Harvest Village Walk - October 2016
By the time the surprisingly large party of intrepid walkers, children, dogs and ponies set off on their 4-mile tour of the parish and its environs, the earlier rain had stopped. Although the skies remained grey, it was warm and the walk was enjoyed by all...
|Pausing for a chat...||...after climbing Link Hills.||Noah and Moses were looking forward to the walk...||...although Noah hadn't bargained on carrying Sophie!|
|The ponies (with Sophie & Poppy), dogs and people...||...enjoying a drink at the half-way point.||The last uphill stretch...||...before reaching the Village Hall|
Autumn Show - September 2017
The Maplesteads' annual autumn opportunity for a bit of friendly competition in the fields of horticulture, crafts, cooking and photography...
|Carol introducing the Committee.||There were plants...||...and delightful flower arrangments...||...some with an Autumn theme...|
|...and some which were very delicate and small.||There was a wide range of craft entries...||...which featured some very delicate work...|
|...and there was the usual range of produce and cakes.||The prize-winners with their trophies.|
A list of the various prize-winners can be found here.
Boules on the Playing Field - July 2017
A lazy summer Sunday al fresco on the Playing Field with a distinctively French twist; the wine flowed, ice-creams were enjoyed and a hot afternoon of even hotter competiton ensued. The eventual winners were Team 1 (Steve & the Martins C & E)...
|Boules is a serious business! Judge Joe had to be called in to adjudicate on many occasions...||Martin C attempting to out-psyche James before a crucial match...||Keith being advised of the finer points of boules etiquette by the Jills...||...while the Rices just came along for the picnic.|
|By half-time, Team 1 had established a lead they were never to relinquish...||Martin E & Gaynor getting refreshed during the break, while Philippa, Dierdre & Sara share the sausage rolls...||The final few ends were played out as the late afternoon shadows lengthened...|
5th Annual Beer Festival - April 2017
Another year and another well-appreciated 2-day social event to raise money for the Village Hall - with music, Morris Dancing, lots of different beers and, this year, Prosecco!
Half-a-Whopper's Ian gets bluesy amongst the barrels...
...whilst Andy shows Chairman Dave some interesting chord shapes
On Sunday the Belchamp Morris Men were back, by popular demand.
Easter Village Walk - April 2017
More fine weather - it's a special arrangement we have(!) - saw a 50-strong walking party (plus many assorted dogs) complete a 4-mile circuit of the parish, taking in a fine display of bluebells on the way...
|Rolo revelled in his walk with Sophie...||Phillipa & Joseph enjoyed the sun...||The bluebells were out in force in Purlshill Wood...|
|The drinks stop offered a welcome, thirst-quenching break...||Ann & Howard out in the wilds...||Angela in deep discussion en route...|
Christmas Village Walk - December 2016
A stunningly sunny winter's day encouraged a record number of participants (50+) to gather to walk off their Christmas calories (only to put more on consuming sandwiches, sausage rolls, mince pies and mulled wine at the end...).
|Setting Out||The traditional 'half-way' refreshments...|
|...gave everyone the chance for a breather and a chat.||Poppy and Phoebe enjoyed the walk too|
Second Advent Windows Spectacular - December 2016
After last year's successful initiative: another selection of Christmas-themed displays around the village, launched and lit sequentially during the December days of Advent...
|Day 1 - Village Christmas Tree||Day 2 - Oh Star of Wonder, Star of Light||Day 3 - O Christmas Tree||Day 4 - Step Into Christmas|
|Day 5 - We Three Kings||Day 6 - Santa's Reindeer||Day 7 - Three Christmas Trees|
|Day 8 - The Twelve Days of Christmas||Day 9 - Angels from the Realms of Glory||Day 10 - In The Bleak Mid-Winter|
|Day 11 - While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night||Day 12 - Mistletoe & Wine||Day 13 - Jingle Bells|
|Day 14 - Blue Christmas||Day 15 - We Saw Three Ships||Day 16 - Cosy Christmas|
|Day 17 - Winter Wonderland||Day 18 - Away in a Manger||Day 19 - More Shepherds, More Sheep|
|Day 20 - Five Gold Rings||Day 21 - Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire||Day 22 - Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth)|
Harvest Village Walk - October 2016
Another warm, sunny day for the second Autumn Harvest Walk - one enjoyed by dogs and people alike...
