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*Moving to Saffron Walden, Essex , in August - does anyone live nearby?*

(549 Posts)
SaffyCat Mon 31-Jul-06 23:05:25

I am moving from Surrey to Saffron Walden in mid-August with my husband, 7yr old son and 1yr old daughter. We don't know anyone in the area yet and I would love to meet other local mums (am happy to drive a few miles) and also to find out about toddler groups/recomended family activities.

2boysmacca Thu 22-Feb-07 20:38:53

Sorry, I;m still lurking. Yes! Tots and tiddlers are moving back to it's original base in town, at the United Reformed Church. It moved to Bell's just over a year ago whilst essential work at the church was carried out.

Give the Parent Centre a go at St Mary's church on, Tuesday - Friday 10.15 to 11.45. Tuesday and Thursdays are drop-in sessions, the others are pre-booked. This is aimed at 18months + (and younder siblings). Lots of arts and crafts, and a coffee and a chat.

I tried Netmums before I moved here, 18 months ago and I have to say there is more info in this thread than I ever got from the site.

You'll love it here

englishspringer Thu 22-Feb-07 21:08:52

Hi Milarkie - R Lane is lovely, we live about 5 mins walk from there - i commute to LPS every day - i get the 6.34 and always get a seat - i have sometimes got the 7.04 and 7.34 adn there is never a problem with seats - it is mainly in the evening that you have a problem on the 5 - 6 trains - i always get on the Stansted Express and get off at Bishops Stortford and wait for 10 mins for the train behind - a bit of a pain but you always get a seat, there is air con - great for the summer.

I just got some information through from the NCT about lunch groups, under 1's open house, teddies toy library, tiddlers and tots, buffy bus.

Our aupair stays home with our little boy 3 days a week - she is fantastic and G asked to stay with her rather than go to nursery - she is just like a nanny and does everything - she plans his day, has a routine which she sticks to and although she had never been an aupair beofre she had worked with children in France - we have always spent about 4 months looking, emailing, police checking, referencing etc. prior to employing someone - i also have an American friend who has an aupair for her 3 year old little girl and has even left her for the weekend with teh aupair - personally i think it depends on how you treat them - if you treat them as a member of the family and as you would want your child to be treated if they did something similar then you get loads back.

Hi Claire - (stump)i am going on Matleave in 2 weeks and my baby is due on 8th Apr so would love to meet up - especially since you are only about 1 mile away - we haven't been here long and i don't know anyone with new babies so would be great - let's talk some more and we could arrange a tea or something.

Millarkie Thu 22-Feb-07 21:53:47

Hi ESpringer - very happy to hear about the trains. I'm hoping to get to LPS to get the just-before-5 train on some days (I should be working 3 full days and 2 mornings only hopefully), but I hadn't thought about the Stansted express - great idea!

Wow - 4 months of research to get an au pair! We have a shared nanny at the moment, she looks after both our children and a friend's since mine are in school/pre-school for much of the time, but she can't move with us I've found a nursery nurse who is looking for part-time work who we want to interview, but otherwise we're stuck between paying for a full-time nanny for 20-odd hours per week of childcare and a lot of finger-twiddling, or taking the leap to an au pair.

nearlythree Thu 22-Feb-07 22:16:46

stump - when you have your baby your hv will give you details of the under-ones club at SW Hospital. It's run by one of the nursery nurses and has talks on subjects like baby massage, weaning etc., followed by coffee. The nursery nurses will also come and teach baby massage in your home so make sure you ask your hv about that one! The hvs are all really good btw.

The baby and toddler group in Sampford is nice but that might be a bit of a schlepp from Newport.

mouseman Thu 22-Feb-07 22:38:12

Hi, I have just dropped back in - so many in and around SW!!
The beat place to start really is the NCT - for all you new mums, there is a nearly new sale on 10th March in Great Chesterford, just outside SW which is a fantastic place to buy toys, clothes equipment etc PLUS most of the NCT members are around! Would be happy to meet up for coffee if ones arranged.

englishspringer Fri 23-Feb-07 13:03:52

Hi Milarkie

We interviewed a four nannies before deciding to go with nursery and an au pair - we lived closer to London before and the nanny we had was so much better than anyone we interviewed - hence why we decided to go for no nanny, complete au pair - we used to have both because of our hours but now Pauline is fantastic and she is better than any nanny we have had - i don't want her to go back to France.

We are still looking for childcare for the new little one due in a few weeks - i plan on going back to work in January and the only nursery for under 2.5's is crocus and i am not impressed - we considered a nanny but we would still need an aupair and all the nannies we looked at couldn't give me a good answer on what they would do with their day.

