The Danbury Society
Registered Charity No. 283898

The Danbury Society is a village conservation Society located in
Danbury, Chelmsford, Essex, UK

The Danbury Society in 2006

The Inland Waterways Association by Roy Chandler

This was held on Thursday, 23rd March 2006 in the Church Meeting Room.

Draft Report.
Chairman introduced Danbury Society Member, Roy and reminded the large audience of Roy's involvement over the years including presenting a similar talk some 12 years ago.

In his introduction, Roy said that things had moved on quite a lot in those 12 years.

Roy Chandler by his screen
Roy standing infront of his screen with the IWA logo projected from his digital projector.
Photos by John Bowen

In presenting the background to the IWA involment with the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal he sketched it from its inception in 1791 to passing into Receivership in 2002. In November 2005 the IWA formed a limited company to prevent it from passing into Liquidization where the Receiver would have opened the lock gates and sold off everthing to repay the Creditors.

Roy showed pictures from 1992/3 when many locks were either broken or in a bad state to nearer the present day where they have been brought up to full working order and now daily by leisure craft. Much of this work by skilled volunteers.

Planning years ago seemed to ignore the potential of making Chelmsford the "Venice of Essex" - but Roy said that was changing.

Roy Chandler answering questions during the break
Dave Bolwell talking to Roy (seated) during the break.

After a lovely cup of tea/coffee and homemade cake supplied by Glad Deamer & Jean Brown, Roy answered many question.

In replying to one, it appears that the banks are planted with Willows for making Cricket Bats. These take a little over 10 years to mature.

Roy also gave a longer Planning view of the centre of Chelmsford showing how it had improved more recently. He was keen to point out however, every Planning Application needed to be checked to ensure that the Waterways were being correctly used.

A very interesting presentation - thank you Roy and your Wife for her support.

The Spring Walk

This was on Sunday, 7th May from the Community Centre Top Car Park.

The walkers assembled on a sultery afternoon to walk on ground which had about 22mm of rain on it during the past 24 hours. Where the sun had shone on the ground it was dry but was sticky under foot in the shade. Unfortunately a couple of dogs who normally do the walk are now just too old so had to stay in the car as one of their masters joined the Walk.

Spring Walkers
Photograph taken against the British Legion Hut just before they set off.
Photo by John Bowen

Under threatening skies 14 walkers led by David & Wendy Moore set off on the Society's' Annual Spring Ramble from Mayes Lane car park. Carrying a variety of protective rainwear the route took the party down Coleman's Lane and up into Lingwood, then across the Ridge onto a muddy Postman's Lane. A refreshment break was taken at Little Baddow playing field before contining on.

David then sucessfully navigated the party though the maze of footpaths in Blakes' Wood and across Riffams Chase to arrive at a magnificent display of Bluebells by the Scouts Camp.

The final leg of the 5 miles walk took the ramblers back to Lingwood and up the hill to the car park.
Fortunately, the rain stayed off and the macs and brollies were not needed!
Thanks for a good walk.
Write-up by David Bolwell, Committee Member.

Unfortunately, this year there is no Annual Coach Outing - first time in 30 years.

The Annual Art Exhibition.

This was held over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday the 25th to Sunday the 27th August.

The Danbury Society Annual Art Show was headed by Glad & John Deamer and her band of willing helpers.

Thursday the 24th produced 1/2inch of rain in the morning so it was a good thing that Chairman, Curt Brown had organised a large band of helpers to get the screens to the Village Hall. First time in memory (30 years +) that it has rained on Hanging Day. Some 425 original oil, watercolour, silk & pastel paintings were however successfully hung. It was noted that this year large paintings seemed to order of the day.

The Exhibition Days were fine for the many viewers.

Art Exhibition Village Hall

The Village Hall with the banners flying to attract punters.


Photograph taken of the Pre-View prior to opening at 12 noon. Glad Deamer (front left) is seen talking to a painter.

Tea Ladies

The Tea Ladies, Wendy Diss & Jean Brown, so essential to the running of a successful show.


John Deamer (left) and Doug Nichols looking after the Portfolio stand during the afternoon. This is an opportunity to purchase a first class painting to put your frame on it to suit your decor.

Writtle Artists seated

Writtle Artists spotted seated while looking at the paintings and talking to passing Artists. Notice the many large paintings.

