The Hadleigh SocietyMay 2019
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NOTICE OF THE 37th AGM, 2019

The 37th Annual General Meeting of The Hadleigh Society is to be held in Hadleigh Old Town Hall on Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 8 p.m. and all members are invited to attend.


1 Apologies for absence

2 Minutes of the 36th AGM

3 Treasurer’s Report

4 Proposal not to change subscription rates

5 History Group Report

6 Environment and Planning Report

7 Chair’s Review

8 Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

This will be followed by a talk and then to finish, wine and nibbles. The 2018 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.

Life in Hadleigh during the Second World War

Eighty years ago, this country found itself at war once again. What was life like here in Hadleigh on the Home Front during those near six years of war? Following extensive research of contemporary documents held at the Suffolk Record Office, a new illustrated booklet telling this story will be launched at a free exhibition to be held in St. Mary’s Church on Saturday 20th July from 10am – 4pm.

What were the effects of large numbers of evacuees arriving in the town, and the influence of the U.S. servicemen when Raydon Airfield was built? Rationing, shortages, and air-raids were all part of daily life. Local men joined the ARP and the Home Guard, other joined the services. Women organised and provided welfare for the many strangers who by the impact of war came to, or were sent to our town.

Organised by the Friends of St. Mary’s Church, Hadleigh the day will comprise of information, maps and images, together with book signings. There will be an illustrated presentation, and of course refreshments. There will be an opportunity to record your own memories of that time.

Roger Kennell

The Noel Turner Award

1987 - Inception of the Award

Noel Turner was one of the founders of the Hadleigh Society and chairman in 1990. He was an expert in antiques and an auctioneer, hence the logo for the award which we named after him.

The Selection Criteria

This award is made in recognition of outstanding improvements to, or conservation of, Hadleigh’s buildings or environment. It will be an individual framed commendation.

Nominations for the award should:-

• be sympathetic with the surroundings

• integrate with their surroundings

• display a high quality of workmanship

• be an example of good practice

The award will not necessarily be made each year, but there may be more than one award in a year.

Nominations are invited from members with a closing deadline of 1st January. The nominations will be considered by the Executive Committee, if necessary with the benefit of appropriate expert advice, and any awards will be presented at the Society’s AGM.

Nominations for the award should include written comments and reasons for the nomination together with supporting evidence and should be sent to the Secretary, Hadleigh Society to arrive before the above closing date.


Fourteen Awards have been presented over the past 30 years since the inception of the award.

1989 Edwards of Hadleigh - for renovation of their High Street Premises

1991 (i) 11 High Street, for Alterations and refurbishment of shop

(ii) Odds and Ends House at 131 High Street, Hadleigh for conversion of adjoining stables and outbuildings,

(iii) 28 High Street, for Richard Jackson Partnership’s office extensions at the rear in the Old Fire Station Yard.

1992 Toppesfield Mill House Weir for work on the relief weir adjoining Toppesfield Mill House, presented to Mr Barritt, the local Engineer for the National Rivers Authority Anglian Region

1999 (i) ‘The Old Lodging House’, Benton Street to Mr and Mrs Peter Jarvis for a new dwelling, and

(ii) The White Lion Hotel, High Street which had been derelict for some years and now sympathetically converted by Mr Ian Newman of East Anglian Renovations to private accommodation and provision of a well design mews of housing to the rear.

2000 No 100 High Street Hadleigh, for restoration of derelict 15th century medieval hall to which a large hearth had been added in the 17th century and in the 18th Century it had been re-fronted. The recent restoration has created a compact dwelling of considerable charm having all modem facilities and which does much to enhance the appearance of the Northern part of the High Street.

2003 (i) Andrew’s butcher's shop in the High Street was nominated for its recent refurbishment.

(ii) Station Yard, off Station Road, for conversion of an old Malting buildings to housing

2005 Northwest side of the High Street for progressing a practical pavement scheme which emphasised the group value of listed buildings within the Hadleigh Conservation Area.

The Ipswich and Norwich Co-Operative Society, High Street, for the sensitive design of its supermarket extension and pedestrian link, whilst retaining the character of the High Street frontage.

2009 (i) The Flying Chariot, Benton Street - for the new garden wall and sensitive improvements to the setting of The Flying Chariot in Benton Street.

(ii) Hadleigh Guildhall - for the two major projects. The 1995 the redesign and layout of the garden, officially opened in 1997 and in 2002 the refurbishment of the ‘Top Room’, on the second floor of the Market House. This included installation of a spiral staircase to provide access, and the repair and reassembly of the medieval screen, now on permanent loan from John Bloomfield who rescued it from 50 High Street, Hadleigh.

2012 58 George Street, for the renovation by Mr and Mrs Baines.

Hadleigh’s LOCAL Heritage LIST

Most of us are familiar with the term "Listed Building" that describes a building possessing special architectural or historic character of national importance and consequently protected by legislation.

These buildings are however only a small part of a community’s rich mixture of buildings and properties that make up its distinctive architectural, cultural and historic heritage. Whilst there are some 246 Listed Buildings in Hadleigh, there are many more buildings in the town which, whilst not meeting the national criteria to merit Listed status, possess distinct architectural and or social and or historic value with people and events that shaped the town’s character.

What could these buildings be? They could be past workers cottages, or terraces of the Victorian or Edwardian period, old industrial structures, maybe an old post or telephone box, current or former school or institutional building. They could be buildings connected with a locally famous person, or a particular event that occur in the towns past, or maybe a very modern building that is of iconic design or mark an important event in the town

Later this year there will be an opportunity to nominate any property you consider merits this special Local status so as to be possibly be included in a full Local List of Heritage Buildings for Hadleigh that the Society is compiling.

