Quote of the week

Life isn't about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself'

George Bernard Shaw
If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wish.html

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Little Waldingfield Flower Festival coming soon

Little Waldingfield


(On B1115 Sudbury to Stowmarket Road)

Theme:  ‘Count Your Blessings’

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September 2017
10am – 6pm both days

Free Admission -Donations welcome
Refreshments in the Church

Stalls    Tombola    Raffle

Songs of Praise, Sunday 6.30 p.m.
I understand that in addition to the attractions above there will be an art and crafts exhibition in the Parish Rooms.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Breakfast with Bacon

There will shortly be another chance to enjoy the wit and wisdom of Richard Bacon, the Member of Parliament for South Norfolk.

On September 15th HLC is hosting another ‘Breakfast with Bacon’ in the wonderful surroundings of Ickworth House just outside Bury St Edmunds.

Those of us who remember the excellent pre Brexit Referendum breakfast with Richard at the Swan in Lavenham certainly won't want to miss this event.  

Richard is a well informed and amusing speaker and is not shy about giving honest answers to difficult questions.  I am sure that those who attend will gain valuable new insight into the current political situation in the UK.

The breakfast menu looks pretty good, and I for one will be going on afterwards to take a look at the (moderately) recent rehang of the marvellous artworks in the main part of the House.

Hope to see you there!  Further details and a booking form can be found HERE.

The Rotunda, Ickworth House

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Your chance to buy a masterpiece!

An exciting auction of original art works is coming up in Sudbury in October, and tickets are now on sale.  The event will be held in The Assembly Room at the Town Hall on Friday 20th October at 7 p.m.

Spear-headed by Suffolk-artist Maggi Hambling and art critic Andrew Lambirth, the Auction will feature around 140 lots donated from the Estates and Studios of some of Britain’s greatest and most inspiring artists such as Michael Ayrton, Edward Bawden, Antony Gormley, Maggi Hambling, John Hoyland, David Inshaw, Allen Jones, Sarah Lucas,  Sargy Mann, John Nash and William Pye.

This is a not to be missed opportunity to obtain a unique work of art!

The Auction is just one of a number of events in coming months to support the ambitious plans at the museum.  The aim is to match the £4.7m award from the Heritage Lottery Fund in order to fund the renovation and redisplay of the historic house and the construction of a new, landmark three-storey structure with four new galleries – a showcase Gainsborough gallery, a landscape studio with panoramic views over Sudbury, a community gallery and a major exhibition gallery/performance space.

Tickets for the auction cost £25 and include wine, refreshments and a catalogue.  They are available from Gainsborough's House (01787 372958.)

Do come along and bring your art loving friends too!

Architect's impression of one of the new galleries

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Revolutionary A listers visit Whitechapel.

The Brotherhood Church

In a recent edition of BBC’s Radio 4's Making History programme there was an illuminating piece about the 5th Conference of the Russian Social Democratic Party that took place in London in 1907.   

What was by all accounts a bad tempered event was attended by a star studded cast of Russian Revolutionary luminaries, including Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Dzerzhinsky, Gorky and the exotically named Rosa Luxembourg.  The event was held in the Brotherhood Church in Southgate Road, Hackney and many of the Russian participants bedded down in a block of flats in nearby Whitechapel which still stands today.  Apparently the door through which they entered is a now fire exit adjacent to a Bangladeshi Restaurant!  It is incredible to think that this event, attended by so many leading historical figures and at which the Bolshevik/Menshevik split deepened, took place largely unremarked.  The presenter of the BBC programme, Tom Holland, expressed the opinion that it might at least be appropriate to mark the spot with some sort of plaque.  An earlier congress held ironically at what is now the headquarters of Saatchi and Saatchi in Charlotte Street has also gone un-noted.

Of course England in the 19th and early 20th Century was a haven for radicals and revolutionaries.  Most people know that Karl Marx lived here and spent a good deal of time in the British Library.

In the course of putting together one of the talks I am giving at Gainsborough’s House in September, I have been reacquainting myself with a  possibly less well known, but equally influential, revolutionary figure, Alexander Herzen.  Unable to return to Russia on account of his subversive activities, Herzen spent many years in London in the middle of the 19th Century setting up the Free Russian Press which printed the radical journals The Polar Star and The Bell or 'Kolokol'.  He also entertained many contemporary revolutionary leaders from Europe and beyond, including the anarchist Michael Bakunin.   For over 10 years Kolokol, an early Private Eye equivalent, was smuggled into Russia, where it was widely read.  It is said that it even reached the office of the Tsar.

One of the sites of the Russian Free Press is recorded by a Blue Plaque in Judd Street.

If you want to find out more about Herzen and other opponents of Russia autocracy from the worlds of journalism and the arts,  come along to the Art of Resistance session at Gainsborough’s House on Wednesday 4th October…only a month or so short* of the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 2017.
*The October Revolution took place in early November using the new style calendar.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Suffolk Libraries, safe for another five years.

Sudbury Library
When so many libraries across the country have closed it is good to read today that Suffolk Libraries have signed a further five year management agreement with Suffolk County Council.

There are 44 libraries across the county, and not one has closed during the current period of Government cuts.  This is in stark contrast to other parts of the UK.  It is not a statutory duty for councils to run libraries and therefore they are vulnerable to closure as councils cast about for additional savings.  Future success depends on making up the shortfall by continuing to encourage volunteering and the encouragement of friends groups and other sources of local financial support.

There is an added incentive for the County Council to make sure that the libraries keep open.  A year or so ago Suffolk was identified as a council that had done particularly well in a national report that examined the future of libaries nationwide.  It would be a pity if that good reputation was damaged.

Many people have written off the library in an electonic age, but real books are actually proving very resilient against the onslaught of the kindle and other devices.  Libraries are also about a lot more than lending books.  In Sudbury the library  is much enhanced by hosting the services of the Tourist Information Centre, and it is still an important point of call for those wishing to know what is going on in the area.  A quick look at the website shows that the library organises a number of interest groups for local people of all ages,  and thus is an important point of contact and social centre too.

In addition to that Sudbury Library must be one of the most attractive libraries in the country! Formerly the Corn Exchange the building was designed by H.E. Kendall and was completed in 1841.  The poet John Betjeman was among those who fought to save the building when it was threatened with demolition.  It is now Grade 2 listed.