The Hadleigh Society  Caring about Hadleigh - yesterday, today and tomorrow


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28 members attended.



Minutes of the 32nd AGM


Treasurer’s Report by Chris Drake

Accounts to 30th April 2015

I am happy to say that it has been another good year on the financial front. Margaret’s sterling work as Membership Secretary has kept membership stable so subscription income as recorded has gone up: this always tends to fluctuate as members remember or forget to pay. The saving in printing and postage costs by using email is substantial, and of course also saves time and effort where we used to hand-deliver: thank you. We showed a small deficit on the year mainly due to two exceptional items: 100 to help purchase historic documents for the Archives and 90 to pay for an oak tree to be planted in memory of our late President, Squadron Leader John Bloomfield.

There was no expenditure from the Fighting Fund in the past year: in fact the bank have asked us to consider closing the dedicated account as it has been inactive so long!

Following Sue Angland’s successful application last year to the Lottery Fund we acquired three radio microphones and associated equipment for a total cost of 706, 64 more than the grant of 642. I am sure that regular attendees at our meetings will agree with me that it was money well spent.

My thanks go to Paul Garrard of Walter Wright Chartered Accountants for his help once again in the preparation of the accounts.

If you have any questions relating to the Accounts for 2014/2015 I will attempt to answer them.

History Group Report

Last September the History Group hosted a Study Day for the Suffolk Local History Council.  About 50 members attended from all over Suffolk and the day was a great success.  We presented our talks 'Hadleigh during the Great War' and 'The Medieval Manor of Hadleigh' in the morning, and after a ploughman's lunch, the group enjoyed a tour of the Guildhall Complex and a visit to the Row Chapel.  Special thanks to all those who helped on the day, from washing up to issuing tickets!  The group published a favourable review in their newsletter and there is currently a slideshow of the day's events on their website.

As the History Group representative on the Society's website, I frequently receive enquiries concerning local family history or research for a book publication.  This year I have been able to assist numerous people, mainly by pointing them in the right direction for their research.

We spent several meetings rehearsing for our talk in February on 'Hadleigh's Charities'.  The script for the talk which had previously been presented in 1998, needed some revision and updating.  Since then, the History Group has had no meetings: we have taken a well-earned break.  However, no doubt we shall reconvene in the near future with lots of ideas for further research.

Planning Report by Jan Byrne.

There doesn't seem to be anything exciting to report on the planning front, not I hope a lull before a storm.

Babergh District Council in their District Plan consulted on the possible change in allocation of the Brett Works site. At present it is of course allocated for Retail use and Babergh's options were to keep the same allocation, change it to 'mixed use or de-classify it altogether. Both the Society and the Town Council's response has been to remove all classification from the site. Babergh were having a new retail study undertaken, and as yet we have not heard either the result of the study of what they will be proposing for the allocation of the site.

In the mean time Tesco advertised the Brett Works site for sale, this is only the 1.5 hectares of Brett Works and not the rest of the land which is in private ownership. The first raft of tenders went in before Christmas, and I understand were not high enough and the site was re-advertised. Tenders went in some weeks ago and we await the outcome.

Last year I made comment on the state of Bridge House. Babergh appear to be leaving it to deteriorate. The Town Council have been in contact with English Heritage and will be proposing Bridge House as a building to be put on their list of endangered buildings, the list is closed at the moment but as soon as it is reopened the Town Council will apply and I am sure the Society will support them.

Venues to get 'High' on Caffeine appear to be proliferating, catching up with our larger towns. Paddy and Scotts did not need a planning application and the proposed Costa have an application in at the moment but only concerning their Name board.

The Neighbourhood plan, referred to last year, is progressing, all be it slowly.

The Questionnaire was sent to all households in December, whilst the number of responses was low the outcome was very positive, we then had number of public sessions where the result of the questionnaire could be seen and further comments made, and The Town Council will be holding further consultations in various venues such as the Co-op and Morrissons. We are a long way from forming the plan but a positive start has been made.

Hattie, I believe you wish to say something now about the Old Kitchen.

Environment Group

Hattie Bawden introduced the resurrection of the Environment Group with its special project to restore the Guildhall Kitchen.

Chair's Review: Jan Byrne

The Chair has been 'Bone Idle' this year and has nothing exciting to report.

The P A system is working well and to date all of our speakers have been persuaded to use it.

At the end of last years A G M Dr Woods totally enthralled us with her talk on the Courts and Petty Crime in Medieval Hadleigh, and I am sure there is a lot more to come from Margaret's ongoing research, which we will look forward to hearing at some time.

At the end of this meeting Sue and I will be presenting a brief look at Transport in Hadleigh. This is a short programme that we provided for the Synergie lunch group and thought you might enjoy.

However as I finish this review I would like to thank all of the committee for their work over the year. Committee meetings have always been interesting although we do try very hard to stick to the agenda, but frequently go off piste and share other thoughts and pieces of information. This year two of us are leaving the committee, Barry is moving out of Hadleigh and after many years on the committee I am taking a break.

For the Society to continue you urgently need to find a few more committee members. As I have said before the work is not arduous, it is shared out wherever possible and we have always worked well together. We have a good sized membership and it would be a pity for the Hadleigh Society to follow so many other organisations in closing due to lack of committee members

When we've finished the business of the A G M Sue and I hope you will enjoy looking at some of Hadleigh's modes of transport, and following that there will be some nibbles and wine.

Election of Officers

Having been duly nominated and seconded, the following new committee was elected unanimously.

Margaret Woods    Chairman

Sue Angland    Vice chair

Graham Panton    Secretary

Chris Drake    Treasurer

Hattie Bawden    member

Election of President

Graham Panton proposed and Margaret Woods seconded the election of Jan Byrne as President.  All agreed.


By Sue Angland and Jan Byrne.


8.20 pm

The Hadleigh Society