A snapshot of life in the village
1987 - 2007




Mike Moves

The parish of St. Michaels said goodbye to their assistant minister in January this year. The Rev. Mike McNamara came to Galleywood in 1997 from Bolton where he was Team Vicar in an inner city multi-faith community. Prior to that he had served as pastor to the Cathedral Chaplaincy in Tanzania - a mixed congregation of expatriates and Tanzanians who worshipped in English. Mike arrived in Galleywood as a bachelor and leaves as a family man and father. He met Joanna Hammonds during his time in Tanzania and eleven years later they were married at her home in New Zealand. They now have a son, George, and are moving to Elmswell near Bury St Edmonds where Mike will be Rector of St. John the Divine.

MBE for David Cook

When Vi Cook heard that her husband was being recommended for an award for services to education she was sworn to secrecy. And she kept the secret. 'I didn’t even tell our daughters!' she proudly declares. So although almost two years were to pass before the distinguished looking envelope fell through the letterbox, she guessed the contents of the letter that David was about to open. On the expensive cream bond used only for letters of national importance, the Secretary for Appointments declared … 'The Prime Minister has asked me to inform you, in strict confidence, that he has it in mind to submit your name to the Queen ………' That was last November and it wasn't until a phone call from the press early in January that David learned that he was to receive the MBE 'For Services to Education'.

It was 40 years ago, when he was Churchwarden of St. Michaels, that he was invited to be PCC appointed manager for the church school where both his daughters were pupils. With the village population already expanding there was soon the problem of overcrowding. David recalls how they dealt with this. 'In 1963 a new word came into the vocabulary when 'demountable' classrooms were erected. They're still there being used by the Youth Service'. Pupil numbers continued to increase and in 1965 the Vicarage Hall was being used as a classroom.

When the Barnard Road development took place it became obvious that new premises would be needed. So in 1967 two schools came into being - The County Infants and St. Michael's Junior. The managers became responsible for the new Junior school which put a burden on the church to raise their portion of the building costs. 'I headed up various Fund Raising activities which I found very rewarding. This was long before S.M.A.S.H was formed of course'. Overcrowding remained a problem during these years and a further five 'demountable' classrooms were installed as pupil numbers reached 400. Throughout these years it was normal for the Vicar to be the Chair of the governors. 'Charles Cottey (later awarded the MBE) and I were Vice chairmen. When the government introduced major changes in 1986, managers became governors. Our duties increased considerably with the introduction of Local Management for schools. The National Curriculum was introduced and OFSTED inspections came into being with further involvement of the governors. In 1986, the Vicar felt that his time in the parish could be better spent undertaking pastoral duties so did not wish to be Chair. So I took on the task which I did not relinquish until September 2000. I found the task rewarding through the years especially when our first OFSTED inspection in 1997 brought such a good report.'

David's service to the wider community does not stop here of course. For many years he ran the Darby and Joan club and is currently vice chairman of the Trustees of the Keene Hall Charity. He is presently recuperating from a recent operation to replace a knee joint.

Robbery at Threshers

A teenage girl was threatened by a robber that he would slit her throat during a raid at Threshers Off Licence in Watchouse Road. Jenny Willis was working alone when two men entered the store at around 7.30 pm. After a brief conversation one of them walked behind the counter and grabbed Miss Willis' hair, pulled her head down, grabbed her neck shouting 'Give me the money, open the till.' When Miss Willis said the till could not be opened without a purchase, he shouted 'Open the till or I'll slit your throat,' The scene was recorded on CCTV and fingerprints later helped link the men with the crime. Passers-by noted the number of their car which was later involved in a high speed chase near Howe Green. After a crash three men were caught by the police.

Horse Fair

The annual Chelmsford Horse Fair took place this year at Carlton Farm in Beehive Lane. The appeal of this event is its old fashioned style where horses are traded by bartering. Around 1000 visitors attended to look over the 60 to 70 horses from miniature ponies to shires. A range of stalls provided other attractions and a hog roast added a traditional flavour.

Village Design Statement Workshop

Early in the year a small working group was formed to consider the preparation of a Village Design Statement. This document would describe the physical qualities and characteristics of the village and the values these have for local people. The aim would be for the Statement to be eventually linked with the formal planning system and to influence future planning and development decisions. Recognising that development and change must take place if the countryside is to remain alive, the working group planned a consultation process with local residents.

In June a Photo Fun Day was organised. Letters were sent to every home and a day of activity was set up based at Keene Hall. Groups were assigned various designated routes around the village and given two disposable cameras. The task was to record any features, desirable or otherwise, that they felt should feature in a photographic survey of the village. Results were quickly processed and the teams given the opportunity to paste these up as a presentation of their key findings on their route. Refreshments were provided throughout the day and all who took part entered into the spirit of the exercise with great enthusiasm and dedication.

The process will continue during the year with a further questionnaire to all residents, leading to the ultimate submission of a draft document for approval by the Chelmsford Borough Council.


Using the Diary

To find information in the diary.

  • Select a YEAR of interest from the top menu
  • Select SEARCH from the top menu

Try searching for a Name, Place or Event