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Daniel Saunders' murderer among those jailed in Suffolk this week

Kieran Hayward, who was convicted of murdering Daniel Saunders and jailed for life Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Kieran Hayward, who was convicted of murdering Daniel Saunders and jailed for life Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

A teenage murderer, a man who poured petrol over his neighbour to set her on fire and a pair who brutally attacked a woman outside a pub were jailed in Suffolk this week.

From L-R, Kieran Hayward who was convicted of murdering Daniel Saunders and jailed for life. Benjamin Gosbell, Arjun Jadeja and Kieran Elliott who were all convicted of assisting an offender. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYFrom L-R, Kieran Hayward who was convicted of murdering Daniel Saunders and jailed for life. Benjamin Gosbell, Arjun Jadeja and Kieran Elliott who were all convicted of assisting an offender. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Teenager jailed for murder

Kieran Hayward, 17, of Hasted Close, Bury St Edmunds, will serve at least 19 years of a life sentence for the murder of father-of-two Daniel Saunders.

He appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on October 7, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment, while three others were jailed for assisting him.

Mr Saunders, 32 and originally from Surrey, was attacked in Turin Street, Ipswich, on December 16 and died at the scene of the incident.

Judge Martyn Levett described the fatal stabbing of Mr Saunders as a drug-related “revenge attack” because he was suspected of robbing a drug runner.

He said that following the attack Hayward had been unremorseful and had jokingly re-enacted the stabbing to friends and mimicked Mr Saunders begging for drugs as he killed him.

Four other defendants denied assisting Hayward between December 16 and December 20 by disposing of his clothing and harbouring him at a caravan park but were found guilty.

Arjun Jadeja, 18, of The Nook, Wivenhoe; Benjamin Gosbell, 21, of Gratian Close, Highwoods, Colchester and Kieran Elliott, 17, Stanford Close, Colchester, received custodial sentences.

Raymond Hogg was jailed for 52 months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYRaymond Hogg was jailed for 52 months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Judge Levett said they had acted as a team following the stabbing to protect Hayward as loyal members of a drug syndicate. Jadeja was sentenced to 30 months detention in a young offenders’ institution in his absence, Elliott was sentenced to an 18-month detention and training order and Gosbell was jailed for 30 months. A fourth defendant, Olusola Durojaiye, 34, of Appleton Mews, Colchester, was not jailed. He given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, 250 hours unpaid work and a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Lorry driver jailed for using phone at the wheel before fatal crash

Raymond Hogg, 69, of Bridge Street, Needham Market, was travelling at around 50mph when his lorry collided with queuing traffic near Washbrook, on the approach to the Copdock junction, last April, a court heard this week.

Dash-cam footage showed traffic was visible for 14 seconds from the cab of Hogg’s Volvo lorry before it collided with the back of Amanda Snowling’s red Mazda 6 – setting off a chain of collisions involving three other cars and another lorry.

Investigators found Hogg’s phone was in almost continuous use for more than 20 minutes prior to the collision and no evidence he applied the brakes as his truck approached traffic.

Hogg was sentenced to 52 months’ custody and a five-year ban from driving. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing death by dangerous driving.

Andrew Hay and Fay Clerkin were jailed for 16 months for attacking a woman, in front of her nine-year-old child, in the beer garden of a Suffolk pub Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYAndrew Hay and Fay Clerkin were jailed for 16 months for attacking a woman, in front of her nine-year-old child, in the beer garden of a Suffolk pub Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Ex-couple jailed for beating a woman unconscious outside Haverhill pub

Andrew Hay and Fay Clerkin were sentenced to 16 months’ custody at Ipswich Crown Court for causing grievous bodily harm in Haverhill last summer.

The court heard how Hay, of Pheasant Close, Thurston, and Clerkin, of Millfields Way, Haverhill, punched, kicked, stamped and spat on their victim in front of her nine-year-old son.

The pair had previously been convicted of battery following a fight at a pub in February 2017.

Judge Martyn Levett said the victim was sitting in the beer garden with her son, “minding her own business; not causing any trouble whatsoever”, when approached by Clerkin, pointing her finger and getting in her personal space.

“They were met with a tirade of abuse about who your family were. I have no idea what that could mean; other than that you are an unpleasant person.

“The time has come for you both to be told a custodial sentence is justified and necessary.”

