What’s On in the village

Visit and contribute to the photo gallery including the monthly theme and Banner Pix

Brandeston bus timetable

How we built the Village Hall

See an aerial view of the village

The Village Recommends - a list of recommended service providers



People 2

Earlier People

January to November 2007

November 2007 to April 2008

April to July 2008

September 2008 to January 2009

January 2009 to 14 June 2010

From June 2010




Jump to:


John Simpson’s Memories - 16/4/08

Bonnie Mackling in Canada - 18/12/07

Nick Hayward and “Thalatta” - 17/12/07

Ann Penny - 6/11/07

New Priests - 21/11/07

Caroline Barry revisits - 18/7/07

Memories of Brandeston and Framlingham

John Simpson (Cousin of Sue Thurlow)

Our grandfather, T W Simpson (right, with me in 1940) was Station Master at Framlingham from 1933 until he retired in 1946.  He was always known as "T W." My father, George Simpson, after school at Framlingham College, moved to London where he met my mother, Grace. When they married, they bought a sub post office at Charlton in London.

I was born in 1938 and so started school on my fifth birthday in 1943. I had already been evacuated once to a great aunt in Paignton, Devon during the first London blitz. I spent time with my maternal grandparents at Harrow in Middlesex during the time of the doodlebugs. However, when living in London became too dangerous, I was sent to live at Framlingham with my Aunty Dorothy, Sue's mother. As she ran a hairdressing business in Framlingham, I was often sent down to the station to be looked after by grandfather. Our grandmother, Grace Nellie (below), died in 1942.

As he was the station master, and in those days was in charge of everything in sight, I was put in the care of the booking clerk or the signalman in the signal box and even with the guard to ride on the train up to Wickham Market and back! What more could a 7 to 8 year old boy want? Much better than going to school!

Whilst living with Aunty Dorothy, we often came to Brandeston to see her in-laws, Mr and Mrs Murton at Hill House. Mr Murton was the village butcher and had his own abattoir opposite. My abiding memory of him is his falling sound asleep after lunch with the paper over his face and chest where it fell after he dozed off.

I remember wandering the lanes and bye-ways with some other children. We found strips of metallic foil in the hedgerows. We did not know what it was for, but it was great fun to play with. It was probably dropped from one of the bombers at the USAF base at Parham.

Petrol was rationed, as were meat and most other foodstuffs, so trips anywhere in the car were limited.

After the blitz, I moved back to London where we had been bombed out and lived in alternative accommodation nearby. We did not get back into our rebuilt house and shop until 1948. In the meantime, Philip Murton returned from the army and joined his father in the butchery business.

Philip and my father were both very keen sportsmen and played cricket together at Campsea Ashe. Philip, however, was a superb cricketer; Sue may know if he ever played for Suffolk. In latter years, he took up golf with great success while my father took up bowls with some success when he retired - a skill he learned from Grandfather Simpson on the bowling green near the castle at Framlingham when he was a boy.

As a family we continued to visit Hill House from time to time to see Philip, Dorothy and their two daughters Penelope and Susan. I remember visiting when I was 17-18 as I had recently passed my driving test and drove most of the way. That was when the two girls were about 12 and 8 and very giggly about having this young man to Sunday lunch. On Coronation day, the Murton family descended on us at Bromley as we had a television set and we all watched the Queen being crowned.

After the war I went to school in London and then on to Seale-Hayne Agricultural college in Devon. There I met fellow student Graham Vellacott.  He was a keen member of the Christian Union at that time, and then 40 year later, I find that he was the priest in my cousin's village!

John Simpson (left), aged 70, two days before Sue was 60!!

See more of John’s old photos here.

Another Brandeston Link with Canada

Bonnie Mackling (nee Cousins) Makes Contact

My name is Bonnie Mackling (nee Cousins), pictured left, and I live in  a town of about 2500 people in Manitoba, Canada. One of my aunts put together a family tree that went back only as far as her grandfather and a cousin sent me some genealogical information which showed that 'we' had originated in England. Another cousin mentioned that her mom had been told that the family came from Brandeston in Suffolk. That tied in with my great grandfather's wedding place. Samuel Cousins married Martha Jessop (also spelled Jessup in places) on 8 November, 1818 in Brandeston. I got in touch with Peter Thurlow who put my queries to Wilda Woodland who has since verified the marriage for me.


In this photo, I am in pink on the left, my aunt Marjorie (my dad's sister) is next to me, cousin Jean (her mom was my dad's sister as well) is next to Marj, across the table is Jean's husband Dick, my cousin Sandra (her dad was dad's brother) is in the middle and her husband Brian is on her left. The photo above right is Alexander Robert, the youngest Cousins  - his grandfather is my oldest brother, David

The photo, left, shows Anthony Henry Cousins (my grandfather) and Harriet Amelia Little, his wife. He passed away in 1949, she in 1971. They came to Manitoba in the 1880s from Ontario when they were children

My husband, Ross, and I are parents with a blended family. He has three sons and I have a son and a daughter. (My son is keen to know more about his ancestors as well so the results of my search will be my legacy to him.) We are also the proud grandparents of four girls and five boys.

Ross and I are partners in a speciality coffee and tea shop here in Minnedosa that we began in July 2005 mainly with coffees, lattes, home-baked desserts and so on. A year later, we added loose teas and people have really taken to them. Ross is also continuing his employment as a sales representative for Saputo, a national dairy company, in order for us to keep the bills paid until the shop is really well established.

I have no family left in England that I know of. Samuel, Martha and their children came to Canada sometime in the 1830s to '50s. Anyone still in England that I would be related to would be many times removed. But hey, I'd love to know and to meet them!

