There have been a number of complaints that David Wilson Homes have closed the road to all on occasions, which we believed was against the permission they had. They have now completely closed the road giving just 24 hour notice to local residents, which means for many school children an extra half mile walk along the busy Main Road in Hawkwell and horses holding up traffic. We have now met with Essex County Council (ECC) Highways and hopefully by the time this article is published a bypass route through the site will have been established. We have now been informed by ECC that they can close the road during the whole of the building programme, which could go on for 2 years or more. From Residents I have spoken to they are concerned that when building is complete the road will be open to motor vehicles once more and this final section of unmade road will become a dust creating traffic rat run for all the Thorpe road area homes new and existing. Surely if they can manage without motor vehicle access for 2 years or more, it would be possible to extend this as a permanent arrangement.
We have now been informed that the cheapest affordable home being built will be £300k, which is not my definition of affordable.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
Echo Article 21 October 2013 – Seven-year fight to halt 2,785 homes has ended in defeat
Defeat - Jeff Attfield, Wendy Adams, Bob Ward, Wendy Milbourn and Brian Carleton
Campaigners against plans for 2,785 homes in Rochford lost their seven-year battle. A Government inspector published a report giving the go ahead for the homes to be built across Rochford district by 2025. The decision, after a series of planning inquiries, delighted Rochford District Council, which has been working on the plans for more than seven years. The council wants to build 2,785 homes and a municipallyrun travellers’ site on the edge of Rayleigh. The inspector made slight changes to proposals set by the council, and it now seems nothing will stand in the way of the developments. The official signing off of the plans is expected in February. Some of the changes include the scrapping of proposed employment land south of London Road, in Rayleigh, and expanding the controversial site for 772 homes in Rayleigh by 30m for easier access. Action groups from Rayleigh and Hullbridge have been the most vocal against the plans, with 500 homes also planned for the village.A protest petition in Rayleigh gathered more than 5,000 signatures, and canvassing in Hullbridge showed 98.4 per cent of residents didn’t want the village redeveloped. The inquiries gave residents and developers a chance to challenge sections of the document outlining the locations for development. Campaigners said the plans were unjust and they were not given warning that so many developments were planned for their doorstep, though they were available on the council website and published in the council’s free newspaper.Keith Hudson, councillor in charge of planning, was pleased the inspector had indicated his support for the council’s approach. He said: “We have taken a significant step towards providing certainty for our local community, identifying land for the development we are required to accommodate and ensuring the vast majority of our green belt remains protected. I understand that some residents may be disappointed by the inspector’s interim report. “But it is important to have these plans in place to ensure we are not left vulnerable to predatory planning applications across the district. “This is the situation some local authorities find themselves in when they fail to take the difficult decisions that this council has had to make. “Non-action will leave their communities at the mercy of land speculators and predatory developers.”
It's a disaster! Campaigners sad and angry over findings
The inspector's findings left campaigners sad and angry that months of meetings and door knocking had led to nothing. Plans for 772 homes in Rayleigh and Rawreth, as well as the district's sole municipally run travellers' site, have been largely condemned by those who live in the town. Linda Kendall helped set up Rayleigh Action Group in the summer, and despite numerous meetings, a petition and an overwhelming show of support from residents, the plans are set to go through. Ms Kendall said: "It's a disaster for this town. I just think it's what they had planned in the first place and it was already a done deal. "I'm not dfsappointed as I was aware at the beginning it was a very big ask. But I thought we had a glimmer of hope. I didn't think we would get a lot changed, but l thought we would get something. "What it comes down to is people weren't properly informed at the beginning. There's not been a concise effort to let people know. There are going to be a lot of angry people. "We're going to have a meeting to see where we go from here. People may think we are wasting our time, but we think we could get a judicial review. However, we need financial support to mount that kind of challenge." Hullbridge Residents' Action Group was also heavily-backed by residents. Door-to-door canvassing found more than 98 per cent against the plans. The group's Brian Carleton said: "How the hell can you ignore 98 per cent of a village? "A lot of people are saying they think there's political collusion and people are being ignored. I despair. Whatever happened to democracy?"
Hockley had a police meeting at the end of September, the first since June. It was attended by 12 members of the public even though a number of faces were missing due to lost phone numbers (those without email address) and holidays. PC Steve Judd who has taken over our area is a very likeable chap and ran a very successful meeting that lasted over 2 hours. Unfortunately when we keep getting a change of leader we loose a lot of the continuity from the way the meetings have developed.
One of the concerns we have is that Steve insists that he is being pressured into changing the meeting into a community meeting run by the community and open to any general points of discussion. We believe we already have enough meetings that discuss general points such as local planning, parks, buses, health etc. in our district, parish and residents association meetings. We currently spend up to 2 hours discussing just police related issues in these police meetings and it should remain that way. We do not believe they should turn into a parallel residents association meeting and if they do, we have already informed Chief Inspector Ian Cummings that we will not be supporting them in future. We are not against a member of the public chairing these meetings but there must be a police presence and they should be about police related issues. We also believe it may be difficult to get an accepted volunteer to run these meetings on a regular basis, as the Hockley Residents Association are still looking for a permanent chairman.
