Review of 2018

Community Involvement

The Sudbury Ephemera Archive (SEA) celebrates its sixth anniversary this year (2019). During those years, it has gone from strength to strength. Not only has the archive itself been growing, but its ‘fame’ has spread primarily through its community involvement. This ranges from talks given to local groups and organisations such as Pebmarsh Ladies’ Group, Sudbury’s Quay Theatre Local History Sundays (January), Henny Ladies’ Group (twice), Monks Eleigh Bygones Collectors’ Club, Bulmer Skylarks and St Gregory’s Fellowship and the Town Meeting March 2018.

SEA has exhibited at several open air summer events including Monks Eleigh Bygones Weekend  on Sudbury Airfield, A Bit of a Do at Pebmarsh, Suffolk Day in Sudbury, Heritage Day in Sudbury (September), Sudbury Carnival (August), Remembrance Weekend (November) and the Christmas Tree Festival (December) in Sudbury. The biggest ‘outing’ was to the Suffolk Show (May) in Ipswich when SEA was invited to participate in the World War I centenary commemorations at the show. This proved to be very successful and generated a lot of interest particularly with the children’s game cat’s cradle which was hugely popular with all ages!

At several of these events SEA members have participated in costume, e.g. Red Cross nurses, widows wearing black ‘weeds’, Edwardian ladies, agricultural labourer, Land Army girl for the World War I theme at Suffolk Show. This is fun for the participants but also draws attention, creates comments and is more memorable than ‘ordinary’ clothes. It also ties in with SEA’s historical aspects.

Just for fun but also as publicity, SEA has taken part in all the recent five carnivals and has been awarded first place three times and second place once for the best ‘foot float’. See for example SEA wins first prize at Sudbury Carnival 2018.

SEA has also been working with other groups planning events such as the Silk Film group, the Silk Festival 2019 and the Museum Trust.

The Collection

SEA itself has benefited from a donation of the Turner Thornton Estate Agent papers. It has taken months to sort and catalogue these but that is now complete and the papers divided into street collections and the town is zoned into areas. Papers for other areas and in Suffolk and the country have been sent to appropriate collections: Essex Record Office or local recorders or Suffolk Record Office.

Another large donation has been from the Christ Church United Reform Church when it closed in January 2018. SEA ensured that the building and its registers were photographed and other official papers have been stored in the Suffolk Record Office but kept photographs and newsletters etc. in SEA collection.

Other donations continue to arrive and SEA is grateful to the staff at the Town Hall who receive these donations on behalf of SEA.

Another function of SEA is helping members of the public who drop in with questions about Sudbury’s past. If SEA cannot answer the question then the enquirer is directed to someone or some other organisation which can.

One particularly interesting donation was a book of business records from a 19th century blacksmith in Little Waldingfield which was deposited by a member of his family. SEA was able to provide a copy for another member of that family while conserving the original.

Cataloguing sessions (three hours) take place twice a month in the Town Hall with a regular core of volunteers as well as more casual attendees. These sessions provide an opportunity for the public and potential donors to drop in and see what SEA does.

The Town Recorder’s Report provided a digital record for the Suffolk Local History Council Recorder scheme which is an overview of the year in Sudbury and filed at the Suffolk Record Office.

SEA wins first prize at Sudbury Carnival 2018

Members of the Sudbury Ephemera Archive won first prize in the ‘on foot’ category in this year’s Carnival procession.
The overall theme was ‘Countries of the World’ which you can see clearly reflected in the costumes.


Posted in Events | Tagged | Comments Off on SEA wins first prize at Sudbury Carnival 2018

SEA at Suffolk Show 2018

We were delighted to have been invited to take part in the Suffolk Show 2018 when the area “Looking Back” was designated to commemorate the centenary of the end of fighting in World War 1. The remit for the stand was to display archives about Sudbury’s Home Front 100 years ago.

The stand had to include interactive projects which would inspire the younger generation to understand life at this time. So we had displays from the Belle Vue Red Cross Hospital; autograph books and photographs of the nurses. A final panel included stories of people who played a part in daily life in Sudbury in 1918.

