2017 Events Archive
A Guided Walk of Bury St Edmunds
March, Sat 11th 10.30am
A 60-minute guided walk of the historic centre of Bury St Edmunds with green badge guides.
Free to members, £5 to guests.
Meet at the War Memorial on Angel Hill
The Ancient Cathedral Library
February, Thurs 23rd 7.00pm
A talk by Stephen Dart, the Cathedral Librarian, on the Ancient Library (including a visit to the library).
Meet at the Edmund Room at the Cathedral.
Free to members, £5 non-members
How it went
Thirty hardy souls braved the weather to hear a fascinating lecture given by Mr Stephen Dart, an archivist at the Ancient Library.
Stephen described the history of the collection, the lives of the benefactors and the range and topics of the books whilst weaving the stories into the long history of the town and the struggles for power and authority.
Mr Dart also very kindly allowed some of the books from the library to be on show in the Lecture room where the group were given the opportunity to handle and read the books (the English versions were much easier)!
A short Q & A session concluded a fascinating evening.
January Lunch 2017
Sat 21st, Southgate Community Centre,
11.30am start with a talk on:‘
An Eccentric Look at Spoken English’ with Charlie Haylock. You might have heard him on BBC Radio Suffolk, or even at our lunch last year. This entertaining man makes us laugh at ourselves and our means of communication. A 3-course lunch served at the table. Booking form will be in the winter issue of the Review. Tickets: £22.50 per person for members and their friends.
The atmosphere was very convivial at the January lunch, which for the second year running, was held at the Southgate Community Centre. This spacious modern building has an excellent kitchen and is a good venue for larger local events. Charlie Haylock gave a fascinating talk on The Eccentricities of the English language relating it to Suffolk pronunciation and place names. The lunch was catered once again by Andrea Davey and was beautifully cooked and efficiently served. The raffle, organised by the Chairman’s wife Sandie Taylor, raised almost £100 in extra funds for the event.
Feedback is always welcomed so please address it to Sue Savage or Stephen Moody and all comments will be discussed at the next Events Committee meeting.
2016 Events Archive
Tuesday 25 October, United Reform Church, Whiting Street, at 7.00pm
A Town Centre Master Plan Brainstorm
This will take the form of an open discussion with a returned questionnaire survey, run by the Bury Society and the Churchgate Area Association. You are very welcome to come along and have your say.
Click here for the Town Centre Master Plan Brainstorm PDF.
A successful collaboration between the Bury Society and the Churchgate Area Association held on the 25th October 2016 saw over 100 people taking part in a 'Brainstorm' - basically a question and answer session on the Town Centre Masterplan. It was put together well by Richard Summers, a Bury Society member. The results of the question and answer session will be put forward for consideration by the Borough Council and its consultants.
September, Thurs 29th 7pm start,
Quiz Evening The ‘multiple-choice’ questions will be on Bury St Edmunds past and presentAll welcome but booking is essential. Teams of 4 people £10 per head including fish & chip supperSt Edmund’s Catholic Church crypt, Westgate Street, BuryBooking form in the Summer Society Review.
or Click here for the Quiz Flyer and Booking Form PDF.
Advertising the event proved successful and our target of 19 teams on a first come, first served basis was easily reached. However, we discovered afterwards that some people who had wanted to participate had left it too late to apply.
The quiz was held in Bury’s Catholic Church Crypt, a delightful historic venue which many people had not previously seen. The quiz was hosted by Martyn Taylor and John Saunders, ably supported by their wives and Sue Savage. Having 80 people in the Crypt proved a bit noisy at times but the essence of the quiz was that all the questions were displayed on screens and repeated by the question-masters. All that team members had to do was to provide the correct answer, a task that was made easier for them because the majority of the options were multiple-choice. The range of questions covered local politics, buildings, sport and people and the vast majority of teams attained respectable scores. Those present were given information about the answers – it was good to hear expressions of, “Well I never knew that,” or “I’ve lived in Bury most of my life and I’ve never noticed that.”
An excellent supper of fish and chips was served during the interval and we appreciated the help given by those who handed out the portions and tidied up. The bar was kept busy and we have noted for the future the difficulties that occur when everyone’s thirst needs quenching at once. A choc-ice proved a welcome extra before resuming the quiz.
