New website!

After 6 years on-line, mendham.org.uk now has a new website! It has been updated with improved image storage, better presentation of images, better file download management and its easier to maintain. 


Why change? What are the benefits?

  • - Same Joomla system we started with but latest version

  • - Automatic updates in future to latest versions
  • - New picture gallery with no limit to picture number
  • - Easy to add pictures from the gallery into an article
  • - Same picture viewable from different gallery albums, e.g. 'Events', 'Youth Club'
  • - New host package with more storage space
  • - New text editor with richer features (just like MS Word)
  • - Now easier for others to contribute in future
  • - Latest security against new virus & malware

These changes will make the task of managing the website much easier since a lot of things have become easier in the last 6 years!

Why don't we use a free system like 'One Suffolk'?

Interestingly, in 2013 they moved to a new system very similar to the one we chose 6 years ago. However, their offering only provides for only a few pictures and articles. It couldn't handle the 250 articles, many of historical interest, nearly 100 linked documents, over 2,700 pictures and 600 indexed burial monument references with associated drawings and photographs.


Why do we have so much material?

In 2000, Mendham parish accepted a grant of £8,000 from the Local Heritage Initiative to gather historic material from various archives, including the collection of many old pictures from within the community. An example is the history of the bridges of Mendham.  A condition of that grant was that the material be displayed in the community (as it was) and preserved on a website for all to see. This website fulfilled that second requirement and continues to build on it, acting like an informal community archive of articles and images. We are able to look back over the years and see what we were all up to!

Can anyone help with the site?

Absolutely, just contact us. Either contribute by collecting material, managing part of the site, e.g. picture gallery, taking on a particular task, e.g. adding captions to pictures, or taking over the whole site... no problem at all.

How easy is it to manage the site?

There's a little learning curve for sure, there is with anything, but nothing that the average person can't quickly manage and after these recent changes it's really quite intuitive. a few hours training (even One-Suffolk offer that for their system) and you will be able to manage the entire site. Plus it's all open source so there is a world community out there willing to help, including many friendly village websites that use the same system!

Is the material secure?

Yes, its backed up within the website and by the host at least once every 24 hours.

Anything left to do?

Yes, many picture links were broken during the migration, picture captions still need to be completed and the events calendar needs finalising. We will do the events first then get the picture links sorted over time so that we have all historic articles complete. Please be patient but if you need any help just contact us!


New website!


 Mendham & Withersdale

    Two English villages on the river Waveney on the Norfolk/Suffolk border

        One parish, two villages... bringing the community closer together






mendHAM & withersdALE

ham  ale 7 20140721 1680179173Mendham and Withersdale Community Council held the 'mendHAM & withersdALE' festival (HAM & ALE... get it?) yesterday on Sunday 13th July was an outstanding success. Great fun! Rounders teams for the knock-out from Laxfield, Stradbroke, Fressingfield and Mendham plus a team from FOMSA. Outright winners were Stradbroke. All Mendham parish organisations contributed and used it as a fundraiser and all deemed it a success.

Five Suffolk teams took part in an inter-village rounders competition; Stradbroke, Fressingfield, Mendham and Withersdale, Laxfield and FOMSA (Friends of Mendham School Association). The event was umpired by Suffolk Sports Ben Jackson and Vicky Askew. The final was between Stradbroke and Laxfield, with Stradbroke winning. Well done.

Mendham parish has recently been given the title ‘Village of the Year’ for Mid-Suffolk.

Well done everyone.


Here is a great article on the Suffolk Sport website. Pictures of the event are now in the picture gallery.

Magic potion enraptures Mendham

Mendham School’s summer production – A  Midsummer Night’s Dream

Country  perfection.  The green, peaceful  setting of the school playing field; soft warm sunshine of a beautiful summer evening, with swallows and martins swooping overhead, and the entrancing enjoyment shown by all the school players in this wonderful production.

All of these combined to transport the audience to a far away land of fairies and imps, dukes and beautiful people.  Not forgetting the Rude Artisans, of course.

As the mischievous Puck scattered his magic juice, changing people to donkeys, bringing love to the most unlikely of couples, it seemed as if the potion had scattered far and wide, for the audience fell in love with the whole performance, and somehow discovered that they did like Shakespeare after all.

This ambitious production was an absolute triumph, and received a very well deserved ovation from an appreciative audience.

Later, as the hog roast sizzled and the Pimms flowed, and the first owl floated out over the meadow, it was time to reflect how lucky we are to live in such a place, and to have our own school, full of talented staff and children.

It was a truly magical evening.

Choir update

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The choir meets regularly on a Thursday morning at 9.30 in All Saints church where a core group is supplemented by those who work and cannot make the morning practices.

We had a successful Evensong in May, led by Reverend Peter Smalls and are now practising for our second Evensong on October 12th. We shall be singing an anthem composed by our organist Jim Kirkham and the settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis have been composed by Janet Kenyon. We always enjoy fellowship before the service and look forward to sharing our worship with many visitors.

We have been asked to sing at a wedding in August and will be singing an anthem composed by Margaret Rizza during the signing of the register. We have sung several of her anthems at Benefice services when we sing with the choirs from our Benefice churches. It is good to join with others who enjoy singing as much as we do. We generally sing as a choir during the third service of the month which is a communion service and we try to sing an anthem or hymn during communion. This gives us something to work towards each week.

