The Hadleigh SocietyOct 1999
Newsletter Index Up Jan 1999 Apr 1999 Jun 1999 Aug 1999 Oct 1999 Dec 1999


Inside this Newsletter

Store Wars - latest on the supermarket threat

Letter to the Editor

The Paupers of Hadleigh from a talk by Clive Paine

Do You Desire to Speak Proper Like? by John Griffin

Nora  and Jim Betteridge

Store Wars

By the time you read this you will have voted on the options for a supermarket site. Fortunately the majority of the Town Council took the same view as the Society on the need for more than one question, so that a much better sense of local opinion can be established.

The options are now quite open. I don’t suppose Tesco cares where they are in Hadleigh if it makes commercial sense, and the Buyright site will soon be in the middle of hundreds of houses, with a great deal less hassle.

Let’s hope that if we have to have one of these obsolesences at all, it will not be built to illustrate our indifference to our heritage and we can say that at least we achieved something decent and lasting for the new Millennium.

Supermarket progress

Plans have now been submitted for a new store on the Buyright site

The Town Council poll closes on 4th October

Babergh is commissioning a consultant’s report

The BDC Planning Committee is not yet scheduled to consider the plans

If you have a view, let us know

Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir


I wish to object most strongly to the use of the sweeping generalisation in the recent leaflet, ‘published’ by the Hadleigh Society c/o 49 Angel Street Hadleigh, that “the Hadleigh Society is convinced that to build a Supermarket on the riverside would have a very damaging effect on the town”.

Whilst appreciating that the views expressed may represent the feelings of the Executive Committee, there has surely been no ballot of members as a whole to make such a claim.

Yours faithfully

D R. Partridge

29 Highlands Road

The Chairman replies

Mr Partridge is quite right that it would have been more accurate to say “the Hadleigh Society Executive Committee” and we apologise for not having done so. Nevertheless the Committee has tried to confirm at each stage that its views do represent the membership at large and this letter is the first we have received which gives any indication to the contrary. There has been no formal ballot solely of members but we did send a questionnaire to Hadleigh residents as a whole, as reported in the April Newsletter. With 77% of respondents against the ‘riverside site’ we were confident in our stance and the June AGM confirmed us. At the August meeting we reported our views on the Buyright site to those present and received a unanimous endorsement. At the last Executive Committee meeting we resolved to call a Special General Meeting if there were any sign that a debate with the full membership was needed. Please tell us if you feel we should do that.

John Bloomfield


Nora Betteridge


Sadly, Nora Betteridge died in August. For many years she led a small team of helpers in providing coffee and biscuits after every meeting of the Hadleigh Society. Equally important was the support she gave to her husband, Jim, our Honorary Secretary.

She was also a very active supporter of the Martlesham Heath Animal Home run by the RSPCA local branch and of the local St Elizabeth Hospice charity shop.

Jim Betteridge

Honorary Secretary

in an occasional series featuring Hadleigh Society members

Born in west central London in 1924, Jim was attending Northampton Polytechnic when war broke out, putting a damper on his electrical engineering studies for the family business.

Bombed out in 1941, Jim joined the Royal Air Force in January 1942 and went to Canada for pilot training. Returning to England for a short period he was shipped off to the Middle East, where he flew C.47 Dakota aircraft — later moving to the Far East where he was engaged in close support work with the 14th Army in Burma.

The ending of the war in the Far East found ‘our hero’ switching from ‘Operation Zipper’ (the planned invasion of Malaya) to ‘Operation Tide race’ flying in troops and bringing out ex P.O.W.s from all points East. Based in Hong Kong, Jim was engaged in route flying from Japan to India until posted to Singapore as a Test & Dispatch pilot. This led to him ferrying home Dakota KK110 over Christmas 1946/1947—meeting the worst winter in the U.K. for years!

Staying on flying duties in the R.A.F, Jim flew Near East and Continental routes ranging from Cairo to Warsaw, ending up with the Berlin Airlift in 1948/1949 on which he flew over 200 sorties. A tour as a flying instructor followed in the west country and Scotland after which the powers that be thought a ground tour was indicated (flying a ‘mahogany bomber’). This included an hilarious period as R.A.F. Recruiting Officer in East Anglia, based on Ipswich in the 1950’s, which led to a lifetime love of the area (and ultimate retirement destination).

After a tour on staff duties in London, there followed a return to four-engined transport flying, finishing up in support of U.N. forces in the Congo, during its first revolting period after independence.

Retiring from the R.A.F. in 1962 Jim was Training Manager for an international commercial pilot training school in Oxfordshire, training students from all over the world. He later joined what was to become the Civil Aviation Authority, first in Flight Safety and then in Airport Management. Appointed to Biggin Hill Airport he remained in post on its take-over by the London Borough of Bromley in 1973. He retired again in 1983 and moved back to Suffolk where, together with wife Nora, he became closely involved in various voluntary organisations including ex-service organisations and, of course, the newly formed Hadleigh Society and the RSPCA.

Next year Jim completes his second spell as the Society’s Secretary and stands down under the 5 year rule. If you know of anyone looking for an interesting job, or would care to have a go yourself, now is a good time to have a word. No particular skills are required but, as Jim says “a strong sense of humour and thick skin could be useful, at times”.