The result went right down to the wire and involved a tie as two teams scored 82 points from a possible 90. From the tie-break question ‘The Establishment’ emerged as winners and were presented with £80, although they generously donated half of this to the Society. The names of the other teams were entered in a draw for prizes of £40, £20 and £20. Even the lowest scoring team had cause to be pleased as they were each given a copy of Martyn’s book of a History Tour of the town which he kindly donated, a certain way of encouraging them to learn more.
As people drifted away at ten o’clock the comments then and those that followed by e-mail indicated that the evening was regarded as a great success. It is the first of this type of quiz and although there are tweaks than can be made we are pleased that it created such interest and achieved its aims.
September, Sat 10th 10.30am
Heritage Event Green Badge guide, Martyn Taylor gives an illustrated talk on ‘An A-Z of Bury St Edmunds‘. What landmarks and details might we have missed around Bury?The Quaker Meeting House, St Johns StreetFree to everyone. Booking details to follow
July, Thurs 28th Day Trip, with blue badge guide
Eltham Palace followed by a Thames River CruiseEltham Palace is a 1930’s mansion built by textile millionaires Stephen & Virginia Courtauld. This splendid Art Deco masterpiece captures the glamour and allure of this period – a world of tennis, croquet and cocktails on the terrace. After time for lunch there is a Thames Cruise from Greenwich to Westminster Pier. £45 pp for members and friends. (lunch not included)Booking form in the Spring Society Review
A group of 48 Bury Society members enjoyed a fascinating day out on the 28th July to Eltham Palace.
The coach left Bury at 7.30am for the journey to South East London and we arrived in the sunshine for a coffee break in the Palace grounds at 10.00am. The group was met by our guide for the day Carol , who is very knowledgeable about the house history.
The original Palace was the childhood home of the future Henry VIII and the Great Hall of 1470 is a beautiful example from the Tudor period. Being close to London and set on an elevated site, the palace was one of the very few Royal houses that could accommodate the entire court.
Eventually eclipsed by both Greenwich and Hampton Court, the palace fell into disuse and was used as a farm for over 200years. In the 1930's , the hall was bought by Stephen & Virginia Courtauld from the textile family. The couple set about transforming the site and built a modern art deco inspired home incorporating the Tudor Great Hall.
Lavish interiors of the day and a beautifully designed garden ensured that the house became an important social centre and escape from Central London. During WWII , the house was used by the Army as an educational centre before being taken over by English Heritage in the mid 1990's.
Our group enjoyed a tour of the house which displays fine furnishings from the 1930's as well as specially commissioned murals and carpets. Free time in the gardens was then followed by the coach taking the group on the short journey into Greenwich where we had free time to lunch or visit the Cutty Sark , Royal Greenwich Museum and Observatory.
At 3.oopm, with the skies overcast, we set sail on a river boat for the hour long journey to Westminster Pier. A few drops of rain fell on those brave enough to enjoy the views of the ever changing river-scape, but didn't dampen the enjoyment of the trip. A commentary was provided along the way and from the boat you really do see how London is developing and changing ; the older wharves and warehouses have been converted to modern 'riverside' apartments and offices but the river remains the beating heart of the city.
At 4.30pm , we rejoined the coach for the journey home and arrived safe and on time at 7.00pm.
May, Thurs 26th 6.30pm for 7pm
Formalities followed by a talk on‘Businesses Improving Bury’by Mark Cordell of Our Bury St Edmunds‘The Business Improvement District’ and what has been done and what it is intended to do for the benefit of businesses, the town, its residents and visitors’.Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street
The AGM was very well attended and featured a talk from Mark Cordell on the ‘Our Bury St Edmunds’ organisation.
April, Sat 16th between 10.30am & 12.30pm‘Open House’ Coffee Morning
For members to come along and enjoy a coffee and cake and meet the Committee and suggest what events you would like us to arrange in future. Please bring a friend who might wish to become a new member.Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street
March, Thurs 31st 2.30pm
An illustrated talk by Alan Baxter, Heritage Consultant, on
‘West Stow – The First English Village’This illustrated presentation will explore how much has changed in what we think we know about Bury’s internationally renowned pagan Anglo-Saxon site. Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street£5 entrance to non-members
Surprisingly few members of the audience had actually been to the West Stow Anglo-Saxon village site and some knew very little about it. Former schoolteacher, Alan Baxter's informative talk soon filled the gaps in their knowledge with his professional and often humorous presentation. Having brought along some of the items found in the archaeological digs since the 1960's, Alan explained how these had enabled historians to piece together the lifestyle of the Anglo-Saxon settlers in the context of their surroundings.
