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People 6

Any news and other items about Brandeston people past and present will be placed here.

New people arriving, people leaving, births, marriages, hobbies, featured people, interviews, .... anything, really, to do with us. Contact the Webmaster with your news.

Earlier People

January to November 2007

November 2007 to April 2008

Aprilto July 2008

September 2008 to January 2009

January 2009 to 14 June 2010

From July 2010

Index from November 2011


Jump to:

David Risk - 14 July 2010

Eileen Leach’s birthday - 26/7/10

David Risk’s Tea Party - 15/8/10

Alan and Jane Randall’s wedding - 28/8/2010

Update on Thalatta

Online Shopping

Bradlaugh Connection - 27/4/11

Springtime in the Desert - 3/6/11

Meaning of Life

Painting by Nick Hayward

Update on “Thalatta”

An Update on the Sailing Barge “Thalatta”

Nick Hayward - 26 October 2011

Thalatta (see below) nears the end of her total rebuild and will be available for the 2012 season. The new web site www.thalatta.org.uk tells the full story of the barge, the Trust and what it is all about; specifically providing cruises for children from all backgrounds but often those who are disadvantaged. This has been successfully done over a period of 40 years but had to be suspended because the barge needed a total rebuild, which will complete this year so 2012 will be a full season. In addition, the Trust runs Sail-days, and several Brandestonians will have experienced these, so these will resume also next season.

Any queries, do please contact Nick Hayward on 685465

A Painting by Nick Hayward - 30 September 2011

The Meaning of Life

Michael Aldrich - 15 August 2011

(See below before you read this.)

As you get older your birthdays seem to flash by. It is nice to be remembered by loved ones but only rarely is there a memorable occasion usually marking some big number. To be honest you tend to enjoy other people’s birthdays much more than your own, and perhaps that is how it should be.

The memorable occasions are not always pre-planned. Sometimes it is just happenstance that makes them stand out. It could be a place, a particular group of people, some remarkable weather, a particular gift or card, some concurrent event or it could be just a bolt from the blue.

This year the bolt came my way. I was sent a link to a website and told to look at something that might amuse me: http://www.kelkoohistoryoftheinternet.co.uk/.  It was quite a shock!  At first I struggled to rationalise it. Then I began to wonder whether this was the meaning of life? Ultimately we are all cartoons and we can do little about it. My grandson, seeing my introspection and probably fearing for my sanity, comforted me by saying ‘Grandpa, someone is wishing you Happy 70th Birthday. It is silly but it is cool.’

So maybe the meaning of life is that we are all cool in the end. If only I knew what cool meant!

Springtime in the Desert

Michael Aldrich - 3 June 2011

The Arab Spring has been a long time coming. During the 1970s I had various business dealings and encounters in the Middle East, much of it distinctly odd.

It all began with a bang. I was in Beirut in 1975. Lebanon liked to be styled as the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’ somewhere to keep your money and enjoy spending it. We were at the ‘Casino du Liban’ for the dinner show. It was an extravaganza that included a Tropical Rainforest Storm, where gullies opened around the tables and torrential rain fell; elephants raced in the aisles between the tables; horsemen galloped furiously on the stage towards the diners, fortunately on a huge rolling road and the entire roof of the building opened to re-enact the Lunar Landing. It was a wonderful show that eclipsed Las Vegas and the Lido in Paris.

As we left the Casino gunfire erupted across the city. The Lebanese Civil War had begun. Our host casually told us he had installed a 50 calibre machine gun on the roof of his house. He was prepared. It was going to be bloody.

We were en route for Baghdad where I was to give a lecture at the Technical University. After several adventures we arrived to find a lecture hall packed with 6-700 students and staff. It had been agreed that the lecture would be in English and I had asked for an Arabic translator. However, I was assured that the computer students could read and understand and speak English.

So I began. The first row looked as if they understood. The rest were nodding or glazed. I tried a few whimsical asides to humour them – some response in the first row. After an hour or so I finished and called for questions. There was silence for a while, then from the far reaches of the hall a young man stood up and asked a question in understandable English. Sadly the question made no sense so I made a guess at answering what I thought he had intended to ask. I then asked if the answer was satisfactory. He then repeated the question. I tried again and asked if the answer was satisfactory. He looked terrified. In very broken English, quite different from his previous English, he said, ‘Sorry I not understand question’ and sat down.

I left to applause led by the professor and was assured that the lecture was excellent. It struck me that the gap between aspiration and reality was huge.

