Sudbury Society
July Newsletter
Dear Member
Welcome to our first e-newsletter and the first since I took over the chairmanship after the remote AGM. Suzie and I have been members of the Society since we came to Sudbury in 2005 and I have been treasurer since 2015. My background is structural engineering and I was a founding Partner of the firm Buro Happold who have been doing all aspects of building engineering since 1980. I have been involved in all types of building from carparks, chimneys and cooling towers to embassies, opera houses, exhibition stands and stadia and even an Elizabethan theatre. For a while my speciality was tent and other fabric structures. I achieved some notoriety for the design of the millennium Dome with architects Richard Rogers. We did all the engineering for that project and got it built on time. Today all engineering is focussing on diversity and reducing carbon emissions. That is a huge challenge and hence it is a good time for young people to aim to work in that field at all levels. When I started work it was strictly male, the percentage of women entering the profession has been steadily increasing since the 1980s and is now approaching 50%.

My predecessor John French started moving the Society in that direction and I will continue but from a more technical viewpoint. I think we both have an aim to move Sudbury towards being a low energy sustainable town. We would also like to attract young people into our society which means changing our activities, something that needs input from all members.
Ian Liddell
It has been a pleasure to serve as Chair of the Sudbury Society for the last two years and I wish Ian very well in his new role. I have greatly enjoyed seeing the diversity of events, with expert speakers on a wide range of topics all stimulating debate and interest in areas that relate to Sudbury’s history and also, very importantly, its future. We have engaged with what sustainability and sustainable development means for us and raised interest in the issues and potential solutions, across housing and town development, building restoration and farming. I hope you will agree that prior to lockdown our new Assembly Rooms venue was working well, and it has been good to see a vibrant membership with so many at our monthly events and Christmas and Summer Garden parties.

The Society is on a strong financial footing and appointing Becky Plant as a part-time administrator has been transformational in co-ordinating the work of the Committee. We have established the Planning sub-committee, taking a systematic look at planning matters, and have re-introduced the Alan Phillips Architectural Award to recognise positive development in Sudbury.

It is great to hand the Society on to Ian in good shape, and my sincere thanks go to all of the Committee who have made this possible.
Prof John French
What strange times these last 100 days have been. We're sure everyone has different experiences from being "in lockdown", and although it doesn't feel like it is yet over, being able to pop to the shops and catch up with friends and family does appear to be getting easier, even though it is very far from what we previously knew as "normal". We'd love to hear how it has been for you over these last few months and invite you to send us a short piece, photo or poem that reflects your own experience, which we'd like to include in future newsletters and on our website.
Please submit no more than 250 words to Becky by email to:
After we sadly had to postpone the AGM gathering, we were really pleased to be able to conduct the AGM business online thanks to the positive response from our members to the electronic version of the AGM papers. Thank you so much to those of you who responded by email and post, and for your endorsement. We hope that this year will be a one-off and we will be able to welcome you to the AGM in the usual fashion next year.
With no objections received to the proposals, we are delighted to announce your 2020/2021 Committee:

Chairman Ian Liddell
Deputy Chair / Chair of Planning Sub-Committee Sam Thornton
Treasurer Amanda Reavall
Press and Communications Angie Bentley
NewsJournal Sonia Virdee
Membership Liz Fulcher
Events Coordinator Vacant (Sandie Tate will continue until this role is filled)
Committee Member John French
Our first two events of the year were a great success, breaking records with numbers attending, and we are now offering some online events until we are able to meet again face to face. Our first virtual event has already taken place and we are hoping to get many more of you involved via your screens from the comfort of your own homes. Our monthly Executive Committee meetings are continuing in this way and it is working well. 
We hope to present the second online event on Thursday July 9th at 7pm with a talk by Captain Mike Evans, Royal Navy (Retired) - details will be sent by separate email.

In case you weren't able to attend the January and February talks, read more about them below and we hope you'll join us at the next one!
Virtual Talk: Cambridge - you’ve seen the sights, now try the art
As the Society has been unable to present the usual monthly talks, the committee decided to try an online meeting. The first was held in June using Zoom as the hosting medium. The speaker was Murray Jacobs, a Cambridge Green Badge Guide and in his talk ‘You’ve seen the sights, now try the art’, he guided us around some of the art related locations in Cambridge which do not usually feature in a plod around ‘the sights’.

The tour commenced at Queen’s Mathematical Bridge, designed in 1748 by William Etheridge (from Fressingfield incidentally) and Murray gave us a brief tour of its life and times, including the paintings done by Canaletto.

Murray then led us to the pavement between St Johns and Magdalene Colleges where the artist, Michael Fairfax has laid 600 brass flowers into the paving. Just beyond Magdalene, at the foot of Castle Hill, he showed us the ‘Cambridge Core’, a bronze column 11’ 6” tall marking the spot where a medieval treasure trove was discovered and is now housed in the Fitzwilliam.

We also ‘visited’ the Archaeology Dept off Downing Street where Anthony Gormley’s cast iron full-size sculpture of himself entitled ‘Earthbound’ has been placed, upside down and underground, with just the soles of his bare feet showing.

The highlight of the tour, for me at least, were the Dinky Doors, ‘a dollop of delight’. A Cambridge couple dedicated to staving off life’s miseries have created miniature works of art based on doors which are then placed around the town centre for the delight of everyone. Murray started with 10 ¼ Downing Street – guess where you might find that! Here’s a link:
St Peter's Church, Sudbury
Regeneration of St Peter's
The first meeting of the New Year was a talk by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) project team including our locally based Development Officer, Allison Burke, on the Trust’s plans to regenerate St Peter’s church with funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF). With reference to their success in other projects, the team looked at what may be possible for Sudbury’s iconic landmark on Market Hill, and how they hope to realise this major project for our town.
Read the full article here
Wildlife in trouble
Sudbury’s Wildlife In Trouble
The speaker for our 27th February meeting was Ross Bentley, trustee of the Sudbury Common Lands and a former environmental writer for the East Anglian Daily Times. Ross identified himself as a lover of nature not an expert, although he has clearly spoken to many conservationists, farmers, scientists and writers in this area and his passion for nature was clear.
Read the full article here
Thank you to member Anne Grimshaw who let us know that Civic Voice is running frequent webinars on a variety of topic relevant to civic societies, many of which you can watch back at a time to suit you. Have a look at what they have had on, and what they have coming up by clicking here:

To take part in a live event you need to book, but they are free to join. You can book by clicking the link next to the title of the event you're interested in. You'll also see a Watch It Back link for any past events that take your fancy.
The Sudbury Society
C/o The Christopher Centre
CO10 2AT
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