A snapshot of life in the village
1987 - 2007




Phone Mast Fears

Residents have objected to plans to erect a 15 metre high mobile phone mast in the grounds of Essex and Suffolk Water behind the Keene Hall. Permission was refused by the Borough Council last year but Mercury One-to-One has decided to appeal. About thirty residents came to a planning meeting at Keene Hall where concerns about possible health hazards and the visual impact were expressed to representatives of the communications company and the owners of the land in question. Nick Sharples, community relations manager for Mercury, said that if there were health risks they would not build the mast. 'We have got around 22,000 of these around the country and are confident they are safe and do not have any risk to the public'.

Plea for Race Course Icons

The chairman of Galleywood Common Association has issued a rally call to save the rails which still mark the route of the old race course. Large crowds used to gather at the Common to watch horse racing until the course closed in 1937. Writing in the GCA newsletter, David Stacy said 'They are icons of a bygone era. They no longer serve to protect the excited punters from the thundering hooves of the steeplechasers but much of the old track remains. It’s likely that few of the rails we see today are genuine antiques, but as instantly recognisable symbols of this piece of history we think the fence is worth preserving'. Mr Stacy said he was sad to see the rails in such a ramshackle state and is keen to have them restored 'We see a complete renewal, one section at a time, as being the only practical and economic way to deal with this project.'

Ron White Room is Named

A small ceremony was held at the Keene Hall at the end of July at which Ron White was invited to formally open Committee room Two, re-named in his honour. The chairman of the Trustees, David Stevenson, acknowledged the considerable archive of photos, documents, video and tape recordings that Ron had accumulated and thanked him for all the work he had devoted to building this unique collection. After being invited to open the room in his name, Ron then made his response.

'Firstly let me thank you all for today's opening. It is so unexpected and I don't know what to say about it except to thank you all sincerely. I must tell you about a funny thing when I went into the Post Office to post a parcel. A lady said to me 'I thought you were dead - there's a room in the Keene Hall being named after you!' My interest in collecting all the photos and documents of old Galleywood started at Lathcoats Farm. I had just witnessed the demolition of Number 2 Skinners Lane - the home of the late John Duncan - and it made me realise what old treasures we are losing. Nothing was left of the old Skinners Lane but two red brick cottages. I went on from this scene of destruction to Lathcoat's Farm and met dear old Maurice Taylor. I was remarking that old Galleywood was fast disappearing and was any one keeping records. His rejoinder was 'not to my knowledge - what about you making a start.' And that was the beginning of what has been a long and interesting self-inflicted task. My wife and I have lived here for 50 years come Christmas Day this year. I can recall the peace that pervaded old Galleywood, back just so short a time. Very little traffic noise, lots of bird-song, the smell of apple blossom in spring and the cattle from Bearman's Farm strolling up the road for milking. The cheery passing of the time of day with all the old timers and the friendly chatter of children when walking the dog. That was the freedom that has been lost over the past 40 years and I don't see how it can be replaced. Thanks again for today, it will be unforgettable. Finally let me finish by thanking my dear wife for enduring hours and hours of loneliness whilst I was busy in the darkroom reproducing all the old photos for the albums during the dark winter nights.'

Ron then read aloud a poem by Jack Shelley called 'The Orchard'. He felt this expressed the serenity of the long lost days of a bygone era.

The Parish Council chairman, Ted Hawkins closed by thanking Ron for the work he had put into compiling the archive and the invaluable contribution this had been to the history of Galleywood.

School launches their CD

Pupils at Galleywood Infants School and St. Michael's Junior School have made their contribution to the Millennium celebrations by making a CD called 'Galleywood 2000' More than 100 pupils performed songs and as well as featuring tracks from the two schools the CD includes contributions from Jubilee Park Pre School, St. Michael's church, Galleywood Methodist Church and Rainbow Pre School. Anthea Tilsley, head teacher of the Infants School explained 'We particularly wanted to involve members of the community. Galleywood has a strong community spirit and we wanted to reflect this.' In addition to the three tracks sung by the pupils, the CD features playground games and chants. There are also reminiscences of three generations of one family about their schooldays and extracts from the school logbook.

Village Protection Group launched

A planning application has prompted a group of residents in the area of Galleyend to form a 'Village Protection Group'. The application proposes a small development of terraced houses to the rear of 'Bechers' and 'Pipers' in Watchouse Road. The site has no road frontage and access would be via a new road to be constructed between the two properties. A further representation, requesting a change to the Green Belt status of the land behind the site, signalled possible future building of up to 100 houses. Local opposition was speedily mobilised and investigations revealed a number of 'Representations' from other landowners threatening the building of up to 2000 houses in Galleywood. A working committee was formed and a clarion call went out to all concerned about this apparent 'threat to our village and quality of life'. Many were turned away from a packed public meeting at The Keene Hall where chairman Alan Thomas introduced the committee and outlined the background to the formation of the Group. Some questions from the floor were answered by local barrister, John Dagg, who specialises in planning matters.


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