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					              The Bury Society     The Newsletter of the Bury St. Edmunds Society
                                        Registered Charity Number 263230

            NEWSLETTER ~ SPRING 2004
                                                                   The location of just over 10 acres, formerly the Hand Laundry
                                                                   site, has been bought by the Essex-based Land Charter
                                                                   Homes plc with a view to developing what is now zoned as a
                                                                   brownfield site for housing.
                                                                   The tenants of the small businesses and workshops were told
                                                                   of the plans by Land Charter Homes who bought the site and
                                                                   are now the landlords.
                                                                   Henrik Darlington, managing director, told the Newsletter,
                                                                   “We are in the early stages of investigating planning possi-
                                                                   bilities. The local authority has decided it can be zoned for
Lessons for Westley housing scheme                                 residential use.”
                                                                   The company will go out to broad public consultation before
Committee members visited the expanding Moreton Hall es-           any planning application is made.
tate to look round a development which will stop not far short     Tenants were being informed of events and several had al-
of the outskirts of Thurston and Great Barton.                     ready moved to other accommodation The existing buildings
We made a site inspection of Abbotsford Park, still under          which were old and cheap to rent, needed refurbishing by
construction, which sits atop the skyline near the Flying For-     the previous owners who found that this was not financially
tress public house, making it clearly visible from the A143        viable and sold the site.
between Bury and Gt Barton.                                        The land includes an area of water meadows which will not
Our tour was largely prompted by the need to learn lessons         be developed. Land Charter Homes are in contact with soci-
before work starts on the major ‘village’ scheduled for land       ety member Doreen Tilley, founder of the River Linnet-Butts
near the village of Westley. We also wanted to gauge progress      Project, and with the Wildlife Trust, about best conserving
on the fast growing part of Moreton Hall and to note what we       the site.
perceived as successful and less successful features.              The family company has strong East Anglian roots. It built
Many of the Abbotsford houses are large, on three storeys,         Cathedral Meadows and had an input on Moreton Hall.
and , in the views of most of us, are much too visible for an      The Bury Society committee feels that the industrial estate
exposed site on a hill.                                            provided a most valuable launch pad for starter firms and oth-
As with most modern mixed housing developments, the prop-          ers more established because of competitive rents and we
erties have small plots and are close to each other.               hope suitable alternative locations can be found. St Edmunds-
I felt an opportunity had been lost to feature attractive green    bury Borough Council is offering advice to tenants.
spaces and small children’s play areas amidst the large array
of homes. We did see some mini green spots and we under-
stand there will be a park and schools on the other side of the
Thurston road but more facilities for youngsters are valuable      Car Parking                                                  2
and this should be borne in mind when the Westley project
                                                                   The Other Station                                            3
goes ahead.
True, there is a shop, doctors’ surgery and community centre       Cattle Market Designs                                        4
in the heart of Moreton Hall but the residents of the big
                                                                   Cattle Market History                                        5
growth area to the north surely need some facilities too.
I left hoping that such issues will be very much to the fore for   West Front                                                   6
the Westley scheme. More and larger green spaces, play areas       AGM                                                          7
and provision for a nursery school and playgroup are good for
families and good for the look of the place.                       Heritage at Risk                                             9
Lower property densities would be welcome and larger plots.        West Front—Act now                                         11
Surely not everyone hates gardening!
(See also planning officer’s report.)               SES            Onward and Upward                                          12
                                                                   Cupola’s Facelift                                          13
Housing bid for industrial site           Susan Sollohub           Planning Report                                            14
Consultation planned
                                                                   Chairman's Letter                                          15
Ambitious plans for 100 new houses are proposed for the pre-
sent Hardwick Industrial Estate at Bury St Edmunds.                Diary Dates                                           11 & 16
 .CAR    PARKING IN BURY ST. EDMUNDS                                         Moyse's Hall gets a facelift
               By Sir Reginald E W Harland
                                                                               Chris Mycock – Museum Assistant
The St. Edmundsbury Borough Council now seems to have
made up their minds about car parking on the Cattle Market          Shortly before 11am on Sunday October 27th 2002 - just
site - there won’t be nearly so much.                               before opening time - catastrophe hit Grade 1-listed
   Instead of the present 1,230 car parking spaces at St. An-       Moyse's Hall Museum. A 90mph gale brought a huge
drews Street (South), Prospect Row and Risbygate Street,            patch of flint from high on the SW gable crashing to the
there are to be no more than 900, of which 650 will be on           pavement below- Luckily, no one was injured,
the surface near to Parkway and 200 plus underneath the             Investigation by structural experts revealed that the dam-
proposed public building. This restriction results from pro-        age to the building was serious- The gable, which dated
viding access to the Cattle Market site solely directly from        from the early 19th century, would have to be rebuilt,
Parkway.     The present entrances and exits from Kings
                                                                    Scaffolding soon shrouded the building. In the office be-
Road and Risbygate Street are to be closed to cars for rea-
sons best known to the developer (Centros Miller) and the           neath the gable, a no-go zone was created. Desks were
Borough’s Jerry Massey. The result of providing access              crammed into the remaining area behind a wooden safety
                                                                    screen which blocked out all daylight.
only via Parkway for more than those 900 cars would, it
was forecast, cause traffic jams at the two roundabouts on          In early December the mason started work. The entire
Parkway.                                                            gable between the roof line and the tops of the windows
                                                                    was removed. Below that, as far as the string course, only
    That loss of 330 plus existing spaces needs to be added
                                                                    the window surrounds and a four-inch skin were left
to the need for 300 new spaces for the new shops, 50 for the
                                                                    standing, Alt the flints were retained for re-use.
new dwellings (flats over the shops) and whatever is needed
for the public building - a net shortfall of over 680 spaces.       Over the winter months the flintwork was painstakingly
At the same time, a further 200 spaces will be lost under the       replaced and tied into the remaining structure with steel
new multiplex cinema.                                               pins and resin. English Heritage required that lime mortar
                                                                    be used to match the original appearance. As this material
    No Council paper has yet estimated the overall need for         sets very slowly and can be weakened by low tempera-
parking spaces in and around the town, both now and in the          tures while setting, heating had to be installed.
future. It will be remembered that there are some thou-
sands of new houses to be built in St. Edmundsbury in the           By April this stage of the work was complete. However,
next few years, not just the relatively few on this site; and       while work progressed, a thorough investigation of the
it is expected (and hoped ?) that the new shops will also           entire south facade was undertaken. The SW gable, it ap-
attract new shoppers from outside the Borough. Thus, it is          peared, had been a warning. While the mediaeval core of
not known how critical may be the lack of those 880 plus            the wall was solid as a rock, the facade appeared to have
spaces, though one Council paper says that there will be            been re-faced during the nineteenth century. The weak
insufficient spaces left for very many days in the year even        Victorian mortar was failing. To makes things worse, the
without taking into account the new residents and shoppers.         building had been re- pointed in the mid-1930s with im-
                                                                    permeable cement. This had cracked and let in rain water
    The cost of the 200 plus underground spaces has been            which, one trapped in the weak mortar, accelerated its
put at up to £ 5,000,000, taking all and more of the £              decay. All over the facade the outer layer was pulling