In August we reported that Rochford District Council had received an outline planning proposal to build shops and flats in the middle of Eldon Way and that we believe this development was completely out of keeping with the surrounding properties. This proposal has fortunately been turned down by RDC. We have now found out that planning permission was granted in 2012 to turn these warehouse units 27, 28 and 29 into retail outlets. This would be the sensible way forward giving us something similar to number 26 at the back of these units. This has already been converted into Urban Home, a shop that was previously in Spa Road.
From November 2013 to January 2014 Essex County Council intend to turn off our street lights after midnight in most of Essex. Older members very seldom venture out after midnight but we can still remember our younger days when we did, and we would not have been too happy walking home through unlit streets. This would mean that to keep safe and walk safe you would really need to take a torch with you, even the light from a smart phone would probably be insufficient. As for driving through unlit streets there could be a number of incidents if only with parked cars. We know we need to save money and energy but we can't help thinking that with modern LED lights and movement sensors, even greater saving could be possible with the lights remaining on through the hours of darkness. Even if these technologies have not been refined enough, we believe this is the route Essex County Council should be investigating and not the dangerous one they have chosen.
Alan James – Vice Chair of Hockley and Hawkwell Residents Associations
Echo Article 4 October 2013 – Key road in Hullbridge to be closed
A road which acts as a vital link to a village could be closed for up to five months for bridge repairs. Watery Lane in Hullbridge has long been used as a rat run when the A13 and A127 are out of action. Tailbacks are a weekly occurrence, and the road often floods during bad weather. Work is due to begin for up to 12 weeks on October 14, and a second round of repairs is planned for January 6 for ten weeks. Work was due to begin in August, but District and County Councillor Michael Hoy has so far managed to have work halted whilst he challenges Essex Highways. Mr Hoy said: “I have been talking with Essex Highways on this, pointing out the problems we all faced last year and earlier this year when Watery Lane was closed for a number of days due to flooding, and the large tailbacks and delays we faced getting out of Hullbridge, as well as the problems caused to local businesses. He added: “I find this totally unacceptable. Watery Lane will be closed for pretty much half a year causing chaos to this part of Essex. Essex Highways have failed to consider the implications to local residents or to consult with us.”Mr Hoy added that Essex Highways have assured him that they will monitor traffic and will put in mitigating measures should the traffic become to heavy, but he hasn’t seen any plans as to how this would be done. He added: “Effectively, Essex Highways are ignoring me and ploughing on with the scheme having failed to assess the impact of closure.” There are fears the closure will means residents are late for school and work, doctors appointments could be missed and local businesses will suffer as a result of drivers finding alternative routes. Danny Gatehouse, a parish councillor and community building manager for the fire service said: “The issue with the road is that it’s not recognised by highways as a main road, just a cut through, but it’s used by so many people from not just Hullbridge but around the area. People use it to get to Chelmsford to avoid the main roads. “Already when the road is open the accumulation of traffic from Watery Lane can sometimes build up past the entrance to the village from Hockley for up to a mile” “The cost of this is going to be phenomenal to schools and kids missing their education.”
Watery Lane last year when flooding caused traffic problems.
At the end of August we had a month’s rain fall in an hour. A car was submerged nearly to the windows under the Church Road railway bridge. A second car got stuck under the Spa Road railway bridge in water that reached the car roof and was about two metres deep. The occupants including an adult and three children were lucky to escape with their lives thanks to three quick acting local passersby. The long term forecast is we will experience more and more extreme weather in the future. We believe these two bridges require an improved storm drain system to cope with future events that cut off the north of our village. The Spa Road railway underpass already has an issue with wide vehicles passing each other, which ought to be addressed before future increases in house building hits our area. We believe this could be overcome by installing a separate pedestrian underpass as they have done in Wickford, allowing for the road to be widened at this location without replacing the bridge.
Echo Article 29 August 2013 – Rochford leader says home owners must protect homes from flooding
The leader of Rochford District Council has made it clear that protecting homes from flooding is the responsibility of homeowners not his council. Terry Cutmore stunned residents during a TV interview when he said it wasn’t down to the council to provide protection. He spoke out after residents complained they had rung the council and been advised to visit B&Q or builders’ merchants to buy sandbags. Mr Cutmore said: “While I understand people’s frustration, in line with other councils we aren’t able to supply sandbags and it is up to the householder to provide their own personal flood protection equipment. “Even if we had the budget to issue sandbags, there would have been no way we could have got them to residents quickly enough with such a large amount of rain falling so quickly.” Residents took to Facebook to voice their disapproval. One said they didn’t stand a chance against blocked drains and asked how people would be able to get to B&Q while water rushed into their homes. Another said the floods showed how woefully unprepared the council were in dealing with such an emergency. The flooding, which particularly hit Rayleigh and Rochford, adds further ammunition to the Rayleigh Acton Group, who recently submitted more than 5,000 signatures against plans to build 772 homes in that area. Linda Kendall, group member, said: “It’s absolutely shocking. I went to some of the affected roads on Monday, and some people still hadn’t had any help from the council. People were asking me where to go for help. They were just distraught. “People’s possessions were out in the gardens and on the footpaths. They didn’t know where to turn to. I left in tears.” Mr Cutmore said: “Our officers have been out and about in the district to identify the areas that have been affected by flooding and we are looking at what practical assistance we can offer to residents who have found themselves in this situation.”
