New initiatives

It became clear that individuals are working on a number of projects and we can start to communicate these a little more.

Swifts in Mendham - Denis Pye is trying to get nesting sites established to bring swifts back into Mendham parish.

Local walk leaflets - Colin Herbert is drafting a series of 8 walking leaflets and seeking funding for a significant print run to place leaflets in local libraries, information centres, holiday cottages, village halls, etc. A village hall meeting to review the walks and the leaflets will be arranged. There has never been a set of walks dedicated to Mendham parish.

Now & Then (or Past & Present?) - Colin would like to gather a set of old photographs and take the corresponding present day version. Jill Fairhead took pictures of many of the properties in Mendham and Withersdale in 2000 and some of those could be used as well. It would be a visual feast of changes in the last hundred years or so. Many of the old images would come from turn of the century postcards but we would use older photographs if we have them.

The history of Mendham - Colin & Denis are trying to pull together all the available information to produce a single resource on the website, possibly even produce a paper version, a simple, easy to read history book about Mendham parish.

Outside Tennis Table - A concrete table tennis table that can be used in all weathers, situated at the village hall... an idea by Tracey Tompkins

Boules court - a place to play boules at the village hall, another idea from Tracey

Any more projects to mention?



 Mendham & Withersdale

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

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






Two super, social, spooky events coming up...

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Youth Club starts Friday evening - 19th September

Yes, all the excitement starts on Friday evening and you wouldn't believe what's in store for the children, so here is the Autumn 2014 Newsletter to tell you all about it.



Village of the Year - Parish presentation

Monday 6th October, Mendham village green... we will be presented with the Mid-Suffolk District 'Village of the Year' winners sign! All Mendham school children will be there, plus parents plus others. Lots of press follow up to promote the school, pub and parish. Starts at 2:45. Should be a great group photograph. All welcome!!!



Gary Kent takes 'Supreme Beef' title at Aylesham show...

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... or at least his heifer did! Gary and James Kent from Mendham, swept the board in the cattle showing section at the Aylsham Show on bank holiday Monday with an 18 month old heifer called 'Mystique'. Mystique, a home bred Limousin X, won Commercial Champion, Interbreed Continental Champion, and finally was crowned ' Supreme Beef Interbreed Champion' at the show. Earlier in the year the heifer took 'Commercial Champion' at the Hadleigh Show in May and 'Best Suffolk Born and Bred' at the Suffolk Show. Next up was the Wayland Show, where Mystique claimed 'Commercial Champion' and 'Reserve Supreme Champion'.

Gary Kent, who started cattle showing 7 years ago, said, "I had always hoped that one day we would breed a Champion and this year was our year. It is very unusual for a commercial animal to win such a prestigious award and the whole family are very proud of our achievements."

Showing cattle has been a real family affair, with son Hayden, 13, pictured, regularly taking part in young handlers at various shows in the region and niece, Juliette Tompkins, also has had successes as a young handler over the past few years. 'Kent beef' is regularly available at Bramfield Meats, local butchers and restaurants in the Waveney Valley area, including the Sir Alfred Munnings Hotel and Public House in Mendham. 



Suffolk Village of the Year 2014 - Results

OK, we came 2nd so we didn't win but that's OK because we can still be proud if the effort that we put in. Whatfield came 1st, Mendham parish came 2nd and Worlington came 3rd. Whatfield get a cheque for £1,000, £50 National Garden Gift Vouchers, a Firkin of Adnams beer for the celebration party, £200 towards the cost of the celebration party, a Plaque and Certificate. For 2nd prize we get a cheque for £450 and a certificate. Worlington get a cheque for £250 and a certificate.

We already have a sign that will be put up shortly for winning the Mid-Suffolk District round as well as £300 so we have a total of £750. There will be a celebratory party organised by SALC in liaison with Whatfield and 3 guests from Mendham parish will be invited to attend. Of course, there is still the announcement of Suffolk County Council 'Open Spaces' award and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust 'Conservation Award' and that will take place at the party. Both awards will each provide a certificate and £100. 

Congratulations from Mendham parish to both Whatfield and Worlington on their successes and a special 'Well Done!' to everyone in our community for this great result




Youth Club - restart on Friday 19th September

Where has the summer gone? I hope you all had a good one. The Youth Club will restart Friday 19th September and a full newsletter of planned events will follow soon. We don't usually start back to youth club the first week back to school, as everything is usually quite hectic as the children settle back into routine after the summer. Also there is a bingo night on at Mendham and Withersdale Village Hall on Saturday evening 6th September (doors open 7:30pm, eyes down 8pm, cash bingo, bar and raffle... all welcome!).