At the end Alan received a very sincere and appreciative round of applause from an attentive audience. On leaving, some of the members commented on how clear and informative the presentation had been. An interesting speaker who knew how to get the details across.
Giles Cartoons - February, Wed 24th 3pm
A talk by Ipswich author John Field‘Giles Cartoons’‘Carl’ Giles died 20 years ago but left his legacy - 50 years of British life in a series of cartoons published in the Daily Express. His humour was wry and to the point, but never nasty and often targeted football hooligans, vicars and bobbies. Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street£5 entrance to non-members
John Field’s talk was very well supported, with 60 or more Bury Society members present at the Unitarian meeting House in Churchgate Street.
Using slides of Ipswich cartoonist Carl Giles’ work, John explained how an important chronological record of social and political events had been created. These daily publications in the form of a regular cartoon in the Daily Mirror newspaper were renown for making fun of topical news items using policemen, football hooligans, animals, the Duke of Edinburgh or ‘Grandma’ in order to make his point. Giles was a prolific artist who put lots of detail into his drawings to make the buildings and situations recognisable. The early books of his cartoons, and original drawings, have subsequently become valuable collectors’ items.
From the comments afterwards it was clear that many members were not aware that Giles was from Ipswich and had not previously regarded the cartoons as a pictorial record of events.
January Lunch, Sat 23rd, Southgate Community Centre, 11.30am start with a talk on:
‘The History of Spoken English’ an hilarious one-man show by the legendary Charlie Haylock. An informative and highly entertaining demonstration of how spoken English changed with each invading force and the sounds they brought. He will demonstrate the various facial expressions and mouth movements of the different English dialects, and why the Australians speak the way they do. (You might have heard him on Suffolk Radio)This will be followed by a 3-course served lunch (see booking form for menu) £22.50 pp for members and friends. Booking form in the Winter Society Review
“The Bury Society January lunch was very successful, held at the Southgate Community Centre in Bury. Friends, acquaintances and newer members all mingled happily together in the relaxed surroundings. The catering was extremely good, the venue pleasant and spacious and the entertainment was excellent.
Charlie Haylock was the guest speaker and kept everyone entertained with his talk on 'The History of Spoken English'. Charlie has done considerable research into how the English language has changed over the centuries and how regional dialects have arisen. After some serious geographical explanations he made the audience laugh with his imitations of regional accents.
The whole event went very well.”
2015 Events Archive
October, Thurs 15th 9.30am
Day trip to Holkham Hall and Gardens, Norfolk
Our Autumn coach trip this year was to Holkham Hall in north Norfolk with a stop off half way at Brown’s Kitchen and Grill near Mundford. Having pre-booked coffee and scones at Brown’s we were surprised to find the place in darkness when we arrived - they were in the middle of a power-cut! Instead of turning us away were very pleasantly surprised. The enterprising proprietor welcomed us warmly and directed us towards candlelit tables. Within minutes a number of cafetières of hot coffee were delivered, followed by the most delicious warmed scones with jam and cream. The scones had been carefully heated in foil on the outside barbeque and the coach driver was tickled pink with his barbequed bacon sandwich. It was an impressive demonstration of what can be achieved in adversity.
Onward to Holkham Hall and despite a rainy journey the weather was dry when we arrived. The hall itself has a grey and rather austere exterior in sharp contrast with the interior which is beautiful and sumptuously decorated with lots of red and gold. Home to the current Earl of Leicester, Thomas Edward Coke and his wife and children, the public rooms at Holkham are occasionally used for formal entertaining and the bedrooms as guest accommodation. Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester and an eminent lawyer of his day, built Holkham Hall but died before it was completed in 1765. The hall is surrounded by 300 acres of deer park in which concerts are regularly given and shooting and fishing parties held. Motorised buggies transport visitors from the house to the walled gardens, which are quite a distance away.
After a good look around and the inevitable visit to the tearooms we all boarded the coach for a relaxed journey back to Bury and the end of an enjoyable day out.
