Programme for 2019

Unless otherwise stated, Meetings are held at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of the month, in the Wesley Hall, School Road, Elmswell, IP30 9EE

10th January                                                                                                                                                             John Orbell:  “Bury’s Corn Exchange – past and present”


14th February                                                                                                                                                               Sarah Doig:  “The Story of East Anglian Almshouses”


14th March                                                                                                                                                               Miriam Stead:  “Tea for the British, with a little twist of Suffolk”


11th April                                                                                                                                                                     John Morris:  “Constable at Flatford Mill”

PLEASE NOTE – from May 2019 and until further notice, we shall meet at The BLACKBOURNE’s Chamberlayne Hall, Blackbourne Rd, Elmswell IP30 9UH

9th May             *July tickets on sale*                                                                                                             Richard Young:  “Bury’s Victorian Observatory”


13th June            *July tickets on sale*                                                                                                                     7pm, A.G.M., immediately followed by                                                                                                        Martyn Taylor:  “Underground Bury St Edmunds”


11th July, 7pm            ANNUAL OUTING – Guided Tour of Suffolk Police Museum, Martlesham, Ipswich

Please note – 6pm departure from The Blackbourne Centre, IP30 9UH


Exhibition Poster – 20+21.7.19, Portrait

Sat 20th + Sun 21st JULY 2019, 10am-4pm :  An EXHIBITION of the Royal Flying Corps at Elmswell’s WW1 Aerodrome, which included guided tours of the site itself.

Held at Great Ashfield Village Hall, School Rd, Gt Ashfield, IP31 3HN.

This was the culmination of our four-year project on this topic, which attracted over 300 visitors during the weekend, and raised nearly £500 for the Royal British Legion and other local charities from donations for refreshments.    We hope to upload a fuller report and pictures onto this website in the near future.    If you missed the exhibition, our two main researchers will be giving a few more talks about the aerodrome to local history groups over the coming months – please contact us for more details if you would like to attend such a talk.


REMINDER – Until further notice and unless otherwise stated, our venue is The Chamberlayne Hall at the Blackbourne Centre, Blackbourne Rd, E’well IP30 9UH – usual prompt start of 7.30pm


Sunday 1st September, 12noon-5pm, at The Blackbourne

BOOK SALE – in aid of the Suffolk Record Office who do such an important job of safely storing local historical documents and archives.   So, come along, grab a bargain, and support this worthwhile cause.


12th September         *Annual Subs due – £8, Sept to July *                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Stephen Poulter:  “Needham (Norfolk) – a Waveney Valley Village Through Time“.    We are pleased to welcome Stephen for his first talk to our History Group.   He is an experienced speaker who has uncovered a wealth of interesting material about the history of this small but ancient settlement which dates back more than 2,000 years.


10th October                 Bryan Thurlow:  “We’ll Meet Again – an Evacuee’s Story“.     Bryan is an accomplished speaker and actor who will tell us the poignant and vivid account of Billy Jackson’s happy times he spent as a WW2 London evacuee living on an East Anglian farm.


14th November            Sarah Doig:  “The Rise & Fall of East Anglia’s Victorian Reading Rooms“.    A welcome return to our history group, Sarah has been drafted in at short notice, as our planned speaker has had to pull out due to serious medical issues.   Reading rooms were originally imposed upon the working classes by the upper classes, mainly the church and local landowners. Their establishment reflected contemporary attitudes to philanthropy, recreation and self-help, and confirmed the great class divide.  These rooms offered a much needed alternative to the public house for the working classes, although they tended to appeal more to the lower middle classes, and membership was mostly restricted to males.   They were an important part of village life and have left interesting evidence of former lifestyles and attitudes.


12th December             Bristol Fashion (folk group).  These five accomplished local musicians will entertain us with an evening of traditional East Anglian songs and music played on a variety of different instruments.    As in past years, a delicious seasonal buffet supper will be served, including hot spiced Fruit Punch, and the ticket includes a free Prize Draw, i.e. nothing further to pay.      N.B.  This is an advance-purchased ticket event (none on the door) – tickets are priced at £4 for members or £6 for non-members/visitors, and will be for sale at our October and November meetings or available from 01359-242601.