Community orchard, kitchen and panto in the pipeline in Great Whelnetham

Great Whelnetham Primary School is planning to have a children's cooking room which will also be open to community use   Pictured: Lucy Oakley, Eliza Westcott, Charlie Bullock and Wilf Dearden-Philips

Great Whelnetham Primary School is planning to have a children's cooking room which will also be open to community use Pictured: Lucy Oakley, Eliza Westcott, Charlie Bullock and Wilf Dearden-Philips

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A community orchard and kitchen, and the return of the village panto are among some of the exciting projects developing in Great Whelnetham.

Headteacher at the village primary school Chris Lawson said it is hoping to refurbish a room to provide a children’s cooking kitchen.

Great Whelnetham

Great Whelnetham

“This will help them to eat healthily and give them skills for life,” she said.

She said it would provide a facility for when it takes older children following the closure of middle schools, and said the aim is that it will also be made available for community use.

It is now 15-years since the village held its last panto.

But a new group, The Great Whelnetham Players are to bring its return along with a bumper calendar of entertainment at the community centre.

Great Whelneatham Community Centre

Great Whelneatham Community Centre

Neil Pettit, chairman of the players and a member of the community council said: “We can sit 2-300 people and we are trying to recaptures the audiences we had at the community centre in the late 90s.

“We want to boost the status of the community centre.

“We are all complete novices when it comes to acting. I’m a paramedic. We have got a butchers, a builder and a student. We are still looking for a keyboard musician.”

Tickets will soon go on sale at Sicklesmere Post Office for a variety show at the centre onJuly 6, while a murder mystery play takes place on September 14 and more events are being planned around halloween an d New Year’s Eve.

The players have repainted the stage and are set building at the moment,

The parish council meanwhile are planning to plant about 20 trees in October on land at the Sicklesmere end of the Railway Walk, which will become a community orchard where people can pick their own fruit.

Picnic benches and a small car park will also be created next to the site.

It follows a partnership project with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust which has designatedthe walk a wildlife site and held guided walks late last month.

Chris Thomson, chairman of the parish council said it is also negotiating to buy speed signs from Suffolk County Council after several accidents.

“We have a good strong community in the village at the moment. It is all going very positively,” he said,

Peter Royce said a village car rally which has taken place for the last five years has been ditched after he gave up his role on the community council due to work commitments.