Wednesday 21st August, Tendring Hall Estate, 5.5 miles, meet at The Recreation Ground Car Park, Stoke by Nayland, CO64QY, 10am start. Steve 01787279325
Saturday 24th August, Stoke by Clare Circular, 5.5 miles, meet at The Street, Stoke by Clare, CO108HP, 10am start. Viv 01787375047
Wednesday 4th September, Thaxted Hills & Dales, 6.5 miles,
meet at Margaret St CP Thaxted , CM62QN, 10:15am start. Philip 07854179779
Wednesday 18th September, Iken & Tunstall Forest, 7.5 miles, meet at Snape Maltings CP, IP171SP, 10:30am start. Margaret 01787247814
Sunday 22nd September, Denham Castle & Hall, 7 miles, meet at Dalham village hall CB88TF, 10am start. Bridget 01787280547
Details of all our walks
can be found by searching

Sudbury’s First Silk Festival in September 2019 Will Celebrate The Town’s Rich History As The UK’s Silk Capital
Sudbury, a small market town in Suffolk, has a little known but rich history of textile weaving and has recently been coined the ’UK Capital of Silk’. Weaving there dates back to the 14th century where many people in the town and outlying villages including Lavenham were employed to spin, dye and weave woollen broadcloth. Silk weaving didn’t arrive until the 1770’s when master weavers moved out of Spitalfields to this area. Today there are still five working silk weaving companies in the town, the Gainsborough Weaving Company, Humphries Weaving Company, David Walters Fabrics, Stephen Walters & Sons and Vanners Silk Weavers, currently together they produce 95% of silk manufactured in the UK.
This year for the first time, Sudbury is celebrating the amazing work of its silk weaving companies by staging its first Silk Festival on Saturday 7th September. There will be an exhibition-fair in St Peter’s Church with displays by the silk mills, the Warner Textile Archive, May Berkouwer, a textile conservator, Sudbury Ephemera Archive, Colchester Institute Department of Textiles will explore education pathways and student textile designers’ will show their work. Lavenham Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers will also be there and Sudbury Heritage Centre and Museum will open.
As part of the festival an exhibition of 18th Century inspired costumes by Vivienne Westwood at Gainsborough’s House will also open on 7 September with free entry the house on the day. Silk Walks around the town and an Architectural Heritage Walk looking at Sudbury’s silk history will also be taking place
There is a series of specialist talks running alongside in the Assembly Room at the Town Hall. These include Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company revealing their processes of silk production, Liz Trenow speaking about her books The Silk Weaver and The Dressmaker of Drapers Lane and the history of her family Stephen Walters & Son that has been enveloped in silk since they first wove it in Spitalfields in 1720. Silk experts Mary Schoeser and Kate Wigley will give a silk handling talk, Silks from Spitalfields to East Anglia and finally there will be a talk about the work of Vivienne Westwood.
Over this year there have been some film projects that will also be on show demonstrating other aspects of silk. Stories of Silk has involved local silk workers interviewed about their work in the industry by schoolchildren in Sudbury and Great Cornard. Another highlights the specialist work of the Humphries Weaving Company who have recently worked on a major textile restoration project for the Royal Brighton Pavilion and a further film by painter Ruth Philo and sound artist Stuart Bowditch that documents their project Fabric: Silk Road, building silk connections between Sudbury and China.
The town is looking forward to sharing its rich history and welcoming visitors from both near and far. There will be something for everyone, from children to adults, local workers, textiles specialists, crafters and people who would simply like an interesting day out and to learn about the hidden gem that is the silk weaving industry of Sudbury.

Permanent and Seasonal Attractions
Permanent and Seasonal Attractions in the District include: Flatford (NT), Lavenham Guildhall (NT), Melford Hall (NT), Kentwell Hall. Please see contact details for these below.
Gainsborough’s House - Mon to Sat: 10am – 5pm Adults £6.50
Long Melford Heritage Centre - Sat 10am-4pm, Sun Noon-4pm, Weds 2pm-4pm. Free Entry

Various Dates
Stepping Out in Suffolk- Health Walks
, See web site
Guided Countryside Walks – See

Sudbury’s businesses are proud to be able to offer their customers 3 hours free parking in their District Council Car Parks.
However, there is currently a review by Babergh District Council who are considering starting charging for the currently free period and businesses are very concerned by how this will affect their trade. There has been a lot of publicity about how High Streets all over the country are struggling, initially it was the competition from out of town shopping, who not only benefit from being able to offer free parking but also have lower business rates, now it is the growth in online shopping, which again does not have the same high levels of business rates. Reports can be found to show evidence that shopkeepers overestimate the proportion of customers that travel by car. However, these reports relate to metropolitan areas rather than small rural towns where many people have no option but to drive to the shops.
Keeping three hours free parking in Sudbury is important to both businesses, visitors and residents as demonstrated in two recent surveys carried out by the Sudbury Town Team. In a survey of businesses in Sudbury Town Centre in January 2014, free car parking was the main issued which was raised as the most important factor to the success of their business in the future. Stephane Chapotot co-owner of The Secret Garden in Friars Street said "business rates are a large proportion of our costs and on top of that as a business we also have to pay for our bins to be emptied, what are these business rates going towards if we are also going to lose free parking for our customers?"
Another survey carried out by the Sudbury Town Team and Gainsborough's House of visitors and residents who visited the town centre which come out in June 2015 showed that 31.7% came into Sudbury because of the free parking and 27.3% would like more free parking available.
Jane Hatton from the Sudbury Town Team said " Local authorities should see free parking as a service for local people not a short term method to raise money and more importantly as a way of supporting their market towns. It has been proven in other towns that when they lose free parking it discourages people from using the town centre, towns where parking charges have been introduced have then had to offer hours when parking is free to increase footfall but the damage to their town centres has already been done".
Chris Storey from Sudbury Chamber of Commerce added "A careful scrutiny of the details surrounding the location of Sudbury, access to the town and other retail centres and the particular challenges of the town centre should make it absolutely clear that three hours free parking is essential if the town centre is not to decline significantly. From a purely economic perspective the council should not have any grounds for bringing in charges. The town is dependent on this for its future prosperity and a more retrograde step is hard to envisage. Reducing the long term rateable value of the town centre – which is likely to result from such an act – together with the reduced employment and wellbeing derived from the town centre would reduce long term local government income and be far more costly than the small income car parking charges would produce. The Chamber in conjunction with the Town Team remain resolved to fight these proposals and ensure that the town centre can have a long term viable and successful future for the benefit of all, including Babergh District Council.”
If you have any comments or thoughts on Sudbury losing free parking please leave your comments at or email

Assington Mill,
Assington Ln,Sudbury, CO10 5LZ. 01787 229955
Flatford: Bridge Cottage – NT Flatford,East Bergholt CO7 6UL 01206 297201 bridge-cottage/
Kentwell, Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, CO10 9BA, 01787 310 207,
Lavenham Guildhall – NT, Market Place, Lavenham CO10 9QZ. 01787 247646
Lavenham Tourist, Information Centre, Lady Street, Lavenham CO10 9RA. 01787 248207
Melford Hall, Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9AA. 01787 379228.
Mander Auctioneers, Glemsford, near Sudbury CO10 7QU. 01787 282261
The Quay Theatre, The Quay Theatre, Quay Lane, Sudbury. CO10 2AN. 01787 374745.
Contemporary East Anglian Artists and Tudor Life Exhibition. Gainsboroughs House, 46 Gainsborough St. Sudbury CO10 2EU Normal entry prices. Contact 01787 372958


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