4,200,000 previously budgeted for new car parking. That             away from the core.
apparently prohibits building a multi-storey car park on part
of the St. Andrews Street (North) site or on Ram Meadow,            Faced with a very real possibility that the facade could
after moving the football ground away, elsewhere. Conse-            collapse onto the busy Comhill, there was no option other
quently, the shortfall of car parking spaces is likely to be        than to repair it, and as soon as possible.
fairly permanent.                                                   Starting just below the newly-built gable on the SW front
                                                                    and working downwards, the mason rebuilt the facade
    Those fewer spaces would bring in a lower income (the
                                                                    one narrow section at a time. He removed between
current total is about £ 1,500,000 per year), especially as
                                                                    15cm# and 60cm depth (6" to 2fl) of flints and decayed
many of the ‘missing’ spaces would be those which at pre-
                                                                    mortar before rebuilding using the same flints and hy-
sent attract the most cars and charge the highest fees. One
                                                                    draulic lime- The new work was tied in with steel rods
of the assumptions made by the Borough staff has been that
                                                                    and resin as before. The slow-setting properties of lime
there should be no overall loss of car parking income. Car
                                                                    mortar complicated matters: because it takes time to de-
parking fees might, therefore, need to be raised much more
                                                                    velop its strength, adjacent sections had to be left un-
than the 20 % or so already planned.
                                                                    touched in order to support the wall above. The wall had
    Councillors had been informed, by your Society, that            thus to be repaired as a well-separated patchwork, while
building extra underground car parking spaces could not             trying to retain appearance of mediaeval coursed flint.
only meet any need for extra spaces, but would do so more           Once the SW face was complete, pointing with lime putty
economically than in any other way. A new Car Parking               to English Heritage specifications gave it a uniformity of
Working Party is due to be set up by the Council any month          colour. The same process was repeated with the SE fa-
now; but what it will be left to deal with is anyone’s guess.       cade, with the added complication of replacing stones
It has been forbidden to consider underground car parking !         around the 19th century clock face and part of the string
                                                                    course while visitors continued to use the museum's main
    Do any of you remember the quotation from Euripides
                                                                    entrance below.
(5th Century BC), “Whom God wishes to destroy, he first
makes mad” ?
In addition, the original Romanesque windows were treated
by a stone conservator for pollution damage.
                                                                            Bury’s Second Railway Station
The mason, flint expert Jonathan Presley, worked for much                         Alistair Robertson
of the time on his own.
Despite the freezing winter winds and one of the hottest sum-         It may surprise some members to learn that for nearly 50
mers on record (temperatures behind the scaffold shrouding            years Bury was served by two railway stations. The first
at times exceeded 100° F) he remained surprisingly cheerful,          opened in 1847 and is still in use having undergone some
and always aware of the need to record traces of the build-           recent renovation.
ing's original features.                                              (I contributed a short history of this building in an earlier
Archaeologists from Suffolk County Council also took this             issue of the newsletter.) The second and much smaller sta-
                                                                      tion, known as Bury Eastgate, was opened in 1865 and
unprecedented opportunity to inspect the mediaeval core.
The features they recorded include I2th century putlog holes          closed in 1909.
(now marked with bricks) left by scaffolding during Moyse's           It was served by services running to and from Long Mel-
Hall's construction, and almost imperceptible lines which             ford, Sudbury or Marks Tey.
                                                                      Following the opening of the line from Marks Tey to Sud-
marked pauses in the original construction. They also found
traces of doorways/opening in the SE facade, indicators of            bury in 1849 several attempts were made to extend the line
alterations since the mediaeval period, and, in the SW facade,        westwards to Clare and Haverhill and southwards to Bury.
                                                                      In the Act of Parliament of 1862 which brought into being
traces of the strainer arch for the original Romanesque win-
                                                                      the Great Eastern Railway (GER) powers were granted to
dow in the solar. The information provides a valuable histori-
cal record should lead to a better understand of this important       the company to build a line from Sudbury via Haverhill to
historic building                                                     Shelford near Cambridge with a branch from Long Melford
                                                                      to Bury.
The wraps finally came off in November 2003                           Work started the next year and lines were opened in 1865.
                                                                      Between Melford and Bury there were stations at Laven-
                                                                      ham, Welnetham and Bury Eastgate. Cockfield station fol-
REGIONAL UPDATE                  Don Low                              lowed in 1870.
                                                                      The new line left the Ipswich-Cambridge line near the sugar
The Regional Association's AGM held in Thetford in Octo-              beet factory, running south and crossing over Eastgate
ber 2003 was a great success with 33 representatives from 17          Street and Rougham Hill.
societies (including Bury) attending. The Treasurer was able          Part of this route was later used for the new bypass includ-
to report that the new funding arrangement, through which a           ing the crossing of Eastgate Street. The then station, on the
small proportion of the annual registration fee paid by socie-        south side of the street, was approached by a steep road
ties to the Civic Trust is routed to regional associations, was       which now leads to the premises of Smith & Wareham and
working smoothly. This has enabled the Association to fund            the Pot Black Club.
regular six-monthly reports and represent East of England             It featured a single platform on the west side of the line
societies on several important regional committees.                   with a single-storey brick building with a slate roof.
In order to truly represent societies, the Association needs to       The station never handled much traffic and GER closed it
be sure that societies can support the position the Association       from May 1st in 1909. However, it was re-opened for two
is taking on a range of issues. To this end, the Association's        days in June 1914 when the Suffolk Agricultural Show
Executive Committee has produced a portfolio of policies.             came to the town.
This has received encouraging support and a second draft              The station building was probably demolished in the 1920s
(incorporating comments or endorsement from 12 societies -            but parts of the platform could be seen until work started on
again including Bury) was tabled at the AGM.                          the bypass.
                                                                      The line itself continued in use until the 1960s when pas-
Given that the Association is funded, via the registration fee,       senger services ceased in 1961 and goods services in 1965.
by every society in the East of England, the Committee also           NB Photographs of the old station can be seen in Margaret
felt it was important to prepare a detailed business plan set-        Statham’s books Around Bury St Edmunds in Camera and
ting out the Association's broad aims and what exactly it             he Book of Bury St Edmunds.
hopes to achieve. A first draft of this document was also ta-
bled at the AGM and the Committee will seek formal and
final approval for both the policies and the plan at the Asso-                           Treasurer’s Report
ciation's next meeting which will be in Hitchin in April.             The Society has had a successful year, £533 has been re-
The plan lays emphasis on building links with the major ele-          claimed from the Inland Revenue in respect of gift Aid.
ments of regional government and on keeping societies in              Sarah Green organised a number of outings which have
touch and the Committee is already pushing ahead with these           generated profit. Various donations were made from the
aims. A formal meeting was held with the Heads of Policy              Dr Rae fund, the Nativity panel, a tactile map for the Ab-
and                                                                   bey gardens, details of all donations will be made available
Planning at the East of England Regional Assembly in Febru-           at the AGM.
ary and a major project over the rest of 2004 will be prepar-         Bury in Bloom has had a profitable year, thanks to the gen-
ing a response to the new Regional Planning Guidance being            erosity of its sponsors and donations in kind by local busi-
prepared by the Assembly. Work on a basic website for the             nesses.
Association is also underway and it will hopefully be on-line
                                                                      The accounts are at present with the auditors, but will be
                                                                      available at the AGM.