Self-reliance – Rochford Council leader Terry Cutmore said it was down to residents to look after themselves.
Hawkwell Residents Association view: Terry may be right that Rochford District Council are not responsible for protecting homes from flooding, but if they are not, they ought to be responsible for pursuing those organisations that are so that the proper corrective and preventative measures are taken. They will however be responsible for the possible flooding caused by building on green belt in our area, which goes against the wishes of the majority of our residents.
There have been a lot of warnings in the media about the use of social network sites. Adults and children have been posting information that should remain personal, private and confidential that bullying internet trolls can use against them with dangerous consequences. Now the police have discovered criminals that monitor sites and find out when you are on holiday and your home is empty and vulnerable. Please do not reveal your holiday plans on these sites or post holiday photos during your stay. Thieves are now gathering this information so they can target your home when you are away. Also make sure your kids do not give out this information to their friends or you may come home to a lot less than you had.
Monthly gift & craft markets. They are taking place on the 1st Saturday of the month commencing Saturday 7th September. The markets will be supporting Parkinson’s UK (percentage of the stall hire + 50p entrance fee will be going towards the charity). The events will take place at the Hawkwell Village Hall, Main Road, SS5 4EH. Light lunches, coffee & cake, fabulous gift and craft stall and pamper corner – ALL UNDER ONE ROOF. They will take place on Sat 7th Sept 10am – 3pm, Sat 5th Oct 10am – 3pm and Sat 2nd Nov 10am – 3pm. Entrance fee 50p per adult which will be going directly to Parkinson’s UK. More info: www.facebook.com/munroevents . Please see our Local Events Calendar .
Rochford District Council has now received an outline planning proposal to build shops and flats in the middle of Eldon Way and we believe this development is completely out of keeping with the surrounding properties. The outline planning application (3/00351/OUT) proposes to demolish warehouse units 27, 28 and 29 and construct a 3 storey building incorporating 5 shops and 20 flats. There would be 4 two bedroom and 6 one bedroom flats on each of the 2 stories above the shops. The proposed building is shown as a plain flat roofed construction that completely lacks character and the shops would be too far away from the existing shops for them to be used by their customers. There is insufficient parking for the 20 flats, only 25 spaces. We believe the 2 bedroom flats should have 2 spaces each making a total of 28 spaces, although there is adjacent street parking. There is no information about bin facilities, with the 5 shops and 20 flats there could be a possible 75 bins. The ‘Plans Layout’ is very sketchy and shows flats 3 and 13 without a bedroom. Could this be Hockley Area Action Plan (HAAP) by the back door? As you may know the HAAP hearing does not take place until the 17 September 2013.
We could understand redeveloping the warehouses directly behind the Coop that appear to be mainly empty but only then if an access way could be provided to the existing Spa Road shops. Please let Rochford District Council know your opinions on this proposal by commenting on this planning application on their website or at the Rochford District Council offices in South Street, Rochford.
In the past there has been a requirement to supply two parking spaces even for one bedroom flats as they have on the Bett’s Farm Estate in Hockley. Some years ago this requirement was dropped and now only one space is required. This can be acceptable if the area has ample adjacent street parking. There have been a couple of recent requests to cram in flats into small areas on main roads where parking restrictions are in force and only one parking space per flat has been allocated. Fortunately at the moment these proposals seem to have been rejected but the pressure and cost of appeals could force acceptance of this situation.
Spa Road Hockley
The monthly neighbourhood police meetings for Hockley and west Hawkwell were recently taken over by PC Matthew Zurowski. He has now moved to Norfolk, which means we will get yet another PC for our area. We have been in touch with Chief Inspector Ian Cummings who informs us that local man PC Steve Judd has been appointed but it could be a month before he is released from his current post.
After pressure through our police meetings Essex County Council Highways have agreed to put additional railings adjacent to the zebra crossing zigzag lines outside Sainsbury’s to prevent parking in front of the crossing. So far we have not been able to obtain a timetable for this work. We also believe that something should be done to sort out the backup that occurs when Sainsbury’s lorries unload in this area but no one seems to have a solution to this problem.
You may have recently read that a Jack Russell Terrier was attacked and killed by an Akita dog in Magnolia Park. Dog owners are responsible for the control of their dogs on their property, on the streets and in parks. They must also keep dangerous dogs on a lead and muzzled if required by law. It’s bad enough that someone has lost their pet but it could have been even more serious if it had attacked a small child.
We have received a number of complaints from residents about dog mess left on our streets by a few irresponsible dog owners. We all know the warnings about dog mess and eye disease, especially with children. Rochford District Council and Hawkwell Parish Council supply dog bins in many recognised dog walking locations but if there is no bin available you must pick it up with a bag and take it home.
Inconsiderate drivers are leaving their cars unattended in the turn-around and across drives in Sunny Road again when dropping kids off at the school. Please think how you would feel if it was your road and park appropriately.