A few years later we were negotiating a computer contract in one of the Gulf States. I had flown Concorde to Bahrain and then a local plane to be at the final dealmaking. We were ushered into an anteroom at the Palace where we waited and waited. Eventually a gentleman emerged to say that the Ruler didn’t want a computer today but that we had been chosen to supply light tanks - about 30 tons. ‘Congratulations.’ It was very difficult to make our polite apologies and leave.

In those years the gap between Middle East Arab culture and thinking and West European ways was enormous. Some of the countries were medieval, others were brutal authoritarian dictatorships where ruling elites basically spent the windfalls from oil. The world has since changed and technology, particularly IT, has empowered the powerless. The aspirations are still there but now political forces are emerging to bring change. Springtime in the Desert is the first sign of that change.

The Brandeston Bradlaugh Connection

Mike Smith - 27 April 2011

I was born and brought up in Worcestershire but for over thirty years I have lived in Essex. Nearly twenty years ago, I decided that I would like to research my family history.  This was primarily to confirm or not some of the stories that my Dad used to tell about his ancestors, what they did and where they came from.  When I announced what I had decided to do, my Mum said that there was no point looking into her ancestry because she was descended from Suffolk farm labouring stock.

An examination of the 1881 census for Brandeston did not reveal any Bradley families but there were a number of Bradlaugh families.   A Suffolk born colleague agreed that Bradlaugh and Bradley could sound similar and so I carried on my research on the basis that the names were interchangeable.

James was born in Brandeston about 1857 and had indeed been an agricultural labourer all his life. His father was called John and he was born in Brandeston about 1816 and he was also an agricultural labourer all his life. John had eleven children, nine girls and two boys. In 1881 James’s only brother John was 16 and he was working as a groom.

James’s grandfather was called Thomas and he was born in the village about 1774 and the only mention of his livelihood was in the 1841 census when he was shown as an agricultural labourer.

So my Mum was right she did come from a long line of farm workers.

Since I started to write this article I thought it would be interesting to see if I could identify when my great grandfather changed his name from Bradlaugh to Bradley. So I obtained his marriage certificate and discovered a number of things:

his name in 1887 when he married was shown as Bradlaugh:

    • he signed the certificate with a cross which could indicate that he was illiterate;
    • he was a widower;
    • he was married in the registry office in the Bosmere Registration District because he was living in Helmingham
    • The fact that he was a widower was a bit of a surprise so I had another search of the GRO index’s and found another possible marriage. This marriage took place two years earlier at the registry office in Plomesgate Registration District because he was living in Brandeston.  Although he claimed to be widowed at the time of his second marriage I cannot find a death recorded for his first wife.

James’s first child by his second wife was baptised as Bradley and took place in Helmingham Parish Church about six weeks after his marriage, his second child was also baptised in Helmingham but as a Bradlaugh and his other two children were baptised in other parishes also as Bradley.

I am assuming that James was illiterate and because he was not living in the parish of his birth and where all his family lived, when he had his children baptised the various vicars used the common spelling of the Bradley surname, which he would have been unaware of.  Why was his second child baptised Bradlaugh, I have no idea.

James was descended from a long line of Bradlaughs who lived in the village for many years.  My fifth and sixth times great grandfathers are the two Thomas Bradlaughs who are commemorated on the Peal Board in the Church.  The first Bradlaugh recorded in the Parish registers is my 6 times great grandfather Thomas, who was baptised in 1694.

The Bradlaugh spelling is very specific to this part of Suffolk and I believe that the majority of people who have Bradlaugh as their surname can trace their ancestry back to the village.

The most famous of the Bradlaughs is Charles (pictured above) who was born in Hoxton, London in 1833.  He founded, along with Annie Besant, the National Secular Society, which still exists today.  He was the Member of Parliament for Northampton and he was the last person to be incarcerated in the prison in the Houses of Parliament.  A search of the internet will reveal more information about him. Charles’s link to Brandeston is through his great grandfather.

As a result of his fame some people in the late 19th century incorporated his surname into their own and so where Bradlaugh is not used as a surname it is likely that they have no connection with the village.

Your Parish Historical Recorder has done a lot of work on the Bradlaugh family and with her help and assistance I want to try to confirm the earlier roots of the family.

Postcard from Brandeston - front

Postcard from Brandeston - back

Charles Bradlaugh

Portrait of Charles Bradlaugh

James Bradley

Peal Board at All Saints

Postcard from Brandeston - front

Postcard from Brandeston - back

Charles Bradlaugh

Portrait of Charles Bradlaugh

James Bradley

Peal Board at All Saints

Walking the Dog and Online Shopping

Michael Aldrich - 22 February 2011

We all have those moments. Out of the blue, a random thought enters our minds and there is a moment of illumination and discovery.

