Thorpeness & Aldringham Heritage Group

The group was set up initially under the auspices of the Parish Council, following the parish conference in November 2013. The Heritage Group is now firmly established and I am pleased to report that over 100 people have joined as members.

We (local residents) adopted a constitution on 11 February 2014 and have set up a committee to steer the group. Among the objectives is the establishment of a Heritage & Visitor Centre in Thorpeness illustrating the unique history of the village and surrounding area.

We have been discussing with SCDC the use of a piece of scrub land in the car park near to The Meare which we would like to lease. We hope to erect a small building in the style of a fisherman's hut on this waste land that will enable us to have a presence in the village. We want it to be a small visitors’ centre, a place of information for those who want to know more about Thorpeness, Aldringham and their surroundings and also about their fascinating and unique history. This small building will precede a larger one that we want to erect on some adjacent land which will eventually house a more permanent home for us.

Three interpretative boards have been erected in Thorpeness and are to be found at The Dolphin, by The House in the Clouds and Windmill and by The Meare. Another four boards will hopefully be put up for the start of the holiday season, and along with existing boards will create a walking trail.

The aluminum plates were printed by Leiston Press and we are extremely grateful to the Galloper Wind Farm Fund, the Parish Council and Good Neighbours for financial support in purchasing these boards, and also to David at the Dolphin and Craig at the Meare for installing them. All the donated monies will be spent locally in Suffolk. Committee member Hilary Chandler, who was born and brought up in Thorpeness, designed each of the boards with help from her husband Mike, using some of the photographs her late father, George Cook, had collected. George Cook was for many years the estate’s accountant and over time amassed a considerable amount of material appertaining to Thorpeness. He collected a real treasure trove of artefacts that we hope to dip into and exhibit from time to time.

Fundraising is going ahead for our first-stage building, the next event being 'Cocktails at Sunset', an idea offered to us by TAHG member Mr. John Smith of West Bar and scheduled for the evening of Saturday 6th May. Members will see Thorpeness from a totally new perspective, high up in the tower at West Bar, from where there is a 360-degree view of the coast, the village, and all its surroundings. To make the occasion extra special, there will be cocktails and canapés to the accompaniment of live piano music. If you like the sound of this then please join our membership (details below) so you receive early notice of ticket availability.

Funding for our main building will be sought out by Chairman Arthur Day just as soon as confirmation on the lease for the site has been given. This Visitors and Information Centre will undoubtedly be an expensive venture but one we hope to accomplish as quickly as we can with your help. 

If you would like to contact us or enquire about becoming a member please do so, our email address is we would love to hear from you. Do please keep on supporting us when you can, we can't do it without you!

Another important objective is to capture recordings of “living memories” from some of the longstanding residents in the Parish, and this activity has started, but there is much yet to do on this. We also host events from time to time, and our talks on topics of local interest have proved very popular.

The group meets regularly at the Oglivie Pavilion and Sports Ground - see their calendar for details.

Meanwhile, we are gathering materials – photographic and written, and to interview and record people’s memories of Thorpeness past. 

  • Would you like to join the group?
  • Do you have any photographs which we could borrow to copy?
  • Do you have any interesting letters, newspaper reports of events, advertisements or other written documents which we could borrow to copy?
  • Do you or members of your family have long-standing connections with Thorpeness or can you share your memories of how things were in the past, which we could perhaps record through an interview?

If your answer to any of the above is YES, do please contact any of the committee.

All tickets for our events are sold by Mrs. Elizabeth Tipping of 5, Peace Place, Thorpeness and are offered to our members first. On rare occasions when any remain unsold, they become available to the general public. So please don't run the risk of not being able to get tickets for an event or talk that you're interested in. It's easy to join us; simply contact me at the address or email below  and for a small annual fee of £5 for single membership or £10 for a family membership, you can be a part of it all!

Sue AtkinsonMembership secretary
Logwood, Aldeburgh Rd., Aldringham, Leiston, Suffolk, IP16 4QH or email

Chairperson: Arthur Day

To become a member and be informed
of ongoing events apply to:
Sue Atkinson 01728 830497 (£5/annum)
Publicity: Elizabeth Tipping
Phone 01728 454165

Treasurer: Maureen Jones

We are hoping to extend our membership as widely as possible to include all who love this area; your contribution with your ideas would be much appreciated.

If you have any ideas or contacts for our fundraising we would be pleased to hear from you.