Courier Fraud

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud.

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;

  • – Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.
  • – Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.
  • – A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.

Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine.

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

Protect Yourself

Your bank or the police will never:

  • – Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.
  • – Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.

Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic

Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud

Stay in control

If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

For more information about how to protect yourself online visit  and

Learning to Ring

or The Ap-peal-ing Tale of a Novice Campanologist

When I tell people I am learning to ring the bells this is usually followed by, “What made you want to do that?” (and the look from my work colleagues who now have confirmation that I am a bit mad). So I thought this would be a good place to start.

I had enjoyed listening to the bells ever since we came to Goldhanger particularly as they were ringing as we were walking around the sea wall with the dog or on Christmas Eve whilst staggering home from the pub. Continue reading “Learning to Ring”

What is a ‘Gotch’

Have you ever heard of a gotch? I came across it recently in an article in a regional newspaper, and as it was related to bell ringing I asked Andrew, our tower captain, if he had ever heard of one. His reaction was “Is it something rude?” Well dear readers, fear not. It is in fact a relic from the bell ringing past.

A gotch is a large jug, either two or three handled, that was filled with ale or beer and kept by the ringers to give them some liquid refreshment. Continue reading “What is a ‘Gotch’”

Friendly Brother’s Annual Dinners in the Past

Friendly Brothers annual dinners weren’t held at Christmas, as they are now. The Society was originally a form of mutual sickness benefit scheme and working men’s club with a registered address of The Chequers Inn. As it still exists today it is probably unique.

In a 1993 PM article the late Cecil Chaplin recalled that a big wooden box with three locks containing china plates and cutlery used to be held in The Chequers, but it was destroyed in the 1950’s. Continue reading “Friendly Brother’s Annual Dinners in the Past”

Goldhanger’s Red Brick Walls

The red brick walls in the centre of the village could well be unique as nothing similar, and to the extent, has been seen elsewhere. In the mid 1800s the Rector, the Revd. C.B. Leigh paid for the village school, a new rectory (now Goldhanger House), restored the Church and built the walls around the Church. Continue reading “Goldhanger’s Red Brick Walls”

Frank Wellington

Perhaps the best known early photograph and postcard scene of the village is the one that has been hanging in the Chequers for many years and is on this month’s front cover. The man in the car is Frank Wellington. The photo was taken in 1906 and at the time he lived in Danbury, but was related to the local Page family who were farmers. In his day Frank was a very well known automotive engineer, vehicle manufacturer, dealer, motor and motorcycle racing enthusiast.

In 1897 he was photographed driving “the first car through Goldhanger” Continue reading “Frank Wellington”