Stand with Talbot House, Poperinge, Belgium

Talbot House Poster
Fundraising Talbot House Poster

The Forget Never Project has been raising money to help save Talbot House by holding a sponsored ‘race’. Teams from Basildon and Heiligenhaus, Germany cycled or ran the 250km distance although under the current guidelines, cycling and running were carried out in isolation. The German team won, as they completed their 250km first! Sponsorship came from Heiligenhaus, Meaux and Basildon and our total so far is £785 – just £215 short of our target of £1,000.

During the Great War, Poperinge was part of unoccupied Belgium. Away from the turmoil of battle in the Ypres Salient, the town became the nerve centre of the British sector. In the heart of this bustling town, the Army chaplains Neville Talbot and Philip “Tubby” Clayton opened a club which they called Talbot House to commemorate Neville Talbot’s brother, Gilbert, who died near Ypres during the war. From December 1915 onwards, and for more than three years, the House provided rest and recreation to all soldiers coming in, regardless of their rank.

Today, the house is closed because of the Corona Virus crisis and unless £100,000 is raised, it may have to keep its doors closed permanently. To find out more about Talbot House,go to their website here.

If you’d like to donate, please get in touch or go to Talbot House Go Fund Me

Photo of the Event was Nick from Heiligenhaus


Chris Hoban Concert on 07 December 2019

On Saturday 07 December 2019, Chris Hoban performed his new album ‘1918 – The Untold Stories of the Great War’ at Woodlands School in Basildon. He was joined by two local school choirs – one from Vange Primary School with their head teacher, Liz Keeble, who played piano and also Greensted Junior School.

Chris Hoban with Rayleigh Brass behind.
Chris Hoban with Rayleigh Brass behind.

In addition, Rayleigh Brass accompanied Chris who was joined on stage for a beautiful song, ‘The Lily and the Rose’ which was sung by Beauchamps student, Emma Gladwin. Logan Curtis, dressed as a World War One Tommy, started the performance and sat on the Empty Chair at the front of the stage.

Emma Gladwin - soloist
Emma Gladwin – soloist
Logan as a young Tommy
Logan as a young Tommy

Councillor Thomas Rickal from Heiligenhaus, Germany, brought the ‘Empty Chair’ and presented it to Basildon MP, Stephen Metcalfe, patron of the Forget Never Project, on behalf of his town. The chair will eventually be sited in Wat Tyler Country Park next to the Green Centre. It is one of four chairs which have been carved by Head Forester in Heiligenhaus, Hannes Johannsen. Two others can be found at Lochnagar Crater, the Somme, France, also at the WWI Museum in Meaux, France.

Chris Hoban and Emma Gladwin with the Empty Chair
Chris Hoban and Emma Gladwin with the Empty Chair
Thomas Rickal from Heiligenhaus, Germany presenting the Empty Chair to MP Stephen Metcalfe.
Thomas Rickal from Heiligenhaus, Germany presenting the Empty Chair to MP Stephen Metcalfe.

Basildon Bake Off


Three Age range competitions with prizes for the best decorated, best tasting and best presented cakes, cup cakes and biscuits: Under 11, Under 18 and Adult
Followed by grand sale with tea, coffee and soft drinks
In aid of Basildon Borough Twinning Association and the Forget Never Project

Bake off details:
Cakes and biscuits should be made by the entrant (no shop bought items please)
Entries should be either a large cake, 6 cupcakes or 6 biscuits.
There will be three age categories Primary school pupils, Secondary School students and adults.
Entries should be brought to The Green Centre, Wat Tyler Park, Pitsea, SS16 4UH between 10.00 and 12 noon ready for judging.
Judges will then spend two hours judging all entries and awarding prizes to first, second and third in each category and each age group.
Between 1400 and 1700 doors will be open for a grand cake and biscuit sale. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be on sale as well as entered cakes and biscuits. Winning prizes will be presented at 15.00.
All entrants will need to bring their entries on a paper plate and include a small label stating the entrants name and age.
It would greatly help our organisation on the day if you could email us on to inform us of your intention to enter to help with our planning of space in the Green Centre.
Please get planning and GOOD LUCK
Consider new food safety regulations.  Please check your cake/biscuit ingredients against possible allergies.
On the door we will have a warning stating that anyone with an allergy should NOT taste or eat any of the cakes or biscuits on display


Some Feedback from our Footie Tour in Heiligenhaus in May

Some feedback from Year 8 footballers from Beauchamps High School:
“We went to Heiligenhaus on a football tour in May.”

“We played one friendly match and played in two tournaments, one for kids our age and one with kids up to two years older than us.”

“The German football club who were our hosts took us to the stadium at Borussia Mönchengladbach.”

“We won the friendly match and also the Year 8 Football tournament. Although we did not win the older age group tournament we still won three matches and in the last game for a bit of fun we all mixed up our positions with strikers playing in defence and defenders as attackers. One of our smallest players played in goal. It was fun.”

“We found out that our Twin Town in Germany is called Heiligenhaus and that Twinning was created to build friendships between people who were at war with each other in World War Two.”

“We were really impressed with how nice the German people were to us and that they always liked talking to us. The hospitality from everyone was great. One shop keeper even gave us free ice cream and in the restaurant a businessman paid our food bill and another paid our drinks bill.”

“We were impressed that everyone spoke English, even the kids our age and they were all really polite.”