The Hadleigh SocietyNov 2006
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Canon John Griffin – A Tribute

The Revd Canon John Henry Hugh Griffin was born in 1913.  From an early age he was destined ‘for the cloth’, starting his education at St Paul’s Choir School and being ordained as a priest at Bury St Edmunds in 1939.  Most of John’s ministry was in various parishes in East Suffolk.  He was made an Honorary Canon of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in 1978 finally ‘retiring’ to Hadleigh in 1979 though continuing to take an active part in the religious and social fabric of the town.

In the latter role he became the first Chairman of the Hadleigh Society and a champion of many matters concerning the town’s heritage and future.  John’s long experience of chairmanship led to discussions that were always lively and tinged with wit and good humour and often terminated by John’s  ‘Yersss’ signifying, that the subject had been debated  quite sufficiently and it was time to move on.  In due course the Hadleigh Society made John its first president.

With the passage of time John continued to take a keen interest in the town, but from a little more distance.  Armed with electric ‘buggy’ and a dog to walk he made his way about, missing little and gaining ammunition for his lively pen.

To me he was a good friend, someone with whom I was instantly at ease.   His company was always a pleasure, his knowledge vast.  He will be missed but very fondly remembered

John Bloomfield

editor's note: John Griffin's contributions to the Newsletter can be found in the following:

Do You Desire to Speak Proper Like?






Meet our President

Competition Commission Investigation

The ways that the big supermarkets are using, and some might say abusing, their power is currently the subject of a major investigation by the Competition Commission. In this context, what may be of interest  to members is that, according to the analysts Citigroup, Tesco now has more than 40% of the retail market in the East of England, by comparison with 28% in most other regions and it opened 111 stores in the period 2005/6.  It was not all that long ago when the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission became concerned when any one retailer amassed more than 8%.  With such a large share of the market in one company, clearly there is considerable potential for such power to be abused.

The Commission is interested in hearing from anyone who can shed more light on such matters as the way that local authority officers and members are influenced, how suppliers and hauliers are intimidated, how customers are manipulated, and the waste generated by supermarket buying policy.  Now is the time for those who are in the know about what really happens to manufacture and provide those so called ‘cheap’ goods, and the price paid in environmental damage and elsewhere in the supply chain. So please let the Commission know of anything which might help their investigation.

First hand information is preferred

However time is running out so any contribution should be made as soon as possible to :-  Mr Tim Oyler, Inquiry Secretary, Groceries Investigation, Competition Commission, Floor 6 Zone 4 Point 58, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AD or email to  Contributions may be in any form, may be as fulsome as necessary and will be handled in complete confidence if requested.

Lorries in Hadleigh

If you are concerned about overweight lorries on our roads (for instance contravening the Benton Street weight limit) you may be interested in information on the Suffolk County Councils website at

You can request an incident report form through there, or the Hadleigh Society can provide these if you wish.

Next Event – Clive Paine - The New Poor Law

Come to the next Hadleigh Society meeting at the Old Town Hall on Wednesday 29th November, 8pm for a welcome return of our ever-popular speaker.  Members free, visitors £2.

Highway Robbery in Hadleigh

A presentation by the Hadleigh Society History Group of this 1828  tragedy that led to severe punishments and Transportation, to be held on Wednesday 22nd November 2006 at 8pm in St. Joseph's Church Hadleigh. Tickets £5 with Concessions at £3, in aid of church restoration.

Transportation in Suffolk 

Pip Wright was in fine voice on 16th August for his talk of Suffolk convicts transported to the colonies, opening and closing with a song.  The Independence of the American colonies in 1776 denied us a useful way of dealing with those criminals who escaped the death penalty so an alternative destination was urgently needed.

Having heard the tale of the hanging of John Mann from our History Group at a previous meeting it was interesting to hear how his two accomplices might have fared under their sentences of transportation to New South Wales and Van Demons Land. In all, 2500 went from Suffolk, and whilst it was a hard life, only 200 chose to return.  For many it was a timely opportunity, to the extent that one reformed character returned only to gather his extended family for all to start a new life. The system was working at its peak from 1820 to 1850 and Suffolk sentenced the last pair of transportees at Sudbury in 1867.

Officers and Executive Committee Members

At the AGM the committee was re-elected without contest.  The following continue to serve.


John Bloomfield


Sue Angland

Vice Chair

Graham Panton


Daphne Jarvis


Jan Byrne


Margaret Woods


Chris Drake



Membership Secretary             Rosemary Schade (non-voting)

Newsletter Distributor            Jim Betteridge  (non-voting)