Future projects

A number of individuals are working on projects that you may not know about.

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 4 walking leaflets and seeking funding for a significant print run to place leaflets in local libraries, information centres, holiday cottages, village halls, etc. The parish council has voted unanimously to support the project. 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 and to be funded by the prize money for Village of the Year

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






Mendham claim back the rounders cup!

Mendham and Withersdale hosted another successful MendHAM and WithersdALE Festival on Sunday 12th July 2015, during which seven Suffolk village teams took part in an Inter-village rounders competition.

Stradbroke, Fressingfield x 2, Mendham and Withersdale, Laxfield, FOMSA (Friends of Mendham School Association) and Metfield all entered teams. The event was umpired by Ben Jackson  from Suffolk Sports assisted by his wife and two boys. Games were played all afternoon in fine weather but rain stopped play for about half an hour. Eventually the final was played; a closely fought game between Stadbroke and Mendham, with Mendham claiming back the cup this year.

Local village committees all once again all played their part in making this a great occasion. The Community Council provided the pulled pork rolls and hot dogs, bar and raffle, the Women’s Institute – afternoon teas and cake, the Film Club – ice creams, the Village Hall – Steve’s bucket and limited edition, Over 60’s – a dice game, the Churches – games and face painting, FOMSA – traditional sweet stall and games, Horticultural Committee - plants. Stewart Orr provided the commentary.

Kathy Ferrar, the Community Council chairman said, “The day has, once again, been a great success. There was a lovely atmosphere again this year with friends and families taking part in this fun sporting activity. A huge thanks to everyone who helped and took part. It just gets bigger and better each year. Congratulations must go the young couple from up north, on a cycling holiday, who called in for lunch at the event. They had a go at ‘Steve’s Bucket’ and ended up winning £76.00! They had left a mobile number in case they won. When they received the call, they had cycled as far as Fressingfield and had to cycle all the way back to collect their winnings!”

Don't forget that Mendham parish will be holding the 4th annual ‘PUB v PARISH’ cricket match on Sunday 26th July at the playing field. The fun starts at 3pm.

L>R: Team Mendham parish, Stradbroke (runners-up), Ralph (Mendham team captain) receiving the cup from Ben Jackson, Team FOMSA, Charlie the dog (Mendham’s mascot)


Cricket - Pub vs Parish


CricketPoster   CricketPosterPlayer



Fit for the rounders this Sunday?


We are pleased to confirm  that we have the following teams (colours to be confirmed on the day):

Memdham and Withersdale     Brown
Fressingfield     Green
Fressingfield PPP     Pink?
Stradbroke     Red
FOMSA     Blue
Metfield     Black
Laxfield     Purple

Weybread, Starston and Hoxne will not be putting teams in this year.

Please try to arrive by 11:30am ready for a briefing by Ben @ 11:40am. Each team should nominate a captain and an umpire to help when their team is not playing. A running order will be available on the day. Any queries tel: 01379 852969, 07765 085778 or 07799 116732

Ralph and Tracey




Road closures

The following road areas will be closed:

C501 Withersdale Road, Mendham – From the junction with The Street to Dennys Hill
C501 Dennys Hill, Mendham
C501 Sconch Beck Road, Mendham
C501 Target Hill, Mendham

There will be carriageway repairs undertaken and those areas will be closed from 6-10th July 2015.



Jumble Sale !!!

A Jumble Sale will be held at the Mendham and Withersdale Village Hall on Saturday 27th June 2015, starting at 2pm through to 4pm. It is organised by the Over 60's. If you want to join in then best to contact Dot Caley on 01379 588254. Refreshments will be available.



Dog show 2015 - Pictures!

Img 7801Img 7802The Annual Companion Dog Show takes place this Sunday 17th May at the Mendham and Withersdale Playing Field and Village Hall. This latest big bale creation is in residence on the field proudly promoting the event. This big dog was created by Nicky Cawcutt of 'Pawfect Sense' dog grooming salon, Mendham (07769 650636).

Registration takes place from 10am with classes starting from 11am. Entry forms can be downloaded here or are available on the day. There will be hot dogs and burgers available, also filled rolls, cakes and drinks. This promises to be another great show. Don't miss it!