                                                                                The architect favours a modern version
                                                                                of jettied shops, clad with timber weather
                                                                                boarding. Apparently, treated larch and
                                                                                cedar are long-lasting and a popular
                                                                                The main square will mirror the size of
                                                                                Chequer Square. The second space will
                                                                                take in Hanchett’s Yard next to the Bury
                                                                                Free Press offices.
                                                                                One of the crucial links with the existing
                                                                                town centre is proposed as a new street
                                                                                from the Market Thoroughfare and Corn-
                                                                                hill through to the public square. The
                                                                                could involve the present Corals betting
                                                                                shop and the Post Office.
                                                                                The heart of the project is the new
                                                                                public square with the new public
                                                                                building integrated into the central
                                                                                block of shops and residences. This
                                                                                building’s large and glazed façade will
                                                                                create a big two-way picture window
                                                                                looking onto the square, and enclosing
                                                                                a further light and airy public space
    WARM WELCOME FOR CATTLE MARKET                                  inside.
       DESIGNS     SUSAN SOLLOHUB                                   It is envisaged that this space will provide an addi-
                                                                    tional forum for events that could spill out outside
 The Bury Society has given the thumbs up for the                   into the square.
emerging designs for the redeveloped Cattle Market.                 On the Kings Road side of the square will stand the
Chairman David Rees described the images as ‘very                   85,000 square foot Debenhams as one smooth organic
good and very exciting’ but he feared the ‘tatty’ design            shape.’ The main entrance from the public square will
of the new cinema might detract from the overall look of            be created by a curved ‘eyebrow’ rising from the
that part of the town.                                              ground on either side to form a double height glazed
Watch out for a public exhibition of the worked-up de-              opening.
signs and for further consultation.                                 The large stand alone department store is designed to
We have invited architect Jim Greaves of Hopkins Ar-                be ‘highly distinctive building that is fun as well as
chitects to talk to the Society about his vision on April           functional.’
27th so please look out for information about a meeting,            The organic shape aims to contrast with the traditional
elsewhere in the newsletter.                                        post and beam rectilinear building forms in the devel-
Meanwhile, do write to let me know your views. If all               opment.
goes according to plan, the project is due for completion           “People have asked for courageous and pleasing de-
in 2007. The designs are, of course, subject to approval            signs for Bury and we believe we have provided just
of a planning application, expected to be sought this               that,” stressed Mr Greaves.
spring.                                                             A new street leading from the Market Thoroughfare
Many councillors heaped praise on the designs, unveiled             and Cornhill to the square would be lined with shops
at a special meeting of St Edmundsbury                              covered with projecting lightweight timber balconies
Borough Council in January.                                         with timber-framed and clad flats above. It looks
“This as a marvellous and very exciting time for Bury. The          likely that Corals betting shop and the rear of the cen-
designs will transform our town and not damage what we              tral post office would be incorporated.
already have,” commented senior councillor Margaret War-            The images will continue to evolve. More will be re-
wick.                                                               vealed when planning consent is sought in March or
The emerging designs aim to provide a boldness and ab-              April. Consultation will include a public exhibition.
sence of pastiche yet reinterpret the town’s underlying his-
torical tradition of timber framing demonstrated in the shop        The vexed question of how much underground park-
designs.                                                            ing to allow was unresolved at the January special
I liked the concept of a public square and the arresting pub-       meeting. The suggested figure was 200 spaces while
lic building, fronted in glass and steel. The proposed De-          others including the Bury Society seek a substantial
benhams department store, nicknamed the Clam Shell, is a            increase.
striking modern building which may be coated in patinated           It was disappointing that no one debating the issue
copper. Jim Greaves said it would be an icon which made             on January 26th highlighted the environmental
a statement like a sculpture.                                       value of ‘burying’ vehicles out of sight.
He aims to create a lively place where flats above shops            Other European countries achieve this, often fea-
would best suit urban animals who will enjoy the buzz of            turing open gardens above the underground parks.
the street scene below.                                             Why not us?

 CATTLE MARKET HAS AN INTRIGUING HISTORY                             Next to the pub were the St James’ National Schools, all
            PETER PLUMRIDGE                                          surviving until the 1930s and now borough-owned park-
As the debate on the Cattle Market rolls on, let’s pause and         From early in the 19th century there had been access to the
                                     look back on its his-           southern side of Pawsey’s Field via Prospect Row off
                                     tory. But first, it is          Field Lane, later Cemetary Lane. A footpath meandered
                                     worth recalling that            from Prospect Row northwards towards the present steps
                                     for a long period cattle        leading under Parkway.
                                     were in the town –              The general area became known as The Playfield, shown
                                     literally the ‘market on        in 1880 as a recreation ground. It is fascinating to see that
                                     the hill’ (Cornhill) was        the name Playfield has lingered on, showing as Playfields
                                     where trading took              in the Public Consultation Draft of 2000!
                                     place, doubtless, spill-        There were circuses, a horse market, colt, mare and foal
                                     ing over and conflict-          shows and lamb shows.
ing with other activities.
Paintings in the Manor House depict the scene.                       At one time, a substantial part of the field at its southern
By the early 19th century, the area for the animals was be-          end was used for building a waterworks and two cottages
coming inadequate and not without some opposition , a                for workers at the end of Prospect Row. Apart from some
move was proposed. Land was acquired to the west of St               misgivings about the possible effect on local wells, there
Andrew’s Street South and in April 1828 the following no-            seem to have been no objections to the encroachment and
tice appeared in the Bury and Norwich Post:-                         work went ahead.
NEW CATTLE MARKET/ Bury St Edmund/ Notice is                         Controversy and the Cattle Market have always run to-
hereby given that by Order of the Aldermen and Magis-                gether. A Mr Goddard, of Cemetery Road, wrote to the
trates of the aforesaid Borough, the Cattle Market will be           local government board in 1899 objecting to the Electric
opened on Wednesday the 16th day of April for the transac-           Light Station to be erected on land next to the water-
tion of business, of which all persons are required to take          works.
Notice./ T.R. Holmes, Town Clerk/ Bury April 2 1828.                 He protested that the use would further erode the Play-
The area of the new market was relatively small,                     field, used by the inhabitants for generations. However,
around .8375 acre or .34 hectares; the site was expanded             his objection failed and the venture went ahead.
and modified over the years to become the present 10.4               More appropriate for the Playfield was the introduction of
acres (4.2 hectares). Adjoining it is the Lacy Scott and             swimming baths which some residents still recall.
Knight holding.                                                      Not least, the demise of the football ground, previously
Initially, the new market lay roughly beyond the present             the cricket field, was prompted by the construction of the
bus stands. This land was purchased from the estate of Ma-           Parkway inner relief road.
jor Wilson for £920.                                                 Now, memories of the Cattle Market in action are reced-
                                                                     ing as Simpson’s House on the site is due for demolition
In 1838 further land was bought from a Mr Portway and a              and the deadstock market has closed on its traditional site.
Mr Waller. In the same year a cattle fair was held on the            Gone forever is the Cattle Market as we knew it, with its
market site and on , it appears, the lands formerly owned            fine pig market, all lost to changing methods of trading.
by the two sellers.
About 15 years later further acreage was bought from the             It is , I think, fitting to conclude by quoting the thoughts
executors of Mr Pawsey for further growth. As the century            of then Borough Engineer Mr Casson, as reported in the
progressed, the market consolidated and the fields origi-            Bury Free Press in 1976 just before Parkway road building
nally purchased were penned for sheep, pigs and bullocks.            began.
To cater with the increasing trade an entrance was formed            The Football Ground. A 500-space car park with under
from Risbygate Street in 1852 and a stone plaque marking             road access to the town centre.
the entrance still survives.                                         The Cattle Market. A long-term shopping development
A ‘settling’ house was built in the 1860s for collecting mar-        but only in keeping with the town’s pace of growth.
ket tolls. This little octagonal building (see photo) some-          Not only prophetic but he appeared to have picked up
times called the Roundhouse still remains in situ albeit             some of the sentiments expressed by town’s people in the
looking very forlorn. With some tender loving care it                1990s and, still today.
surely deserves a place in the new scheme of things. It
could perhaps become an information point to supplement
the TIC on Angel Hill.
The land bought for expanding the established Cattle Mar-
ket, principally Pawsey’s Field, saw various uses. There
was, for example, a letting for feed to the tenant of the Hare
and Hounds, a former inn in Risbygate Street, near the mar-
ket entrance.
Included within its boundaries were a lodge, garden., sta-
bles, yard and piggery. In the 1860s fencing was erected to
keep stock from the inn yard from straying into Pawsey’s