We had a number of concerns from our residents about the Clements Gate estate development in Rectory Road. The main issue at the moment is lorries blocking Thorpe Road while loading and unloading and rat infestation due to land clearance. Our residents have also been concerned about the removal of so many trees as drawings showed trees that seem to have disappeared. We will be keeping a close eye on this area during its development.
One of the residents living adjacent to the development informed us that rats have chewed through her fence also the base of her shed and are leaving droppings everywhere. We have been informed that 7 residents living adjacent to the development have been offered £50 each by Rochford District Council (RDC) to sort out the rat issue as RDC no longer employ someone to do this work. We feel this is a cop-out as £50 would just about cover the call out charge and it leaves the residents to do all the organising.
We have also been informed that the new houses will be sold with a service charge starting at £200 per year to maintain the green areas of the estate that RDC refuse to maintain.
Clements Gate Estate
We are sorry if you did not receive a copy of our spring newsletter but we had medical issues with our distribution team. We were able to deliver some copies and leave copies in shops and libraries. It is also still available on our website. At the time of writing this autumn issue we are hopefully in a better position to deliver it without any problems. The lack of newsletter delivery has caused the number of our subscriptions to go down and this added to the increase in printing cost has put pressure on our funds. In fact we have now changed our print supplier to reduce costs.
At the moment we and Hockley Residents Association are putting a short monthly article in Hockley Living that we believe most of Hawkwell receives through the door, so this with one newsletter per year maybe the way forward. Please let us know what you think as we always welcome suggestions.
If you have not already paid your subscription for this year, please send £1 per person to one of the addresses below, as every penny counts for us to help you the residents of Hawkwell. Please make sure you fill in the form at the bottom of our newsletter when paying your subscription. Let us know your phone number and email address especially if you have an issue in Hawkwell that you would like us to address or help you with, as cost now prevents us contacting you by post.
Please note if you have any local issues you think we may be able to help you with let us know and we will try our best to resolve them.
Coach trips with pickup points in Hawkwell Coach trips for 2013 with pickup points in Hawkwell:
Monday 23rd – Friday 27th September – 5 day break in Falmouth.
We will be staying at the 4 star St Michael's Hotel Falmouth situated directly on the sea front. There will be evening meal, bed & breakfast, and the rooms are en-suite with all facilities. There is a swimming pool, gym, sauna & steam room. All the above including coach trips and entrance fees for outings are included in the price. Tuesday: In the morning we visit the town of Falmouth. Wednesday: We visit Mevagissey, a picturesque fishing village. Thursday: We explore the Cathedral City of Truro. Friday: We leave for home via lunch in Bristol.
Sunday 27th October – Autumn Tints Tour through Hampshire.
Friday 6th December – A Dickensian Christmas.
For detailed information please visit the Local Events page on our website at www.hawkwell.org or phone Brian O’Shea on 01702 204334.
Echo Article 22 May 2013 – More than 5 million passengers could use Southend Airport
More than 5 million passengers a year could pass through Southend Airport after its £10million terminal extension is finished this year. The Stobart Group, which has pumped £100million into the airport since buying it in 2008, already predicts 2million people a year will use the airport by 2020. But in its annual report the firm boasts the airport will have space for 3million more than that when the extension is fully open by Christmas(2013). Campaigners warn the report will “strike fear into the hearts” of people living under the flightpath. But the airport and Southend Council point out the number of flights is capped at 53,300 a year – about half the number using the airport in the 1980s. Council leader Nigel Holdcroft said: “For those who live under or near the flight path the most important statistic is surely the number and direction of flights rather than simply passenger numbers. “The restrictions on flight numbers, direction and times are enforceable both under the planning permission previously granted and the provisions of the airport lease. “In the meantime the success of the airport is to be welcomed and we need to maintain our efforts to ensure that this activity delivers maximum economic benefits for the town.” In total 721,661 passengers flew from the airport in the year leading up to February 2012, almost 30,000 more than in 1967 when 692,000 used it in what was a record year. Back then the airport was the UK’s third busiest and had featured in the film Goldfinger. If EasyJet’s A319 aircraft, which have 156 seats, flew all 53,300 flights to and from the airport at full capacity, more than 8.3million could use the airport. But Aer Lingus Regional, the other airline to use the airport, mainly uses 48-seat aircraft and the 53,300 “movements” allowed from the airport include all flights. A number of reports over the past decade, including one for the South East local Enterprise partnership last year have suggested Southend Airport has potential capacity for more than 5million passengers. Alistair Welch, managing director of the airport, said: “We believe the airport is well placed to support the capacity constraints that are predicted to exist in the south east of the UK over the next 10 to 20 years and this has been reinforced in submissions to the airport’s commission. “Whatever the capacity of the airport, we will continue to operate within the agreed legal framework, which currently limits movements to 53,300 per annum.”