The next weekend is a busy one too, with the Munnings holding a 1940's evening on 12th September, the monthly produce and craft market at the village hall on Saturday morning 13th September and also the Historic Churches sponsored cycle ride.

See the events page for a complete list!



Suffolk Village of the Year 2014 - Final judging

voty finaljudging 20140825 1026281374Having won the Mid-Suffolk District round of the Suffolk Village of the Year competition, the parish of Mendham organised an event for the final judging on Saturday 17th August. Lesley Dolphin from Suffolk Radio will 'reveal' the winner of 'Suffolk Village of the Year' on her show on Friday 5th September at 1.10 and then the EADT will announce it in their Saturday edition. Kathy, Tracey and Colin gave interviews on Saturday 17th August and these will be played, together with those from other competitors, on Lesley's programme on Tuesday (Mendham), Wednesday (Whatfield) and Thursday (Worlington) in the run up to the announcement on the Friday show where Lesley will have representatives from all 3 villages on the phone and at 13:10 the winner will be announced!!! Fingers crossed and come down to Melrose (Kath & Val) for the announcement!!!

The orgnaisers and representatives from each organisation are (L>R): Lesley Allen (All Saints), Michael Allen (All Saints), Tracey Tompkins (organiser, Youth club & MUGA), Vicky Rusby (FOMSA & Beekeeping), Steve Keeling (Village hall), Colin Herbert (organiser & website), Denis Pye (wildlife), Jan Pye (wildlife), Linda Hunter (Horticultural society), Peter Lee (parish council), Jill Fairhead (Film club), Kathy Ferrar (organiser & CoCo), Stewart Orr (Speedwatch), Lesley Lane (Womens Institute), Delise Musgrove (Community bus), Cecil Hadingham (Farming), Marilyn Curran (District Councillor, Mid-Suffolk District Council), Marj Hudson (St Mary Magdalene), Dot Caley (Over 60's), Mary Watson (Over 60's).

Acknowledgement to Lesley Dolphin of Suffolk Radio for the photograph



1839 Tithe maps now online

The 1839 Tithe maps for Mendham and Withersdale were photographed in the year 2000 for the Local Heritage Initiative. The photographs have been retrieved from a box, scanned and they are now available online in the picture gallery. See 'Tithe map' on the 'Interesting items' menu or browse the picture gallery under 'History'.

  Denis Pye & Colin Herbert


Fit villages

suffolksportlogoPilates, Yoga, Chair Based Exercise, Nordic Walking, Running, Cycling, Tai Chi, etc... interested in getting one of these groups going at the village hall? If so then talk with Steve Keeling or talk direct with Maddy Knox, Physical Activity Development Officer, Suffolk Sport, 07825 790832

This from Maddy...

NEW Fit Villages Projects

- Pilates/ Keep Fit programme is due to start in Stonham Parva in September

- FREE Nordic Walking taster session in Lavenham on 8th September, followed by an 8 week course

- Badminton programme due to start in Hundon in the Autumn

Keen to set up a Fit Villages project in YOUR village?

We are currently looking for villages in Mid Suffolk and Babergh that would like to set up a project using their local village facilities. Please get in touch if your village would like to try!


The Fit Villages project has successfully delivered a summer Rounders league in Suffolk Coastal on Sundays throughout the summer. The report is here. If your village would like to get involved with some Rounders this summer, it’s not too late…

- 30th August: One Day Rounders Tournament at The Blackbourne, Elmswell

- 14th September: One Day Rounders Tournament in Sutton

Its for fun so no experience required! Teams of 9-12 people (at least 4 female and all aged 16+).

Community Games

- It’s not too late to register your Village Fete as a Community Games event. Although there is no funding available this year, each event will be supported by a box of resources. Register your event here.

Focus Groups

In September we are going to be running Focus Groups to analyse the way that Fit Villages is marketed and communicated. We are also keen to gain insight into the types of activities that people want to try in the future. If you would be interested in attending a Focus Group or setting one up in your village then please get in touch.


Mid Suffolk Rounders Tournament Poster

SC Tournament Entry Pack

Over 3,000 pictures in the gallery!!!

CameraThere are now over 3,000, yes three thousand pictures in the picture gallery in 145 categories!. These include all the All Saints burial monuments, a diary of the build of the new village hall, plenty of events from 2009 and even before, as well as all the pictures from the Local Heritage Initiative in 2000. What an achievement!!! I know there are some duplicates and I am trying to eliminate them so bear with me

If you go to any picture in the gallery, you can add comments such as who people are, where it was taken, etc. Please go ahead and add as many comments as you can. Maybe we should have a ‘Comments Weekend’!

Picture gallery statIstics

  • Images: 3320
  • Categories: 155
  • Hits: 16254

Picture gallery menu tree

Withersdale tiles

Events pre-2009


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