Easter Village Walk - April 2018
Despite a week of foreboding forecasts for Easter Monday, even on the day before, 30 or so walkers, children and dogs gathered at the Village Hall to enjoy a rain-free (albeit, somewhat muddy!) tour of the Colne Valley and the Bluebell Wood (except there was not one to be seen - delayed by weeks of cold weather!). The rain returned during the post-walk refreshments but, by then, everyone had had a great time and nobody cared...
|The advance party walking down to Hulls Mill...||...to the ford, where the Colne was well in flood.||Setting off alongside the river...|
|Brian and Ann returning down Purls Hill...||...to join those walking towards Barratts Hall.||Sophie with Phoebe in the churchyard.|
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...
|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.
|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 email@example.com 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...
|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|