|Brain & Joan ready for the off.||It was a beautiful day...||...with some spectacular clouds!|
|There was interesting wildlife to spot for the quiz...||...as well as a scary sculpture!||Simon & Julie obviously had a good time...||...as did Sophie & Phoebe.|
Flower Show - September 2016
An annual opportunity for a bit of friendly competition in the fields of horticulture, crafts and cooking...
|The produce was scrutinised...||...to find the best fruit, vegetables, eggs...||...and cooked confections.|
|Flower arrangements...||...of various sorts were on display.||Philippa won a prize with this.||There were cakes aplenty too...|
|Denise (O'C) was a prize-winner for her flower arrangement...||...and Denise (T) was a double-winner for her watercolours.|
A full list of the various winners can be found here.
Celebrating the Queen's 90th Birthday
A day of fun, festivities, a barbeque and spectacular fireworks to mark a very special occasion...
Afternoon events: the ladies tug-of-war...
... Morris dancing by the Maplestead Mincers...
|and Graham's 'Royal Rolls'.|
|Connie & Dorothy, Maplestead's own royalty...||
...watching the decorated wheelbarrow competition.
|Mary's fine exhibit...||...and while Sophie & Julie went for balloons...||
...these Princesses decided flowers worked best.
The three lamb spit-roast barbeque was the focus of the evening's events...
The cooks, Ian & Joe, being chivvied into action by Ann...
|...and finally getting down to the serious carving.|
|These ladies looked after the catering so well...||...that everyone enjoyed a really great evening.|
4th Annual Beer Festival - April/May 2016
A well-appreciated, and very well-attended, 2-day social event to raise money for the Village Hall - with music, Morris Dancing and lots of different beers!
Celebrations at the Saturday opening...
Belchamp Morris Men dancing on the Sunday...
|The Saturday evening scene...||Dancing to the music...||Half a Whopper (Ian & Andy) live in the Marquee...|
Easter Village Walk - March 2016
Cancelled, due to Storm Katie... This was the fallen tree blocking the route at St Mary's!
|Looking up Toldishall Road towards Barretts Hall...||Looking down Toldishall Road towards the brook...|
Magic Night - March 2016
A great success: £650 raised for the Herts & Essex Air Ambulance and a good time had by a capacity crowd in the Village Hall...
|An appreciative full-house...||Sophie helping with a rope trick...||Julie being sawn in half...|
Christmas Village Walk - December 2015
A dry, sunny day and a great opportunity to walk off those excess Christmas calories...
|Crossing the field towards Byham Hall...||Mid-way 'refreshments'...|
Advent Windows Spectacular - December 2015
An interesting and original initiative: 24 windows around the village, decorated with Christmas themes and lit sequentially during the December days of Advent...
|1st - The First Noel - what else?||2nd - Hark the Herald Angels Sing||3rd - Angels from the Realms of Glory|
|4th - Away in a Manger||5th - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear||6th - Mary Had a Baby Boy||7th - Silent Night, Holy Night|
|8th - The Holly and the Ivy||9th - Ding Dong Merrily on High||10th - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer||11th - I Saw Three Ships...|
|12th - O Little Town of Bethlehem||14th - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas||15th - The Carol of the Drum|
|16th - We Three Kings of Orient Are||17th - God Rest Ye Merry...||18th - When Santa Got Stuck Down the Chimney|
|19th - O Christmas Tree...||20th - In The Bleak Midwinter||23rd - A Spaceman Came Travelling||25th - Away in a Manger|
Apologies to those whose windows/displays were unable to be featured due to the absence of a decent quality photo - if you have one, please forward it by e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be added it to the page in due course.
Autumn Harvest Village Walk - October 2015
A warm, sunny day for the inaugural Harvest Walk - enjoyed by dogs and people alike and ending with an al fresco picnic...
|Walkers and dogs on road...||...and off...|
|Al fresco refreshments at the finish|
Blooms in Maplestead - June 2015
Great Maplestead decorated inside and out in a celebration of Summer...
|Decorated plough under the village oak tree...||Flowers in the font at St Giles'...|
|Display in the Church entrance...||WI Black & White display...|
...and there was a car show too.
|Caterham; MGA; Vauxhall Viva; AC Cobra replica; Ford Popular||Mercedes Convertible; Mazda MX5 Roadster; TVR|
|Morris Minor; Lancia Delta Integrale||Lotus Elan 2+2 restoration project; Hillman Super Minx; Morgan|