Upton Village Hall is a delightful 300 year old venue with beamed ceilings, a warm, cosy, intimate and characterful atmosphere. It has recently been redecorated, the lovely wooden floor renovated and new radiators fitted.

Southwell Minster pupil, Alec Boaden is embarking on a month-long expedition to Borneo with school in August this year. While there, he will teach children, build schools and do conservation work.

A new health and fitness centre has opened up in Netherfield. The Netherfield Wellness Centre, which is based on Victoria Road, offers members free weekly fitness classes, nutritional advice, skincare and nutritional shake parties and full body analysis.

Flash Farm in Averham has been proposed as a potential site for mineral extraction.

The new Minerals Local Plan will come before the Environment and Sustainability Committee on 4th January, before going to the full council on 15th. Barton in Fabis has been removed from the list of possible sites, but Flash Farm currently remains.

Despite a near fatal cycling accident three years ago – a head-on collision with a car that resulted in a severed femoral artery and shattered leg – Andy Swain still has an unwavering passion for all things 'bike'.

The Bramley has teamed up with Classicbikeshows to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Carole Nash Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic, taking place on the weekend of 9th & 10th January.

On Friday 20th November, two generations united at the launch of the Southwell Minster School Leo Club. Southwell Lions club has been in operation for many years and approached the school in 2014 with the aim of forming a link.

© Mark Lee

Southwell Minster extends a warm welcome to their Christmas services, celebrating with the theme of: 'The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.' John 1:5.

The first service to launch the Christmas season was a traditional family advent favourite, on Sunday 6th December; the 5.00pm Christingle Service. This beautiful candlelit service featured songs and carols and stories and the giving of a Christingle orange to every single child, and most of the grown-ups too. The service raised money for the Children's Society, which works with some of the most vulnerable children in this country who have been bullied, abused, neglected and sexually exploited.

Lovers of craft and hand-made goods can enjoy a new event in nearby Kelham on Sunday 22nd November.

This year's pantomime at Newark Palace Theatre is Cinderella and the show's producers are encouraging people to nominate the men in their lives to become the boyfriend of one of Cinderella's Ugly Sisters, as show Director Mairi Cowieson explains, "for each performance, we are looking for two lucky gents to play the roles of Flatula and Verruca's boyfriends. What better Christmas treat could you give one of the men in your life?! The 'boyfriends' will be called on stage to sit in the 'love trucks' and get involved throughout the show."

Local charity, Beaumond House Community Hospice is committed to providing supportive palliative care to patients with life limiting or terminal illnesses and their families.

We expect Santa to be busy again this year. We have tried to avoid any clashes with school Christmas events and have given him a night off on Monday 14th to avoid the Minster School Christmas Concert. Some minor changes have been made to the routes. We aim to start at 6.00pm and finish at 9.00pm, but in order to see as many children, but all timings are approximate.

Southwell Minster has been gifted the former Church Street site of the Minster School. This was made possible through the generosity and initiative of an individual benefactor and the active co-operation of the local developers, Oak Tree Homes.

As another Remembrance Day approaches our thoughts turn to residents from Southwell and the surrounding area who, 100 years ago, fought and died in the First World War. A memorial service to mark the centenary of the Battle of Loos in which soldiers from Southwell died will take place during Evensong in the minster on Wednesday (14th October).

Last month museum curators Kevin Topham and John Lukehurst were presented with their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of their fantastic work undertaken at Dukes Wood Oil Museum in Eakring.

In former issues of The Bramley I have told how our charity brings children from Molotkovichi in Belarus to the UK. Last winter and also this last summer we had 15 children to stay in host family homes.

October saw the start of the annual Bookmark competition run by the Bramley Pips Nursery in collaboration with Bookwise, highlighting the importance of reading to children from an early age.

It's said that 'Black cats are lucky' – but not so for many who find themselves unwanted, waiting longer for homes than lighter-coloured cats – like Billy; waiting a year for someone to 'magic' up a home for him.

For current local vacancies please see below.  

Southwell's Bramley Apple Festival goes from strength to strength with this year's events taking place around the town on Saturday 24th October.

Following the public meeting on 17th September, at Southwell Minster School, which over 200 people attended, Nottinghamshire County Council has arranged two drop-in events for people who were unable to come to the meeting, or who want to ask questions, raise concerns or offer mitigation suggestions.