Alan Day, of Barkstead Road, Colchester, who has been jailed for 30 months after admitting aggravated burglaryAlan Day, of Barkstead Road, Colchester, who has been jailed for 30 months after admitting aggravated burglary

Colchester man jailed for pouring petrol over woman and trying to set her alight

Alan Day, who had been assaulted shortly before, walked into a neighbour’s house in Barkstead Road, Colchester, after getting a can of petrol from his garden shed and poured it over Charlene Collins.

He then tried to spark a lighter but was unsuccessful and Ms Collins had run out into the garden to get away from him, said Charles Kellett, prosecuting.

The police were called after he smashed a door and when officers arrived he was seen holding a lump hammer.

Day, 48, admitted aggravated burglary on July 8 last year.

Jailing him for 30 months at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge David Goodin described the incident as “absolutely terrifying” for Ms Collins but said he accepted the circumstances surrounding it were exceptional.

He said that Day had been the victim of a significant assault on the night in question and no-one had been brought to justice for it.

Shauna Ritchie, for Day, said he had acted totally out of character and had appeared “punch drunk” after a violent assault which had left him unconscious in the street.

She said Day wasn’t a violent man and was sad and remorseful about the incident of which he had no memory.

Suffolk Owl Sancuary save buzzard after bizarre accident leaves bird stuck in lorry radiator

The poor buzzard was found in the radiator of a truck in Farnham and was taken to be assessed at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary - thankfully it escaped with just one broken feather Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

The poor buzzard was found in the radiator of a truck in Farnham and was taken to be assessed at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary – thankfully it escaped with just one broken feather Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

A bird of prey struck by a truck in Suffolk had a lucky escape and has now returned to the wild thanks to the loving care of staff at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

The buzzard spent a little over two weeks at the sanctuary at Stonham Barns and is now back in the wild Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARYThe buzzard spent a little over two weeks at the sanctuary at Stonham Barns and is now back in the wild Picture: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY

The adult buzzard was found stuck in the radiator of a truck travelling near Farnham, on September 18.

After being carefully removed from the vehicle, it was inspected by the team at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary’s Stonham Barns base, including falconer Rufus Samkin.

These incidents can lead to serious injuries, from concussion to broken limbs and internal injuries, so the team were astonished to find he only had one broken feather.

Mr Samkin said: “Upon arrival at our bird of prey hospital, we gave him rehydration fluids which help the birds deal with shock and gives them a bit of a boost, as well as giving him an anti-inflammatory to help with the bruising.

“Then we assessed how willing he was to eat, and thankfully he was.

“He had a few days rest indoors in a low light, temperature controlled hospital room to keep him as relaxed as possible before we released him into an outdoor seclusion aviary designed to minimise stress.

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“He was understandably nervous as he is a wild bird but he started to fly around comfortably in the aviary and greedily ate all the food we provided which is always a great sign.”

Mr Samkin added: “He has already been set free which is great news, he’s a very lucky bird indeed.”

While road traffic accidents are a common cause of injuries to wild birds of prey, Mr Samkin said it was a surprise to see just where the buzzard was stuck.

“It’s quite unusual for a bird to be caught in a radiator but we do see a lot of birds in our hospital that are road traffic accidents,” he said.

“Kestrels hunt along roads and buzzards often scavenge road kill so are often involved in accidents.

“Head injuries after car accidents are frequent and is a huge issue for the birds because they are sight-orientated – a big enough impact can permanently blind them, if not worse.”

“Any birds with blood, broken bones or significant injuries will go straight to the vet for further assessment,” Mr Samkin added.

“It’s hugely rewarding to give an injured or unlucky wild bird of prey a second chance at life.”

Major review of lorries in small Suffolk villages to be discussed

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

A truck gets stuck in Woolpit in 2016. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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Highways chiefs in Suffolk are on the verge of starting a major review of the county’s lorry routes, amid growing concerns over truck movements in small villages.

Suffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn't be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Highways said the issue of lorries in roads they shouldn’t be had escalated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A board of senior highways officers and cabinet member Mary Evans will meet next month where the issue is set to be discussed, after requests for the issue to be more tightly managed.

While no formal timeline has been set out for the review, the board’s November meeting will discuss the problem and what steps need to take place.

