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 (done) then get the picture links sorted over time (started) 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






Four Voices - Saturday 2nd August 2014

fourvoices2014 20140725 1811382533

MendFest 2014

Another school term finishes and with some trepidation FOMSA, mainly in the form of Vicky Rusby, encouraged people to come to Mendham school on the last day, Wednesday 23rd July, to camp overnight with the children. Excuses varied from VAT inspections to laying concrete to hair washing (from people with remarkably little) but several hardened (stupid?) campers turned up and pitched in (pitched, get it?). The evening was truly fantastic, very warm but with a gentle breeze and the boys (yes they were all boys by then) were running around for hours and hours until the adults got tired from sitting by the fire. A fire made from a washing machine, but that's another story.

Hot dogs and burgers, cream scones and drink; a scavenger hunt around the village where everyone was a winner and then after dark marshmallow burning, err, toasting. An impromptu game of 'throwing the glow stick' in the pitch dark for the children to retrieve was like watching manic dogs (more glow sticks around their necks and wrists) moving and merging in the darkness. No bodies were visible, just glowing colours rushing around for hours on end, tiring out the adults.

Finally, before midnight, sleep time, to be punctuated, it was reported wearily in the morning, by toilet visits at 3am, 3:30am and 4am (different people!) and a child being sick at 4:30am. Yes, the sausages, burgers, cream, running around and hot tents had worked their magic ;-) It just added to the spirit of camp.

It's a British tradition that will be upheld again and again and I am sure Vicky will be approaching you next year. Start thinking of those excuses now... and lets be as creative as possible ;-)

A nice brew  Man-eating chairs  Marshmallow burning  Toasting marshmallows  Tea lights  Art of tent packing



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.

img 0872 20140727 1390391236

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

various 5 20140720 1068268675

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!!!

cricket 1 20140720 1409277826   cricket 2 20140720 2037639075




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

Dsc04322 cropped

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

Dog Show 2014 - Report

A lovely sunny day with a slight breeze, perfect for the annual dog show. It was missed last year and great to see it back this year. A little girl here seen receiving her prize from the judge which says it all really. There are lots of other pictures in the picture gallery... click 'Picture Gallery' from the menu, then 'Events', then '2014'.

The ice cream ran out at about 3pm but Jill Fairhead came to the rescue and acquired some more to finish off the day. Burgers sold out at the end. No dog fights this year which we

 rather rely upon for entertainment, but at least no real upsets as far as the dogs were concerned which was nice for them. Over 80 dogs were entered which was a good result and made it all worthwhile. Stewart Orr did the commentary as usual which provided timely information as well as more than a little entertainment (you had to be there...). Over £2,000 was raised before costs. Well done to the village hall committee and the helpers including those that made sandwiches and made other contributions before and on the day. Good job.

The creatures on the right as you drove or walked into the dog show are Minions... of course you knew that as they are featured earlier on this website (look below). They were made by the Youth Club on Friday evening (16th) during their 'Minions' themed evening, just for your entertainment. Children were invited to come along dressed as minions, make mini minions from tubes and craft materials and the most popular activity, making two giant minions from 5ft round hay bales.They are labeled 'Despic-Hay-Bale Me'..., get it Despicable Me.. get it? Well done boys and girls!

By the way, go to Facebook.com/mendhamparish where we are developing a page there and 'Like' us!

Picture gallery menu tree

Picture gallery statIstics

  • Images: 2970
  • Categories: 141
  • Hits: 409
  • Comments: 1

Withersdale tiles

Events pre-2009