Chairman’s Report 2011
The year passes so quickly yet it seems incredible how much we manage to cram into it at the Sudbury History Society. Especially remarkable as the full membership only meets for two hours each month with ten day excursions for fifty two persons in addition. Each moment of the monthly meetings is precious time there for and we pride ourselves in making the most of it.

The talks this year have included Saxon Names and Place Names, Saxon Language and Literature (Carla’s), The New Work at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, Suffolk’s Lost Houses, Crome and the Norfolk School of Painters. (Given by our Vice Chairman and descendent Mike Crome), The History of Sudbury Literary and Mechanics Institute, (by Member Walter Perry), Excavation and Discovery of a 16th century Hunting Tower at Wormingford, (Colchester Archaeological Group), Metal Detecting in the Sudbury Area and a Theory Concerning Edmunds Coronation.

After this meeting we shall have our first of a new series exploring the town street-by-street starting with Ballingdon, Sudbury’s Transpontine Suburb. A short illustrated talk by member Ann Grimshaw concerning Temple Bar will round off the proceedings.

Our Excursions this year were planned to show how, even in today’s economic climate, a magnificent day out need only cost you ten pounds plus what ever you decide to spend on refreshments. There was a heavy concentration on London, as we shall be steering clear of the Capital next season for various reasons. To remind you, this is where we went: –
Two Border Churches in Norfolk/Suffolk
Kenwood House and The Geffrey Museum
Southwold and Dennington Church
London Museum at The Barbican
St. Alban’s Abbey
London Docklands Museum
London Aldwych (free day)
Norwich (free day)
London V and A Museum
St. Mary’s Church BSE & Anglesey Abbey

The highlight for me in July was an invitation from H.M. to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Apparently to acknowledge the work put in to promoting the history and appreciation of this town. August saw another successful Al Fresco lunch at Shrubbs Farm Lamarsh for which many thanks are due to Cynthia and her team for organising the fabulous spread.
In September our Society acted as hosts to members of the Suffolk Local History Council with a talk on the Evolution of Sudbury Town at The Quay Theatre followed by a walk-about to show off the Saxon town streets. After lunch we met at St. Gregory’s for a talk on Simon of Sudbury.

Also in September Mike Crome and I met up with a direct descendent of the l7th century William Dawes who emigrated to America. The meeting was prearranged via our website and he was delighted to see so much had survived in Sudbury from that era. He returned to America a very happy man.

In October Mike and I journeyed to Ipswich to visit a group called Discovering Suffolk. We delivered a lecture on Elizabeth de Burgh’s new town at Sudbury. They are making arrangements to come and see the town.
In February we set off again, this time to Bures History Society where an appreciative audience were apparently enthralled with our talk which was a revised version of The Evolution of Sudbury.
In March we manned a stall at the Sudbury On Show Exhibition and a week later some of our members enjoyed a field walk at Bures.

Under the Good News banner, it has been decided not to increase the membership fee which we consider to be extremely good value for money at £7 .50
We continue to monitor the well being of our rich historic heritage in Sudbury and are pleased at last to see that the Anchor/White Hart complex has at last been sold and the steel shutters have been removed. We have a particular interest in the building as we uncovered its fascinating story from the Mattingly documents. We will watch closely and communicate with the new owners as soon as it is made known who they are.

The very bad and distressing news was of the destruction of St. Bartholomew’s magnificent 14th century barn early this year by arson. Nobody has been charged with the offence to date. Knowing that we have for ten years been in constant contact with English Heritage and Babergh District Council voicing our concern for the vulnerability of this unprotected and uninhabited historic site the former did at least contact me the next day to commiserate and promised to try and settle the long going dispute about the Priory’s future with the minimum of delay. So far nothing except that talks are on going.

Finally it would be impossible to do all that we do without the support of your hard working committee. We really do work as a team. I also have to thank Coralie Berg and Barbara Rawlins for organising our coffees and teas so efficiently. Cynthia and Wally Perry for all their work at the summer and winter bashes and a special thank you for those members who turn up early and help to set up the chairs for our meetings.
And a big thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement!
Chairman – Barry Wall
April 2011

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