1680 The east side of the west front in an undated, but probably 19th century, engraving based on an earlier drawing. Sam-
son's Tower is roofless. The south-east pier of the great west tower appears to be still standing (it is shown as extant on
Yates' 1804 plan of (lie church) with (lie abutting arch to the south aisle. The outline of the first phase of number 3 is as
today and the mullion and transom windows are likely to be what preceded the sashes of which the earliest is early- to
mid-18"' century. The house would have been newly-built at the time of the drawing and its first enlargement, the closets
under an early-18"' century two-storey lean-to on the south, are not shown.

    LAST CHANCE FOR THE WEST FRONT OF                                store for archaeological finds, and until fairly recently, a
      ABBEY RUINS? SUSAN SOLLOHUB                                    centre for tours of the Abbey ruins generally.
                                                                     The elevations of all three houses below the great arches
                                                                     were reconstructed in the 19th century. The timber fram-
Critics of advanced plans to tear out the little houses in the
                                                                     ing of no 4 was faced with rubble in the early or middle
West Front were crusading to save them nearly 40 years
                                                                     parts of the century; the filling of the south aisle arch
                                                                     was rebuilt as the service end of no 4 and no 3 was
As the men from the ministry sought to remove the
                                                                     given a large oriel on a square bay to match the internal
‘modern barnacles’ ie the houses, the fight went on to keep
                                                                     remodelling of the later 19th century.
them and the battle was won –just in time.
                                                                     His report gives a detailed description of each house, con-
Now, another fight , spearheaded by the Bury Society, is
                                                                     cluding that none is now medieval as has been put for-
underway to see the restoration of the homes which over
the years have become empty, neglected and near derelict.
                                                                     In the early ‘eighties, the council tried to reach a satisfac-
It is a very sorry saga, recalling various abortive efforts to
                                                                     tory solution but without success. Proposals had included
restore the fascinating properties to domestic use, create a
                                                                     unpicking the houses, later amended to a compromise of
cathedral close, install a tea room, a Landmark Trust holi-
                                                                     retaining some and unpicking others. Fortunately, this
day cottage and so on. All fell through and recent ambi-
                                                                     idea was dropped. A museum was also mooted.
tious plans to restore the homes as houses have recently
                                                                     The ways ahead then discussed but not pursued include
been refused listed building consent.
                                                                     an interest in restoring part of the buildings by the Suf-
                                                                     folk Preservation Trust Ltd and the Landmark Trust.
Misconceptions about the ages of the houses and their past
                                                                     The Environment Department felt it could not afford to
uses abound so I am grateful to Anthony Baggs MA FSA
                                                                     take this heritage into Guardianship.
for valuable information in his report on the history of
                                                                     Reports on the fabric at the time showed that repair
numbers 3, 4 and 5 and Samson’s Tower. All are unoccu-
                                                                     work would not have been prohibitive then. Tenants oc-
pied but numbers 1 and 2 have been restored by the
                                                                     cupied these exclusive council houses! The then council
owner of the properties, St Edmundsbury Borough Coun-
                                                                     acquired them from the Bristol Estates in October 1953 as
                                                                     part of a transaction including the Abbey Gardens. Until
Mr Baggs records that the earliest representations of the
                                                                     that date they had just been leased by the council.
West Front, of 1786 and 1787, show the elevations of
                                                                     The state of the buildings today means the restoration
houses within the three great arches of the west doorway
                                                                     cost has rocketed astronomically but something must be
of the former abbey and two aisles, now house numbers 2,3
                                                                     done urgently.
and 4.
                                                                     To echo an article writer in 1968, time is running out for
House 5 appears not to be domestic. Perhaps it was like
                                                                     these unique houses. SES
Samson’s Tower a stable. The tower had a conical thatched
roof….Its past uses included a Registry in 1863, a Ministry
                                   Annual General Meeting
                   The Annual General Meeting of the Bury St. Edmunds Society will be held on
                                          Tuesday, 8th June 2004
                              at the Unitarian Meeting House in Churchgate Street.
                  Refreshments will be served from 7 pm and business will commence at 7.30 pm.
                 The meeting will conclude with a talk by Mrs. Deborah Cadman, Chief Executive of
                                        St. Edmundsbury Borough Council


Presentation of Architectural Awards
1.     Apologies for absence
2.     Minutes of the previous AGM
3.     Matters arising from the previous minutes
4.     Chairman’s report
5.     Planning Officer’s report
6.     Programme Secretary’s report
7.     Membership Secretary’s report
8.     Treasurer’s report
9.     Auditor’s report on the accounts
10. Adoption of accounts
11. Appointment of Auditor for the year 2004-2005
12. Appointment of Officers and other Committee Members
The Minutes of the previous AGM and Reports by the Chairman, Planning Officer, Programme Secretary,
Membership Secretary and Treasurer are printed in this Newsletter, and the relevant Officers will be available
at the meeting to answer any questions.

Nominations for membership of the Executive Committee must be in writing and reach the Hon. Secretary by
Noon on Tuesday 25th May 2004. Please use the nomination form provided below.

……………            …………………………………………………………………………………………………...

                         Nomination Form for Membership of the Executive Committee

     Nomination for the post of…………………………….………………………………………………

     Nominee Print………………………………….