It is understood that could include a working group, detailed research or other methods, and could discuss measures such as tougher sanctions on trucks using inappropriate routes and fresh conversations with haulage firms to educate drivers on the importance of using specified routes.

Conservative cabinet member Mary Evans said: “Suffolk County Council is responsible for the Suffolk Lorry Route plan.

Mary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWNMary Evans confirmed the issue was on the agenda with her highways board next month. Picture: GREGG BROWN

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“While we do not have confirmed timescales for carrying out a review of lorry routes at this time, as it is a significant piece of work, we understand how much of an issue disruption caused by HGVs has become in some areas of Suffolk.

“I can confirm that the Lorry Management Plan will be on the agenda at the next Highways Improvements and Innovation Board in November, where officers will discuss how this could be taken forward.”

According to highways insiders, the issue has become more prevalent with increased numbers of HGVs on the roads and the inability to ensure truck drivers follow diversion signs when there are roadworks, as many attempt to use local knowledge or their own routes.

Among the issues lorries in small villages cause are noise complaints, snared roads and even damage to buildings in some cases.

In June, it emerged that Suffolk’s bid for funding to bypass four villages in East Suffolk had been rejected by the Department for Transport.

The route, which planned to bypass the A12 around the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, aimed to help those communities which suffered from heavy traffic on the A12, and aid the villages as greater traffic was anticipated from the Sizewell C project.

Norfolk brewery Woodforde's and Norwich City football club to host pub fan events

Award-winning Norfolk brewery Woodforde’s and Norwich City Football Club have launched a scheme offering ticket prize draws, special appearances, pre and post game events and live podcast recordings. Photo: Woodforde's

Award-winning Norfolk brewery Woodforde’s and Norwich City Football Club have launched a scheme offering ticket prize draws, special appearances, pre and post game events and live podcast recordings. Photo: Woodforde’s

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One of the region’s top breweries is set to partner with Norwich’s Premier League football club to offer exclusive fan events at five select venues across the city.

Award-winning Norfolk brewery Woodforde’s and Norwich City Football Club have launched a scheme offering ticket prize draws, special appearances from club legends, pre and post game events and live podcast recordings from Talk Norwich City.

The brewery, already the main sponsor of the club, will host events at The Murderers, on Timber Hill; The Jubilee, on St Leonard’s Road; Queen of Iceni, at Riverside; Lollards Pit, on Riverside Road; and the Compleat Angler, on Prince of Wales Road – which are set to become go-to destinations for Canaries fans throughout the season.

The brand new scheme, titled Premier Pub Partners, will run ticket competitions for fans on match days, with the first promotion on offer this weekend.

Anyone ordering a pint of Woodfordes at The Murderers, on Timber Hill, on Saturday, October 5, will be entered into a draw for tickets to Norwich vs Aston Villa at Carrow Road that day.

James Armitage, marketing director at Woodforde’s Brewery, said: “We’re proud to be a primary partner of Norwich City, and everybody is excited to have the club back in the top flight.

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“Our Premier Pub Partners will be the place to be for City fans this season, with unmissable experiences, the chance to win tickets before matches, and great Woodforde’s beer on offer.”

Woodforde’s beers Wherry, West Coast Wherry and Norada are available at Carrow Road on matchdays, with the Woodforde’s Fire Truck dispensing pints to thirsty fans before games.

The news comes as the brewery celebrates its most successful ale trail yet, with 750,000 pints of Woodforde’s beers sold at pubs in East Anglia’s largest ale trail.

More than 400 pubs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire took part this summer, with the trail ending on Sunday, September 29.

And Billy Barnes, manager at The Lollards Pit, said: “The Ale Trail is crucial to us – it drives in new people to the pub.

“We always keep Woodforde’s on anyway but we have had a lot of people ask for the lager Conquest this year too.”

– For more information about Premier Pub Partners special events, NCFC fans should follow @WoodfordesBeer and @TalkNorwichCity on social media.

Appeal after number of tools stolen from truck in Lowestoft

Lowestoft Police are appealing for information after tools were stolen from a truck PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Police are appealing for information after tools were stolen from a truck PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

Information is being sought after a number of tools were stolen from a parked vehicle.

Police are appealing for help after a truck, which was parked in Tethys Place, off St Margarets Road in Lowestoft was broken in to overnight.