Rats are still giving residents of Hawkwell nightmares a month after developers at the Christmas Tree Farm site said they would get rid of them. The rodents have started invading the area since work began on the site at the start of the year, and people in the area are now concerned for their health. Last month The Echo reported that residents were upset with the situation, and developers David Wilson Homes (DWH) responded by saying they would rid the area of the rats. Residents claim no action has been taken since. Christine Mason, and Independent councillor for the area and resident, has spoken up for the people who live there. She said: “We’re getting involved because our residents are very frustrated. Not only is it a risk to health because of the rats carrying infection, but it’s also the distress it’s causing them. “I’ve spoken to the managing director at DWH and he said that they are dealing with the matter with upmost importance. The reality is that the longer the rodents are there the more the risk to health.” Mrs Mason said that the developers have got Rentokill on the case, but the Initial-run company won’t speak to residents because of a contract issue with the developers. A spokeswoman for David Wilson Homes said: “DWH has been working hard over the last few weeks to deal with rats on site. This work has required a sensitive approach due to the legal obligations placed upon DWH for the protection of key species – most notably the onsite badger population. “In addition, Rentokil visited the residence as instructed by DWH yesterday (Weds). However, Rentokil felt that under their current contract they could not speak to residents directly and instead inspected the properties and will report back to DWH.” Rochford District Council’s Head of Environmental Services, Richard Evans, said: “The council takes the issue of public health extremely seriously and is continuing to carefully monitor the situation in this area.”
In the Car Park behind Hockley Library is Hockley & Hawkwell's best kept secret - "The Hockley & Hawkwell 55+ Social Centre," where a warm welcome awaits you between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Established in 1989 by Hockley & Hawkwell Old People's Welfare Committee, it provides around sixty lunches, morning coffee and afternoon tea, daily for the older members of our community in modem comfortable surroundings. Lunch costs £4.50 and transport is available for those who are unable to get to the Centre under their own steam, in its wheelchair and zimmer frame friendly minibus, for a small donation However, you don't have to have lunch in order to attend the aftemoon activities - Monday, Whist - Tuesday, Bingo - Wednesday, various pastimes, such as Cards Thursday, Entertainment or a Speaker and Friday, Scrabble but you don't have to be over 55 to pop in at 10 am / noon, to sample freshly baked scones or cakes with tea or coffee for under £1. When I first visited the Centre, a recently widowed lady told me how kind and supportive everyone was and how, having somewhere to go regularly, with such a warm atmosphere had helped her come to terms with the loss of her husband. If you feel this facility might suit you, why not pop in for coffee one morning to check us out or ring 01702 206208 for more details. The main reason for the Centre's success is a dedicated band of volunteers, who keep everything running smoothly. However, sometimes they are over-stretched so if you feel that you could give up a couple of hours to help, please ring Carol Warren on 01702 202582.
Echo Article 29 November 2012 – No, Boss, when we said the team needed a new winger...
Our feathery mascot - Josef Leverington with Memphis the hawk and team-mates
A Red-tailed hawk has become the latest signing at a community football club. The three-month-old bird of prey, called Memphis, made his debut for Hawkwell Athletics as their new mascot at the Hockley Community Centre, in Westminster Drive, on Saturday. About 300 eager residents flocked to the hall to catch a glimpse of the new addition, the first official mascot for the club. Youngsters from Hawkwell Athletics' youth teams held the new bird. Craig Leverington, club chairman, said: "Memphis is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure everyone who came fell completely in love with him. "It's such an exciting time for the club to have this opportunity and he's well suited to our club name and colours. I'm sure he will find a happy home here." Memphis has been supplied by the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy in Barleylands Road, Billericay. For more information, visit: www.hawkwellfc.com .
Echo Article 29 November 2012 – Sign up now and save
Shoppers can sign up for money-saving vouchers and discounts with the launch of a new website. The award-winning Shop At My Local campaign is a partnership between Rochford District Council, Chambers of Trade for Rochford, Hockley and Rayleigh parish and town councils and the Federation of Small Businesses. Already 442 businesses are part of the campaign which offers special deals. For more information, go to: www.shopatmylocal.com .
Children’s Parties Try something different for your next birthday; we have a wide range of activities for you to choose from, suitable from 6 years old. Choose from bouncy castle, assault course, cork guns, pedal karts, climbing, crate stacking, archery, traversing wall. Also rifle shooting from age 8 plus and for the older age range 10 years plus, 5 different high ropes elements to choose from. All activities last one hour. Add approximately 30 minutes to your party time if you are booking party food. Our activity sessions are for groups of 8 or 12 depending on the activity. If you have more than this number please book two activities per hour. We take bookings Monday to Sunday 9am till 5pm. Please make sure that you have at least one adult to every 3 children for under 8s parties and one adult for every 6 children if it’s for over 8s. For £3.50 a head we provide a party box which contains A large sausage roll, a packet of crisps, box of raisins and a small cake. We cater for vegetarians also. The price per head includes a birthday cake and unlimited squash. Or you can bring your own food and hire a grass area, hall or marquee. Party bags can be provided at £2.50 per head. Activities available include: Climbing, archery, rifle shooting, pedal karts, cork guns, traversing wall, assault course, bouncy castle, pole joust, the leap of faith, crate stacking, high ropes traversing element, high all aboard and Jacobs ladder. Belchamps Scout Centre, Holyoak Lane, Hawkwell, SS5 4JD. Tel: 01702 562690 Email: email@example.com Website: www.belchamps.co.uk .