Pictures now in the gallery (right). Click on 'Events | 2015 | Dog show'.

No real embarrassing ones this year... shame.



'There is one rule that always holds good...

... write what you know.'

"I have just heard that one of my new poems was  long-listed for a prize in a national competition run by the premier poetry journal Rialto in combination with the RSPB. In a field of several thousands, that's not too bad. In fact, I'm quite chuffed!"

The making of Thrushfall

The challenge for this big new competition was to write a poem about Nature. Right up my street you might think; but where to start? There is one rule that always holds good. Write what you know.

So I tracked back all the way to my early teenage years, when there were three passions in my life. The sea, birds, and fishing. On the Suffolk coast, where we lived, all of these three came together in autumn and early winter. Sea fishing at its best, and long days on the beach or on the piers also gave opportunities for watching birds, especially migrating birds coming in from Europe.

The poem describes one such weekend. Listening for the weather forecast. Hearing migrating birds arriving from Scandinavia, calling as they flew above a thick fog. My father joining me later, finding me with our special whistle, the cry of a curlew.

In certain weather conditions, many hundreds, perhaps thousands of migrating birds arrive on land together. That is known as a “Fall” of birds. Thrushfall was born.


At midnight we had Humber, Thames,
North-easterly two to three, becoming light,
Variable by dawn.   I’d go then.
On the beach, only a grey light in the murk,
Leaving white hoar along the marram blades.
So heavy the fog, so thick, my lines
Had gone before they reached the sea.
Ice splintered from the top ring as I reeled in,
With only the distant foghorn to keep me company.

And now, over the noise of pebbly swash,
Soft calls of land birds overhead.
Redwings were coming in, hour after hour.
They flew, unseen, somewhere above the fog.
Fishing was slow. I estimated birds,
Knowing the little groups in which they travelled.
They numbered thousands.

A curlew cried, muffled, still haunting, wild.
No bird, just our secret call.
I whistled,  ‘Courlui,  Courlui’
A rippling secondary phrase replied, and soon,
Scrunching across the pebble bank,
My father, old mac, old cap, old rods akimbo.

‘Anything?’   ‘A few dabs’
‘Clearer a field or two inland.  Hundreds of birds’
‘Redwings!’    ‘And some fieldfares’
On we fished.  At lowest ebb of tide
And day, I walked the shoreline.
Found no amber, only a few feathery
Soaking bundles in the retreating waves.
The wintering, wandering Viking birds had come,
Leaving their own small sacrifice to the sea.



Annual parish meeting 2015

13th May 2015 at 7pm at the Mendham and Withersdale village hall is the opportunity for anyone (you are all invited) in the parish to raise issues of concern or discuss anything to do with the parish at the Annual Parish Meeting. The meeting is hosted by the parish council and you should contact the clerk directly if you have any questions. The agenda is here. Refreshments will be available. The minutes will be posted on this website when they are available.

There will be a meeting of the parish council (agenda here) immediately after the Annual Parish Meeting and again, all public are welcome to attend.

Available now!Meeting report, All Saints, Community bus, Horticultural Society, parish council chairman, Fressingfield Scouts, Waveney Valley Partnership


Shotford Bridge closing


Starting on Monday 8th June 2015 Shotford Bridge will be closed to traffic in both directions for several weeks. The diversions could mean an increase in traffic through Mendham & Withersdale. Suffolk Highways will endeavour to prevent heavy traffic using our villages as a rat run. We will keep you posted with updates as and when we receive them.


Can you hear bells ringing?


bells 5 20140708 1863062094 ... you will on  Saturday 9th May  between 11:30 ad 12 noon!  The Suffolk Guild of Bell Ringers have asked for the bells in Suffolk to be rung to mark the anniversary of VE Day. The bells of All Saints will be ringing the. Why not pop along to support the ringers? The bell frame (I'm sure there is a technical term for it) at All Saints was relocated lower down in the tower for structural reasons and the bells themselves were refurbished in 2002 with Michael Allen at the helm of the proceedings. That's why the bells can't be heard very clearly now from outside the church. There are some pictures in the picture gallery of the bells being installed in their new frame. 

 Click here to see all the pictures 





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