The Hadleigh SocietyApr 2002
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The Planning Green Paper

 The government intends to make major changes to the planning process and published a ‘Green Paper’ outlining its proposals.

Comments were invited from all interested parties so your Executive Committee met to consider its views.  A working party made a very detailed study of the document and prepared a document to present and illustrate the Society’s response, based on its experience of recent planning cases. 

Here we outline the proposal, followed in italics by a brief indication of our response.

· Replace local plans and Unitary Development Plans with a Local Development Framework to include community-based action plans - Our involvement in the Hadleigh Traffic Management and Environment Working Group has shown how joint council/community working can lead to sensible compromises.

· Community involvement in the preparation of the Local Development Framework and in significant planning decisions - Community Advocacy and Planning Aid could help significantly when the community is opposing a large or ‘moneyed’ developer, particularly where the community disagrees with  the planning officers advice; once a final decision has been made on an application,  that takes into account the community’s views  further similar applications should not be allowed

· Simplify the hierarchy of plans by strengthening regional planning and abolishing county structure plans – the recent proposal for a waste  material crushing plant was rejected following a site inspection; a more distant planning authority might have been less likely to make the journey.

· Reduce the volume and complexity of planning guidance – guidance was conflicting in the Supermarket case

· Speed up the planning system and setting new targets for local authorities and government for dealing with applications and appeals – there must be enough time to study a complex proposal which will have taken a long time to prepare

· Business planning zones – small businesses can change significantly to the point where they are no longer acceptable

· Prevent twin tracking and repeated applications – we welcome developers no longer being able to wear down the opposition

Copies of the document were also sent to those in the local authorities who are most concerned with planning.  We were pleased to receive an especially complimentary response from Babergh District Council.

If you wish to see the full document please contact the Chairman.

Meet the Committee

Chris Drake

Chris came to Hadleigh in 1993 when working as a power engineer for Eastern Electricity brought him from Hertfordshire to their headquarters at Wherstead, only to be given early retirement less than four years later!

Although a relative newcomer to Hadleigh Chris is not far from his roots having started life in Brightlingsea, Essex, where his father’s family had been oyster fishermen since time immemorial.  With his maternal grandparents having run the Post Office in Watton, Norfolk, he can claim a complete East Anglian pedigree.

The career with Eastern Electricity followed an education at Bungay Grammar School.  During over thirty years he worked in various of their offices and depots, many of which have since been closed and sold off.

He has been active in motor sport for many years with the Central Kart Club and also as a Steward for the Motor Sports Association, and likes to attend the occasional Formula 1 Grand Prix (strictly as a spectator).  His other major hobby is foreign travel since discovering the pleasure of going somewhere warm in the winter: this year it was Chile, including Easter Island.

Retirement has given the free time to become involved with local organisations, including being the secretary of the local branch of a political party, secretary (and a founder member) of Probus and he is also associated with Neighbourhood Watch.  However he is most active as a volunteer for the Hadleigh Community Resource Unit based at East House where he works with adults with learning disabilities, which is a total change from electrical engineering.

Statistics Corner

Which local town do you think has the most listed buildings?

Here are the counts for the top towns in Babergh.

















Although Lavenham has more in the top grades Hadleigh has the most altogether.

Oral Histories

Beryl Allen remembers how she knew it as a child

I was born at 3 Long Bessels in February 1925 (where Hadleigh Food Services is now). My father was a master baker and we had a small general shop and a pork butcher.

Bread making was very different in those days, every loaf being individually weighed and kneaded by hand before being baked. The brick oven was heated by faggots – bought from Mr Warren at Stack Wood, Polstead – when the wood had burned the ashes were swept out and the bread put in with the use of a peel – the resulting loaf had a lovely malty flavoured crust. Delivery was by horse and cart, and later by hand cart and trade bicycles.  There were four other bakers in the town then: Bloomfields, Budds, Percy and Pryke.

Milk delivery was also somewhat different – one – Mr Denison’s was by a small hand cart with a churn resting in the middle and the milk was measured out and put into your jug – it wasn’t so good if you were the last customer on a very hot day!  However we found ways of keeping milk and butter cool in clay pots. There were two more milk deliveries, from Mr Prowse and the Co-op.

The High Street boasted several shops all selling their own particular wares and you could get everything you needed without having to go outside the town except for large items such as furniture. One shop stands out in my memory – Beers – where at one side of the shop ham on the bone was freshly cut to your requirements – thick medium or thin – and on the other side the aroma of freshly ground coffee – enough to rouse most taste buds.

There were very few cars about and the roads were not made up as they are today, and it was not uncommon for children to play in the street with their tops and wooden or iron hoops. They also dug a hole in the ground with their heel and smoothed the ground round about and then were able to play with their marbles.

I found running the length of Long Bessels quite good training for the school sports day event of 100 yards and running down Long Bessels, along Threadneedle Street and back up Angel Street to home was a good guide for the mile race. I never had any difficulty in finding competition for these trials.

The town was lit by gas lamps and the lamplighter used to go round nightly and attend to these – imagine gas lamps all along the High Street now!

The doctor’s surgery was at the back of the Ivies which was adjacent to the cinema – a far cry from the Health Centre of today.

One event is imprinted on my memory and that was the homecoming of Sq. Leader Oswald Gayford after his solo flight to Australia in the early thirties.  He arrived at the Railway Station and was driven in an open topped car along the High Street to his parents’ home at Windsor Cottage in Angel Street.  The streets were lavishly decorated and every lamp standard festooned with streamers and flowers.  He was our hero and had a right royal welcome to prove it.

Another familiar sight was when Georgie White came home and brought his harmonium which he trundled around the streets and at appointed stopping places he played hymns – attracting a large number of children all eager to join in – he was rather like the Pied Piper.

Like most small places Hadleigh had its fair share of ‘local characters’ – too many to name here – maybe sometime in the future they can be recalled. In the meantime we must move with the times and make the changed Hadleigh a friendly place in which to live.

Timber and Bricks - Local History Week Study Day

On Saturday 11th May as part of national Local History Week The Hadleigh Society has organised a study day on Timber and Bricks.

The morning speakers will be

After lunch participants will have the choice of two out of three guided tours

Sue Andrews, M.A,. Honorary Archivist, Hadleigh.

The Historical Context

1.  Tour of Hadleigh,
to look at timber buildings

2.  Tour of Hadleigh,
to date brick work.

3.  Tour of the Guildhall complex.

Jane Gosling,
Property Manager of Lavenham Guildhall.

Timber framed buildings

Roger Kennell.
Master Member of the Guild of Bricklayers.

Brickwork in Hadleigh

Tickets for the day are £15 which includes coffee and tea. A “ploughman’s” lunch will be available for about £3. Tickets are available from

Glenda Druce, 9 Fullers Close, Hadleigh. Tel. 827242

and at Society meetings. Cheques should be made payable to the Hadleigh Society

Your Committee Needs You

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Executive Committee and would like to talk about what is involved then phone the Chairman, Jan Byrne, on 822192, or any other committee member.