Yoga class Wednesday`s at Hedenham Village Hall 9.30-10.45am
Join me for breath awareness to calm the mind, Yoga poses to strengthen the body and improve posture and flexibility, finishing with relaxation.£8 per class suitable for all levels. For more
information and to book please call Julie 07849012213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HEDENHAM LITTER PICK SATURDAY APRIL 14TH
On what turned out to be a lovely warm morning some 21 people arrived at the village hall to begin our litter pick. After only an hour and a half some 20 bags of litter had been collected, eight of them being for recycling. Afterwards, tea coffee and biscuits were served in the village hall with everyone swapping stories about rubbish!. Thanks to everyone who turned out for this community event.
MAY DAY PICNIC AT HEDENHAM HALL
On a wonderfully sunny Bank Holiday Monday (and we don’t get many of those do we?)well over 40 families attended a fund raising picnic at Hedenham Hall. After a welcoming glass of champagne everyone settled down to enjoy the weather, and those who were feeling energetic were instructed by Suki Dell in the arty of maypole dancing which proved rather popular with both children and adults. Having exhausted themselves, tea, coffee and delicious cake were on hand to restore energy for anyone who wanted a second turn at dancing. The more relaxed families just sat down and enjoyed their picnic and the sun shine.
A very big thank you goes to Hannah Morris for organising the event, which raisedmoney for Hedenham Church, and to her band of helpers who ensured no-one went hungry or thirsty.
ANOTHER CHRISTMAS SOCIAL
BRING AND SHARE SUPPER AT HEDENHAM VILLAGE HALL
ON FRIDAY 8 DECEMBER AT 7.30 PM
Bring food and drink to share with fellow residents, Enjoy party games (but only if you want to!)
Please let John Connor know you are coming (01508 482557) or e-mail him at email@example.com
Hedenham Wartime Memories by John Archer
Hedenham had a varied 2nd World War History. Just before the war a searchlight site was constructed south of the village opposite Dick Bond Farm (now Willow Farm). A camp was set up in the field just beyond the small copse of trees. The searchlight was positioned just west of the still remaining oak tree with the pill box close by. The generator was tucked in behind the hedge on the second corner of the S-bends. Around 12 soldiers manned the site. It remained there for several months then it departed to make up a cluster site elsewhere. The cluster sites were not very successful. It returned back to Hedenham after a spell, but was situated further up the Earsham Road.
The searchlight was positioned in the gateway in the field just past Spinks Lane ( where the manure heap now is, or was in September) on the right. It remained there well into the war. The huts where the soldiers lived were just into the left of the gateway.
As the war progressed a camp was built at Earsham Hall to house a group of American soldiers numbering over two hundred at one time. It was in conjunction with the huge ammunition depot which covered land in the surrounding countryside. Hedenham became involved in the storage of the bombs and various wartime arms.
Langate Way was concreted over as was Spinks Lane. Two thousand pound bombs were stored in bays beside the lane. Two large Nissen huts were erected at the top of Spinks Lane. These stored fifty calibre bullets in boxes.
The roadway down to Sexton Wood was also concreted and each side of the road again two thousand pound bombs were stored.
Inside Sexton Wood concrete roads were constructed where ammunition was seen. There were Picket Posts in Spinks Lane on the S-bends near the cottages, another on the road to Ditchingham where the family Baise used to live and also just past the cottages on the road to Sexton Wood.
The roads were only open to pass holders and workers. Traffic was heavy around those narrow roads. The concrete remains to this day.
These are my personal memories of activities in Hedenham during the last war. I used to visit the searchlight often and working on Earsham Hall Estate I had a pass to travel in the areas mentioned.
John W. Archer
Do you enjoy music? Then come along to:
An Autumn Concert presented by Hedenham Choir
on 17th October at 7.30 pm at Hedenham Church
CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF HEDENHAM
We had a toilet at the bottom of our garden and at night we had the company of rats in the roof!
During the war American checkpoints were at the top of Sexton Road and another round the corner at Earsham Road. We had to have ID to get through them. At the end of Sexton Road a bomb dump was built. We were glad the Germans never found it otherwise Hedenham would have been a name only. There were many trucks traveling back and forth to Seething airfield with bombs. When troops were in the trucks a hopeful call of “Got any gum, Chum” was sometimes successful. We didn’t have an Anderson shelter we just dived under the kitchen table when a raid was on. Mother used to count the planes out and back each time they flew.
The Americans arranged for the kids to go to Seething airfield for a party where we found food and sweets we had never seen before. There is a photo at Seething control tower of one of the parties. In the evenings if mother was busy I would go through the hedge to the guard building where there was one soldier on duty. Normally candy was there which was a prize as we never had sweets. I suppose it was a way of breaking the monotony as I guess those young men were miles from home and away from their families. It must have been hard for them.
There used to be a well in Sexton Road and I had to go twice to the well as I was unable to carry a full pail. One villager had a yoke to carry two pails so I used to try and meet him there so he could wind the bucket up for me.
Our house was a tied house and after the war my father was not able to do farm work so we ended up in the Rectory sharing with the rector. It was a great place for a young boy to roam. However the rooms were so big it must have been a nightmare for my parents to look after. We stayed there several years until we moved to Smiths Knoll it was great to get away from the toilet rats at last! Also the tin bath was not in use anymore, we had a proper bathroom! Later mother ran the Post Office in the hall way for several years.