If any one has an old car that they would like to dispose of without cost, Hawkwell Fire Station needs it to practice cutting techniques on. Please note that it is essential you have the logbook of any vehicle being donated. To donate your vehicles please contact Dan Clary at Hawkwell Fire Station in Main Road.
If you home was built in the past 20 years or so, it has probably got a soakaway in the garden for the roof rain water. Did you know that you can now save around £35 per year from you sewerage charge by informing Anglian Water? They will back date the reduction on your bill but only for the tax year to April 2009. To save around £35 for this tax year and all future tax years just freephone Anglian Water on 0800 91 222 91 with your request.
Are you unable to access conventional transport due to either having restricted mobility, temporarily unable to access public transport, living in an area not served by public transport or where your transport needs are not met by existing timetables. If you are a permanent resident of the our area then Wyvern Community Transport for Rochford District can help you. The scheme utilises drivers and the vehicles provided to meet the special transport needs of residents of Rochford District. To book the service phone 01702 544551 between 9.15am & 2.30pm (Mon - Thur) 9.15am & 12.00 (Fri). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org A yearly membership fee of £5 is payable and £2.50 per journey up to 4 miles. For journeys over 4 miles, 50p per mile is charged. See: http://www.rravs.org.uk/transport.html .
Britka Karate is a professional karate club based in the Southend on Sea area. They run classes in Wado Ryu Karate for children from ages 5 up to adults. They have been running karate classes successfully since 1991 and have classes for beginners and advanced students in the Leigh, Hadleigh, Hawkwell and Shoebury areas. Chief Instructor of Britka karate is Sensei Russell Garrard 4th Dan. For their website click on: Britka Karate
Weather permitting, free observing session at the Astronomy Resource Centre, Main Road, Hawkwell from 9pm. Phone Royston Dean on 01702 206244. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Ashlea Simpson a Hawkwell lady living in the USA – Please see 'Good News' and 2011 update below
Extracts from three emails we have received from Ashlea Simpson a Hawkwell lady living in Idaho USA. Please Contact Us if you have any information that may help her:
(1) I am wondering whether you know how I might find out if my great-grandmother is buried at Hawkwell Church. She was 84, I think, and her name was Sara Ann Simpson (or Sarah Anne possibly). I used to stay with her at her home in Rochford during the 40's, and I remember going to see her on her deathbed (I lived in Brighton then). I believe I was 7 years old when she died, so that would have been in 1946+/-. I have a photograph of her standing by the front gate with the name of her home on the gate "ASH LEA". If I were in England I could perhaps research this myself but I moved to the US in 1958. I visited Rochford in 1978 and was floored by the changes - houses after houses, so many streetlights, etc. but her home was still standing then, as were the ones on either side. Thank you for any information you may have to help me in finding her final resting place. Ashlea
(2) I believe my great-grandmother is not buried in the little church at Rochford (built, I believe, by King Canute of the Danes), which was across from the dirt road where she used to live (with the woods at the other end). Her home had the name ASH LEA on the front gate. Like a bungalow with a large front porch and just past her home, right next door, was a brick two-storey house. They were both still standing in the late 1970's. And I'm not certain whether her first name was Sara or Sarah and her middle name Ann or Anne. I'm trying to remember her husband's name and it may have been Albert. Where that dirt road met the main road (by a pub across from a farm and the "Canute" church, we would turn right onto the main road by the newsagent/tobacconist's shop and the vicarage on the other side of the main road, and walk quite a way and then turn right again down a road to another churchyard - possibly Hawkwell Church? This is going back 60+ years so I don't recall the names of the roads, unfortunately. I will try to dig out some more information but not sure of my chances. I think that buried somewhere here I may still have an Easter postcard mailed from my grandmother to my great-grandmother which may give a clue as to her address. Ashlea
(3) I have now found out my great-grandmother's husband's name was Christopher (not Albert). Perhaps he is buried in the same churchyard as she is. I unearthed a letter from my mother dated June 21, 1982, with lots of family info but nothing re the correct spelling of my great-grandmother's first two names. Ashlea
One of our local residents has now located Ashlea's great-grandmother's grave in Saint Mary's Churchyard in Hawkwell after reading our news item. From a list of graves we found that three Simpson are buried there. Sarah Ann Simpson died age 86 in 1947 is in grave 1149, John Thomas Simpson died age 53 in 2000 is in grave 2023 and Christopher Thomas Simpson died age 70 in 1925 is in grave 699 (U/K). We sent Ashlea some photos of the churchyard and Sarah's and John's graves. Unfortunately Sarah's husband Christopher's grave is unknown (U/K), which means it is in the graveyard but as it is unmarked (no grave stone) they cannot find it. As John has the middle name Thomas I believe he may be a relative and as he died age only 53 in year 2000 there are probably more relatives living in the Rochford area. If you have any information for Ashlea please let us know via Contact Us. I have included extracts from Ashlea's emails of thanks below:
This is a wonderful surprise. Only yesterday I was wondering if any records had been found about my great-grandmother and I also came across our previous emails. It's sad that I had no knowledge of John Thomas Simpson as he died so recently and it would have been wonderful if I'd had the opportunity to meet him; he was born only 8 years after I was. I have no idea whose son he was, which is a shame. Thank you so very, very much for including my inquiry in your news item, and please do convey to the resident who took the time to locate these graves my very deepest gratitude. That was an extremely generous thing for them to do for a total stranger. I have looked at all the wonderful photos you have been so very kind to send me. I want to thank you or whoever took all these photos for me it was so very, very kind. What a beautiful church - makes me so homesick. I do remember going to visit the grave with my grandmother some short time after my great-grandmother was buried there. I will treasure all of these and, of course, make prints of them. Please be sure to thank everyone involved, including yourself, for finding out all this information and going the extra mile for me. This has been like a journey back to a gentler time. Ashlea