Sandy and I were out walking the dog in the evening in the summer of 1979. We were chatting about nothing in particular until we started moaning about the weekly Friday-night expedition to the nearest supermarket some four miles away. We used to take the big estate car and we tumbled the children in the back. It was never a good experience.

I was remembering the old days when you phoned the butcher, ordered the meat and the boy delivered it on his bike. Why couldn’t the supermarket do that? Then came the thought! I have a TV. I can connect it to one of our real-time transaction processing computers. I could order from our TV and the supermarket could process and deliver the order if it had one of our computers. Job done! The next day I went to work, talked to colleagues and within a week we had a working system, albeit a bit bodged-up.

I was having lots of fantasies about what one might do with such a system so we decided to do some market research. We packed up the kit and Sandy, Peter Champion, my intrepid engineer, and I went off to a computer exhibition in New Orleans in the USA while Grandpa looked after the children.

We rented a table with a big green cloth over it in the Exhibition Hall. I did the talking; Sandy operated the TV that was sitting on the table and Peter Champion lay on his back under the table for three days making it work. The Americans loved it and wanted to buy it. We left quickly with no forwarding address.

A few months later in 1980 we launched the system on an unsuspecting world. Today it is called online shopping, e-commerce and e-business.

Funny thing walking the dog! The strangest things can happen.

The Sailing Barge “Thalatta” - An Update on Progress

Nick Hayward 7 February 2011

This is the latest report on the rebuilding of the sailing barge “Thalatta”. Any offers of donations would be most gratefully received.

Alan and Jane Randall - 28 August 2010

Alan and Jane at the Queen’s Head surprised everyone (apart from their parents) when they suddenly got married last Saturday morning. Even the staff at the pub were unaware of the plan; Alan’s “Jodie, can I have a quick word” was the first indication that something was up when she arrived for work.

From what we can work out, Alan and Jane decided a week ago that it was time to tie the knot and told their parents who made plans to travel to Brandeston for the weekend. Rings were bought and the slot arranged at Woodbridge registry office.

“It was the right way to do it,” Alan said. “We wanted a private, informal wedding with just our immediate family around us.”

On the only sunny day of the holiday weekend, Jane wore a fuchsia dress and a big smile and  had her granddaughter Leanna as her bridesmaid. Alan was tidy.

Champagne and photos in front of the pub were followed by lunch in the restaurant prepared and served by the still surprised staff.

Alan and Jane will have their marriage blessed at All Saints on 17 October as part of the normal morning service starting at 10:00 to which all of Brandeston is invited.

More photos here.

Photos: Jess Morgan Photography, London

Brandeston’s Tea Party for David Risk - 15 August 2010

The village’s secret plan for a collection and tea party to celebrate David Risk’s fifty years on the Parish Council couldn’t have worked out better. On Sunday, 15 August, David appeared to be genuinely surprised by the crowd waiting for him in the hall when he was persuaded by Ruth to pop into the village hall after a family lunch.

His entrance was enhanced by PCSO Christian Hassler, who had arrived a few moments before him, holding the door open for his entrance.

David’s commendable milestone has already been acknowledged formally in two awards: the presentation by county councillor Peter Bellfield, at the 2010 Brandeston annual parish meeting of a SALC certificate for 50 years service, and then, at the beginning of August, the Suffolk ACRE’s Individual Initiative Award (see below) when David and Ruth were invited to attend a ceremony followed by lunch.   There were, of course, other nominees put forward for this award but David was announced as the winner.

During the tea party and after reminding everyone about David’s service to the village, Sue Thurlow presented David with his third award - the High Sheriff of Suffolk’s Volunteer of the Year award for 2009-10. David also received a collection from the village and a card signed by everyone at the party.

In responding, David thanked everyone who had contributed and attended and said that his aim at all times was to fight for and to promote Brandeston for the benefit of the people of the village.

Photos from the tea party can be seen here.

Eileen Leach’s 86th Birthday Party - 26 July 2010

Nick Hayward

Nick’s report and photos of Eileen’s recent birthday lunch.

Presentation to David Risk - 14 July 2010

David Risk being presented with the Campbell Cup for Individual Contribution to Community Achievement by Lord Tollemache, President of Suffolk ACRE, in recognition of his 50 years as a parish councillor.

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