The Danbury Society
Registered Charity No. 283898

The Danbury Society - Year 2002.

The First Meeting of 2002.

Took place on Thursday, 21st March 2002 at 8PM.

Colin Antony presented an Illustrated Talk entitled
"The Garden Route of South Africa"

It was not about gardens but a route of outstanding beautiful scenery starting at Cape Town and going up the coast towards Port Elizabeth.
A modest audience met in the Little Baddow Memorial Hall with competition from a Neighbourhood Watch meeting in Danbury Village Hall (which was why we were here) and the local Historical Society meeting in the St Andrews Hall.
Colin introduced the talk by explaining that we were going to see slide photographs taken on a holiday with his Wife and 2 friends. They flew to Cape Town, where our film show started. They were lucky that the Table Top Mountain did not have its "cloth" (cloud) on it so we were shown stunning pictures of it from Cape Town, going up in the cable car, the top, looking down and across to the Cape of Good Hope.

We then followed a 4 day, 1,700 mile train journey calling in at vineyards, ostrich farms, famous towns such as Kimberly for its diamonds and safari trips. We were treated to stunning pictures of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. This was besides close-up shots of kingfisher and other birds.
Colin said that the only reason he was not trambled by a charging elephant who's picture fully framed the screen was that he was in a boat!.

At the Victoria Falls we were treated to a 5 minute aerial film show to music using continously changing slides using 2 projectors and slide disolve for a seamless show.

We then spent a while touring Botswana, again watching a number of antelope, etc and ending up looking at a bed in the desert to watch the stars !

A stunning evening - pity you were not there to enjoy it with us.
Thank you Colin, we look forward to another slide show from you.

The Spring Walk

This took on Sunday, 5th May 2002.

It was led by David Moore from the Community Centre Top Car Park. Unfortunately the weather forecast was very poor. This accounted partly for the poor turn-out. However the afternoon started out quite good and it did not rain until 4pm when the Walk was mainly over.

As tradition, the Walk included the Bluebells in Blakes Wood. These were absolutely excellent due to the wet early Spring.

Those who came enjoyed the Walk. Thank you David.

The Annual Coach Outing - Saturday, 22nd June 2002.

This year it was to Dover.

At 8.45am prompt the Lodges coach drew out of the Mayes Lane car park and headed for Dover. After a comfort stop it reached the Castle at 11am. On the way the organiser, David Bolwell informed the party of topical events which could be seen from the coach. These included the new tunnel being built under the Thames at Dartford for the High Speed Rail Link and the trackway through the Kent countryside. Bluebell Hill got a mention.

On walking through the Constable Gateway we were met by the Land Train. The driver said "The Danbury Party - please take your seats, I will take you to the Secret Wartime Tunnels". After a short wait we were allocated our own Guide to take us through the labyrinth. We went through just a few of the 3 mile of tunnels down there. Some were dug during the Napoleonic War period when England was expecting an invasion from France. Others were dug for the two World wars.


Picture of what it was like during WWII when part of the tunnel complex was turned into a Hospital.

We then were taken down 70 steps to a later tunnel complex which used to house until 1986 the Regional Seat of Government. This was where the country could have been run from if there had have been a nuclear attack.


Picture of a communication tunnel. On the left is Post Office 51 Type Transmission Equipment. On the right is a Telex terminal for Fault Reporting and Control.

After the tunnel trip everyone was free to wander around. One party went on the Land Train for a circular trip around the Castle Grounds. Others headed to the NAAFI for Lunch.

After lunch the favourite place seemed to be the Castle Keep and to climb to the top ramparts where the wind took ones breath away.

At 2.30pm the coach took most of the party to the Wellington Dock area of Dover. The De Bradelei Wharf Shopping Village housed fashion shop selling cut price designer goods as well as a Wedgwood shop which sold cut price china and glassware. A number came back clutching bags - a lot poorer but with a look of "a good bargain" on their faces!.

Other members of the party visited the Museum where they saw Dover's history from the Roman period to today. They also saw the World's oldest sea going boat - 3,500 years old.

Others visited the Old Town Gaol and the Roman Painted House.

On the way back the remainder of the party were picked up from the Castle and the coach arrived back in Danbury at 7.30pm.

A very good day out at a very reasonable price. Thank you David.

The Annual Art Exhibition.

This took place over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday the 23rd to Sunday the 25th August.

The Danbury Society now have a new team to help run the 2002 Art Show. Mary Hawker and Ellie Bunn had run it for the past 11 years and felt that they needed a well deserved rest!.

This was headed by Glad Deamer and Norman Barlett.