September, Sat 12th 10.30am
Heritage Event – Local Green Badge Guide, Martyn Taylor speaks on‘Bury St Edmunds Through Time’An Illustrated talk at The Quaker Meeting House, St Johns Street
Free to all
Please book at The Apex tourist hub
July, Thurs 30th Day trip
‘Kenwood House and Hampstead Garden Suburb’ including lunch
Bury Society members enjoyed the guided tour of the lovely streets of old Hampstead. Being the highest point overlooking London and above the smog it became home to those with delicate health, and to those that could afford it. This leafy suburb also appealed to artists and writers. Moving on to Kenwood House in its lovely parkland there was free time to enjoy the very valuable collection of artwork by, amongst others, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Joshua Reynolds before having afternoon tea in the gardens and heading home.
May, Thurs 14th 10.30am
Moyse's Hall talk and tour by Alexander McWhirter
To explain some of the most notable treasures on displayCoffee will be available to purchaseFree to members. Book with Sue Savage by email or phone:
May, Thurs 28th 6.30pm for 7pmAGMFormalities followed by a talk on ‘Town Planning’by Richard Summers BA MRTPI former President of the Royal Town Planning Institute Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate StreetRefreshments available
June, Sat 20th 7pm
‘A Summer’s Evening Concert’ with ‘The Edmund Octet’ male singers A varied programme of harmonious songs to entertain us£10.00 each for members and friends (includes a glass of wine and canapés)Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street Booking form in the Spring Society Review
April, Sat 18th 10.30am-12.30pm
Members and Friends ‘Open House’ Coffee Morning
Enjoy a free coffee and cake and meet the CommitteeUnitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street
March, Wed 25th 2.30pm ‘The Radio Presenter’A talk by award-winning Mark Murphy of BBC Radio SuffolkUnitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street(£5 entrance fee to non-members)
February, Thurs 26th 10.30am ‘The Life of an Auctioneer’A talk by Edward Crichton of Lacy Scott and Knight Unitarian Meeting House, Churchgate Street(£5 entrance fee to non-members)
January Lunch, Sat 24th 11.30am start’60 Years in Constables’ Country’
How times have changed in the police force.
A talk by John Saunders, retired Police Chief Superintendent.
Followed by a 3-course roast lunch at Moreton Hall Community Centre £20 each for members and friends.
Booking form in the Winter Review.
2014 Events Archive
Tues 28th October - CELEBRATORY MAGNA CARTA CATHEDRAL RECEPTION
As a fitting end to the Magna Carta celebrations in Bury St Edmunds a Celebratory Reception will be held in the Cathedral choir at 7pm.
Drinks and canapés will be served and the guest speaker will be Lord McNally, former Minister of State for Justice who will be giving a short talk on the lighter side of the law. Open to all - £15 per person. Booking will be announced to Bury Society members shortly.
Day Trip to Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh – Monday 29th September
Bury Society members spent a very pleasant day in Snape and Aldeburgh. The General Manager of the Britten Concert Hall gave a private viewing of what goes on behind the scenes and explained the logistics of putting on a production in a limited space. There was then time for shopping and lunch in the lovely galleries and cafés at the Maltings before moving on to Aldeburgh in the afternoon. The weather was mild enough to enjoy a walk along the promenade, admire Maggi Hambling’s ‘Scallop’ sculpure and relax over afternoon tea in one of the the high street tea rooms before returning home.
‘Victorian Bury’ talk by Martyn Taylor 13th September
Martyn is a well-known local guide in Bury and gave a comprehensive and well-researched talk on the Victorian buildings and features around the town. The presentation was in the form of a timeline through Victoria’s reign and was well illustrated using a selection of old and recent photographs. The audience were impressed by Martyn’s knowledge and observations and left the talk having learned a little more about their heritage in Bury St Edmunds. This talk was held in the comfortable and welcoming surroundings of The Quaker Meeting House in St John’s Street.
‘Fly Across the Thames’ London Trip
This year’s trip to London was a fantastic day with a good combination of sightseeing and relaxation, lovely weather and friendly companionship. Greenwich is a very attractive and photogenic part of London with many interesting things to see and do. A guide was booked to explain a few of the historic sites.
In addition to the public galleries of the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House there is the lesser known Painted Hall and Chapel of the Royal Naval College, all of which are free of charge. The big tourist attraction is the recently refurbished Cutty Sark, which towers spectacularly over Greenwich raised on metal supports.
The tour concluded with a circular trip on the Emirates cable car with wonderful aerial views of the Thames barrier and the eastern part of the City. The coach was waiting right there afterwards to take everyone on the smooth journey home to Bury.
'Life's a Gas' The History of Anaesthesia
Dr David Nunn, Consultant Anaesthetist, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, told the story of anaesthesia from the earliest times to the present day - a progression that makes everyday surgery possible.