The theft from a motor vehicle happened at sometime between midnight on Sunday, September 15 and 5.30am on Monday, September 16 as “a number of tools were stolen from inside,” according to a police spokesman.

If you can help or if you have any information about this incident please contact Suffolk Police quoting reference 37/56529/19 via 101.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Tribute: Ex-Land Girl worked at Stoke Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa

Phyllis was born at Plumstead, in south-east London, in 1923 Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Phyllis was born at Plumstead, in south-east London, in 1923 Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

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‘She was a very courageous, dignified, loving, cheerful and inspiring woman, and we will all miss her dearly’

Devora Peake, centre, with ladies from Boxford who worked together in the 1950s at Hill Farm, Boxford, with Bill and Devora. Phyllis is top right Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWINDevora Peake, centre, with ladies from Boxford who worked together in the 1950s at Hill Farm, Boxford, with Bill and Devora. Phyllis is top right Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWIN

The bowl of Cadbury Eclairs is still there, just inside the front door of Phyllis Rose’s cosy cottage. She rarely partook herself, but loved to give visitors a treat. “She used to buy about six bags of chocolate éclairs about every fortnight,” explains daughter Rhona. “The bowl would be heaped up. Everybody who went in had a few.

“I used to get the money ready for her hairdresser, and Mum would say ‘Put four next to the money.’ She’d give you anything.”

Originally from south-east London, Phyllis had come to rural East Anglia in her late teens after deciding to join the Women’s Land Army and help the war effort.

It was hard graft. When Phyllis led a pair of shire horses up and down a field, the ploughman working behind, they’d manage to turn only about one acre a day.

One day, in the winter, the carrots were frozen solid in the ground. The Land Girls went off for a beer at the pub (not that Phyllis drank alcohol) and found themselves docked a day’s pay.

Percy and Phyllis married at Boxford church on a snowy day less than a fortnight before Christmas 1946 Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPercy and Phyllis married at Boxford church on a snowy day less than a fortnight before Christmas 1946 Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Rather more happily, Phyllis met and married her beloved Percy – his laid-back Suffolk ways, contrasting with her Duracell-like get-up-and-go, proving the adage that opposites attract.

They married at Boxford church on a snowy day less than a fortnight before Christmas 1946, had their two daughters, never moved away, and were husband and wife for more than 56 years – until Percy died in 2003 at the age of 75.

Carol and Rhona remember Phyllis as quite a strict mum during their childhood: strict but lovely; kind, and with many friends.

“She used to dress us in white. White bows. White shoes; sandals. Everything white. And we weren’t allowed to move!” laughs Rhona.

“And we had plaits – long plaits.” The young sisters had hair long enough to sit on. “She used to brush it and we used to make a fuss, so one day she just snipped them off!”

Percy and Phyllis in front of the old Women's Land Army buildings at Leavenheath Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPercy and Phyllis in front of the old Women’s Land Army buildings at Leavenheath Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

“Our dad cried,” says Carol.

Rhona again. “I had to look for something down at hers, the other day, and she’d kept them. I found them, wrapped up.”

She adds: “I know if I had a boyfriend, and I’d been out to a dance or something, she’d be in bed when I came back and she’d shout out of the window ‘Rhona! Will you come in!’ But she was lovely.

“We’ve had a lot of laughs, and have some lovely memories to look back on.”

Phyllis. 'We’ve had a lot of laughs, and have some lovely memories to look back on,' says daughter Rhona Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis. ‘We’ve had a lot of laughs, and have some lovely memories to look back on,’ says daughter Rhona Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Wanted to be a ratcatcher

Details of her early life are a bit blurred, but Phyllis Seymour was born at Plumstead, in south-east London, in 1923. She had a sister and brother, and at some point they went to live with her grandmother in the Sussex seaside town of Littlehampton.

She’d tell Rhona, much later, how her school hadn’t been far from Arundel Castle. If you did well in your lessons, the Duchess of Norfolk would send down a little boat and take a few children back for tea at the castle. “Mum said she went twice.”

During an interview five years ago, Phyllis told us her mother had been killed by the first bomb the Nazis dropped on Bognor Regis (likely in September, 1940). Her father, in a factory, was apparently left stone-deaf by the noise of a bomb-strike.

It seems Phyllis went to live with a grandmother near the Woolwich Arsenal, in London, before being evacuated to Huddersfield. She worked in a Co-op and was apparently still only 17 when she came to Suffolk to join the Women’s Land Army.

