My wife, Jan, fell in love with the view across the fields from Bell Cottage the first time she saw it. We were looking for a weekend hide-away, to escape from busy lives as a Patent Attorney in private practice in London, and a lecturer in Nutrition and Cookery at a College of Further Education, with four late-teens and early twenties children filling our home with their friends and music. That was nearly twenty years ago, and now we are both retired we enjoy living in Burston and playing an active role in the community. I initiated the Burston Oil Group, an oil-buying syndicate that saved members about £30 each year, which has now become part of a county-wide scheme. I was treasurer of the Community Action Team, and now I am Chairman. I joined the Parish Council in 2013, and took a major part in the project for refurbishing the play equipment on the playing field, and the provision of the new equipment, before becoming Chairman of the Parish Council in 2015.
I moved to Shimpling from Hertfordshire in 1988, and have now retired.
I have enjoyed bird watching and wildlife since I was a child so particularly wanted to be based in East Anglia, as it has such a rich avifauna. It is especially nice to be able to walk the footpaths and Green Lanes around the Parish.
It’s a pleasure to live in such rural surroundings and I’ve joined the Parish Council to support shaping the future of the area, so that others may also enjoy living here in years to come.
Born in Shimpling, I moved to Burston in 1961 and have lived here ever since, apart from a brief spell shortly after I married when I moved to Diss. My parents and grandparents all lived in Burston or Shimpling. My grandfather was publican at the Crown from 1916 to 1925 when he relocated to Shimpling Eagle and Child. My husband is local, his parents and grandparents all lived in Burston. It’s therefore with good reason that I call myself ‘born & bred’. The village primary school is where my early education was achieved and I was fortunate enough to move on to Diss Grammar school. During my years in the village I have held the title of president of the Women’s Institute and captain of the Bowls Club, amenities that unfortunately no longer exist. They belong to an era when I felt a great sense of community spirit in the village – something that my new role as a parish councillor may help me to restore.
My wife and I moved to village in January 2016 after purchasing the old swimming pool building owned by the Tuck family at Mill House, Mill Green and spent the next 20 months converting the building into our new home which is now almost complete and we have been in occupation since Nov 2016. Since moving to the area we have been warmly welcomed by sections of the village community especially by our immediate neighbours. I have joined the Parish Council because of the friendly welcome we have received I am keen to replicate this to other new arrivee’s and maintain the obvious reputation that Burston and Shimpling has for being a good place to live. I feel it is important that village communities seek to bring established residents into contact with new incoming residents by arranging community events. I believe the Parish Council is the best forum for disparate groups within the village to coordinate their efforts for the benefit of the whole village. With the possibility of smaller village communities having to combine into much larger groupings I believe its essential that this is resisted unless the smaller villages will be better off. I’m especially interested in the Diss & District Neighbourhood Plan and the Parish Council’s part in developing it as best way to deal with the increasing demand being made in terms of housing, traffic and infrastructure issues on small villages.
I became a Parish Councillor in 2019 thinking that as a retired Headteacher I had skills I could use to support our parish. Rural villages like Burston are amazing places to live. They are great if you are mobile, outgoing and active but come with challenges if you depend on public transport or are infirm. For this reason, I believe a sense of community responsibility is required to ensure that residents do not feel isolated in their own homes, that village life remains vibrant and offers amenities and activities for all age groups
After a short service commission in the Army, I spent a career in the Brewing and Pub Industry with various companies rising to Regional Director level with a major National before retiring to Spain in 2008. For the next 10 years my wife and I owned a hobby Olive farm making olive oil and selling it locally in the villages of Andalucia.
Married to Yvonne with 4 children and numerous grandchildren I enjoy golf and am a keen Harlequins Rugby supporter.
Although not local I have lived and worked around East Anglia for some 20 years of my life and hope to bring some experience and help in various roles on the council, to people in the parish