On 31st August All Saints church is having a fund raising event at Millers Barn, Foxes Lane, Mendham. There will be music, poetry and song theme to a vintage afternoon tea. The choir are singing three folk songs which have been set for us by Janet and we are really enjoying singing something very different.

As always we welcome new members so if you are interested then please contact Heather Lee  01379 588306.




Cricket... don't forget!!!

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Suffolk village of the year - Winners! ...updated

pc 6 20140720 2001477920Things are hotting up for 2014’s Suffolk Village of the Year.  The competition is open to villages with up to and including 500 local government electors on the Electoral Roll this year. The district level judging round took place on June 17th in Mendham at the village hall. The winners for the disctrict round were Mendham, Whatfield, Walpole, Bredfield, Worlington and Hawstead.

 Here for the first time are public copies of the entry forms. Enjoy the read!

Application form

Parish boundary & points of interest

Welcome pack for new residents

Previous events

Organisations - contacts

The next round is the county judging which will take place on Monday 14th and/or Tuesday 15th July 2014. Well done to everyone... we will keep you up to date!

Updated... 1st July 2014


The village of Mendham has been crowned the winner in Mid Suffolk's Village of the Year competition - and will now go on to represent the district in the county rounds! Entrants to Mid Suffolk's competition had to have up to 500 residents on the electoral roll to be eligible. District finalists are then entered into the semi-final round, with three villages then reaching the final stage with the overall winner receiving £1,000, a plaque, a certificate and becoming Suffolk Village of the Year.

Councillor Derrick Haley, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: "I think that Mendham will make an excellent representation for Mid Suffolk in the next round of the competition in July and we are behind them all of the way! "Mendham has a really good sense of community and that is what shone through to the judges." Over the last few years, Mendham has raised funds to provide a purpose built village hall and multi-use games area (MUGA). This, no mean feat for a village with an electoral role of 358, impressed the judges. The judges also noted that: “everyone seemed to have a role to play, the village is well kept and the car park weed- free”.  “Community pride and care in all aspects of the village is very evident whether it be the churches, village hall, the playing field as well as volunteers for speed watch." Jo Beever, Babergh and Mid Suffolk's Community Grants Officer, said: "We are delighted that Mendham was announced the Mid Suffolk round winner."

Mid Suffolk's judging panel was made up of 3  district councillors who marked villages on their community spirit, general appearance, how well its parish council is run and the special activities happening in the village. Mendham now goes forward to the next round of the Suffolk Village of the Year competition, which is being judged later this month. 

Emma Morton, Corporate Voice Advisor (Communications), Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils - Working Together




New dog show pictures

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Just arrived from the lady at the Grooming Parlour in Harleston are some additional pictures of the 2014 Dog show. Click 'picture gallery' on the left and look at events for 2014 and have a browse through. We now have a lovely record of the show.

Dog Show 2014

BBC home swap

 Now here is an interesting offer from the BBC, sent to this website and verified as genuine. Email was as follows with poster image below and PDF version for printing here.


Dear Colin

I hope that this email finds you well.

I work for the BBC and we’re currently casting for a BBC One UK travel/property programme and we’re looking to find people who live in interesting homes around the UK, who would be happy to try a home swap short break over a weekend in the next few months. The programme will give us a great opportunity to explore home swapping, different property, and local foods/trades and sights around the UK.

Keep warm this winter... from Suffolk County Council

Help to keep warm this winter

Winter weather can create serious financial and physical challenges, especially for the elderly, disabled people and families with young children struggling to keep warm in their homes. Last year, there were more than 350 excess winter deaths in Suffolk, believed to be connected with the cold weather.

Freehelp and advice is at hand

Suffolk's 'Warm Homes Healthy People' scheme offers support to those most in need. The scheme can help home owners or tenants who privately rent and are on a low income or in receipt of a means tested benefit. The scheme also takes into account age, disability and cold related health conditions. If you're struggling to keep warm or are worried about the cost of heating your home, you could get help with:

  • Emergency boiler and heating repair costs
  • Winter fuel payments
  • Free home energy survey with advice on insulation, fuel switching and cheaper oil prices
  • Basic draught proofing
  • Temporary loan of heaters

People with vulnerable relatives or neighbours are also urged to help them find out more about the support available. Eligibility criteria apply. For more information, call 'Warm Homes Healthy People' helpline on 08456 037 686 (Local rate, lines open Monday-Friday, 9 - 5pm).

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Did you know that electricity suppliers can award eligible customers with a £135 Warm Home Discount? Receiving this discount won’t affect your cold weather or winter fuel payment. To find out more, contact your energy supplier direct.


Please keep warm this winter.?

Laura Sampson and Sandra Brown, SALC Admin

Suffolk Association of Local Councils

Unit 11a, Hill View Business Park

Claydon, Ipswich, IP6 0AJ

Tel: 01473 833713

Fax: 01473 833714

Website: salc.onesuffolk.net

Annual Parish Meeting

Here are the minutes from the annual Parish Meeting 2013 organised by the parish council, held to enable the parish to see the work that the council does and to present an opportunity for members of the public within the community to ask questions of the council and discuss issues. Surprisingly, the reports from the various organisations mentioned in these minutes are not available electronically so I can’t put them on the website. That's a shame they would have made interesting reading. If you want to see them you will need to email the clerk and arrange to go and read the paper copies!

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Withersdale tiles

Events pre-2009