Young Phyllis Seymour, as was Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONYoung Phyllis Seymour, as was Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

It was her neighbour’s Land Army uniform that provided the motivation. The green beret caught Phyllis’s eye. “She said she was a ratcatcher, so I thought ‘I would like to do that.’ I wanted that hat! And she was getting three pennies for every tail, and I liked the sound of that too.”

Trouble was, Phyllis weighed only about six stones – too small for a ratcatcher. (“She always said she had long legs but a short body!” smiles Carol.)

Phyllis could work on the land, though. So she went by train to Marks Tey and then by truck to Leavenheath, near Nayland… and a hostel off Plough Lane where the clanging of a bell heralded the latest nit inspection.

Constable Country would influence her life in more ways than she could have imagined.

At Clacton-on-Sea, perhaps. Phyllis is on the right Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONAt Clacton-on-Sea, perhaps. Phyllis is on the right Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Dislocated shoulder

During her 2014 interview with us, Phyllis painted an evocative picture of her time as a Land Girl. The regime was demanding and the food rationed. On the plus side, a helper from Stoke by Nayland brought pots of jam made by his wife.

Phyllis loved jam for the rest of her life, explaining she’d essentially lived on jam sandwiches after rationing drew to an end.

She and her pals worked on the farm attached to the hostel. The bell would rouse them at 6am and they’d toil until 8pm, through all weathers.

Phyllis was paid a guinea a week. The Women’s Land Army supplied uniforms, overalls and footwear, but the girls had to buy their own underclothes and toiletries. Nevertheless, Phyllis was able to send a regular 10 shillings back to her grandmother.

Phyllis wrote a message on the back of this photograph: ‘To my darling Percy. All my love. Yours, Phyllis’ Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis wrote a message on the back of this photograph: ‘To my darling Percy. All my love. Yours, Phyllis’ Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

One of her duties was to help with ploughing. She’d lead the pair of shire horses that pulled the plough, which was operated by local farmhand Lol Tricker.

Once, Phyllis and friend Kathleen had an accident cutting sugar beet. Phyllis lost the top of her thumb. Kathleen was cut “nearly down to the bottom”. Even so, the duo had their injuries bandaged… and went back to their posts. “Oh, you didn’t have time off,” said Phyllis. “We didn’t worry in them days!”

It wasn’t the only mishap. Once, she was atop a wagon, helping stack wheatsheaves, when she fell. An initial diagnosis of bruising was wide of the mark, though it was only later, during a week’s holiday at home, that she discovered she’d actually dislocated her shoulder.

It left her, forever, with a little bone sticking out slightly on her right shoulder.

Phyllis and Percy were married for more than 56 years Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis and Percy were married for more than 56 years Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Finding love

A change of scene for the Land Girls were the two cinemas in Sudbury and the Wednesday night dances at Colchester Barracks (to which they’d catch the bus).

There was also dancing at Whatfield and Acton – the latter a United States Army Air Forces hospital for wounded airmen. Phyllis remembered dancing with a young man who had a withered arm. She also recalled Americans giving the girls pears and peaches, which would have been a treat.

However, it was Percy Rose who secured her affections, after giving her a ride on his bicycle crossbar – and later on the back of his motorbike. And therein hangs a tale.

Percy one day warned his sweetheart to hold on tight, as the clutch was a bit on the sharp side. He revved the engine and pulled away. The jolt sent Phyllis off the back and left her sitting in the road.

Phyllis 'had an indomitable spirit and was always willing to work hard and perform every job to the very best of her ability', says friend Tamara Unwin Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis ‘had an indomitable spirit and was always willing to work hard and perform every job to the very best of her ability’, says friend Tamara Unwin Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

To add insult to injury, it took a while for the truth to dawn on Percy that his pillion passenger was missing and that he needed to go back.

It didn’t prove fatal to their relationship. They later got engaged in Bures, bought a ring in Colchester, and wed on that snowy day before Christmas in 1946.

The land she loved

Their long-time home became Baylham House in Stone Street, which they shared with Percy’s sister. Phyllis was with the Women’s Land Army for seven years, but finishing didn’t mark the end of a relationship with the land.

