The Hadleigh SocietyOct 2004
Newsletter Index Up Jan 2004 Feb 2004 May 2004 Aug 2004 Oct 2004


What Brett Works Might Have Been?

From a 1908 letterhead of Firmin & Company, Cocoa Fibre Mat & Matting Weavers, Rope & Twine Spinners.

Is this another plan that never happened?

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Another Letter From the Archives

from Hadleigh Urban District Council

To the Right Hon. H. H. Asquith, M.P.


As the Chairman of this Council I join with my colleagues in respectfully addressing you as the head of His Majesty’s Government, on behalf of the large population which we represent.

We desire earnestly to call the attention of His Majesty’s Government to the grave and increasing evils caused by the road motor traffic in our districts. Motor-driven vehicles of all kinds have rapidly increased in number, size, weight and speed, and have produced an intolerable state of things. The evils from which we suffer may be classified under five heads:- (1) Danger to life and limb; (2) nuisance from dust and noise; (3) enormously enhanced cost of road maintenance, which is borne by the local ratepayers; (4) damage to crops; (5) depreciation of property. The result is that while suffering serious loss and increased burdens the inhabitants are driven off their own roads.

Abundant evidence of the reality of these grievances can be produced if necessary.  We particularly desire to call attention to the hardships inflicted on the poorer inhabitants who occupy cottages along the roads, and who form a large section of the rural and semi-rural population. They are quite defenceless and live in a state of misery, especially on Sundays and in fine weather.

We further wish to point out that while some drivers make a legitimate use of these powerful engines, and drive with care and consideration, a large number habitually disregard the existing regulations, ignore the rights of others, and exercise an intolerable oppression.

With a strong sense of responsibility we urgently press this question upon the consideration of His Majesty’s Government.

I have the honour to remain, Sir,

Your obedient humble servant,

Editor’s note: Herbert Henry Asquith was Liberal Prime Minister from 1908 to 1916.

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At the meeting on Monday 16th August we were pleased to welcome Peter Lee of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.  Peter gave us a most interesting if somewhat sombre talk on the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission taking us back through the nation’s wars from Waterloo to the present day.  The talk was well illustrated throughout with pictures of the beautifully tended graves and memorials looked after by the CWGC. What is now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission started with the work of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War and later that done by Fabian Ware in setting-up Graves Registration Units in World-War I.  This developed into the world-wide organisation of today tending the graves and memorials of the soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives in the service of their country over the years.    As Peter and the Royal British Legion say each year “We will remember them”.

Next Event: What did ‘ag labs’ actually do?

On Tuesday 12th October Michael Stone will be responding to the question “What did ‘ag labs’ actually do?” at the next meeting, in the Old Town Hall at 8pm.  We know that these abbreviations mask a great deal of painful work in all weathers, but do they mask a great range of skills?  This talk gives a detailed answer from 1842/3, using an unpublished source from a mid-Suffolk estate.  Day by day the activities of the farm staff are recalled.  Entry is free for members, £2 for others.

Rowland Taylor, Reformation Martyr

A Study Day at Hadleigh, Suffolk

Saturday 16th April 2005, 9.45am to 5.30pm.

The day is to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Taylor’s martyrdom in Hadleigh, 1555, with lectures and guided visits by coach to associated sites.  Admission is £25.00, including a two-course lunch. If you would like to receive further details and a booking form, please send a SAE to: Sue Andrews, 17 Manor Road, Bildeston, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP7 7BG.

This is not the simple tale of a parish priest caught up in the political schemes of the English Reformation as Rowland Taylor’s position was at the forefront of Protestant reform.  A protégé of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer for whom he probably ghost wrote the Catechism, Taylor was appointed Rector of Hadleigh in 1544 and soon gained a good reputation for his parochial devotion. As Suffolk’s leading reformist cleric, he was also appointed Archdeacon of Bury St Edmunds in order to ingress the authority of the conservative Bishop of Norwich. His activities during the reign of Edward VI, our first Protestant king, made Taylor a marked man as he was arrested within one week of Catholic Mary’s accession to the throne in 1553.

The Study Day on 16 April will include three lectures giving the background both nationally and locally that led to Taylor's arrest, trial and eventual martyrdom in 1555 at Hadleigh.

Professor John Walter of the University of Essex will look at the unfolding of the English Reformation.

·       Clive Paine, popular author and local historian will illustrate the consequences upon the parish churches of Suffolk

·       Sue Andrews, MA, Hadleigh Archivist, will describe life in sixteenth-century Hadleigh and the events of Rowland Taylor's incumbency here.

Expert guided tours of St Mary’s Parish Church, the Deanery Tower, Guildhall and Row Chapel, all buildings associated with Taylor, are included as well as a visit by coach to see the Taylor memorials on Aldham Common.

Beverages will be available throughout the day and a two-course lunch catering for all types of diet will be served in the Guildhall.