About 400 original paintings were on show varying in price from 15 to 700. The standard was very high with a large number of local Danbury scenes and 15 or so of Maldon and Thames Barges.

Many hundreds of happy people visited the Art Exhibition and purchased some 90 paintings.

A very well run Exhibition - Thank you Glad.

Thursday, 26th September Meeting at 8PM.

This was on Medieval Lavenham, Suffolk.

This was given by Cyril Taylor.

The Meeting was in the Little Baddow Memorial Hall. Again, there was an interested but small audience who saw 200 absolutely excellent colour slides on Lavenham. Every slide could have won a prize. They showed many different age stages in a given property which Mr Taylor described in detail.
The story of the Hall House was told as it had a bearing in the development of the town which was very wealthy in the 14 & 15th Century from wool.

After a nice cup of tea or coffee & cake provided by Ivy Hare, Mr Talyor continued with his excellent presentation finishing off with the Guild Hall.
He showed a number of slides taken as various houses were being pulled down to be taken to the USA for rebuilding. Some were saved at the last moment.

Thank you - we would like to see your Slide Show of Lavenham Church sometime.

The Autumn Walk

This took place on Sunday, 20th of October, 2002 at 2.15PM

They met in the Top Car Park.

Wendy and David Moore led a select band of walkers on the final Walk of the year. They braved a terrible Met Office Weather Report which forecast doom for the afternoon. As it turned out it only started to rain as they were finishing the walk.

The Walk was designed to see the Autumn tints on the many lovely trees around Danbury. They went across The Common towards Oak Corner, then Thrifts Wood, the Warren Golf Course and back towards Runsell Lane. It was here it started to rain so they headed back home instead of going into Lingwood.

Thank you Wendy, David and the band of walkers for your support.

The Annual General Meeting

This was held on Thursday, 21st November, in The Church Meeting Room.

The AGM elected Curt Brown to be Chairman for the next year. Curt thanked Mary Hawker for the many years of service she had given to the Society in a number of roles including Secretary, Treasurer and organiser of the Annual Art Exhibition.
Ken Beavis had retired and he had been a Committee Member for many years. He was thanked for dispensing Legal Advise from time to time.

Curt welcomed Norman Bartlett as Secretary and Bob Booker as Treasurer.

After the AGM Curt welcomed Jane Rigler to present her talk entitled "Some Old Houses in Little Baddow".

Jane, assisted by her husband Chris, produced a computer controlled projector to show old and new pictures of houses in Little Baddow. Jane had pre-recorded the sound track associated with each picture to produce a seemless presentation.

After the excellent presentation the large audience were invited to partake with the usual wine & cheese and talk to others and the Danbury Society Committee.

The Committee were delighted with the attendance.

Christmas Carols around the Tree at Eve's Corner.

This took place on Wednesday, 18th of December at 8pm.

We were given a 27foot high Christmas Tree by the publican of the Bell public house on the A414. As it was growing close in to other trees it had good branches on the outside but slightly smaller ones on the inside.

On Thursday, 12th December, 2002 a happy band of volunteers turned up at the Bell Public House with Robin and his tractor.
The Danbury Society would hereby like to express its thanks to all who took part in the tree erection this year.

Robin putting 
             the tree on his trailer.

Robin putting the tree on his trailer in the forecourt of the Bell public house, Danbury.
This and the following pictures were taken by Graham Tickle using his digital camera - thanks.

The tree was then transported to Eve's Corner and manhandled onto the green.

Clearing the 
             hole to put the trunk of the tree in.

Arthur with the hammer and Robin clearing out the hole to put the trunk of the tree in.

Having a 
             rest from dressing the tree.

Having a tea/coffee rest provided by Pauline. Notice how full the pond it - this is the result of the mildest & wettest November for 30 years.

Robin lifting 
             the tree into position.

Robin lifting the tree into position with his tractor. The ladder in the tree on the right is to put up the power feed to the lights in the tree.

             the guy ropes.

Adjusting the guy ropes. These are made from stainless steel ropes used for ship's masts.

The tree looks a little mean from the Chemist's Shop but a lot better from the main road. There are 40 lights on the tree and they look really good at night.

Tree at night.

The tree at night taken from the main road. The nice Danbury sign was provided by Baker's Of Danbury who also provided the ladders for erecting the treee.
Baker's have built many of the detached houses in Danbury and are well know for their quality workmanship.

The Salvation Army then treated us to their lovely music and led the Carol Service. Afterwards hot mince pies were enjoyed in the URC Hall.

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Copyright (c) John Bowen 2003
Last revised:- 9th February, 2003.