     Proposed by Print……………………………..                         Sign………………………………………

     Seconded by Print……………………………..                         Sign………………………………………

     Agreement I………………………………….agree to the nomination proposed, and undertake
     to serve on the Executive Committee if so appointed

     Completed forms must be sent to the Hon. Secretary to arrive not later than noon on 25th May 2004 at this
     address: Reg Sharpe, Petticoats, 49, Hospital Road, Bury St. Edmunds IP33 3JY.

BURY ST. EDMUNDS SOCIETY                                         retary and the Membership Secretary had all
                                                                 been published in the latest Newsletter and were
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the                all accepted by the meeting as read. John Ab-
Unitarian Meeting House on 28th May 2003                         bott, the Society’s Planning Officer, explained the
                                                                 reasons why the Architectural Awards had been
                                                                 given to the particular developments selected.
The Meeting was attended by 48 people. It was chaired            He commented that the town centre was becom-
by Dr. David Rees, Chairman of the Society, and com-             ing dull by over-use of bland tints in external
menced at 7.30 pm.                                               decoration, and called for a more colourful ap-
                                                                 proach. Susan Tamlyn commented that decora-
Prior to the formal business, Architectural Awards were          tion of the award-winning 4-14 Tayfen Road was
presented. The Chairman explained that in addition to            uninspiring!    The Membership Secretary said
the normal categories of New Build and Restoration, the          that membership application forms would be en-
Committee had decided that an additional category of             closed with the next Newsletter, and asked mem-
New Build-Commercial should be adopted in future. No             bers to encourage new membership.
building had qualified either for this or for New Build in
2003, but two awards would be given for Restoration.             6. The Treasurer’s Report was presented by
The Society had selected 25, Risbygate Street, refur-            Diana Bloomfield.        Short forms of the Report
bished by Mothersole Builders, under the design and di-          had been circulated, but the full version was
rection of Lionel Thurlow, of Milburn, Leverington Thur-         available on request. She explained that sepa-
low, Architects.    Certificates were presented, and Sir         rate figures had been presented for the Society
John Wheeler, the owner/occupier, gave a short address.          and for Bury in Bloom, and that these had been
A second accolade was given in respect of 4-14, Tayfen           combined in a third report. The gift of £10,000-
Road, where a terrace of dilapidated cottages had been           worth of fertiliser for Bury in Bloom by The Scotts
refurbished as affordable homes by the Orwell Housing            Company (UK) Ltd. had been specified, whereas
Association, with Architects Rees Associates and Mansell         the considerable help from many smaller bene-
Midland Builders.    Certificates were awarded and Mr.           factors could not be identified individually.
Roderick Rees spoke briefly on behalf of all concerned.          There were no questions, and a proposal to
                                                                 adopt the Treasurer’s Report and the Auditors’
The Annual General Meeting then commenced.                       Report on the Accounts by Sir Reginald Harland
                                                                 was seconded by Margaret Charlesworth and
1.      Apologies for absence had been received from             duly agreed.
Marjory Bayley, David Bradbury, Sylvia Colman, John              The Chairman announced that Diana Bloomfield
Griffiths, Alan Jary, Mrs. Marsh, David Nettleton, Mr. and       was retiring from the Committee after 5 years.
Mrs. Plumridge and Josephine Scott.                              She had been an excellent and hard-working
                                                                 Treasurer, who would be greatly missed. Mrs.
2. The Minutes of the previous meeting had been circu-           Bloomfield was presented with a bouquet of flow-
lated. These were approved as a correct record and               ers to general applause.
were signed by the Chairman.
                                                                 7.   A motion to appoint Whiting & Partners,
3. Matters arising - There was none.                             Chartered Accountants of Garland House, Bury
                                                                 St. Edmunds as Auditors for the Society for
4. The Chairman’s Report had been published in the               2003-4 was proposed by Diana Bloomfield and
Summer Newsletter, but Dr. Rees elaborated on the work           seconded by Sir Reginald Harland.   The ap-
of the Committee and its relationship with Borough Coun-         pointment was duly agreed.
cillors and Council Officers. The Society’s views on cur-
rent matters of concern had been sent to all Councillors         8. The absence of a Bury in Bloom Report was
immediately following the recent Borough and Town elec-          regretted by Isobel Ashton, and Councillor Mike
tions. At the time of speaking, five had replied. On             Ames, the Chairman of the sub-Committee,
planning matters, the Committee was particularly con-            apologised. He explained that Bury in Bloom
cerned with detailed proposals for the Cattle Market site,       had enjoyed a successful year, and was going
especially the failure properly to unify new and old shop-       from strength to strength. Out of 61 competi-
ping areas, the quantity and location of car parking and         tors, Bury St. Edmunds had been selected as
the uncertain position concerning the public building.           one of the six towns to go forward to the next
The Society’s observations on the Local Plan proposals           stage.
had been given to the Borough’s Officers, and their re-
sponse was awaited. The Committee had worked with                9. On the appointment of the Executive Com-
local residents to modify proposals for development of           mittee, it was explained that there had been
West Yard by Greene King, and a satisfactory outcome             three new nominations for the Committee.
had been reached.                                                Diana Bloomfield was vacating her post as
                                                                 Treasurer, and Siobhan Barnes was willing to
5. Reports by the Planning Officer, the Programme Sec-           take her place. Susan Sollohub had been re-

