The Foxearth and District Local History Society

Local group - events and information.

Meetings and activities, announcements and notices for the Foxearth and District Local History Society, and associated organisations. For more information on recent events and current programme, please email or contact Clare Mathieson 01787 311337 or Lynda Rumble 01787 281434

Long Melford Historical and Archaeological Society 2013-2014 Programme

19th September – ‘Problem children in the Victorian period’ Clive Paine
‘What shall we do with our bastard, orphan, delinquent and pauper children’ asked Mary Carpenter in 1851. Her pioneering work inspired the formation of the Kerrison Reformatory at Thorndon in Suffolk. Clive will describe this and other attempts to help disadvantaged children, including the Workhouse, Ragged Schools, Orphanages and Emigration Societies.

17th October – ‘Bad neighbour to Brewer’ Wendy Barnes
The story of a Suffolk landholding over ten centuries. From an entry in Domesday to a dusty bundle of solicitor’s papers in the Suffolk Record Office, the trail via France, Shropshire and the Feet of Fines, finally leads to a surviving house and fields.

21st November – ‘Grandad played the Cornet’ David Cawdell
David Cawdell will talk to us about the history of Brass Bands in Suffolk, including how brass bands started; the instruments of a brass band; bandstands and some of the histories of local bands.

20th February ‘Members Evening’  - short talks by members
Please contact Liz Wigmore (01787 880229) if you would like to contribute a short 10-15 minute talk. 

20th March ‘More about Melford’ Lyn Boothman
Lyn reveals more about the history of Melford’s population, the families that moved or stayed over the generations and the factors that influenced this.

10th April AGM followed by ‘The Time Traveller’ Ancestral Voices
The novelist Daniel Defoe travelled extensively and in later life he embarked on an epic journey around the British Isles. His account of his travels in 1722 through East Anglia forms the basis of the presentation drawing on this portrayal of rural and maritime life a few decades before the Industrial Revolution. Ancestral Voices use extracts from his account as well as contemporary sources to recreate a picture of the region under King George I and perform music that Defoe may have heard on his travels.

15th May Evening visit – details to be confirmed
19th June Evening visit – details to be confirmed

A Spooky Affair: 8th October 2013

The meeting of the district society on 8th October was a spooky affair but members didn’t get too excited and minimum lighting was maintained!
Prolific Bury St Edmunds author on local folklore and paranormal happenings, Robert Halliday, related some Suffolk ghost stories. He included three of his own inexplicable experiences in Walberswick church ruins (twice) and at Deadman’s Gully on the Walberswick/Blythborough boundary. If there are rational explanations for the blue-lit figure he saw or the failure of his recording equipment to work in a particular place he did not know them.
In detail – and with slides (of locations, not spectres!) -Robert told of experiences said to have been described by the various occupants of Borley Rectory and the investigations that psychic researcher Harry Price made. This case came to national prominence when Rev. Small (a successor to the Bull dynasty) wrote to the Daily Mirror asking for help in dealing with unnatural sights and sounds. Another well-known instance near to home is the reported visions of Our Lady at Middleton Church. One of the staunchest advocates of this long-running legend was the Rector in 1931 – one Father Clive Luget – who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary on many occasions. For a time he had a number of convinced followers. He gave up the Anglican liturgy in favour of the Latin mass which led the Protestant Truth Society to demonstrate outside the church during his services. His congregation dwindled and he was quietly retired. Then there is the case of the mummified cat found in a wall at Sudbury’s Mill Hotel and the mysterious fires that occurred in places where it was temporarily located until it was replaced where it had been found. Finally Robert mentioned the apparition of the Blythborough Black Dog or Shuck which has been running about on the coast of East Anglia since at least the mid 16th century – and, according to some, is still to be seen!
It’s a great pity that only 12 members came along to hear Mr Halliday’s fascinating talk on a subject about which he has written a number of books. He was warmly thanked by Treasurer John Geddes.

Next meeting: Tuesday 12th November in Foxearth Village Hall when archive films of Suffolk Past will be shown.

Ken Nice