I tell you, having children is a logistical nightmare - the only good thing is that the lady next door to us said that she would look after our little one - she doesn't have any qualifications but has a boy of 16 and a little girl of 10 - she is a fantastic mum and is very bubbly, friendly and organised - going to talk with her about time/options. I wish i could trust my husband to sort all of this out but we'd probably end up with a webcam because they could look after himself!

Our eldest starts school in September - he is so excited and i'm pleased i'll be on Mat leave to take him drop him off - i can't believe how quickly it has gone. i only have 2 more weeks left at work and then i'm 'off for the summer'.the building work finishes in Mid-May and i only have 5 more weeks of sleeping in the living room until i can move into my new room. so much is happening so fast.

oh yeah, with regards to the village - very friendly and there is a great little park - they even have a shed full fo toys which is just left open for all to play with and nobody takes anything. At christmas one lady had an open house and everyone went and ate mince pies and drank mulled wine - when you go out for a walk everyone says hello and stops to chat.

stump Fri 23-Feb-07 13:41:48


Thanks to everyone who gave info in reply to my post. Am really looking forward to getting to know everyone more.

Nearlythree - it is good to hear about the under ones group and also that the HVs are really nice. I've been impressed by the community midwives so far.

Englishspringer - would love to meet up once you start your maternity leave - maybe we could meet for a cup of tea in SW, or elsewhere if you prefer? Whereabouts do you live? I bet you can't wait to finish work - I have to admit I'm really enjoying being at home.

Is anyone planning on going to the NCT nearly new sale in Great Chesterford? I haven't been to one before but since I haven't bought anything yet for this baby (except a few babygrows) I think I should!! I think in my mind May still seems so long away and so I'm not organised at all! Although yesterday I did finally start thinking about my list of things to take to hospital and my birth plan. Any tips would be much appreciated!

love claire xx

englishspringer Fri 23-Feb-07 15:02:00

Hi Claire,

Good to hear that you are expecting as well - I am going to the NCT sale on Saturday - I ahve been very organised this time round and bought everything so just going to get a few plastic toys and something for my 4 year old.

May will come around so quickly - i take it you are not working and are at home - if so you are lucky, i kind of wished that i had given up work a few weeks ago but i want more time afterwards.

I am so looking forward to giving up work - have spent the last 3 days in the Rosie being monitored, the baby is small and i have excess fluid - i guess the only good thing is that i got to see him - WOW so fascinating and he looks like a real person!

I live in Wendens Ambo (Audley End)- would love to meet up for a coffee when i go on Mat leave - i frequent Kim's Coffee House (my husband says i should have shares in the place).

stump Fri 23-Feb-07 16:15:50

Hi englishspringer

We'll definitely have to meet up once you finish then Kim's coffee house sounds good have never actually been there - and also perhaps will see you at the nct sale am interested to see what kind of stuff they have there...

Sorry to hear you've had a trip to the rosie can't be much fun but like you say at least you got to see the baby - I take it from you saying him that you know its a boy? We've resisted temptation to find out so far although I think my husband is starting to wish he knew!

Yes I'm at home which secretly am loving!!Had plenty of time to decorate the nursery etc. Do you work in London? The commute must be tough now?

englishspringer Fri 23-Feb-07 19:32:32


Yep definately know i am having a boy - we found out last time because i was studying my for my Masters and it was chaos and this time we said we wouldn't but G our 3 year old was anxious about being pushed out so we found out to help him accept it.

I have been to an NCT sale before - you can get some great stuff but it is a mad rush, you have to queue up before hand and then it is a big bundle and barge - no civilisation and politeness - every man and woman for themselves - last time we bought plastic toys that you could steralise, a blackboard and a train. I am organised this time round so am only going to be nosy, don't really have anything in mind.

I do commute to London everyday, i used to teach but went back to the city 3 years ago - my work have been really good, i start at 7.30am and finish at 4 which is lovely because i always get in for 6 and can do bath and bedtime for G. after today i have 6 more days left in the office - i will miss everyone but am actually looking forward to spending the summer at home, we have a massive back garden and we have just ordered a large climbing frame thing for G's birthday in March and am just looking forward to being in and around the village and town. We moved here at the end of 2006 and we left all our friends etc. behind and because of the hours i work i never get to meet anyone and can't wait to have a coffee and a chat and just be a mum again.

2boysmacca Fri 23-Feb-07 20:52:33

I used to go to Kim's coffee house a lot when I first moved in but be warned, the guy is a bit of a mmmm, how shall I put it, he doesn't like children and has been known to throw people out!