quired to stand down in 1992 after three years ser-             Sir Reginald Harland proposed as
vice, but had been co-opted to the Committee as
Newsletter Editor. She was prepared to continue this            the first
activity as an appointed member.    The position of             President of the Bury Society
Secretary had been vacant since the departure of
Marian Rutland a year ago, and Reg Sharpe had vol-
unteered to fill this post.                                     The Executive Committee wishes to recognise the
                                                                enormous contribution Sir Reginald has made to
Sir Reginald Harland proposed Dr. David Rees as                 the Society and, particularly on the subject of the
Chairman, and this was seconded by Ken Beard.                   Cattle Market redevelopment, to the whole town.
Taking the Chair again, Davis Rees recommended                  His careful examination of requirements, deep
appointment of the remainder of the Committee with              thought, studied arguments, persistent intervention
the variations referred to above, and these were all            and energy, all delivered with unfailing courtesy,
approved nem con.
                                                                are well known and very much appreciated.
This completed the agenda for the AGM, but on Other
Matters, Sir Reginald Harland suggested that a study            Air Marshall Sir E. W. Harland KBE, CB, AE has
should be made to determine what buildings were                 served the Bury Society well as committee mem-
available for public use in the town before the Bor-            ber for many years, as Chairman in 1993-4, and
ough Council should decide upon proposals for a new             recently for the second time as vice-chairman.
Public Building. This would identify accommodation              His contributions, based on considerable business
in either local authority or private ownership, their ca-       and managerial acumen, with his wide experience
pacities, facilities and how these might be improved.           of civil and service life, have been immensely
Terry Taylor wondered where activities currently ac-            valuable to the Society. He is more than worthy
commodated in the Corn Exchange could be held if
this were taken out of general use. Susan Tamlyn
                                                                of the unique honour for which he is nominated.
stated that the Borough’s estimate of £9m. for devel-
opment of a new Public Building was grossly unrealis-           It is hoped that many members will attend the
tic, and that this could easily rise to £15m. Councillor        AGM on 8th June to confirm this proposal.
Mike Ames claimed that Sir Reginald Harland’s sug-
gestion was premature pending the Consultants’ Re-              IS OUR HERITAGE AT RISK?
port.                                                           BY TERRY TAYLOR
At his own request, Councillor Dr. David Dougan was             Ambitious plans to move the Bury Art Gallery to a re-
invited by the Chairman to address the meeting. Dr.             stored Corn Exchange now look highly unlikely to go
Dougan had recently been elected to the new Town                ahead. The news that St Edmundsbury Borough Coun-
Council, and sought to explain its objectives and op-           cil would not now be giving the necessary financial
portunities.   These, at present, were not defined.             support was given at the February meeting of the Cen-
Subjects, like planning, were obvious, but he wel-              tre for the Visual Arts Working Party by Mike Dawson,
comed suggestions on ways in which the town could               corporate director community which covers arts and
benefit from the new authority.       Councillor Paul           culture policy.
Farmer commented that Councillors were anxious not              Councillor Andrew Varley who holds the council’s
to increase Council Tax.                                        portfolio for arts and culture, was in the chair. I at-
                                                                tended on behalf of the Bury Society.
Barbara Taylor, the Director of the Bury Art Gallery            Additionally, an audit was required to scrutinise the gal-
then gave an interesting and informative presentation           lery’s cultural contribution to the town, and the nature
on the Borough Council’s suggestion that the Corn               of its partnership with the council – its annual subsidy –
Exchange could be adapted and used as a Visual Arts             would also need to be examined.
Centre if the proposed new Public Building were de-             Indeed, an audit will be conducted on all the council’s
veloped. The purpose of the Centre would be to dis-             full portfolio of cultural buildings and organisations in
play visual arts, to educate, involve and entertain.            the town including the theatre which is also requesting a
This would not only benefit residents and attract visi-         grant for its renovation project, the Athenaeum and the
tors, but would facilitate touring exhibitions promoted         museums.
locally. Although “wish list” sketches had been pre-            This is to test whether they are cost effective and offer
pared as the basis of a business plan for the project,          value for money, and is the second such audit in two
an architect would shortly be engaged to work-up a              years.
scheme for alteration of the listed building, in conjunc-       The exception will be the public building on the Cattle
tion with the present Board. The Board currently in-            Market site where a commitment has now been made to
cluded representatives of the Borough Council, Suf-             the developer. This was in the light, Councillor Varley,
folk County Council and the Arts Council.                       informed the meeting of a ‘proven need.’ He added
                                                                that the council had been unaware of the full extent of
The Meeting ended at approximately 9 p.m.                       the needs of other organisations when the deal had
                                                                 been finalised last year.                Continued overleaf
Council Tax                                                          at the EXPENSE of the heritage buildings and valued ex-
The reason why the council could not make a grant to the             isting facilities, then surely there is a case for the borough
art gallery and is having to prioritise its expenditure in           re-examining very thoroughly its approach to the future
other cultural areas is due to the need to limit the rise in         of Bury’s heritage.
Council Tax, not only this year but in future years as well.         Is there also a case for including the public building in the
I am sure that most people , especially those living on pen-         cultural audit?
sions and suffering low rates of interest on savings, would          Future of the Art Gallery
agree with this.                                                     The sad thing is that the announcement came just two
It was also pointed out that the Government was threatening          weeks after a presentation by Ushida Findlay, of its initial
to cap expenditure , in spite of withdrawing a £3.5 million          designs for the new gallery which well received. These
grant for affordable housing, all of which puts huge pres-           would have unveiled the full height of the Corn Exchange
sure on the council’s budget.                                        building, opening up gallery space on the first floor and
It is a dilemma . Nonetheless, it seems disproportionate that        retaining valuable features like the upstairs arches. This
many millions are earmarked for the public building                  large scale opportunity is now seemingly lost.
whereas money apparently cannot be spared for grants to              What of the future? There are already reports of ideas for
bodies like the art gallery. It should be stressed that the          converting the building into luxury flats!
council is not being asked to fund the whole cost of various         The gallery decision-makers are being urged to consider
projects but some proportion required to attract Arts Coun-          staying in its present home with disability access installed
cil and Heritage Lottery grants.                                     or moving to space upstairs in the public building.. but
Public Building                                                      without hoped for council financial input.
In principle, the Bury Society committee has supported the           Another possibility could be moving to the Corn Ex-
public building. Although there are reservations about the           change but with a much more modest scheme. A feasibil-
financial viability, we accepted the argument that without           ity study will have to be undertaken.
such a prestige building, the development risked ending up           Chairman’s Comment
as just another shopping centre, and felt that a top class           Society chairman David Rees said, “We are disappointed
piece of modern architecture would enhance the town as a             that the art gallery plan has fallen through.
whole.                                                               “The designs put forward were most attractive and would
On balance, it was felt that the flexible auditorium could           have ensured a good future for the gallery.
provide the music venue that younger people have been                “The council must now address the question of renovat-
asking for. It could also double up as a useful concert hall         ing the Corn Exchange and other heritage properties es-
and meeting facility for all ages.                                   pecially the existing gallery building, the Market Cross.”
In short, if it INCREASED the cultural facilities in the
town, well and good. But if, as now seems likely, it is built


Nominations from members for the above awards will be very welcome and should reach John Abbott, 20 Col-
lege Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1NL, by APRIL 17th 2004.

The awards will be made for the best new buildings completed in the last year in the town.

Presentations will be made, subject to the decision of a panel of judges, at the Society AGM on Tuesday, June
8th, 2004, at 7.30pm.

Please use the reply slip below.


Name of owner at time of work, if known:

Name of contractor, if known:

Name of architect, if known:

Any comments about your choice(s):

Please return to John Abbott, 20 College St, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1NL


                                                                     Above all, the committee strongly recommends that con-
                                                                     servation plans are drawn up in future so that anyone
                                                                     taking on changes to a historic building, knows what is
                                                                     expected of them.
                                                                     A borough spokeswoman said the authority would not
                                                                     comment at this stage. Susan Sollohub.

