Mendham & Withersdale
Two English villages on the river Waveney on the Norfolk/Suffolk border
One parish, two villages... bringing the community closer together
Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and a Government health minister, attended a village 'get-together' on Friday evening at the Sir Alfred Munnings Public House and Hotel in Mendham. Dr Dan congratulated Mendham and Withersdale (Mendham parish) on their achievements this year, winning 'Mid Suffolk Village of the Year', coming runner up as 'Suffolk Village of the Year' and being given the 'Open Spaces Award' for Suffolk in recognition of the building of the MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area).
This annual event, organised by the Mendham and Withersdale Community Council, was particularly poignant this year following the villages' successes. Tracey Tompkins thanked Dr Dan, on behalf of the villages, for attending the event and thanked Kathy Ferrar and Colin Herbert for coordinating the Village of the Year application and for the input from all the various organisations. Mrs Tompkins said, "There is such a lot going on in the parish and it's a great place to live." The success of the Munnings Pub and Hotel, the Village Hall, MUGA and more recently the opening of the new nursery at Mendham School, were mentioned as highlights that are creating a buzz in the parish.
Dr Dan spent the evening talking to residents. There was also a raffle and a buffet was enjoyed by all.
During research on the war memorials we talked with Paul Flatt who lives locally and used to live in Mendham for many years. He has been given some family items (photographs, newspaper cuttings, etc.) and has very kindly shared them with the Mendham community, for which we thank him. We think there may be more to come as well.
Here's an example, L>R back row: ? Goodwin, Roscoe Rustead, Herbert Thurston, ? Goodwin, Harry Seaman, George Flatt, Alfred Thurston; adults: Reverend Egremont, ? Andrews; front: Wallace Riches; date unknown
Mendham parish is in the winter 2014 copy of the 'Village People' magazine (page 9) which is delivered to 50,000 homes next week. It is also available free in Budgens. It mentions the school children as well which is nice.
In 2011 Suzanne Baker from Mendham did some essential groundwork on the names that are on the war memorials in Mendham and Withersdale and some that are not. Colin and Toby Herbert have now completed that work and of course it's...
We hope that the information can be printed into a folder which can reside in at least All Saints, maybe elsewhere.
As part of the war memorial project in 2014, the paper plan that is in the church was transcribed into a spreadsheet which may be useful for researchers who aren't local to the area. There are 3 sheets in the MS Excel workbook. The first is the plan, the second has all the names sorted by burial reference and the third has all the names sorted by surname.
We have secured funding from Mid Suffolk District Council to run 3 days of tennis lessons at the Mendham MUGA. There were two days during the Summer holidays and one will take place during October half term. The October camp will take place on:
Monday 27th October 2014 (weather permitting)
From 10am –3pm for Children aged 6 – 14ish
(6 -9 year olds/beginners 10 -12noon and 9+ -14 years 1-3pm)
There are 20 places available at the session available on a first-come first-served (served, get it? served?) basis. See details and application form here.
Children from Mendham Primary School and parents gathered in the rain to watch the unveiling of the 'Mid Suffolk Village of the Year' sign on Mendham village green on Monday 6th October 2014, followed by drinks and a biscuit. We entered the competition with all the documentation being prepared by athy Ferrar, Tracey Tompkins and Colin Herbert. We received the judges at the village hall and later learnt that we had won the Mid Suffolk District round. Then the judges came to the village hall again to judge for the final Suffolk County round. Mendham, Whatfield and Worlington were the last 3. On Lesley Dolphins radio program on Radio Suffolk on Friday 5th September the winners were announced. Whatfield won, Mendham came 2nd and Worlington came 3rd.
For the Mid Suffolk District Round we win £300, a certificate signed by the Chairman of Mid Suffolk District Council and a village sign that we can keep for 3 years. Its now in the ground at Mendham village green. All 3 were presented to the community on Monday 6th October at 3pm with all the school children in attendance as well as others from the community. The certificate will be displayed in the village hall.
Whatfield, the Suffolk County winners are hosting a party and representatives from Mendham will attend where we will be presented with a cheque for £450 as runners up. All monies go to the parish council.
Well done to everyone who helped and contributed. A job well done!
After 7 years of the website being built and supported by an individual, a vote last night (29th September 2014) accepted a proposal that the website should now be owned by the parish council. This is great news as we can expect it to have a higher profile and be supported with more content. Ownership means paying the bills, being ultimately accountable for the content and promoting the use of the site. There will be no dramatic changes, but behind the scenes it will be moved to a new host package to allow the parish council to support the costs of hosting the content and maintaining the domain name of mendham.org.uk
We get hits on the website from all over the world now as people are interested in learning about Mendham (either its history or people studying genealogy), the Munnings and the Waveney Valley. We also do well on the village hall page, the welcome pack and the parish plan with over 12,000 hits each and newer areas like events getting over 7,000 hits is a short time. We are getting increasing interest in the picture gallery which tries to capture all the parish events to help us remember the good times.
Well done to the parish council for this great support and lets look forward to an increasing amount of quality content, especially pictures, in the future!
On 5th September on Lesley Dolphins' program on BBC Radio Suffolk, Mendham parish were announced as the runners up for the Suffolk Village of the Year 2014. Nearly did it but 2nd in Suffolk is OK!!!