Young people were invited to play games that children still at school and under 13 would have enjoyed, in a time when there were no computers or electricity to even support such items. The fun of playing cats cradle gradually spread like an epidemic when women all around the stand were having a go.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on SEA at Suffolk Show 2018

Sudbury Carnival 2017

Winners once more

SEA once again joined the fun that is the Sudbury Carnival, a much better supported procession this year.  Floats with Carnival Queens had travelled from as far afield as Dover, London, Aylesham, Witham, Braintree and Mersea Island to name just a few.
The weather was brilliant, the sun shone (but not too hot as some characters, like the poor fireman dressed as an elephant, were rather heavily clad).

We were rewarded for our hard work by winning 1st prize,  very much to the delight of all: Maria Lloyd and cock linnet (Anne), Troubadour (Carole), Minstrel AlanaDale (Janet), Flapper (Barbara), Travelling Player (Liz), Sailor with hornpipe (Fiona), Sue Ayres with sign, Choirboy (Sue), Beethoven (Jeremy) and Vera Lynn (Penny) – see below.
A good day was had by all.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Sudbury Carnival 2017

Monks Eleigh Bygones weekend June 2016

Monks Eleigh Bygones weekend at Chilton Airfield Sudbury 18th and 19th June 2016

We had a really great weekend, meeting and talking to many people who came to see our stand. As a result of our conversation we will be researching the archives to see if we can find the actual medicine sold to a local lady and dispensed in a bottle now owned by one of the other collectors. SEA looks forward to receiving emails from some of the visitors giving details, which may help other people in their research about Sudbury. Some visitors have provided food for thought about future exciting projects.

DSC_0512 SEA Chilton 19.06.16

Apart from our own pleasure of being able to speak with members of the public and show off the work we are doing, we too had the chance to look at other collectors preserving our heritage for future generations, together with the sounds and smells of the steam engines and skills of tractor drivers.

DSC_0472 New Generation DSC_0471Threshing machine

Obviously people are becoming used to us appearing at these events and it was great to have archive material brought to the stand for the collection.

Thank you to the MEBCC for letting us attend the Monks Eleigh Bygone Collectors Club Rally.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Monks Eleigh Bygones weekend June 2016

Unveiling a picture of Goin’ Jessie

To mark the purchase for the Town of the picture of ‘Seeing Jessie Home’ (a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber) painted by Steven Binks, the Sudbury Museum Trust opened for the morning with an expert on hand to look at any items brought in.  The Mayor Jack Owen opened the proceedings with a few introductions of the many invited guests.  The painting was unveiled by Steven Binks after a number of speeches, a video can be seen on You Tube of the entire event, shot by Robin Drury, also there is an East Anglian Daily Times article.

‘Goin Jessie’ was built in Wichita USA in late 1944.  It  was part of the USAF 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy) which was based at RAF Sudbury from March 1944 to August 1945 and was piloted by Frank Ellersick. It flew its last mission from Sudbury on 21/04/1945.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Unveiling a picture of Goin’ Jessie

Screening of the film Suffragette at the Quay Theatre

On 20th February 2016 we helped the Quay Theatre promote the screening of the film Suffragette.

Sudbury Ephemera in collaboration with the Quay Theatre became Suffragettes for the day to protest that Women deserved the vote!  The group of Suffragettes marched through town handing out publicity leaflets and chanting:

Come and See

At the Quay

No Vote yet

For the Suffragette!!

Then we stormed the Town Hall demanding to see the Mayor, who invited us in for refreshments.

The idea behind this outing was to publicise the forthcoming screening of the film ‘Suffragette’ that was shown on Tuesday 8th March.  There will be a repeat showing of the film in April but no Suffragettes!

On Tuesday 8th March 2016 when the Quay ran the film Suffragette we were there before, during and after the two performances, handing out both our leaflets and the Quay Theatre’s advertising leaflets.


Many thanks to photographers Bob Andrews, Mike Davies and Jeremy Cheshire.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Screening of the film Suffragette at the Quay Theatre

Sudbury Carnival 2015

Sunday 30th August 2015

Carnival 2015 Group

 Sunday dawned grey and overcast, but we were blessed with a dry day and not too hot for the costumes we wore. The theme was the 1960s to 1970s. We chose to recreate The Pickwick Club which was active in Sudbury between 1973 till 1999.

Sudbury was known in the 19th century for its political shenanigans and corrupt elections and so Charles Dickens used Sudbury as the basis for his town ‘Eatanswill’ (eat and swill!) in his novel The Pickwick Papers.

In the early 20th century the Eatanswill Society was set up in Sudbury. Members portrayed characters from The Pickwick Papers. They enjoyed dining and drinking at local hotels and inns but the Society dwindled and was wound up.

