The Hadleigh SocietyMay 2018
Newsletter Index Up Nov 2018 May 2018


NOTICE OF THE 36th AGM,  2018

The 36th Annual General Meeting of The Hadleigh Society is to be held in Hadleigh Old Town Hall on Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 8 p.m. and all members are invited to attend.


1.   Apologies for absence

2.   Minutes of the 35th AGM

3.   Treasurer’s Report

3.1.    Motion to increase membership fees (see below)

4.   History Group Report

5.   Environment and Planning Report

6.   Chair’s Review

7.   Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

This will be followed by a brief talk on The Amazing Gayer-Andersons by Graham and Lindsay Panton and then to finish, wine and nibbles. The 2017 AGM Minutes can be found on our website at Copies will be available at the Meeting, together with the Annual Accounts. If you want a paper copy in advance please contact the Secretary.


Cloth Making in Medieval Hadleigh

Dr Nicholas Amor - 21 March

Nick Amor’s meticulous research and knowledge of his subject was very impressive.  The illustrations, from stained glass windows, church carvings and wall paintings to medieval drawings, added an extra dimension.

The areas covered were Sheep and Shepherds; the Wool Trade; Stages in Cloth Production; the Rise of the Clothier and William Forthe I of Hadleigh.

The coarse Suffolk wool was not highly valued and better wool was brought in from the Cotswolds and Herefordshire for the cloth industry in this area.  There were twice as many dyers as weavers in Hadleigh, the River Brett providing the water needed for the process.  Clothiers were cloth makers and there were a number of wealthy clothiers in Hadleigh who bought the wool, paid the wages for the production of the cloth, sold the cloth and then pocketed the profit.  London was the most important market for Hadleigh cloth and by 15th century Suffolk was the leading cloth making county in the country.  Little Hall in Lavenham was a clothier’s house. 

William Forthe I was the wealthiest clothier in Suffolk and had customers throughout East Anglia.  Interestingly Edge Hall in Hadleigh was his mansion.

Suffolk Ghosts and Hauntings

Robert Halliday -              1 May

Robert has been interested in ghosts and also church architecture from a fairly early age and he may have seen a ghost at Walberswick church in 1997.  He’d been wandering around the ruins during the early evening when he saw a luminous blue shape at the bottom of the churchyard.  By the time he reached the spot the shape had disappeared but, despite it being a very warm July evening, the place felt cold and shivery!  Exactly the same thing happened again in August 1998, same place same shape.

He went on to regale us with numerous tales including Dead Man’s Gulley on the Walberswick/ Blythburgh border; sightings of a 17 century servant girl in Sutherland House, Southwold; a brown monk  in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds and perhaps the most unusual, a phantom house at Rougham!

Robert had a great fund of well researched stories - it was an amusing and interesting evening for all.

Hadleigh in the Sixties

The History Group     6 February 2018

This was a very popular meeting with 79 people attending, 29 of whom were visitors!

The presentation was based on a research project done by the Society’s History Group.  The 60s was a decade of rapid change in many spheres.  The country was emerging from austerity after the war; a new concept of youth culture was developing - hippies and flower power; many social and cultural changes and so the list could go on.  The presentation included the developments locally with the changes in and around Hadleigh and the photographs shown causing many a comment in the audience - memories of their youth and ‘yes, I remember that’!  There was a lot of interesting information about the development of the District Council, fire station, expansion of the town, local schools, shopping, the swimming pool, railway - or lack of it and Simon Dewes, an author who was born in the town and who wrote A Suffolk Childhood - his childhood memories of Hadleigh.

Interspersed with the local information were headlines of what was happening on the world stage, reminding us of space exploration, the assassination of JF Kennedy, the Profumo scandal, England winning the World Cup and much, much more including the number 1 hits of the various years - Cliff, Elvis, the Beatles .........

Thank you to the History Group for revisiting these times!

General Data Protection Regulation

When you joined the Hadleigh Society your name, address and if supplied, email and phone number were added to our database and the membership form advised you so. This information is held securely by the Secretary and Membership Secretary and not disclosed for any purpose other than to manage your membership.  In effect that means for sending out Hadleigh Society communications and collecting subscriptions.  When you have ceased to be a member we will remove your data.

If at any time you request the Membership Secretary to do so we will remove your details from our database and will no longer be able to send you information by email. 

HADLEIGH – The only place in the world

“Not another rose garden” was my intemperate reaction in 1998 when I learnt of the Hadleigh Town Council proposal for marking the new Millennium. Then I remembered my own management mantra – “Never bring me a problem without your solution”. So, what would I suggest for Hadleigh to mark the year 2000? I put my thinking cap on.