Am always happy to meet for a coffee, but I am a Starbucks girl through and through. Have a 1 year old (1st birthday party tomorrow) and a 3 year old.

nearlythree Fri 23-Feb-07 22:18:20

Dd1 and I are ladies who lunch in Gluttons - it's v. child-friendly and does yummy food.

Don't have any direct experience as I'm a SAHM but I know a lot of people use Barn Babies nursey for little ones and the Barn for older ones - it's in Thaxted. Also the new Montessori on the Thaxted to Sampford Road is proving massively popular - it's on a farm and they are getting some animals.

SusieHughsie Sun 25-Feb-07 22:09:33

Hi all,

We are due to move to near Saffron Walden in May, it's reassuring to know that there are many other mums looking to meet new friends. Makes the thought of leaving my friends and family behind a little less daunting!

Millarkie Sun 25-Feb-07 22:39:58

Hi Susie - how many, how old are your kids? and are you moving far?
Our buying/selling of houses seems to be going along quite smoothly so far (touching wood), so we may be able to move even sooner.

SusieHughsie Mon 26-Feb-07 09:36:02

Hi Millarkie,

I have a little girl, who is nearly five and a boy who has just turned two. We are moving from East London to a village called Ickleton which is about 5 miles from SW.

I'm glad to hear that your move is going smoothly, are you looking forward to it? It's a good time to move as we'll have the summer to settle in and get acquainted with the area.

Would love to meet up when we're all settled in.

nearlythree Mon 26-Feb-07 10:20:30

It's a lovely place for families - relatively safe - has one of the lowest postcodes for insurance in the country. I still marvel that something like a car windscreen getting broken by vandals can make the local paper! Nice shops, things to do - Saffron Walden Museum has lots of special activity days for children.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 11:12:56

There'll also be lot of fetes on the common in the summer. Also if you movers are here by Easter there is an Easter Egg Hunt run by the NCT. I have a feeling it's being held at the miniature railway again but don't quote me on that. Watch out for the flyers around town.

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 15:26:53

Hi Susie - My 2 are a little older than yours at 5 (boy) and 3(girl). I feeling up and down about the move, although the posts on here (thank you 2boysM and nearly3) make me feel quite optimistic it is a big wrench to move from this part of London - I've been here for 10 years and made so many friends, sorted out lovely schools and playgroups for the kids, and redecorated the house, and just as I thought I could relax, we need to relocate for dh's job.
I rang some schools today to ask to visit. RAB were short on telephone manners, but K Semar were lovely, am visiting them both soon, but only 1 has a space for ds.
And I have 3 nannys on my shortlist for interview so now I have to work out where would be a good place to meet with them since I can't ask them to travel to London and we don't have a base in Essex yet. Maybe a child-friendly cafe or on the common?

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 15:55:39

I wish my dh could relocate. He's still working in Chiswick!!

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 18:27:38

Really! That's 5 mins away from me! Our dh's must be driving past each other on their commutes in the opposite directions
Does your dh travel everyday or stay down here? Mine stays in a B and B a couple of nights a week so he doesn't have the long drive every day - but I find it sooo hard to sleep when he's not at home so I am desperate for us all to be under one roof again - with a slightly inconvenient commute for both of us instead

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 19:05:04

No he gets the train every day. There are occasions he stays with his folks in SW London but not often. It's really getting him down. The commute into London is not bad but then he has another hour once he reaches Tottenham Hale

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 19:13:35

Wow! That's a heck of a distance to go. We looked at the trains for dh - but he works a country bus ride away from the nearest station so it would be a good 2.5 - 3 hours each way Driving (off peak mainly) takes him about 1.5 hours but is tiring and expensive.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 19:47:37

Dh has to get the bus to Audley End. No buses after 7.30 so it's a £5.00 taxi ride back to SW. Season ticket £4000. Yikes!!!!

I can't remember who said they were moving to Ickleton but there is a playgroup there in one of the halls, (opposite Costcutter) it's called Froglets I think (my mind has turned to mush and I haven't been for about 10 months). Mondays at 10.00

Millarkie Mon 26-Feb-07 20:48:21

The thought of waiting at a bus stop in the cold in the morning (or having to scrape ice off a car) spurred my decision to buy a house that's walking distance (ish) of the station!
Is your dh looking for a more local job then? or is there nothing similar outside London?
I'm hanging on hoping that a Cambridge job will come up for me, but it will probably take a few years because I'm in a very specialised field.

2boysmacca Mon 26-Feb-07 20:58:50

He keeps looking but nothing comes up that pays the same sort of money. He's always had a long commute because we used to live in SE London and he worked out in Osterley so it was about 1.30 commute. Thing is now if the trains aren't screwed it's the tube.

What do you do?

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