The Danbury Society
Registered Charity No. 283898
The Danbury Society is a village conservation Society located in
Danbury, Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Latest Changes
23rd January 2017 Updated the Home Page for 2016 to tidy it up to be a historic collection for the year.

What happened in 2016.

Danbury Society Talk.

Thursday, 17th March at 8.00pm.
In the Danbury Sports and Social Centre.

“Wonderful Wetlands of the Mediterrean - a tale of Three River Deltas” by Alan Thorpe, local Scientist and resident.

Alan returned to give an illustrated talk, this time covering warmer climes.   This was to a larger than usual audience.
He used the new Danbury Society digital projector onto a 2.5meter square screen - like watching in HiMax!

His subject was the natural life of three great Mediterrenean river Deltas with a focus on the birds that lived there.   In one year Alan and his wife had visited all three: the Ebro Delta in Spain, the Rhone Delta (the Camargue) in France and the Po Delta in Northern Italy.

March Meeting
The introductorary slide to the evenings presentation.
Photo by Norman Bartlett

The pictures he showed - all his own - were colourful.   He gave an interesting talk in an easy style with amusing pleasantries that raised a few laughs.

Some of the birds lived on the Deltas all year round while others simply used them as a staging post on their way to and from their Migration Grounds.

Refreshments concluded the evening.

This was another superb presentation enjoyed by all those present.   We await Alan's next presentation - something not to be missed.

Danbury Society Quiz.

Saturday, 16 April in the Danbury Sports and Social Centre.

This was the second quiz to be organised by Danbury Society.

A General Knowledge Quiz.

Tables were for groups of up to 6 persons; a charge of £5 per person was levied in aid of the Society's charitable funds.

Drinks were obtained at the Bar, but Members brought their own snacks to nibble.

A good evening was enjoyed by all.

The Danbury Society Visit.

Thursday, 12th May at 7.30pm Stowe Maries Airfield.

A party of two dozen from the Danbury Society visited to Stow Maries aerodrome on a glorious sunny evening.

The aerodrome - to use the term in common use when the place was opened in 1916 - is the only known example of a Great War flying station more or less in its original form.
The group was conducted around by Peter Sillett one of the Trust volunteers.   He recounted how the aerodrome had been ‘discovered’ from the air by Russell Savory in 2008 when he was searching for a location for his engineering workshop.   He recognised it for what it had been and so began a resurrection of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) later Royal Air Force (RAF) station.

Stow Maries
Peter Sillett at the Memorial welcoming everyone to Stow Maries Airfield.
Photos by Norman Bartlett

Peter took us first to the granite memorial, erected in 2010 with the names of eight airman who lost their lives while serving at Stow Maries in 37 Squadron – all due to accident - the youngest was only 17.

Stow Maries
The Memorial.

He described the function of several of the thirty or so buildings that were virtually unchanged from when they were built in the 1917-1919 period.   The restoration of the project took off when funding was obtained from English Heritage.   Stow Maries was then turned into a Trust with the four objectives of Restoration, Remembrance, Preservation and Education.   Now there are 3 paid employees, about 60 volunteers and a clear programme to achieve full restoration by 2020.   When restored, the buildings will not be left empty but offered to charitable bodies associated with any of the objectives of the Trust.

The site is accessed by a concrete track from Hackmans Lane laid down by the Milk Marketing Board in the 1950s.   The original access to the aerodrome was from the other side of the site via Woodham Ferrers.   Many of the buildings are covered in scaffolding as work gets underway.   English Heritage is very much in command when it comes to refurbishment and any necessary modifications.

We were taken to the temporary hangar where there are half a dozen Great War flying replicas, both Allied and German.   In due course, three wooden hangars will be erected to the original design that was used in the Great War.   One will be used for these aircraft and perhaps other aircraft belonging to the Trust, another for privately owned aircraft and the third for repairs and rebuilding of airframes.

Stow Maries
The Hanger.

Then we went into the small museum which tells the story of the airfield, of 37 Squadron and associated activities.   There were text panels and realistic displays. nbsp; It was all well laid out.

Stow Maries
The Museum.

Finally we went on to the Airmens’ Mess where we watched a number of excellent short films about the airfield, focusing especially on the nature reserve aspects.   Nature is what one half of the site is now devoted to.
We saw photos and video especially of all five species of British owls that are resident: barn, long-eared, short-eared, tawny and little owls.

It was a jolly interesting 2-hour evening visit.

The Danbury Society Walk.

Thursday, 23 June at Heybridge.

Members met at the Plantation Hall Car Park, Colchester Road for an evening walk of Maldon's smaller neighbour.
The walk included the canal, Bentalls, The Church and other points of interest.

There was a small charge for this event with a maximum of 20 persons.

A very interesting evening - thanks to all involved.

The 44th Annual Art Exhibition.

This was held at the Danbury Sports and Social Centre , Eve's Corner on Friday 26th, Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th August.

Danbury Art Show – another year of success

Danbury Society's Annual Art Exhibition took place as usual over the August Bank Holiday weekend at the Danbury Sports & Social Centre.   This year saw an increase in sales of almost a third more than the equivalent event in 2015.

The show was formally opened at 12 noon on Friday 26th August by Councillor Norman Hume, a long-time Danbury resident and immediate past Chairman of Essex County Council.   “The range and quality of the paintings on display here is excellent,” declared Councillor Hume.   “These are outstanding works of art and all produced by local artists.”