Phyllis demonstrates her hairdressing skills. She's attending to Devora Peake - 'a weekly event at the farmhouse from the early days until my mum died in 1999!' says Tamara Unwin. Devora is holding granddaughter Natasha Rendall Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWINPhyllis demonstrates her hairdressing skills. She’s attending to Devora Peake – ‘a weekly event at the farmhouse from the early days until my mum died in 1999!’ says Tamara Unwin. Devora is holding granddaughter Natasha Rendall Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWIN

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For she and Percy went to work for Devora and Bill Peake. In 1950 the Peakes had bought the Leavenheath Women’s Land Army hostel and more than 500 acres of land at Daltons Farm from the War Agricultural Department. They paid about £12 an acre.

Both Phyllis and Percy came to work for the family for the next 40 years or so. Percy was the maintenance manager and among other jobs helped to build the clubhouse at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club in the ’70s (now part of the Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa complex).

“Phyllis initially helped us by working in the apple orchards – picking, pruning and driving tractors – and she also worked in our dairy to produce cheeses,” says Tamara Unwin, a director of the family business today.

“After my parents created Stoke by Nayland Golf Club, Phyllis and her friend Joyce Smith worked with Bill Peake to plant thousands of trees over the two championship golf courses.

Phyllis Rose, aged 89, proudly holding her certificate of gratitude from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the nation that was issued in 2008 Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWINPhyllis Rose, aged 89, proudly holding her certificate of gratitude from Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the nation that was issued in 2008 Picture: COURTESY TAMARA UNWIN

“When we launched Copella apple juice in 1969, Phyllis worked in the production area, helping to run the apple press and hand-label the bottles. She also later travelled round with Devora Peake to help promote Copella at various county shows.

“She then worked behind the bar for 12 years at our Stoke by Nayland Golf Club during the ’80s, and she also became Devora’s regular hairdresser in the farmhouse, right up until Devora’s death in 1999. They had become great friends over the years.”

Tamara knew Phyllis all her life and has described her as “like a second mother to me”.

Phyllis was houseproud – always keen to be up and doing while she could: everything from making the tea to getting out buns for guests.

She and Percy were quite different in character. He was laidback and couldn’t be hurried, says Rhona, “whereas Mum would do 101 things at once. She’d come home from work and be peeling the potatoes, with her coat still on, and have a sponge in the oven.”

Phyllis and daughter Rhona opposite the Port of Felixstowe, during an outing to celebrate Phyllis’s 95th birthday Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis and daughter Rhona opposite the Port of Felixstowe, during an outing to celebrate Phyllis’s 95th birthday Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

“Because she was always so busy and interested in things, I think that’s what kept her going,” says Carol. “She wasn’t one for just sitting; she’d get up and go, regardless.”

Visited Russia

Percy died of a massive heart attack a couple of days into 2003. It was particularly cruel as he’d just beaten cancer, receiving the all-clear in October.

Phyllis moved in the June. The house where they’d spent their married life, and raised their girls, was too big for just her, too far away from Boxford village, and carried too many memories. She switched to the cottage – closer to other people and not far from a bus stop – but the house in Stone Street would in her heart remain her true home.

Phyllis blows out her candles, watched by granddaughter Helen Robertson Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis blows out her candles, watched by granddaughter Helen Robertson Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

In 2014, Phyllis told us about their diamond wedding. She’d spotted a ring she liked in a shop window “and he said ‘You’d better have that.’ When we went in the shop, I said there was another I liked and I couldn’t decide… So he got me them both!”

After losing her husband, new memories were laid down. Phyllis widened her horizons, for instance – going on regular holidays to Cyprus with relatives. She visited Turkey, too, and even Russia, with a grandson.

“In June, 2012, she was our guest of honour at the official launch of our country lodges, which had just been developed on the old land army hostel site where she had lived as a Land Girl over 60 years earlier,” says Tamara Unwin.

“Here she gave a speech to 200 guests, and was on the Anglia ITV news. A little later she featured in the BBC Look East TV news on her 89th birthday, having a tea party in the lodges with other former Land Army girls Maisie Tricker, Eileen Sargeant and Winnie Claxton. Phyllis took all this in her stride and performed like a star.”

Her family took Phyllis to Staffordshire in the autumn of 2014. She was among 300 ex-members of the Women’s Land Army and the Women’s Timber Corps to see a statue unveiled in honour of those organisations by the Countess of Wessex.

