Sedgefield Web

The Online Version Of The Sedgefield News

News, Arts & Features

It's the Sedgefield News but online, including monthly updates from Steve’s Nature Diary. Plus, all the latest Arts updates by Tom Guest.


All the latest ramblings from Sports Editor Chris Lines plus updates from the Squash Club, The Harriers, local Football teams, Sedgefield Rugby plus others.

Community Life

Sedgefield Village Neighbourhood & Crime Watch, PC Todd’s report, Pub Watch, The Sedgefield Plan. Plus, all the hot topics in your letters and the regular meetings list.

What's On?

All the latest events from around the village. The team provide the 'What's On' details in the Diary & Liz Delderfield will provide all the Social Media feeds. Keep them up to date and you can be featured here.

Farmers Market

All the latest updates from the market plus the featured community group. The market is held every first Sunday of the Month, on the village green, from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

Energy Switch

Sedgefield Energy Switch is a new initiative from Sedgefield Development Trust. Working together with iChoosr, we're trying to help Sedgefield residents save money on their domestic gas and electricity bills.

The Front Page

Sedgefield News - June Edition

Sedgefield Day 2016

Walter Howell is Sedgefield’s Citizen of the Year 2016

Walter Howell has never been one to sit back and wait for things to happen. As a youngster in Fishburn he, and his friends, would spend their weekends cycling. Trips to York and back on a Saturday, followed by The Lake District and back on a Sunday were not unusual occurrences. Walter’s love of cycling led to him and his friends undertaking a two week cycling tour of France, Belgium and Luxembourg – the boys were fifteen years old! Looking back, Walter is still amazed at the memory of his parents waving him off to Europe for two weeks with no means of contacting him during that time. However, he also believes that being given that freedom to explore both himself and the world was very valuable to him as a young man.

It should come as no shock then that one organisation that attracted Walter’s admiration was The Boy Scout movement. Aged only eighteen, Walter founded a Boy Scout Troop in Fishburn. For their first trip Walter, accompanied 24 boys in the back of a furniture removal van to the Lake District! The founding of this troop had a welcome knock on effect for Sedgefield as Geoff Hopper, one of the original scouts, went on to set up Sedgefield Scouts. Currently, Walter retains an interest in scouting in his position as Group Chairman of Sedgefield Scouts.

With such an interest in working with young people, it is not surprising that Walter chose teaching as his profession. Walter began his working life as a Teacher of Art at Wheatley Hill Boys’ School before moving to Wingate Secondary Modern and seeing out his career at Wellfield Comprehensive School.

Walter’s art skills were to come in useful in one of his first community involvements in Sedgefield. In the very early days of Sedgefield Community Association money was a major issue. It was suggested that a fund raising jumble sale should be held in the Parish Hall. Walter suggested that perhaps they could jazz it up, give it a theme or something - just to make it a little more interesting. Walter used his Art skills to create medieval banners and persuaded stallholders and helpers to attend in medieval costume. It was so well received someone suggested that it should be held outdoors the following year. And so, The Medieval Fayre was born.

Walter’s Art skills would often come in useful during his 45 years as Productions Director with Sedgefield Players. The role was primarily a managerial one, overseeing productions ranging from Drama to Pantomime and Comedy to Reviews. However, Walter could often be seen making scenery, sleeves rolled and up to the elbows in paint. Looking back, Walter recalls with particular fondness the outdoor performances The Players staged in the grounds of Ceddesfeld Hall. These included Camelot and The Tempest but Walter’s highlight was the Performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which was scheduled for September. As the date approached doubts began to surface over the wisdom of choosing to perform outside on a date so late in the summer. Fortunately, the weather gods were kind, providing a lovely night from early evening right through to the midnight finish. “Magical,” remembers Walter.

Walter was also the prime mover in the formation of the Junior Players section. Needing some children for one of his first pantomime productions, Walter persuaded adult members to donate their children to this worthy cause. It occurred to him that a junior section would help to “grow our own talent”. At the moment the youth section is 60 strong and goes from strength to strength. Recently, they competed at Port Sunlight against a number of well established adult groups. Although they went with no thought of victory against such strong opponents one of the young players was nominated as best actress and the group was awarded the adjudicator’s prize for outstanding teamwork.

The common thread running through Walter’s story is that he has been a truly positive force in bringing people together in common interests. He, and his wife Mildred, continue to enjoy meeting new people by opening their garden for public viewing each year. “It’s not really about the flowers,” Walter told me,” it’s about meeting kindred spirits and the community involvement in a village I love.”

Sedgefield Village Games

In an increasingly inactive society, Sedgefield can be proud of the huge variety of active pastimes available within the community. Sedgefield Village Games aims to ensure that generation after generation is inspired to lead healthy lifestyles and this month’s 2016 festival can play an important role in that. It should also be great fun for children and parents alike, so please get involved!

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