                                                                     DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES 2004
                                                                     Tuesday 27th April
                                                                     Jim Greaves HOPKINS Architects
The Society is continuing to press vigorously for the urgent         A Presentation – Development Designs for the Cattle
restoration of the houses in the West Front of the Abbey Ru-         Market Scheme
ins.                                                                 Cathedral Lecture room 7.30pm
The unique homes, decaying rapidly, are on the Buildings at
Risk Register. At the time of writing in March, their fate           Thursday 6th May
appears unresolved although we understand that the owners            Birmingham Visit
St Edmundsbury Borough Council, English Heritage and the             53 places available @£12
would-be developer Mike Spenser-Morris have been in                  7.30am for 7.45 am prompt depart Ram Meadow
communication with each other again.                                 Return home approx 7.30pm
The society is not partisan about how a solution is reached.         (Further details and booking, see form enclosed)
We simply want restoration work to go ahead before it is too
late.                                                                Wednesday 19th May
Society committee members thought it was important to see            Committee hosts visit to Bury St Edmunds of Hertford
the house interiors for themselves and found them in a very          Civic Society
serious state of disrepair. Some of use felt that apart from         10am Athenaeum Lounge Welcome- Coffee and Guided
their important settings, the rooms actually contained little        tour
of much architectural interest.
We have now site inspected the homes, looked at the devel-           Tuesday 8th June
oper’s plans, heard his points of view, and have held a              AGM Unitarian Meeting House 7pm for 7.30pm
meeting with Andrew Derrick, of English Heritage, and bor-           Guest Speaker
ough representatives.                                                Deborah Cadman
The scheme by Mr Spenser-Morris was refused listed                   Chief Executive of St Edmundsbury Borough Council
building consent but if he wishes he could still submit              Wine and light refreshments will be served
revised proposals though a decision will have to be made
by September when his agreement with the borough
comes to an end.
The authorities claimed he wanted to introduce some inap-
propriate materials and procedures to the properties. He said              A VERY SHORT NOTE FROM YOUR
he had no intention of ruining historic features and would                     MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
create exceptional homes from the dereliction – at no cost to
the borough.                                                         Subscriptions are due for renewal as from 1st June 2004.
We understand that the parties have been talking to each             A lot of members are now paying by standing order and
other again and we welcome this.                                     for them there is nothing to do. Those of you who pay
We are also pleased that the borough is considering two fall         by cash or cheque will find a subscription renewal form
back options. The council could consider carrying out the            in with this Newsletter. If you intend to come to the
costly renovation itself which could present financial prob-         AGM your subscription can be handed to me then
lems. The second possibility is the involvement of the Bury          (please bring your completed form with you).
Town Trust which would need grant aid and would need
more time to carry out the work.                                     As with any Society the more members we have the bet-
Of course, the integrity of the houses’ pasts should be kept         ter so, if you know of anyone who would like to join,
but some members stress that they are designed to be lived           please ‘phone me (01284 763073) and I will send them a
in, not as museums.                                                  copy of our latest Newsletter plus an application form -

    The new Cathedral Tower moves upwards…….                         Enabling works for the Cloisters have now begun and the
                                                                     archæological investigation should be completed well be-
Following the first phase of building the new tower and,             fore Easter. Despite a fast build design, this phase will
then, the strengthening of the scaffolding, masonry                  take until October. The additional public money for this
work resumed last May. Another 45 ft has been added                  has to be matched by locally raised co-funding. The Mil-
to reach beyond the top of the main windows. There are               lennium Appeal was revived last summer and is now very
now four courses of stone to be fixed to reach the                   close to the £300K needed. A final heave to reach the tar-
stringcourse below the parapet                                       get sum is now in progress.
These courses include some of the most decorative stone-             Whilst the extra cloisters are good news, the downside
work in the whole structure with intricately carved crock-           will be difficult access to the Cathedral Centre from the
ets adding a richness to the design. Individual blocks of            spring until the early autumn this year. Alternative routes
stone are prepared in the masons’ yard and then sent out to          are available but at a measure of inconvenience to visitors
specialist carvers for the final decoration to be shaped.            and staff alike. It will be an extremely busy year on site
Fixing the windows and these particular courses is a                 as the much-expanded programme draws to its end.
slower operation than the building of the main shaft,                To compensate for the lack of access to the top of the
last year. Internally, the last courses of the stone lining          tower - the spiral staircase in the S-W corner does not
are being laid before the brickwork continues upwards                meet modern safety standards - work is well hand to bring
to support the roof.                                                 down the view from the top to ground level. This will be
                                                                     by computer-driven, inter-active consoles where users can
                                                                     enjoy panoramic views of the town and its environs with
                                                                     the facility to zoom into distant features as well as being
                                                                     able to highlight important buildings in the town. It is
                                                                     planned to make at least one console accessible to people
                                                                     in wheelchairs.
                                                                     When the Project was launched seven years ago, there
                                                                     were many aspirations to enhance its scope. In building
                                                                     terms, it is now expected to achieve everything that was
                                                                     initially intended. Other aims were to encourage appren-
                                                                     ticeships. One bricklayer has been trained and a second
                                                                     has begun his training. There are two mason apprentices
                                                                     and, in an unexpected change of plan, one has been work-
                                                                     ing on site during the winter.
                                                                     So, with the final year in progress, the scaffolding, now
                                                                     more or less at its highest, is visible from all quarters.
                                                                     Hopefully, in a year’s time, what it now conceals will be
 The last stone being dropped in to the last main win-               visible to all - a fine embellishment to the town and
           dow of the Tower in January 2004.
                                                                     county for centuries to come.                  Euan Allen

In April, the roof to the scaffolding roof will be removed to
enable the tower roof to be inserted. The parapets will be
started in June with some flint flushwork added as decora-            The Grindle Paddock My Special Project
tion. Finally, the pinnacles will be fixed to complete the                         Doreen Tilley
main structure in August. Only then will the striking of the
scaffolding commence.                                                DoWalking my dog around the Butts area most days, I
Tucked away adjacent to the St Edmund Chapel, the struc-             came to know it very well. Since the 1950s my daughter
ture of the new Crypt Chapel is in place and work contin-            Helen kept her pony in a stable and the paddock
ues on the Chapel of the Apostles above. Within a very               belonging to the late Mr Thomas Wilson, now in the
cramped site, stairs down and up from ground level have              garden of Mr and Mrs Martin Lightfoot.
been inserted so that masonry work can continue. The roof            I was very interested in the Grindle paddock where I dis-
should be in by July. Work on the chimney and pinnacle               covered there was a pond through consulting old maps. I
will continue into October.                                          contacted the then owner, Mrs Dunn, obtaining her per-
                                                                     mission to look at it and contacted Mr Nick Radford,
An unexpected extra tranche of money from the Millen-                English Nature regional urban projects officer, Andrew
nium Commission has enabled the continuation of the                  Manning and David Hayles from Otley College who
Cloisters, alongside the Cathedral Centre, to be reinstated          thought it was worthwhile pursuing.
to the Project. A budget casualty in 1998, these will pro-           We cleared a lot of rubbish, partly by hand, but then had
vide a totally weatherproofed link to the Cathedral from             to hire a digger. We learned to do dry hedging and in-
the main precinct at ground level. Included in this phase of         stalled two seats made from felled sycamore trees, and
work will be some embellishments to the Chapel of the                won a grant from English Nature for £200.
Apostles that also did not survive the 1998 budget review.

