Christmas Village Walk - December 2017

The forecast was dire, the snow was falling fast, but 20 or so intrepid walkers (and 2 dogs) braved the elements for a bracing post-Christmas tour of Greater Maplestead, rounded off with welcoming glasses of mulled wine, sandwiches, sausage rolls and mince pies in the Village Hall later. Thanks and well done to everyone who made the effort to support the event...

Xmas Walkers Xmas Walkers 2
The White Walkers braving the elements... Dayglo boots were a help keeping track!




Decorating the Village Christmas Tree - December 2017

On the 1st December people gathered with baubles to decorate the Village Christmas Tree, the first to be lit in the village and the start of a Christmas Tree Trail, with trees lit all the way through to Christmas Eve.

Tree Lighting 1  Tree Lighting 2  Tree Lighting 3  Tree Lighting 4 
 The bauble-bearers gather...  Placing the decorations...  Admiring the tree...  ...alight for all December









If you have a picture of your contribution to the Christmas Tree Trail, please e-mail it to and it will be added it to this page in due course.



Harvest Village Walk - October 2017

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...

 HW 17 1  HW17 2 HW17 3  HW17 4 
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!
HW17 5 HW17 6  HW17 7  HW17 8
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...

 Autumn Show Autumn Show   Autumn Show Autumn Show
 Carol introducing the Committee.  There were plants...  ...and delightful flower arrangments... ...some with an Autumn theme...
Autumn Show Autumn Show Autumn Show
...and some which were very delicate and small. There was a wide range of craft entries... ...which featured some very delicate work...
Autumn Show Autumn Show
...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 1 Boules 2  Boules 4  Boules 7
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.
Boules 6 Boules 3 Boules 5
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!

Beer Festival Programme

Beer Festival 2


Half-a-Whopper's Ian gets bluesy amongst the barrels...

Beer Festival 2


...whilst Andy shows Chairman Dave some interesting chord shapes


Beer Festival 4


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...

 EVW Apr 17 EVW Apr 17  EVW Apr 17 
 Rolo revelled in his walk with Sophie...  Phillipa & Joseph enjoyed the sun...  The bluebells were out in force in Purlshill Wood...
EVW Apr 17 EVW Apr 17 EVW Apr 17
 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...).

CVW 16 4 CVW 16 1
Setting Out The traditional 'half-way' refreshments...
 CVW 2016 2  CVW 2016 3
 ...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...

XW 01   XW 02  XW 03  XW 04
 Day 1 - Village Christmas Tree  Day 2 - Oh Star of Wonder, Star of Light  Day 3 - O Christmas Tree  Day 4 - Step Into Christmas
XW 05  XW 06  XW 07
 Day 5 - We Three Kings  Day 6 - Santa's Reindeer  Day 7 - Three Christmas Trees
XW 08 XW 09  XW 10
 Day 8 - The Twelve Days of Christmas  Day 9 - Angels from the Realms of Glory  Day 10 - In The Bleak Mid-Winter
XW 11 XW 12 XW 13
Day 11 - While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night Day 12 - Mistletoe & Wine Day 13 - Jingle Bells
XW 14 XW 15 XW 16A
 Day 14 - Blue Christmas  Day 15 - We Saw Three Ships  Day 16 - Cosy Christmas
XW 17 XW 18 XW 19
Day 17 - Winter Wonderland Day 18 - Away in a Manger Day 19 - More Shepherds, More Sheep
XW 20  XW 21  XW 22  
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...

 Harvest Village Walk 1  Harvest Village Walk 2  Harvest Village Walk 3
Brain & Joan ready for the off.  It was a beautiful day...  ...with some spectacular clouds!
Harvest Village Walk 4 Harvest Village Walk 5 Harvest Village Walk 6 Harvest Village Walk 7
There was interesting wildlife to spot for the quiz... well as a scary sculpture! Simon & Julie obviously had a good time... did Sophie & Phoebe.



Flower Show - September 2016

An annual opportunity for a bit of friendly competition in the fields of horticulture, crafts and cooking...

Flower Show Flower Show Flower Show
 The produce was scrutinised... find the best fruit, vegetables, eggs...  ...and cooked confections.
Flower Show Flower Show Flower Show Flower Show
 Flower arrangements...  ...of various sorts were on display.  Philippa won a prize with this.  There were cakes aplenty too...
Flower Show Flower Show  
 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...

Poster QB - Events Programme
QB - Tug-of-War QB - Maplestead Mincers QB - Graham's Royal Car

Afternoon events: the ladies tug-of-war...

... Morris dancing by the Maplestead Mincers...

and Graham's 'Royal Rolls'.
Connie & Dorothy Wheelbarrows 1 Wheelbarrows 2 Wheelbarrows 3 Wheelbarrows 4
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.

BBQ The Cooks Carving the lamb

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.
The catering staff Tucking in
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!

Beer Festival



Celebrations at the Saturday opening...

Morris Men


Belchamp Morris Men dancing on the Sunday...

Beer Festival Beer Festival Half a Whopper
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!

Tree down 1   Tree down 2
 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...

 Appreciative audience Magic in the air  Cutting edge 
 An appreciative full-house...  Sophie helping with a rope trick...  Julie being sawn in half...
 EAA Certificate  



Christmas Village Walk - December 2015

A dry, sunny day and a great opportunity to walk off those excess Christmas calories...

 Crossing the field  Refreshment stop  
 Crossing the field towards Byham Hall...  Mid-way 'refreshments'...  
Curious horses    
Curious horses...    



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 Noel Hark the Herald Angels        Angels from the Realms 
 1st - The First Noel - what else?  2nd - Hark the Herald Angels Sing  3rd - Angels from the Realms of Glory
Away in a Manger It Came Upon... Mary Had a Baby Boy Silent Night
4th - Away in a Manger 5th - It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 6th - Mary Had a Baby Boy 7th - Silent Night, Holy Night
Holly & Ivy Ding Dong Merrily         Rudolph I Saw 3 Ships
8th - The Holly and the Ivy 9th - Ding Dong Merrily on High 10th - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 11th - I Saw Three Ships...
O Little Town I'm Dreaming... Carol of the Drum
12th - O Little Town of Bethlehem 14th - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas 15th - The Carol of the Drum
We Three Kings... God Rest Ye Merry... When Santa...      
16th - We Three Kings of Orient Are 17th - God Rest Ye Merry... 18th - When Santa Got Stuck Down the Chimney
O Christmas Tree In The Bleak... Spaceman Away in a Manger
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 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...

On road   and off
 Walkers and dogs on road...  ...and off...
Al fresco picnic
Al fresco refreshments at the finish



Blooms in Maplestead - June 2015

Great Maplestead decorated inside and out in a celebration of Summer...

 Decorated plough  Font flowers
 Decorated plough under the village oak tree...  Flowers in the font at St Giles'...
 Entrance display  WI entry
 Display in the Church entrance...  WI Black & White display...


...and there was a car show too.

Cars 1  Cars 2 
 Caterham; MGA; Vauxhall Viva; AC Cobra replica; Ford Popular  Mercedes Convertible; Mazda MX5 Roadster; TVR
 Cars 3  Cars 4
                          Morris Minor; Lancia Delta Integrale  Lotus Elan 2+2 restoration project; Hillman Super Minx; Morgan