Phyllis and Percy loved visiting the Mistley, Manningtree and Harwich area Picture: FAMILY COLLECTIONPhyllis and Percy loved visiting the Mistley, Manningtree and Harwich area Picture: FAMILY COLLECTION

Unfortunately, it was a dreadful day at the National Memorial Arboretum, weather-wise, with rain and wind. “Mum got really cold. Absolutely frozen,” remembers Carol.

Never complained

In recent times, Phyllis adored Saturday trips to Sainsbury’s in Sudbury, and the chance to have lunch out.

“Poundland in Sudbury was her favourite,” says Rhona. “I’d say ‘Shall we go to the pound shop, Mum?’ Her face lit up like a child in a sweetshop! She used to spend about £40, and give it all away.”

Phyllis's farewell - with the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group horses she wanted, complete with green plumes Picture: HELEN ROBERTSONPhyllis’s farewell – with the Hunnaball Family Funeral Group horses she wanted, complete with green plumes Picture: HELEN ROBERTSON

Carol: “She’d say ‘I’ve bought you some biscuits, Carol. And I’ve bought you some fig rolls, because I know you like them. And cake.'”

Phyllis enjoyed knitting – giving it up from time to time, but later musing “I think I ought to have my needles back” – and lacework.

As time passed, she went blind in one eye. At hospital, she had injections right in the middle of the eye, but never complained, say her daughters.

“She did have a lot of falls later in life,” says Carol, “but she wouldn’t use a stick. ‘They’re for old people.’ ‘Well, how old have you got to be, Mum?!'”

Rhona: “The best she used to walk was when she had a supermarket trolley. She’d zoom around Sainsbury’s!”

Horses with green plumes

Phyllis died unexpectedly, but peacefully, less than three weeks before her 96th birthday.

She had talked to her family, over the years, about ideas for her funeral. Granddaughter Helen works for The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group, and at an open day Phyllis saw horses that could pull a hearse. It appealed. For her funeral, at Boxford church on Wednesday, a pair of black horses bore green plumes – green being her favourite colour.

Phyllis leaves her daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren – and a host of memories. Carol and Rhona come out with story after story.

Carol recalls, for instance, their childhood in Stone Street – quite some distance from Boxford village. “I remember Mum saying ‘You’re five now. You’ve got to go to school.’

“We used to just play with neighbours’ children, in our little playroom. She dumped me in this school with all these children and I burst into tears. I ran all the way home and she took me back again.”

When Carol was five or six, and her sister a few years younger, Phyllis would put the girls on the bus in Sudbury, bound for London. She’d ask the driver to keep an eye on them.

The sisters would be met by an aunt at Victoria. “You wouldn’t do that now, would you?” laughs Rhona. “Well, you wouldn’t be allowed – saying to the bus driver ‘Just look after these two, will you?'”

Then there were the piglets…

At Stone Street, Phyllis would raise piglets in the kitchen if they needed feeding up. “When they went to market, Carol and Dad would be shifting them and they’d be squealing. Mum and I would sit upstairs like this. (Rhona clamps her hands over her ears.) Just couldn’t bear the sound!”

‘Part of our family’

Phyllis was accompanied by a number of items in her coffin. There was a torch, for instance (she didn’t like the dark), a nail-file (because she liked doing her nails), some biscuits (she loved shortbread), a card from Poundland, and lots of photographs – including her favourite image of Percy.

Tamara Unwin says: “In the ’60s Phyllis had often helped to look after us as children in our busy farmhouse; and, much later, was like a surrogate grandparent to my own two children, Jess and George.

“She was indeed a part of our family and carried on coming to help me in the house with her favourite occupation of ironing until her final ‘retirement’ last Christmas at the wonderful age of 95!

“Phyllis had many skills and could turn her hand to so many things; but more than that she had an indomitable spirit and was always willing to work hard and perform every job to the very best of her ability.

“She was a very courageous, dignified, loving, cheerful, selfless and inspiring woman and we will all miss her dearly.”

East Anglian firm at forefront of electric truck revolution

A Tevva eTruck Picture: Tevva

A Tevva eTruck Picture: Tevva

Archant

An East Anglian firm is leading the way in the electric truck market.

Tevva plans to lease its eTrucks for fleet operators to try out next yearTevva plans to lease its eTrucks for fleet operators to try out next year

With more than 30,000 plug-in cars sold across the UK in the first seven months of 2019, interest in electric cars continues to grow but less is known about the market for electric lorries and trucks.