Membership Fees

At last year’s AGM the suggestion was made that, for a variety of reasons, it was "unfair" to charge members who were part of a couple less per head than single members. This practice is common in clubs and societies and is probably based on the reasoning that a couple would share newsletters, etc., so the club or society could service a couple for much the same cost as a single member. Nowadays when most communication is done electronically, as we do, this argument does not apply: there is virtually no cost to an extra email.

The discussion mostly concerns Senior Members – they greatly outnumber Full Members as shown in the table below, based on our present membership. This assumes that all "other halves" among Seniors are interested and active members: are they really, or is it just inertia that keeps them in? The question is: how many of these members would we lose by changing to a flat fee? If we lost half of them then the fee would need to increase from £8.50 to £10.00. Single Senior members would not then have saved anything but the Hadleigh Society would have lost 17 members. If everybody pays £10 (Full members included, Students excluded) life would be much simpler for the Membership Secretary!

We can have an interesting debate at the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

Chris Drake, Treasurer




Current Income

"Unified" Fee

Resultant Income


Full Single






£1.00 less

Full Joint

2 x 2





£2.00 more

Senior Single






£1.50 less

Senior Joint

35 x 2





£2.00 more

Total*excl life members







The History of Hadleigh Trade & Industry

4 December 2018

Roger Kennell

As with many places Hadleigh has had periods of great economic prosperity and of decline.

The three main periods of prosperity are Medieval, Victorian and from the 1960s.

Roger ranked them in order of Medieval, from the 1960s and lastly Victorian and wondered whether we would agree by the end of the talk.

Medieval Today Toppesfield Bridge would not appear to be a main entrance into the town but in the medieval period the market stretched as far as Duke Street so the bridge lead directly to the market. During this time the church was rebuilt to its present size. 400 years ago this year (2018) the Borough Charter was granted (1618); this was a system whereby the poor were looked after together with the town generally but it was surrendered in 1685 and then lost. A long decline and stagnation followed until 19th century.

Victorian 1843 saw the medieval bridge replaced with the iron bridge (near what was Babergh offices) and in 1847 the railway arrived which changed many things. The architectural style of the new Corn Exchange and Town Hall (1850/51) was to reflect the prosperity of the town at that time. Brickworks sprang up to serve the construction of new buildings and in 1833 the Deanery was built. These are only a few of the changes which took place in Hadleigh at this time - too many to detail here.

From 1960s The industrial estate brought new industries into the town and the continuing prosperity led to a rise in population which in turn lead to many houses being built and although the town has grown and developed the conservation areas have ensured there are still historic buildings too. In the 1960s the population was three and a half thousand and it is now close to ten thousand!

This was an excellent talk which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. A good way to finish the Society’s year!

The Lost Medieval Port of Goseford

1 May 2019

Peter Wain

Where? On the lower part of the River Deben

What? It is not thought to be a single place but rather an area including a number of villages and was an important port on the East Coast at the time.

Why? This area was a large expanse of sheltered, shallow water suitable for the flat bottomed boats in use.

When? The origins of Goseford need more investigation but it was shown on a map of 1250 along with other important ports. The last reference to the port was in the records of central government in 1415. A combination of events saw the demise of the port - the loss of ships to piracy; the loss of man-power to build and man the boats due to the black death; the fall in demand for the use of boats to transport large armies.

Peter’s meticulous research has unearthed a lot of information about Goseford which might otherwise have been lost.

Cakes, Ale and Partying - Feasting and Fundraising in Medieval Suffolk

6 December 2017

Kate Jewell

The medieval festive year started with Advent leading up to Christmas and the New Year. On Christmas Eve, in preparation for the Christmas celebrations, houses and churches were decorated with greenery (holly and ivy were most popular) together with bay and rosemary for pleasant smells! To mark the end of fasting during Advent and the start of the celebrations there would be a slap-up feast on Christmas Day with the wealthier members of the parish expected to provide for the poorer ones.

Account books from the period give detailed information about food and drink consumed during celebrations. For example for New Year celebrations Dame Alice, the owner of Acton Hall, provided beef, swans, coneys, turkeys, pies, plum pottage and frumenty washed down with lamb’s wool (ale or cider with apples cooked in it). There was also entertainment in the form of a harpist telling a great story of the time to music - of which we heard a recording.

The next feast time was Candlemas which fell on 2 February each year. Shrovetime involved eating up foods before the fasting during Lent and Shrove Tuesday would have taken a similar form to that of today, pancakes and rough football games!

One of the fasting restrictions during Lent was no eggs so everyone enjoyed sharing eggs during the celebration of Easter Day, often painted and decorated. For the richer people in society eggs would have been decorated with gems and gold and given as presents, so we can see where some of our traditions started.

The last big celebration before the hard work of harvest was Midsummer or the Feast of St John the Baptist. Flaming wheels were rolled downhill to a river celebrating the importance of fire and light.

The second part of Kate’s talk told how celebrations were used to raise money for things such as church repairs. In Brundish, Suffolk the Church wardens’ accounts for these celebrations, known as Church Ales, show details of ale consumed and gradually they developed into larger communal celebrations with food and entertainment which was fun for the parishioners. A Church Ale held in Boxford raised the modern-day equivalent of £14,500!! However Church authorities became suspicious of these fundraising events and the bad behaviour that sometimes resulted so some were banned.