Suggestions were made to Hadleigh’s movers and shakers. Foremost amongst them at the time was  Councillor Eileen Banks, an inspirational and politically astute enabler, and Hadleigh Society’s leading light – John Bloomfield. Both now sorely missed. Numerous ideas were discussed. Finally the concept of developing “The Roundel“ idea emerged as clear favourite. It was to be sited in the South East corner of St. Mary’s Churchyard. Beneath the Roundel a time capsule was to be buried containing items unlikely to be around in 100 years hence.

Many obstacles were raised by bureaucrats at Suffolk County Council and Babergh District Council. All were overcome with Eileen’s help. The concept turned into a reality.

Local people were invited to contribute six £1 coins in a cardboard representation of the Roundel. Suggestions were also sought for items to be included in the time capsule. The final 72 items were selected by representatives of St. Mary’s Church, Hadleigh Society, the Chamber of Commerce and the Town Council. Eileen was adamant that a “STOP TESCO” sticker was included. It was.

The Roundel was built by Larcombe & Young of Semer to a design by Wincer Keivenaar, Architects in Hadleigh.  Key parts were manufactured and donated by two of Hadleigh’s leading employers – Cookson & Zinn and Hadleigh Castings. It cost £11,500 and was unveiled in 2000 by Dean Stranack. The significant buildings are indicated by arrows on the 3 m. wide Roundel.

A plaque, next to the Roundel, was erected by the Rotarians of Hadleigh. The quote, by Winston Churchill reads – “We shape our buildings thereafter they shape us.”

So HADLEIGH now has a spot in history – The Roundel underlines Hadleigh as an historic town. I claim that the Roundel is:- “The only place in the world from which six buildings of architectural merit, covering six different centuries, are visible from a single spot.” No one has yet refuted this statement with an alternative.

R D Young- 31.05.17


Our Planning Group keeps a watch on all planning applications relating to Hadleigh and over the past year we have commented on the following:

111 High Street B17/01052, we supported with comments, granted approval 13 Jul 2017

East House, George Street DC/17/03770: we supported with comments. Granted approval 3 Oct 2017

The Wheatsheaf, 4 High Street DC/17/04235- Full Planning, Application. Change of Use from residential to Office Use. We supported with comments, granted approval 6 Oct 2017

120 Benton Street DC/17/03523 Non Material amendments to B/06/00330/RES/CLD – housing development. we recommended new application should be made granted approval 3 Nov 2017

Rear of 4-14 Benton Street DC/17/02677 – Erection of 2 detached dwellings. We commented on scale and access. Refused 23 November 2017

Hadleigh Hall DC/17/04239 –Erection of detached dwelling. We said it should remain a green area. We objected, and again to the amended application

40 George Street, DC/18/00647 - We raised concerns regarding design, access and issues concerning the Leisure Centre.  Planning was refused on 11 April 2018.

Rear of 4-14 Benton Street, DC/18/01543 - we commented on safeguarding the wall in Tinkers Lane and trees, and on detail of materials.

1 Bridge Street - DC/18/01675 we objected because of the adverse impact the building and fence would have upon the area; no approval could be granted in any event based upon the submitted drawings, and to do so would be considered maladministration.

Corks Lane

We also submitted extensive comments on the proposals for the Corks Lane development.

Benton Street

We prepared a review of the traffic management options.

Copies of all these documents can be found on our website.

Your Contributions?

It’s AGM time and as usual there’s the opportunity to get more involved in the work of the Society, if you’d like to do that. We particularly seek committee members but there are other tasks that don’t involve meetings.

One of those roles is to provide interesting and relevant articles that might inform or entertain our members. Although the direct readership is not great, what you write might still be picked up by Google searches over the next hundred years so it’s a small opportunity for a bit of immortality. This is probably a good opportunity to note that the Hadleigh Society has had a website for over 20 years which has a newsletter archive going back to 1984.

Budding journalists, or maybe retired ones, your pieces will be gratefully received. Perhaps you have a view on Hadleigh now or how you would like it to develop or some interesting item of Hadleigh history you wish to share. Contact the Editor.

Your Committee Needs You

We’ve now strengthened our sub-committees but we still need more people to get involved in running the Society.  If you think you could help to keep the Society going and would like to talk about what is involved then please phone the Honorary Secretary, Graham Panton or any other committee member.  Contact details are on the back page and on the website.  

Motion to Increase Membership Fees

Our present membership fees were adopted in July 2010. Considerable economies have been made in administration but, as intimated at the 2017 AGM, to ensure that we can continue to engage high quality speakers, regardless of the fees charged, it is necessary to have an increase in members’ subscriptions as below:

Concessions: Individual member £10, couple at same address £15

Life Members: Individual member £150, couple at same address £250

(No Change: Full rate: Individual member £12, couple at same address £20 and

Visitors at meetings: £3)

These to take effect for new memberships and renewals from 1st July 2018