Wickhambrook Local History Society

Crime Updates

Crime reports for around Wickhambrook
Crime updates for November

See the latest updates on crime incidents affecting Wickhambrook and the surrounding areas...

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Wanted/For Sale

See what is for sale and wanted for around Wickhambrook

Take a look at all the items we have for sale and see if you can find yourself a bargain. You can also post requests for items you are looking for.  It's free and we have sold lots of items over the years from cars to sofas!

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Resources

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PDF Files

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website last updated 4 February, 2011

Wickhambrook Local History Society Reports

April 2011 : AGM & The Foundling Hospital

At a brief AGM, all officers and committee were re-elected for another year. The Chairman is Dorothy Anderson, secretary is Gillian Cooper and Treasurer is Pam Miller.  All gave brief reports on a successful year, the 25th of the Society.

Ruth Millar, the speaker for the evening, called her talk on The Foundling Hospital 'From Shame to Fame'and it was a very apt title.

The hospital opened in London in 1739 and was the brainchild of Thomas Coram who was appalled by the illegitimacy and poverty of the time which caused babies to be abandoned. He petitioned King George the first, then George the second, but it was not until the Duchess of Somerset signed his petition followed by all her friends that money was raised.

The artist, Hogarth, and musician Handel, were among the first patrons. Other artists, including Gainsborough, donated paintings for the first school which still hang in the Museum today.

Other schools were opened in Redhill and Berkhamstead, for children over five years old. Foundlings had to be the first born illegitimate children of otherwise blameless women who would thus be given a second chance.

Ruth herself was a foundling baby and was sent to foster parents in Essex before being sent to Berkhamstead in 1942. Her description of her time there was harrowing to listen to as the system was strict, unloving and open to abuse, but Ruth's cheerful acceptance of her fate was uplifting. She became a nurse and eventually a Health Visitor and was able to help mothers and babies before marrying and having her own family.

There is an exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London which runs until October 2011, with oral testimony from those who went through the system before modern ways of thinking put an end to shutting children away.

The Queen visited the Hospital in 2009, so fame grew from shame, as seemed only right.

Our next meeting is the 25th Anniversary Film Show in the WI Hall on Tuesday 17th May at 7.30pm. the first outing of the summer is a day at Castle Hedingham on 22nd June.

Events and News

Tuesday 17th October
On Tuesday 17th October at 7.30pm in the WI Hall when Dr Nick Amor will talk on 'The Suffolk Clothier in the time of Henry VII.'. All welcome. Look out for posters or check the village website.


 

Baileys of Wickhambrook

This poem was given to Dorothy by one of our members and is to be included in a book later this year
Poem | Baileys of Wickhambrook

Wickhambrook Parish Records

The Wickhambrook Parish Records are currently being digitised and updated.  If you have any information you may be able to add or help fill in some of the gaps, please contact Paul Saunders.

View the Parish Records document here

Photos and Press Cuttings

We have had some fascinating photos and press cuttings sent to us which you can see by having a look at the pdf group images in the gallery

View Gallery

Dorothy Anderson is awarded a Diamond Champion - read more here

Short Straw by Jennifer Bell

At the launch party at The Cherry Tree on 20th September, Jenny Bell told us how she had found diaries and notes written by her father-in- law Frances Bell and realised that this would make a wonderful book. It has taken her several years to produce but the finished volume makes fascinating reading for the people of Wickhambrook and Stradishall. Frances was the younger brother of Adrian Bell, the well-known writer of Corduroy, Silverley and The Cherry Tree among others. His books were very popular in the thirties and forties for their depiction of farming life in East Anglia. Frances went off to Argentina when a young man and learned much about land use and farming there before returning to this area where he worked for the charismatic fruit grower Justin Brooke, a major employer in the area. He ended up running the fruit growing side of the business, marrying and bringing up a family here, before differences between him and his employer caused him to leave and try his ideas elsewhere in the region. The book is much more than just a farming memoir. Frances was a real character, very popular with the men who worked for him,and enjoyed a glass of beer and played the accordion. It was lovely to see so many former employees of the Brooke empire at Clopton Hall chatting and reminiscing with members of the Bell family. Martin Bell ,the journalist, who is a cousin of the author's husband, has written an introduction to the book and he spoke at the book launch too. The Cherry Tree pub, former home of the Bells, laid on a lovely teatime spread. The book is available in local bookshops or from Larks Press, Ordnance Farmhouse,Guist Bottom, Dereham NR20 5PF for £10 and is an excellent read.

Local History Society photos

History Society visit to

Our Committee

For information about the Society or events please contact either the Secretary or Events Secretary.

The main committee is as follows:


Chairman Dorothy Anderson
01440 820376
Secretary &
Events Secretary
Gillian Cooper
01440 820052
Treasurer Pam Miller
01440 820696

Members Information

Membership costs £8 per year payable in April  plus 50p for each meeting.

Guests are always very welcome - £2 per occasion.

Meetings held at 7.30pm in the W.I. Hall.

Library - The library is now all set up at the Primary School. Please let us know your views on this. (Little Bradley trip - we have bought Wendy Barnes' book for the library).

Adobe pdf document Discover the Paintings you Own - The Hidden Heritage of Suffolk Revealed by the Public Catalogue Foundation

and now for some interesting Historical Facts from the 1500's ...

2017 Reports

2016 Reports

2015 Reports

2014 Reports

2013 Reports

2012 Reports

2011 Reports

2010 Reports

2009 Reports

2008 Reports

2007 Reports

2006 Reports

2005 Reports

2004 Reports

Useful links and information

 

link Suffolk Observatory

link Suffolk Family History Society

link Suffolk Local History Council

link Suffolk Surnames - Information, help and advice for anyone researching their Suffolk Roots

link I have had a letter from the East Anglian Film Archive with details of DVDs which may be of interest to you. You can look online at archivefilmshop.co.uk and type HISTSOC into the discount box. Their Phone no. is 01603 251744. Please tell them which Hist Soc you belong to when you call (Dorothy)

link Many will know that The National Archives gives regular talks on various aspects of family history at the PRO in Kew. Less well known is that they're now available to replay online. Very easy to listen to, providing you've got broadband.

link The Family and Community Historical Research Society

link The Archive CD Books Project

link Doctors who practised in Wickhambrook up until 1900 - Suffolk Medical Biographies website - type in 'Wickhambrook' in the 'place of practice' box and then 'search'.