We are coming to England in May, 2008 as part of a Rotary Friendship Exchange and although we will be in Cumbria for those two weeks, we are extending our trip by a few days to see a bit of London and let me spend some time visiting Brandeston, Framlingham and other locations where my ancestors were.

I read the Brandeston web pages whenever I get a chance and am looking forward to meeting some of the people I've only met online so far.

Nick Hayward and the Sailing Barge “Thalatta”

Nick Hayward, along with a team of fellow sail enthusiasts, is helping to restore the sailing barge “Thalatta” pictured above. “Thalatta” is 100 years old and retired from commercial service in 1967 to undertake her present role of providing 5-day voyages for youngsters aged between 9 and 14.

The East Coast Sail Trust runs the sailing barge for the benefit of young people, some of whom are disadvantaged or have special needs, and to conserve a vital maritime vessel.

During the second phase of her career, “Thalatta” has benefited over 10,000 children who have learnt many life-changing lessons from teamwork to self-reliance, responsibility to understanding true values.

In this, her 100th year, the Trust has undertaken a major refurbishment of the barge so that she will be able to resume her educational role, as well as preserve the vessel for future generations.

On one of its fund-raising sailing days in 2005, a group of Brandeston people, see right, had an enjoyable day out, sailing out of Ipswich and into the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.

The story of the restoration is told in more detail, along with an appeal from the Trust, in an article by Nick which can be found by clicking here.

Ann Penny Back for Christmas - 6 December 2007

One of the village’s long-term householders has returned for an extended stay until the New Year. Ann Penny, seen here on the right with Ruth Risk at a village hall coffee morning, owns a house in Mutton Lane which she and her husband, John, bought in the mid 70s. They moved to Nigeria over twenty years ago when John worked there as a civil engineer and Ann taught. Later on, they moved to Uganda where they currently live although Ann has now retired. Some Brandeston people (and Kettleburgh people, as well) will remember that Ann was one of the founding members of the Wednesday Club which put on loads of events to raise money for the village in the late 70s and 80s.

Ann will be returning to Uganda in early January after having been here for almost three months. She has promised to send an account of her time in Africa!

New Priests for Brandeston and Kettleburgh - 21 November 2007

In a grand ceremony at All Saints, Brandeston, two priests were newly licensed for the Brandeston and Kettleburgh with Easton benefice. Canon Harry Edwards became the new Priest in Charge along with the Reverend Robin Alderson as the new Assistant Priest. Bishop Clive Young, the Bishop of Dunwich, officiated at the licensing and was unexpectedly assisted by Bishop Aaron Kijanjali, Bishop of Kagera, the combined parishes’ link diocese in Tanzania. Bishop Aaron was visiting Suffolk for the enthronement of the new Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich which took place on 20 November.

Following the service, clergy and guests mingled at Brandeston’s village hall for an informal reception laid on by the PCC.

Canon Harry Edwards joins us from Campsea Ashe while Robin Alderson moves from Snape and the Alde River Benefice. Our churches have been looked after by Framlingham following Graham Vellacott’s retirement in April this year.

The photo shows, from the left, Canon Harry Edwards, Bishop Clive, Bishop Aaron and Rev Robin Alderson. (Photos Persephone Booth)

Brandeston PCC writes: The licensing and installation of the Reverend Canon Harry Edwards as Priest in Charge and the Reverend Robin Alderson as Assistant Priest of the benefice of Brandeston and Kettleburgh with Easton was held on 21 November, 2007 at All Saints' Church, Brandeston.

This very special service took place with a full congregation representing all three parishes. The procession was led by the Crucifer followed by the Elders and Readers and visiting clergy including the Bishop of Kagera, who was especially welcome. The Rev Graham Owen (Rural Dean) and the Lay Chairman entered next followed by Archdeacon Jeffrey Arrand, the churchwardens, Bishop Clive and the bishop's chaplain.

The Rural Dean opened the service, the next part of which (including the licensing) was conducted by Bishop Clive and the Archdeacon. The Rural Dean then introduced representatives from the local churches, organisations and communities; the notices were read by the new Assistant Priest.

Mention must be made of our organist, Colin Matthews, whose impeccable playing led the strong hymn singing throughout the service.

After the service, everyone was invited to Brandeston village hall for refreshments and a chance to meet Harry and Robin. So ended a happy and uplifting occasion - an important landmark for our three parishes as we begin a new chapter in our community and spiritual life.

Caroline Barry Revisits Brandeston - 18 July 2007

Wilda Woodland

Caroline Barry, right, paid a visit to Brandeston on 18 July this year whilst she was staying with her two sisters, Sarah Edmundson (at Dial Farm, Saxstead) and Margaret (Mig) Bacon (who now lives at Brundish). Caroline’s last visit to the village was in September 2004.

Some residents may remember her as the middle daughter of Mrs Anne Craig who lived at the Old Wheelwrights from 1970 until Dr Anthony Fletcher bought the property in 1980. Caroline emigrated to Gympie, Northern Queensland in Australia where she married Dick Barry and had two daughters, Jane and Rosie. They have a farm which has suffered badly from the long-lasting drought.

The photograph below shows her at Brook Cottage with erstwhile neighbours and friends Mary Moore, Anthony Fletcher and Alan and Wilda Woodland where they had coffee together.

(Photos Peter Thurlow)

[Home] [Contact Us] [Village Life] [The Photo Gallery] [What's On] [Queen's Head] [All Saints] [People] [Village People] [Recipes] [Publications] [Village Admin] [My Holiday] [Need to Know] [Brandeston Blog] [Enterprise] [Village Stories]