The Blacksmiths forge across the road was used by father to mend cycles in his spare time but later the building was turned into a dwelling.
Hedenham used to have a cycle speedway team called the Hedenham Hornets. The track was on the meadow next to the path by Blithe Cottage later the track was moved to the front lawn of the Rectory. Members came from other villages to be in the team. They used to ride their road bike with one hand and steer the speedway bike with the other. With only two cars an hour it was not a problem although to-day they would probably be arrested! Nearly everyone worked in Bungay with many of the girls at Clay’s printing works. As cars were few all shopping was done in Bungay and was by bike.
I started school in what is now the village hall and then we moved to Ditchingham school then on to Bungay school when I was 11. We were taxied first then later by school bus. Before the bus shelter was built we had to wait by the Mermaid in all weathers.
In 1947 the road from the church to the top of the hill towards Seething airfield was blocked by snow for nearly a month. Food in the shops was still scarce but fruit etc was preserved with Kilner jars so there was no immediate panic for food. A farmer who lived in Smiths Knoll got stuck in his car and had to be dug out and then the farmer drove straight back into the snow drift!
I used to use a canoe at Mill House Ditchingham owned by a very interesting man called George Baldry who later wrote a book of his life which was edited by Lilias Rider-Haggard of Bath Hills called “The Rabbit Skin Cap”. There were also rowing boats for hire which were maintained by George. I spent many happy hours on the River Waveney. Sadly the Mill House is no longer there.
Editors Note – The author of this article wished to remain anonymous
PETERS HEDENHAM – OPEN CHURCHES
St. Peters Church Hedenham was open for the week-end of the 5th and 6th August in support of Open Churches week. It was very successful with 55 people visiting the church from both Norfolk and Suffolk. There was a great deal of interest in the history of the church with the church’s historical records being available. Tea, coffee and delicious cakes were provided as well as jams, marmalades and chutneys being offered for sale. In addition there were craft items made by Sally Connor and paintings from local artist Sara Johnson. A magnificent sum of £142.55 was raised for church funds.
Then on the following Tuesday evening Hedenham choir, led by choir mistress Lucy Livermore, offered an evening of song. The large audience were encouraged to join in and a fun evening was enjoyed by all. A further £50 in donations was raised.
Another Hedenham choir event is planned for mid October so keep an eye out for the date.
Thank you to all those people who gave of their time and effort for what was an extremely worthwhile community event.
DID YOU MISS THE CHRISTMAS SOCIAL? DON’T WORRY
COME ALONG TO THE MIDSUMMER SOCIAL
A BRING AND SHARE SUPPER
AT HEDENHAM VILLAGE HALL
ON SATURDAY 24 JUNE AT 7.30 PM
Bring food and drink to share and have a mardle with fellow villagers,
Ideally let John Connor know you are coming (01508 482557) or
e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
We were recently returning from Hedenham church when we came across an elderly man taking photographs in Church Road. Being intrigued we asked him what he was doing. He said he was an old man reminiscing as he had lived in Hedenham during the war years.
We chatted for a while then invited him home for a cup of coffee. He had many tales to tell of his early life in Hedenham. He was born in Mary Warde’s old house in Sexton Road and was one of the first to live in Smiths Knoll. His father worked on the land and they lived in a tied cottage. His father was injured during the war and was unable to continue to work on the land so they had to leave their cottage and were kindly put up at the rectory for a short while by the Rev Paget.
He attended Hedenham school until it closed in 1949 and continued his education at Ditchingham school. We had a very pleasant half an hour with the gentleman whose name is Bryan Webb. He is 78 years old and if anyone remembers him and would like to get in touch just let us know.
Pat and Chris Tyacke Tel 01508 482687
Our Christmas meeting will be at the Village Hall and sadly this will be the last meeting of Hedenham W I. Kim Reynolds our W I Advisor attended our Annual Meeting, as we had not had any nominations for the offices of President and Secretary. After much discussion and heart searching we voted to suspend. Last year we celebrated our 40th anniversary and although many of our members are not from the village we have been close friends throughout.
All our tickets have now been allocated for the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society production of The Witches of Eastwick on January 31st.
On December 3rd our president Mary Drury is hosting a workshop to enable members to make Christmas Wreaths and Table decorations- this should be a very enjoyable event.
Thurlton and District have invited us to their Christmas Party on Tuesday 13th December when the theme is “Unheard Motown music 1968 – 1989”. Sounds like a fun evening and some of our members are going.
Birthday posies were presented to 3 members.
Our speaker at the October meeting was Dorothy Cheyne who presented a talk and slideshow about the life of her great-grandmother Marianne Louisa Haggard (nee Margitson).
Lady Haggard was the wife of Sir Henry Rider Haggard, and lived at Ditchingham House. Dorothy has done a tremendous amount of research and with the help of surviving letters and photographs gave us a very intimate account of her life. Details of her childhood and the loss of her parents at a young age were followed by her courtship and marriage at Ditchingham Church. We heard about her early married life in Natal and later her involvement with Ditchingham and Bungay society including being the first Lady Captain of Bungay Golf Club.
Thank you Dorothy for a very memorable talk.