One East Anglian company leading the way in this area is Tevva, which this month announced a “breakthrough” deal to provide prototype electric delivery vans to logistics firm UPS.

The Chelmsford firm’s focus is on battery system development, telematics, power electronics, and software, and its technology is in 15 hybrid electric vans at UPS’ Birmingham and Southampton depots.

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UPS say the new vehicles – part-funded by The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK – will boost the range small electric vans have had up until now to an impressive 400km.

Tevva batteriesTevva batteries

This new line of range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) uses Tevva’s geofencing technology to automatically switch to pure electric mode when reaching a predetermined boundary, such as prior to entering an urban environment or clean air zone.

This same technology allows the vehicle to switch to an on-board ‘range extender’ that uses a small diesel engine to recharge the battery, when it is required, such as when it is on a motorway connecting neighbouring towns and cities, or making a journey back to the depot.

Try before you buy

The team at Tevva, which now numbers more than 60 personnel, has been working on the technology since the firm launched in 2013. Now, six years later the company is preparing to take its products to market in a big way helped by a £10 million investment from Indian engineering company Bharat Forge last year.

According to sales and marketing director David Thackray, during 2020 Tevva plans to make 50 electric trucks available on a rental basis to selected fleet operators, so they can test the technology in the field. The firm also intends to work with operators in a number of European countries.

Mr Thackray said for fleet managers it’s a case of “try before you buy”.

Workers at Tevva factory in Chelmsford Picture: Nigel BowlesWorkers at Tevva factory in Chelmsford Picture: Nigel Bowles

“This approach will enable us to touch a large number of potential customers before we reach full volume production in spring 2021,” he said. “It will also allow us to develop fleet case studies, which will inform our marketing effort. By the end of 2021, we expect to have 2million kilometres of operational data from 250 different customers – that will be a fairly inarguable body of data.”

Mr Thackray says that by focussing on commercial vans and trucks, the firm can have a greater impact in terms of cutting carbon emissions. He says commercial vehicles account for 27% of transport related CO2 and while an average family car burns 800 litres of fuel in a year, a commercial van uses 11,000 litres of diesel.

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Urban distribution

Workers at Tevva factory in ChelmsfordWorkers at Tevva factory in Chelmsford

He says the company has made a commercial decision to focus on trucks and vans in the seven to 14-tonne class, which takes in operators in the ‘urban distribution market’ such as food and parcel delivery, linen deliveries and waste and recycling vans. Typically, vehicles in this class return to the depot every afternoon, meaning they have a short range and can be charged every night.

As well as Tevva’s partnership with UPS, it is also working with another logistics provider, Kuehne + Nagel, to develop a heavier, 14-tonne vehicle for urban, temperature-controlled distribution.

Long-term, according to Mr Thackray, the company aims to move on to the next weight class – trucks weighing anywhere between 18 and 26 tonnes,

Mr Thackray says there is “no reason why you can’t electrify any size of lorry” but says there are “technical challenges with long-distance articulated lorries” such as how to package the batteries onto their relatively small chassis and accommodate their need to travel much longer distances.

The Tevva story

UPS Tevva trucks Picture: Andy DohertyUPS Tevva trucks Picture: Andy Doherty

Not many automotive businesses can say that the inspiration for their existence began under miles of icy water.

But that is where Tevva founder Asher Bennett first conceived the idea of an electric truck and technology company.

In a former life, Mr Bennett was an officer on diesel-electric submarines and, among the many issues with which he grappled, was the question of battery power range.

The British-built submarines he was working on were essentially diesel-electric hybrids and used battery electric propulsion with the option of a small diesel generator to recharge the battery while the vehicle was in motion. The submarines also used a sophisticated battery management system to optimise battery power and usage.

Tested and developed in the harshest possible environment – deep in the ocean – this same technology provided the spark of inspiration that led to the creation of Tevva in 2013.

For, although the ocean is a world away from East Anglia, Mr Bennett realised that the very same problems experienced by his submarines exist also in the medium duty truck urban distribution industry that is Tevva’s initial focus.

Given the environmentally sensitive nature of the business Mr Bennett founded, he chose a name that, in his native Hebrew, translates as ‘nature’ – Tevva.