The History Society has been running since 1986 when meetings were held in the Bar Room at the Memorial Social Centre before moving to the Pavilion.
Meetings are now held in the WI Hall on the third Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm. We have around 50 members who enjoy talks, often illustrated by slides, on topics of local and historical interest.
We have at least two summer outings each year and a social evening in December. Members also attend events and meetings held by the Suffolk Local History Council to which we are affiliated.
In 2000 we held a very successful Millennium Exhibition, and in 2002 a fundraising Concert in aid of All Saints’ Church.
Guests are always very welcome – £2.50 per occasion.
Meetings are held at 7.30pm in the W.I. Hall.
The library is now all set up at the Primary School. Please let us know your views on this.
View our galleries…
New Members are VERY WELCOME
For information about the Society or events please contact either the Secretary or Events Secretary.
The main committee is as follows:
CHAIRMAN – Dorothy Anderson
SECRETARY & EVENTS SECRETARY – Gillian Cooper
TREASURER – Pam Miller
How it all started
In the spring of 1986 Alf Hicks, known to many as Mr Wickhambrook for his lifelong love of his village called a meeting for all those interested in forming a local history society. About 30 people were present at the meeting in the Dulcie Smith room of the MSC and with the help of the Haverhill Society President, Lionel Mitson a society was set up to promote an interest in history with an emphasis on local matters. Alf was the first Chairman and we still have ten of the founder members in our group at the moment.
Over the years we have enjoyed a varied programme of talks, theatre trips, outings and visits to other societies.
Alf’s time as Chairman saw him undertake a successful campaign to save our Victorian post boxes, and as the longest serving village reporter (ever!!) for the Bury Free Press, he kept Wickhambrook very much in the public eye. After his death in 1995 at the age of 89, his old school friend Clement Fuller of Newmarket took over as Chairman until the A.G.M. of 1996 when Percy Nunn was elected to the post.
Under Percy’s Chairmanship, we have undertaken our most ambitious project – to “capture” the houses of Wickhambrook at the turn of the century. With the financial help of St Edmundsbury and the Parish Council we are compiling a record of the village which we hope will be of use to researchers in the future.
It was one of Alf’s dreams to investigate the many old interesting properties in the village and our project has already brought some interesting facts to light. We were fortunate to enlist the help of Leigh Alston of Madingly College, Cambridge to date some of the older properties. During his visit to the village. Leigh remarked that the “spread-out” layout of the village and it’s greens conforms to Anglo-Saxon village patterns, thus clearing up the mystery of those famous eleven greens. To have kept our village “shape” for over a thousand years is remarkable.
The survey was displayed In April 2000 at an exhibition in the W.I. Hall together with a photographic exhibition by Mike Pettitt, a video by Steve Taylor, beer tasting by Lidstones Brewery, displays by local societies and book signing by local authors.
The possibilities for further research are endless. There are wonderful grand houses, fascinating old farmhouses and famous council houses just begging for further investigation.
The Society has a hard working and “committed” committee whose interest in local history is boundless. The survey and video was also shown at the Suffolk Local History Council’s “Societies Day” at Mendlesham in March. Each time we take part in an event there, someone always says “Wickhambrook”? Oh yes we remember! The little man who used to give everyone copies of the ‘Scene’. Is he still going?” Alf’s Spirit goes on!
USEFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION
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.