About 1973 it was revived as the Pickwick Club and members once again portrayed Pickwickian characters, held mock elections and even published the Eatanswill Gazette. They enjoyed travelling by stagecoach to drink and dine in local hostelries. The Pickwick Club continued for around 25 years with the last dinner being held in 1999.

So, Sudbury’s Pickwick Club of the 1970s is recreated for the 2015 Sudbury Carnival.

There was no stagecoach or dining and drinking but, we hope, plenty of fun.

Below is a list of characters and the novels in which they appear:

Character Novel
Mr Pickwick Pickwick Papers
Mr Perker Pickwick Papers
Isabella Wardle Pickwick Papers
Uriah Heep David Copperfield
Peggotty David Copperfield
Barkis David Copperfield
Betsey Trotwood David Copperfield
Dora Spenlow David Copperfield
Miss Havisham Great Expectations
Nancy Oliver Twist
Ebenezer Scrooge A Christmas Carol
Madame Defarge A Tale of Two Cities
Kate Nickleby Nicholas Nickleby
Esther Summerson

We were delighted to have a large number of characters.

Madame Defarge

Madame Defarge

Mr Pickwick, Ebenezer Scrooge, Barkis

Mr Pickwick, Ebenezer Scrooge, Barkis

Mr Perker, Dora Spendlow and Uriah Heap

Mr Perker, Dora Spendlow and Uriah Heap

Peggoty, Esther Summerson, Kate Nickleby

Peggoty, Esther Summerson, Kate Nickleby

Isabella Wardle and Mr Perker

Isabella Wardle and Mr Perker

The Pickwick Club Revived for Sudbury Carnival 2015

The Pickwick Club
Revived for Sudbury Carnival 2015

The prizes for the floats went to:

3rd prize: Ceroc Dancers

2nd prize:  Gypsy Tractor and Trailer

Overall winner: Cancer Research UK – Give Peace a Chance!!

A very worthy winner!

See also the article Carnival magic as crowds gather in Sudbury for parade fun in the East Anglian Daily Times online edition.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Sudbury Carnival 2015

Best Float in Sudbury Carnival 2014

Sunday 24th August

Sudbury Suffragettes (alias Sudbury Ephemera Archive with the help of members from The Sudbury History Group and the Sudbury Society) joined in the fun of the the procession in the Sudbury Carnival on Sunday 24th August.

A great day and much fun was had by all who joined the procession.  When later we learnt that we had been judged ‘The Best Float’ there was much rejoicing and merriment.  It is the first time I have ever been called a Best Float!!!!

Presentation of shield by Jack Owen at Town Hall 14 Oct 2014 Ian Cruttenden copy

Continue reading

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Best Float in Sudbury Carnival 2014

Sudbury Carnival 2014

The long awaited Sudbury Carnival returned to the town on Sunday 24th August, it has been well over 20 years since the town last held a Carnival.

The weather was helpful, it was sunny without being so hot the entrants were over heated. and the rain stayed away all day.

Delphi Sports and Social Centre was the collecting point for the entrants prior to the start of the procession at 12.30pm

Sudbury Ephemera Archive members ready to start

Sudbury Ephemera Archive members ready to start

Sudbury Ephemera Archive once again turned back the clock to appear as Sudbury Suffragettes.

The procession wound it’s way around the town amidst a lot of noise and excitement. The Suffragettes were warmly received and many leaflets given to the numerous towns people that had turned out to watch.

IMG_4336 IMG_4442
IMG_4416 IMG_4411
IMG_4399 IMG_4438

After the procession returned to Delphi there was a chance to mingle and meet the other entrants.

One of the entrants was the young star of the Warhorse film, Joey aka Augustus who is trained by Andy Butcher of AB Film Horses.

IMG_4500 950321-120419-warhorse-preview

The Suffragettes were lucky enough to be able to get a photo taken with the star, bringing together the memories of Emily Wilding Davieson  who was killed under the Kings Horse during the Epsom Derby in 1913, and the huge part that many horses played during the Great War.


Memories are what the Ephemera Archive is all about.  We want your paper memorabilia of both the wars plus we would love to be able to record the voices of the older generation that can remember the second world war, both here at home and those service men and women who returned to civilian life when it was all over.

See also photography by Bill Hiskett and Ben’s photos on Flickr.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Sudbury Carnival 2014