Extracts from four emails we have just received from Ashlea Simpson. Please Contact Us if you have any more information for her:
1) I am filled with guilt to bother you again, truly, but am wondering whether any of those churchyard records mentioned the home address of my great-grandparents Sarah Ann Simpson and Christopher Thomas Simpson. For the life of me I can't remember the name of their road. It was a dirt road with woods at one end and a main road at the other where, on the left, there was a pub and across from that there was an empty farm. Between my great-grandparents' road and the pub there was an identical dirt road also ending at the woods at the far end. I had friends there by the last name of French. I do recall during the war a fair was held over by the farm in the summertime and I recall hearing its loud music playing 'You Are My Sunshine'. Also across the main road was a newsagents / sweet shop / tobacconists and a bit further down to the right a stone wall which I believe bordered a vicarage. I would love to find their road / location on a map but am unable to. If you can't find any address records, never mind - I just thought it was worth a shot. Ashlea
2) I had thought maybe there was a possibility of written records somewhere in the church or town as to the addresses of the deceased, but maybe not. For some reason Albert Road is in my "mind" but it could be meaningless. I think that old, old church in Rochford near the farm and across from the pub might have been St. Andrew's? Not sure. Don't know the name of the pub or the farm - but I do remember climbing over the stile at the farm and walking around in the fields. Have been staring at Rochford maps till I'm cross-eyed but I think possibly those two dirt roads may now be long gone. They were there in the late 70s along with all the homes still, but I think it had been paved. Ashlea
3) Thank you so much for this information. Yes, I think it must have been Albert Road and, looking at the maps I have found online, I could see that the roads in that area were "unmade" and the community mostly rebuilt, I guess. That must have started shortly after my very brief visit in the mid-seventies when my great-grandmother's bungalow was still standing, as well as the homes on either side. At that time, I didn't bother looking for the name of the road because I knew where I was going. Trying to recall images in ones mind from 65 years ago, though, isn't a piece of cake exactly. So it probably was The Victory pub although I don't remember it as having so many windows in front in the 1940's. But I could be wrong easily and definitely the old church across the road from the pub I used to see was built by King Canute of the Danes - I do remember that as well as going inside the church many times in the 1940's as a young child wandering around the churchyard and the farm nearby - so it has to be St. Andrew's. Don't know if the empty farm with the stiles is still there, highly doubt it. It is very kind of St Mary's Church to send what information they could find including the Burial Registration of my great-grandmother. In view of the limited info kept back in those days, I'm sure no address would have been entered for Sarah's husband, Christopher Thomas Simpson, when he was buried in 1925, either. So I will try to find out how, online, I can get in touch with the Census Bureau or whatever it's called in England. Way back in time I believe most such records were at Somerset House but I'm sure that set-up is long since changed. Ashlea
4) That's terrific news I'm truly glad the Victory won't be converted into just another run-of-the-mill and meaningless blob of concrete with its only atmosphere being a screening room. Long live the Victory! And I'm really happy for the landlords. It's shameful how they were going to be cast aside - just as the huge TV screen will one day be for the latest fad. Ashlea
Extracts from an email to Ashlea from Pat a Hawkwell resident:
I have found on a site the following and wondered if sarah's name was ingram before marriage, and if they had a son called Joseph,who married a Lilian, who had a son called Stanley who married a Winifred if so, they have a family tree on ancestry going back to 1806 to Thomas and Charlotte. I know through my own family tree searching it is hard to match the people as there seems to be lots with the same name, if these are your relatives, i'll look at it again for you and send you more info. I also found Christopher Thomas Simpson of Mayblossom Ashingdon near Rochford died 15/12/1925 probate London 31 March to Sarah Ann widow effects £403 4s 10d could be the house was called Mayblossom? I hope you didn't mind me emailing you good luck in your search. Pat
Extract from Ashlea's reply:
Of course I don't mind you emailing me. Wow what a surprise ! Thank you so very, very much, Pat. Actually, the name on the gate of my great-grandparents' place was Ash Lea but, yes, Mayblossom certainly rings a loud bell. It may have been the name of an attached property or, as you say, another place where they lived, such as Ashingdon. Perhaps Sarah Ann moved to Ash Lea in Rochford after her husband, Christopher Thomas died in 1925. Yes, Sarah's maiden name was Ingram or Ingraham. Yes, they had a son Joseph - I loved him so very much, my grandmother's younger brother. Joe is the only one of her siblings I met though she had several. Her name was Phoebe Frances Simpson and she married George Wood. Joe and Aunt Lil (she was deaf) lived in Dagenham when I knew them (he worked at Ford) and they had a son, young Joe, who died in the war, a sailor I believe. Also I met Stanley, their second son, a really nice young man, so friendly. Also they had two daughters, Doreen and Olive, and another son, Gerald. I knew and loved them all so very much!!! How odd, even to this day, once in a while I dream I am back in their house - weird, huh? Especially if you bear in mind I left England back in 1958. There was a well in the back garden of Ash Lea as well as a miniature house I used to go inside at the bottom of the garden. Ashlea
By David Blackwood our bee keeping committee member.