This was an excellent and comprehensive talk given by Dr David Nunn, Consultant Anaesthetist from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. In non-medical language he took us through the history of anaesthetics and how the perils of laudanum, ether and chloroform led to the refinement of opium, cocaine and nitrous oxide in modern medicine. Anaesthesia has never been safer and it was very reassuring to know that.
The talk took place in the comfortable and welcoming surroundings of The Trinity Methodist Church, a new venue for Bury Society events. This warm and friendly church has recently undergone modernisation and has an upgraded sound system, window blinds and a drop-down screen.
Annual General Meeting
The meeting will be followed by an illustrated talk by Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom's Co-ordinator:
'My first year at Bury in Bloom'
'My First Year at Bury in Bloom' an illustrated talk by Melanie Lesser
Melanie gave an illustrated presentation to members at the AGM summarising her work over the past yearth. Bury in Bloom is a subsidiary of The Bury Society and, to many of us, the main aim would appear to be decorating the town with hanging baskets and troughs throughout the year for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. There is clearly much more to it than that and Melanie has had a very busy year.
Local companies provide the funds to design, plant and maintain the numerous roundabouts around Bury St Edmunds. For example, the Southgate roundabout has had the recent addition of a carved wolf guarding the crown of St Edmund. The wolf had to be designed and made, installed carefully and then launched with appropriate publicity. Melanie can also take the credit for numerous other projects including the carpet of wildflowers planted on the Tollgate triangle, Young Green Finger, the Crafty Foxes can competition, Hidden Gardens and perhaps most importantly doing the planning for the annual 'Anglia In Bloom' competition.
The town, as always, looks very attractive and we are very grateful to Melanie for all her hard work in making this happen.
Saturday 5 April - 'Open House' Coffee Morning
Cheerful chatter could be heard in Churchgate Street on Saturday 5th April as we held our ‘Open House’ coffee morning at the lovely old Unitarian Meeting House. This was an opportunity for members old and new to speak to Bury Society committee members about their concerns and interests regarding the town and its future.
Over forty members drifted in an out as the morning progressed and sampled the delicious cakes and coffee. The outgoing Chairman, Alan Jary, and the newly appointed chairman, Karen Hurden were both present to listen to members’ comments and their future expectations of the Society. This is a relaxed forum in which to exchange views and is intended to be an annual event that will gain in popularity each year. Alternatively it is just a pleasant event at which to stop off for a free morning coffee and cake!
Our grateful thanks go to Wendy Wheeler for assisting with the catering.
Talk on the life of William Morris
A very interesting talk was given to members on the life and homes of William Morris (1834-1896) by Fiona Rose in February.
She talked about his life and how he began his career as an architect and later an artist, writer, textile designer, and socialist.
He became friends with and a business partnership developed between artist Edward Burne-Jones and artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti who formed the English Arts and Crafts Movement and the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood.
Their art and craftsmanship had a huge influence on the style and décor of homes and churches and their legacy remains today.
Fiona’s talk was illustrated using black and white photographs of Morris and some of the homes he designed.
The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, once a home of the Morris family, is now a showcase for his art, writing, textiles and furniture and is well worth a visit.
Around 60 people attended the talk which was clearly a topic that was of interest and as was evident from the questions asked.
Comments afterwards were very positive and the coffee and biscuits were appreciated.
Our thanks to Fiona for the talk and to all who helped with the event.
The Bury Society Annual Lunch – Saturday 25th January
Steve Cuthbert, former manager of the British Sugar factory in Bury, was the guest speaker at our annual lunch held in the Unitarian Meeting House, Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 25thJanuary. This well-presented and informative talk took us through the processing of sugar beet from local farms to the finished product. The bi-products, storage of liquid sugar and steam emissions from the billowing pipes were all clearly explained to a captivated audience. Steve’s impressive knowledge of his subject was most apparent during question time when discussing the future of sugar processing in Suffolk. It was evident from those present that the British Sugar factory is an accepted part of our local community and landscape and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
The talk was followed by a three-course lunch efficiently served from the minute Unitarian kitchen by local caterer Andrea Davey. The buzz in the room was palpable as friends and new acquaintances chatted together and enjoyed the event in the surroundings of this unique old building on Churchgate Street. The January lunch has been a well supported event for some years now and is the most popular event of the annual programme with around 80 members attending.
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