The Artists are the people who make the show - without them there would not be one. They paint the pictures, bring them and if the do not sell, have the job taking them back to the studio.

Painting going back to the Studio

Photograph taken of Silke, a Danbury Artist returning a large painting to her studio. Lets hope it sells at the next Exhibition.   Thank you for Exhibiting it at Danbury - it caused quite a bit of interest.

Thank you very much Glad & John Deamer for all the work you put in on behalf of the Danbury Society. Thanks also to all the Stewards & Helpers who made this, the 34th Exhibition such a social & commercial success.

Bakers of Danbury, from Eves Corner collected & returned the Art display screens - our grateful thanks to their helpful driver, Steve Cole who's professionalism & knowledge of his lorry was appreciated.

The Autumn Meeting.

This was on Thursday, 21st September in the Church Meeting Room when Mrs Linda Scoles presented her talk entitled "The Yanks are coming".

This was an American's View of a life in an English Village.

Linda first leapt onto a chair to enable everyone to see her. She explained that she came to England in 1971 with her Husband (Jim) who was a Major in the American Air Force at one of the bases in Suffolk but had no intention of staying on the base, but to live "with the locals".

Linda Scoles on her chair

She told many interesting stories of how she assimulated into the English way of life at Great Barton and the many houses she lived in.

Unfortunately her Husband died in 2001 & but she had decided to stay in England and set up a business to support herself & her Daughter. This also involved her with another series of events which she told with relish.

Audience enjoying a cup of tea & cakes

The audience enjoyed a cup of English Tea & Cakes at the break-time. Afterwards, Linda answered many questions which proved that she had stimulated thoughts on country life that we in Danbury sometimes take for granted.

A very interesting talk presented in a very enthusiastic manner - thank you Linda and we trust you will continue to enjoy Engalnd.

The Autumn Walk

This was on Sunday, 22nd October

Only 12 Members met in the Top Car Park as it was a dreadfully wet day.

Wendy & David Moore, David Bolwell & Mr & Mrs Sharp plus a few stawarts enjoyed a very wet walk.

A fuller write-up is promised from Mr Sharp.

The Annual General Meeting

This was on Thursday, 23rd November in St John's Meeting Room at 8pm.

At the short AGM, Curt Brown was re-elected Chairman with the existing Committee, enbloc.

The Treasurer, Bob Booker Proposed that the Constitution be amended inline with the Charity Commissioner's recomendations: - "To promote the general charitable benefit of the inhabitants of the Danbury area by provision of such financial and/or material benefit as the Trustees for the time shall determine". This was unanimously carried.

The Chairman & Dave Bolwell said that the Christmas Tree would be erected but would only be lit for the night of the Carols on Thursday 13th December. Afterwards everyone is invited to the URC Church Hall for mince pies, tea/coffee.
The AGM was then brought to a close.

Curt Brown then introduced Mike Logan-Wood of the RSPB who said his presentation would be called "The Secret Life of Garden Birds".

Using his Kodak Carosell, he showed a beautiful series of slides taken by a RSPB Member. He showed Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins, Wrens and the Finch family. He told interesting stories and facts about them all. The humble House Sparrow was very heavily in decline mainly due to Unleaded Petrol producing a chemical which acted as an Insect Killer. These are needed to feed the young Sparrow.

Mike finished off the first part by showing the Starling and explained it's roosting flight.

Mike Logan-Wood & picture of a Starling
Mike Logan-Wood & picture of a Starling.

At the refreshment break members of the RSPB had a stall loaded with Christmas Cards & items to sell.

RSPB Stall
Mike Logan-Wood, back left and the RSPB Stall.

John Collins dispensed a nice wine with the Ladies suppling a range of Cheeses, Bread & Butter. Very nice.

Danbury Society Ladies & the Buffett
Danbury Society Ladies & the Buffett.

After the Buffett, Mike told the large audience to origins of the RSPB and said that Danbury has one of the highest number of trees in Essex & therefore enjoys a large number of birds. Members also feed the birds in their garden and so encourage them to stay all year round.

Dave Bolwell incharge of the sound system
Dave Bolwell incharge of the sound system.

Curt Brown thanked Mike for a most intesresting and well presented evening.

Christmas Carols around the Tree at Eve's Corner.