I have been asked to write something for the Hawkwell Residents Association website about bees. It is thought that I ought to know something about them as I have been keeping honeybees for many years and I am the honorary secretary of the Southend-on-Sea and District division of the Essex Beekeepers Association. Of course this is such a large subject that no one knows everything there is to know about bees.
By the time you read this Newsletter the beekeeping season will be practically over. All species of bees will have made their preparations for the coming winter. Yes I say species, because there are some approximately 230 different species and sub-species of bees in Britain. Ranging in size from very small 3-4mm solitary bees to the largest of queen bumblebees of nearly 2 inches (50cm).
The majority of bees that you will see in your garden are the bumblebees. These are round, furry insects that vary in size and colouration. A young mated queen comes out of hibernation from a hole in the soil in late January or early February, and this depends on the actual species of bumblebee and the weather. She looks around for a place to make her nest and as she is not capable of collecting nesting material herself like a bird does, so she looks elsewhere. Often she will choose a compost heap, a discarded bird’s nest or an old mouse’s nest, somewhere nice and cosy. She goes foraging to collect nectar and pollen for her own consumption and to take back to the nest. In the nest she constructs a heap of mixed pollen and nectar and lays eggs on it. This she covers with wax from her wax glands and with wax she also constructs a honey pot in which she stores nectar for a rainy day when she cannot get out to forage. After between 4-6 days the eggs hatch into larvae and they eat the food that mother has been placed underneath them. After another period during which they grow by shedding their ‘skin’ several times they spin a substantial cocoon of silk in an upright position. After about two weeks the adult workers begin to cut their way out of their cocoons using their mandibles. According to one source of information it takes about 5 weeks from an egg being laid to the emergence of an adult bumblebee from the pupal cocoon. Now the solitary existence of the queen is at an end and she has help with foraging and the looking after other larvae.
The colony develops with the queen foraging less as there are daughters to do this work Some species can build up to about 100 workers all working for the good of the colony. Later in the year eggs are laid that develop into males and future virgin queens. The males when they emerge from their cocoons spend about four days in the nest maturing and when they leave the nest it is considered that they never return to it. They patrol an area leaving a scent trail on vegetation and when a young virgin strays into their territory she is pounced upon and mating takes place on the ground or other flat surface. When young virgins emerge from their cocoons they mature and then go out to forage returning back to the nest at nightfall.
These young virgins soon meet up with their male counterparts and mate. Once mated these queens continue to forage for pollen and nectar, which they break down internally into chemicals for storage in their fat bodies in preparation for hibernation during the winter. The young mated queen then digs a small hole in the soil and lining it with a solution from her Dufoss gland and salvia settles down to ‘sleep’ through the winter. Her metabolism slows right down and because of the chemicals in her body that act as an antifreeze she is able to withstand very cold temperatures. When the weather warms up in the spring she comes out of hibernation and the life cycle starts all over again.
There are 23 different bumblebees in Britain; of these 6 are cuckoo species whose queens take over a different bee species nest similar to the cuckoo bird. But it is the cuckoo queen that kills the rightful queen. The cuckoo queen does not lay eggs that develop into workers, only males and future queens. The workers of the rightful queen look after the usurper’s eggs and larvae.
There are six main species of bees that are found in your garden, and they are Bombus lapidarius (Large red tailed bumble bee, black with a brick red tail); B. terrestris (Buff tailed BB with yellow bands and buff tail); B. lucorum (Common white tailed BB yellow bands and white tail); B. hortorum (Common garden BB with three yellow bands and white tail); B. pratorum (Meadow BB yellow bands and red tail); and B. pascourum (Common Carder Bee dark or light brown BB). As I wrote in the beginning all of these species should have completed their life cycle by the time you read this article.
Did you know that if you are the only person aged 18 or over living in your property, you may be entitled to a 25% reduction in your Council Tax, see RDC Single Occupier Council Tax Information. You will need to complete an application form, available from the Revenues & Benefits Office. This information has been obtained from the Rochford District Council website.
Disclaimer: The information on these pages is placed here in good faith. We cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies that we are not aware of. All articles and reports from other sources within this website will indicate their origin. These articles and reports or those contained in links to third party sites within this website are not necessarily the views of Hawkwell Residents Association. If you know of information such as phone numbers, postal or website addresses that have now changed or are no longer available please pass this onto us via the Contact Us page.