A Happy New Year to all Titchmarsh residents from your Parish Council. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and we hope that 2021 is better for us all. There have been many difficulties, but also many achievements. The Titchmarsh community has risen to the challenge of Coronavirus, with a lot of neighbourliness, and the launch of support@titchmarsh, which remains active for villagers in need of support.
The village shop has stayed open throughout the pandemic, offering vital supplies and a friendly place to stop and chat. Despite being hampered by the inability to hold face-to-face meetings, the village has started an energetic campaign against the Diocese of Peterborough’s plan to sell a ‘development option’ on 114 acres of farmland just south of the Village.
Just before Christmas there was flooding not only at the fords going out of Polopit but also in Polopit itself by the bridge to Abbots Close and at London End on the road out of the village towards Clopton. The situation was exacerbated by the police who were directing traffic through Titchmarsh because the A14 was shut due to an accident. The flood wardens donned their waders and hi-vis jackets, picked up their torches, put out the flood warning signs, made sure local residents were ok and were directing traffic.
Because of Covid restrictions, Christmas 2020 in Titchmarsh was very different to what we are all used to. A lot of village Christmas traditions had to be cancelled or curtailed. However there were still Christmas Carols – of a sort. Two special services were held in the church: one on 20th (family service) and one on 21st. There was no singing but plenty of recorded music and readings from villagers. Takeaway mulled wine and mince pies was appreciated by all. There was also a Christingle service on-line on 13th December – about 60 people joined in. On Christmas Eve there was a family nativity service (44 attendees) and a midnight service (42 attendees including from NZ & Portugal) both on-line.
Even so, in a village renowned for its hospitality, there would be no Christmas parties. No getting together with neighbours. Worse still, the virus ensured that many of us were unable to travel to see family out of the village, or were unable to host family members here.
Meanwhile, the Wheatsheaf – our village pub – continued to operate and adapt as the rules changed and became increasingly more difficult. As we enter the new year they are still providing take-away meals twice a week.
We hope everyone had as happy a Christmas as possible in the circumstances, and we look forward to a return to normality in 2021. In the meantime, stay safe, and thank you to everyone for being such fantastic neighbours in these difficult times.