This was on Wednesday, 13th December at 8.00pm.

A very fine tree was donated by Mr Bernard Stripp of Fretton's Lodge and erected by David Bolwell, Members of the Danbury Society and Robin, Groundsman from The Parish Council on Friday, 8th December.

The new tree.
The new tree.
Photos taken by John Bowen

The poster informing the residents of the impending Carols Around The Tree event.

On a very windy but dry night a large congregation gathered around the tree beautifully lit by a generator which hummed away in the background.

Carols around the Tree
The Salvation Army leading the singing.

Carols around the Tree
A section of the large audience who attended.

The Salvation Army led the singing with amplification provided by Eddie of The Mission.

Afterwards many people walked down to the URC Church Hall in Little Baddow Road for Mince Pies, Tea or Coffee and a chat in the warm.

Thanks to all who helped and to Silvia and Caroline and the URC Church for your hospitality.

Post Meeting Note.

The "Carols" were originally arranged by the Danbury Society when at Christmas a candlelight procession left the four Churches in the village and wound their way to the illuminated Christmas Tree at Eves Corner to sing Carols, the music supplied by the Salvation Army Silver Band.   The increase of traffic on the A414 meant that this was too dangerous & so Eve's Corner wa chosen as the meeting place.

This year we had a problem.
We have erected the tree at Eves Corner for the last 30+ years. (Curt Brown personally has been involved in this since 1977.)

We then lit the tree with coloured lights over the festive season. A colourful sign of Christmas ------ PEACE and GOODWILL.

The power supply for the lighting of the tree has always been obtained locally. However, this year the previous supplier, because of the teenage problems at Eves Corner no longer permitted the Society to use this supply.

The Society investigated alternate sources,including other properties and from a local electricity suppliers. These were all unsuccessful.

We decided therefore to go ahead and erect the tree and light it for the Carol Service using a petrol-generator to supply the power.(This is not practical for long periods)

This year the tree was kindly donated by Mr Bemard Stripp. Dave Bolwell organised the erection, aided by rest of the Committee acting as manual labour and Robin the Parish Council groundsman, who weighed in with his JCB.

After the tree was erected it suffered damage due to the cutting of the guy ropes and uprooting of the protecting stakes by the local vandals. These were repaired and the "Carols around the Christmas Tree" went ahead.

Our thanks to all the Committee who all work hard for the Society and the Maldon Salvation Army, also to the Parish Council and Robin.

There has been a teenage problem of vandalism in the centre of the village in the evenings for some time, (including damage to the Village Sign. This has been repaired & reinstated by Bakers of Danbury - Thank you). The Parish Council and the Police are fully aware of this problem,and are trying to sort it out.
Some of these teenagers are from families who live in the village.

A snag occurred, the petrol generator unfortunately stopped half way through the carols - the Band played on and the generator was restarted.

The carols were led by the Rev. Dr Blyth. It was well supported by over 100 or more singers.

We would like to thank the Maldon Salvation Army band together with the URC Ladies who provided coffee and mince pies afterwards

Many of us contribute to this operation to bring and spread the joy of Christmas to the people of Danbury, but as explained we did have our problems.

We hope to solve our electricity supply during the year, but we may have to move the Carols around the Christmas Tree to another venue.

Please support the Danbury Society Activities

Daffodil Planting

Dave Bolwell is in charge of planting another few hundred Daffodils in the verges around Danbury during late September/October.

The problem in past years is that no sooner have we planted them something happens whereby they are dug up again by the Chelmsford Borough Council workmen or their Contractors doing an authorised task! During 2005 this was the upgrade of the A414.

However, Mr Andrew Vale, ECC Highways, has promised the Parish Council & The Danbury Society that he will arrange to "make good" where the Daffodils do not come up in 2006 due to the A414 Up Grade. This is a very generous offer which has been readily accepted.

David Bolwell will identify & organise the new planting areas.

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Aims of The Danbury Society

To involve the residents of Danbury in interests and pursuits to enrich village life.

To ensure that changes in the Village are undertaken with sensitivity to the character of Danbury.

To protect the natural beauty of the local landscape and to promote its maintenance and care.

To Work for the preservation and protection of buildings and features of interest in Danbury.

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Copyright (c) Danbury Society 2007
Last revised:-25th November 2007 - added Carol Post Service Note.