3rd May Whistlecraft Pip Wright
Our programme wouldn’t be complete without a talk by Pip Wright, who has a seemingly endless store of subjects to draw upon. This time he tells us about the Whistlecraft family of Rickinghall, the local equivalent of Emmerdale’s Dingles! Joe Whistlecraft was a notorious poacher. Pip has recently brought out a book on the family and will have copies of this and his other books for sale on the night.
7th June Five Generations in Stowupland Kim Jennings + AGM
When Kim Jennings, an historian and former genealogist, moved to Stowupland in 2014, she knew that her mother had grown up on The Green but wasn’t aware of the other ancestors who also chose to make the village their home. Over the last two years Kim has been researching her family in Stowupland. She will share her findings in this talk and also be very keen to hear any memories of her family or life in the village over the last century.
5th July 50 years of The Museum of East Anglian Life Lisa Harris
Occupying over 80 acres of countryside in the heart of Stowmarket, the land was originally part of the Home Farm for the Abbot’s Hall estate. It passed through numerous owners until it was purchased by the Longe family in 1903. Huge changes in agriculture in the 1950s and ‘60s meant the danger of losing long established skills, equipment and buildings if something was not done to rescue them. Individual collectors, chiefly Stowupland farmer Jack Carter and Suffolk Local History Council worked to collect, preserve and display objects from rural East Anglia. After several years of temporary exhibitions the Misses Vera and Ena Longe placed 70 acres of farm land, Abbot’s Hall, its gardens, as well as 18/20 Crowe Street, in trust to be used as a Museum. Lisa Harris, who looks after the museum’s collections, looks back at its achievements.
November 1: The Guildhall Feoffment Trust and Guildhall Feoffment Schools, by Alan Bickerdike
A brief history of the Trust and Schools, from 1481 to the present. The Trust is one of the country’s oldest charitable trusts [if not the oldest] that still functions today. It has had much influence on many aspects of the history of Bury St Edmunds, education being but one part. The picture shows the brass of Jankyn Smith and wife Marion in St. Mary's Church Bury St Edmunds. He died in 1481 and left funds to the town to start the Guildhall Foeffment.