Janet Brown Opening the 2015 Art Exhibition
Councillor Norman Hume Opening the 2016 Art Exhibition.
Photo by Glad Deamer

The catalogue this year listed 293 paintings from 82 artists, in addition to a dozen ceramic pieces from 3 artists.
Many artists also displayed folios (unframed paintings) or limited issue prints.   The list value of the paintings alone was almost £25,000 in total.   The most expensive was an intriguing recreation of the Spitfire that crash landed at Stow Maries in 1941.   That carried a price tag of £450 while the cheapest painting cost only £15.

2016 Art Exhibition
The 2016 Art Exhibition.
Photos by John Bowen

2016 Art Exhibition

2016 Art Exhibition

2016 Art Exhibition

2016 Art Exhibition

2016 Art Exhibition

2016 Art Exhibition

Also on show - but not for sale - were the paintings from children in the top year from each of Danbury's three schools.   These were the result of a competition organised by Danbury Society.   Every child taking part received a certificate and the winner at each school – adjudged by a local artist – received a prize.

2016 Art Exhibition
Paintings from children in the top year from each of Danbury's three schools.
Photo by Norman Barlett

There was no charge for entry and during the next days, an estimated 500 visitors viewed the paintings and ceramics.

“It was another excellent show,” said Danbury Society Chairman, Norman Bartlett.   “After 44 years, it shows why the Danbury Art Show continues to attract both artists and public.”   “I am particularly proud of the way this event has ingrained itself in village life.   We have around fifty people from the village involved in its organisation, setting up, stewarding, taking down and seeing to all administration.”

As well as viewing the paintings, visitors could also watch demonstrations:   Pauline Grove showed some techniques of multi-media and Charles Brand showed how to use leaves and other organic material to make paper and other artistic objects.

The success of the exhibition to artists is show by the fact that of those who showed, more than half sold something.   Of the paintings on display, 15% were sold.   Of the ceramics, 23% sold.

Danbury Annual Art Exhibition provides the platform for the most significant social occasion in the village year.
Furthermore, any proceeds go to the charitable funds used for Danbury Society's objects: enriching village life, preserving the character of village and surrounding countryside, and supporting village groups.

Talk -Thursday 29 September

This was held at the Danbury Sports and Social Centre , Eve's Corner.

Brett Tryner of Boningtons Fine Art, the local firm of auctioneers and valuers, gave a very interesting talk about antiques, the changing tastes in different types of antique, where the current interest lies in paintings, how very nice pieces can be acquired for modest prices and much else.   Some examples were passed round the audience as examples.

He had an excellent PowerPoint presentation that illustrated some examples of pieces and the prices they made at auction.   He explaned how people buy at auction these days.   It is not necessary to be in person at the auction room but bids can be made by phone, online or in advance.

Some members of the audience brought items along and as in the Antiques Road Show he offered comments and prices there and then.

Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits was served afterwards.

Annual General Meeting, Illustrated Talk and Annual Party-Thursday 24 November

This was held at the Danbury Sports and Social Centre, Eve's Corner.

The Chairman, Norman Bartlett, welcomed about 30 members and spoke about the Society's activities during the year past.   He reminded members of the challenges facing the village because of the threats from predatory developers.   He encouraged everyone to get involved by responding on the City Council’s website.

He spoke about the plans for the Society’s Golden Jubilee.   The Society will be marking the Society’s Golden Jubilee with a fine bench to be placed in a well-used spot in the village.

The Society Treasurer, Bob Booker, introduced the Financial Statement with receipts for the year of £2,242 exceeding the outgoings to give a £786 surplus.   It meant the funds available now stood at almost £9,000.

There were no nominations for any of the officer positions so Chairman Norman Bartlett, Vice Chairman and Hon. Secretary John Deamer and Hon. Treasurer Bob Booker were reappointed.   Five trustees were also appointed; three as re-appointments: Glad Deamer, Roger Cole-Jones and Chandra Pyne and two new appointments: Mandy Hessing and Mark Scofield.

After the AGM business Ian Hook, Keeper of the Essex Regiment Museum gave an illustrated talk ‘The Battle of the Somme - an Essex Perspective’.

The 1st Battalion went 'over the top‘ on the very first day of the Battle on 1 July 1916.   It took heavy losses.   The names of 959 officers and men of the Essex Regiment who died on the Somme and have no known grave are recorded on the Thiepval Memorial.

Ian told the human stories of ordinary soldiers from the county.

It was impressive research and also a tribute to the men of the Essex Regiment.

The evening concluded with the usual dispensation of wine, cheese and nibbles in a convivial social setting.

Carols Around the Christmas Tree at Eves Corner

This was on Wednesday, 21st December 2016.

The annual Carol Service around the Christmas Tree on the village green usually has a Silver Band to provide the music however this year Danbury may be using recorded Digital Music/Carols.   There will be powerful flood lights to help read the song sheets more easily since the power pillar was erected.

For many years, the Danbury Society organised the Christmas Tree and associated works but since various Regulations came along amateur help is frowned on.   The Society would like to thank the Parish Council for taking on the task of providing the tree and to others who make the "Carols Around the Tree" so popular.

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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.

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 being shall determine.

The Danbury Society supports the Village

As part of its Charitable Objects, the Danbury Society makes grants to village activities and organisations of all kinds.   Since its formation in 1967, the Society has donated many thousands of pounds ranging from improvements at Eves Corner, refurbishing the Village Hall, restoration of the Grade 1 listed Parish Church to helping out with youth organisations.

The Danbury Society publish a Newsletter every 4 months.   This is available to paid-up Members

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A Flag Counter was added 21st November 2009 when the Hit Counter was reading 12,962.

Copyright (c) John Bowen 2016