Local Fundraising

for the John Belstead Playing Field


The refurbishment of the playing field has cost in the region of £150,000. This included a contingency and VAT, as the works do not qualify for VAT relief, even for the charitable status that the Village Hall enjoys. We have been hugely fortunate to have received a substantial sum towards this amount from the Trustees of the John Belstead Trust, after whom the new playing field with its wonderful multi-sports court has been named.

The remainder has been obtained from local sources, such as Biffaward, County Locality grants etc, as the National Lottery, although approached, declined to donate their much sought after funds to the project.

The Friends of the John Belstead Playing Field set themselves the target of raising 10% of the total from within the 2 Bealings villages through donations, charitable giving, sponsorship and fun events.

A local fund raising committee, chaired by Malcolm Watson, has been instrumental in organizing various successful events, and their past activities are listed below.

Diary Dates


2 pm, 5th May 2008 – The grand opening of the John Belstead Multi Sports Court – The Hon Jill Ganzoni, sister to the late Lord Belstead has kindly agreed to be the guest of honour, and formally open the wonderful sports court that is now completed on the lower tier of the old playing field.

By then, most of the remaining elements of the project will be completed, including the seeding of the community space, the circular path and seating areas, the reinstatement of the access way and a new chain-link fence.

Also by then, we hope to have completed the proposed Boules piste, an activity for all ages, to be located at the northern end of the community space.


8 December 2007 – A fantastic night of Live Music - The Shaboogamoo Shufflers played Bealings Village Hall in aid of the Johnn Belstead Playing Field.

23 November 2007 Launch date of the Bealings' Talent Video at the Admiral's Head in Little Bealings. We were there from 6pm-8pm in the big room at the back, with the DVD showing on screen and on sale.

The cost of the DVDs is £8 each, £15 for two.

28 September 2007 – The second annual Quiz and Curry night was highly anticipated, and another packed hall was testament to the reputation of the combined talents of Quiz Master Mason, and Alistair McEwan in the kitchen. The oldies table outdid everybody else, and with only 4 players, compared to the outrageous talent grabbing by the medics table, accumulating at least 10 in their team. Cheating does not pay, except when you sit with the wife of the question master. Luckily we only came 2nd.

16 September 2007 - Bealings Dog Show – Well over 50 pets, pooches, pedigrees and performers, were put through their paces under the watchful gaze of two RSPCA judges, and prizes were awarded in 13 categories. Thanks to Bealings school for the use of their field. Hopefully, next year’s event will be on the new site. Sally Johnson was chiefly responsible for the creation of this event, but the usual supporting fund raising team should take a bow for a thoroughly well organized day, including fantastic weather.

7 July 2007 Variety Show. Yes – Bealings Has Talent - An Evening of Sketches along lines of the X Factor, crossed with You’ve Been Framed, mixed up with Opportunity Knocks, went down a storm. It is quite possible that Simon Cow will be calling on certain performers shortly! A limited edition DVD of the entire performance is available via Malcolm Watson to purchase should you not wish your sketch to fall into the wrong hands.

17 June 2007 - Orwell Walk organised by Ipswich East Rotary Club. The sponsorship is shared 25% Rotary and 75% to participant’s chosen charity. 4 families undertook to include the playing field in their list of charities – thank you very much.

11 June 2007 – Bealings Choir Concert – Megan Peel kindly organized the Bealings Primary School choir to sing a selection of their repertoire in Great Bealings Church, and a retiring collection contributed £32 to the fund. Thanks very much.

29 April 2007 - Car Treasure Hunt. Ten Teams were required to search for treasure around the local countryside with dastardly clues devised by Mutley, aka Chris Mr Q Mason. After some dodgy shortcuts, a draw was declared, the winner being decided in a curious version of blind man’s bluff – Sam Elias triumphant in a dazzling display of floor crawling. £100 was raised in total.  

18 November 2006 Auction of Promises, Casino and Race Night: A well supported evening started at 8pm in the Village Hall, with everyone eagerly anticipating the Auction and the games. They were not disappointed!

The Prize for the Casino winner of 6 bottles of champagne + chocolates went to the new owners of Grotto Farm, on a last ditch gamble of all their remaining chips on one Roulette number, much to the chagrin of other punters who had built up a few points but were completely blown away!

The Promises were bid for under the professional handling of the maestro of the rostrum that is Edward Fletcher.

The generosity of the givers of the prizes, was matched in full by the enthusiastic bidding of the buyers, most notably one husband and wife partnership bidding against themselves!

Nearly £2,300 was raised by this event: well done Malcolm and your fellow committee members.

22 September 2006 Curry and Quiz Night: This was a sell out event at the Village Hall, with 50 people attending in 10 teams, hosted by the ever popular quiz master Chris Mason. The evening was a huge success, and we all enjoyed a fantastic curry and many delicious side dishes, cooked by Alisdair and Harriet McEwan with the advice and assistance of Rohit Sharma. The winning team of medics and banker are too modest to be mentioned here, with “Pudsey” on particularly fine form. The event raised just over £600.

19 August 2006 Sponsored Abseil: The amazing Ferial Evans, now dubbed Aerial Evans, abseiled down the side of Ipswich Hospital, and donated the sponsorship proceeds to the Friends. Her self portrait below proves she did it! Thanks Aerial!!

Metal detecting days (Photos...)

March 2005 – Seckford Hall Farm, Great Bealings.

A total of £1,200 was raised following a day of metal detecting in the village organized by Ken Wilcox and generously donated to the Friends. This sum has been put towards the cost of the initial professional fees of the playground designer, Mr Giles Hill.

9th April 2006 – Seckford Hall Farm, Great Bealings.

About 140 enthusiasts spent the day metal detecting in the village, thanks to the kind generosity of the executors of Lord Belstead’s estate, and the organizing efforts of Ken Wilcox. Further information on the wide range of articles found will be published shortly, but in the meantime, have a look at the photos of the various objects found on the day. Ken has again generously offered the proceeds to the Friends, and £1,600 has been put towards our fund raising target.

Sponsored Events

Sunday 11 June 2006 - Bike Ride, Barbecue and Fun-on-the Field

Bikes were polished and sponsors sorted for a fun day’s bicycling on a route around Great and Little Bealings, followed by a barbecue and games on the playing field. Thanks due to so many people for manning the games stalls, barbecuing on the hottest day of the year, keeping cool in the beer tent, metal detecting, face painting, welly throwing, jazz playing, crockery smashing, goal keeping and penny shuffling. Never before in the last 30 years have so many people from the two villages got together on the field, and truly underlined the need for better sports and play facilities.

The balloon race was won by Saffron Thirkettle, and the Sunflower growing prize by Ollie Wilson. The total raised in all amounted to £1,500, an amazing amount, well done Malcolm!


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