We had to have a plaque made containing their logo               MEMBERS FLOCK TO SEE
and ours. This was cemented in beside one of the seats           FACELIFT AT CUPOLA HOUSE
but about two years ago I found it lying on the ground.
I had it repaired and it is now awaiting installation            Enthusiastic members responded in force to the visits to the
when the reserve is handed over to St Edmundsbury                restored Cupola House arranged by the Bury Society.
Borough Council.                                                 The Romaine family rescued the important building from
The paddock needed cutting and clearing but the                  the Buildings at Risk Register by spending some £1million
ground was very uneven making it impossible to                   on refurbishing it after buying it from Greene King.
scythe so I approached Bill Nickson from ADAS who                We were indebted to the owners for their hospitality and to
kindly found me some black sheep and lambs who did               historian Dr Pat Murrell who gave us a most interesting ac-
a good job!                                                      count of the varied background to the Grade 1 Listed prop-
The land was eventually sold to Costains who allowed             erty, one of Bury’s striking architectural gems.
us to complete the nature reserve occupying a spot               Pat has written an excellent commissioned illustrated bro-
where they did not intend to build. It was eventually            chure about Cupola House, the 17th century former apothe-
sold to Redrow and about this time Stan,one of my                cary’s house, and a more detailed version is proposed.
volunteers, discovered the important Great Crested               She describes how the building, originally two properties,
Newt in the puddles among the broken concrete of the             was converted into one private dwelling with a large shop
former Jewson site, demolished to make way for the               by Thomas Macro, a prosperous apothecary and member of
housing development –by Redrow.                                  the town’s ruling elite.
He urged me to come quickly. We were so excited. I               Most of the present 17th century architecture, Pat writes,
knew these newts were a protected species and I got in           was owed to his only son Thomas Macro junior who carried
touch with English Nature which arranged for me to               out extensive alterations after it came to him on his mar-
have a licence to move them to the pond.                         riage to Susan Cox of Risby in 1679.
This was April – breeding season. It was a frantic               The date was thereafter celebrated with as many mince pies
time. We gathered as many plastic bottles as we                  as their years together until his death in 1737.
could to make traps for them and every morning and               The striking house was designed to command attention
evening we went to release them into the pond, keep-             from near and far. This was impressively achieved by not
ing records of the numbers.                                      only increasing the height but also by adding exuberant Ba-
We even dug up plants containing their eggs and                  roque -style features to the front and roof.
planted them round the pond.                                     Three major features survive on the exterior – the wrought -
Amphibian specialists installed posts and plastic fenc-          iron balcony, the richly carved decorations (paterae) be-
ing to contain the newts before site development could           neath the eaves, now highlighted in gold, and the crowning
begin.                                                           glory, the cupola, by which name the property has been
I am pleased to say that Redrow are in the last stages           known since the late 19th century.
of clearing up and finishing the site ready for the hand-        The latter was added as a touch of fashionable grandeur and
over to the borough who will manage it. A cycle path             mark of prestige, imitating large country houses like Ash-
has been built through the Grindle making a short cut            down in Oxfordshire and Belton in Lincolnshire.
for residents.                                                   A recent structural survey shows the cupola’s visible lean
I have researched the area and given information leaf-           poses no threat and occurred early in the house’s history
lets to the local residents who I hope will enjoy the            when a massive beam was inserted to correct a fault in the
reserve on their doorsteps.                                      north-east corner.
Wildlife is increasing in the shape of voles, numerous           Then, after various owners, Cupola House in 1917 came
species of wild birds, dragonflies and kingfishers.              into the direct control of brewer Greene King, which con-
This area together with the Greene King water mead-              tinued for the next 85 years.
ows, No Man’s meadows, Cathedral meadows and                     An underground complex of cellars stretching in the direc-
Holy Water meadows should all be integrated into an              tion of the tiny Nutshell public house was the hub of the
area of historic and conservation value and hopefully            brewer’s wines and spirits trade until the late 1950s. Bot-
in time will be declared an SSSI (a site of special sci-         tling and the laying down of fortified wines took place in
entific interest.) This and surrounding areas are                this labyrinth.
unique to Bury.                                                  For many years, farmers, landowners and corn merchants
                                                                 made Cupola House their favourite place for good food and
•   Mrs Tilley, founder of the River Linnet – Butts              drink. ( Its stalwart British fare was popular with others
    Project, estimates that 1,887 crested newts , 28             who ate in its restaurants, comments Susan Sollohub,
    frogs and 26 toads were moved to safety.                     Newsletter editor.)
•   The company planning to build homes on the                   Sadly, the fabric declined in the past decade and the his-
    Hand Laundry site, has consulted her about wild-             toric house was placed on the Buildings at Risk register,
    life in the area. (see separate story).                      now happily removed.
                                                                 The brochure, containing fuller details, is available free to
                                                                 customers at the refurbished bar and restaurant, and a dona-
                                                                 tion to the NSPCC is invited.

PLANNING MATTERS---SPRING 2004                                    firms can afford.
Our main planning concerns continue to be The Cattle              Southgate Street - Baker Lane Corner. This is an untidy
Market Development and matters relating to the Abbey              corner in need of a good development. It is a prominent lo-
West Front. Both of these items are dealt with sepa-              cation and very important in the street scene. There is a cur-
rately elsewhere. The West Front is now enshrouded in             rent planning application for a housing development, con-
scaffolding, joining its two neighbours, the Cathedral            sisting of a row of three houses, with car parking spaces to
Tower and Norman Tower House. It is a shame that so               the rear of the site. The developer is wanting to build three
much of our Historic area should all be under wraps at            storey houses, the scale of which is totally out of keeping
the same time, but we know that the tower has a com-              with the neighbours. The design offered is basic and mean
pletion date in view and we understand that Norman                in appearance and although the scheme has now been
Tower House will be unveiled very soon. We are told               amended twice, as a result of criticism, no real improve-
that the first task on the West Front will be the roof re-        ment has been achieved and the Society is strongly recom-
pairs, thus enabling the scaffold to be removed. We               mending that the proposal be refused.A group of small well
look forward to that day.                                         designed two storey houses is the right development for this
Pavements within the Historic core. The poor condi-               site and should enhance the area generally.
tion and general appearance of the pavements in Col-              Churchgate Street - Planners Quandary! Despite a lot of
lege Street and Whiting Street (south) are getting                objections from residents, supported by the Residents Asso-
worse.We have raised the matter with the Borough but              ciation and the local councillors, approval has been given
we understand there is no funding availiable for this             for a jazz club at the rear of 43/45 Churchgate Street. How-
type of work.The resin and pea-shingle finish applied             ever all is not yet settled, a new application has been sub-
to Guildhall Street and College Lane is not appropriate           mitted for a hot food take-away with home delivery service,
for this area we believe the style and finish provided for        to operate from the site. This is also likely to be approved.
Hatters Street and Whiting Street (north) should be               Neither of these proposals have been supported by the Soci-
continued through to Westgate Street.                             ety, we consider both to be unsuitable for the location and
Estate Development. In the Summer Edition we were                 likely to worsen the existing problems of the adjoining pub-
very critical of the appearance of the new housing                lic house and its late hours. Probably money will dictate
when approaching the town from Thurston or Great                  which one we have.
Barton. The concerns we expressed then with regard to             Anglian Water Site - Kings Road. An interesting and in-
roofscapes, quality of materials and the use of national          novative scheme for residential development has been sub-
house types,still apply; however the committee recently           mitted for the old Anglia Water site. This provides 11 town
walked around the Orchard Park development to obtain              houses and conversion of the existing buildings into three
a feel for the created environment from within the es-            living units. Most of the houses back onto the cattle market
tate. Whilst we did not like the scale of the spine road          site, they are three storey, with zinc roofs, rendered walls
with its wide grass verges, we found the smaller side             and natural hardwood louvres to windows on the south side.
roads with narrower pavements and terrace and group               A pair of semi-detached houses, fronting the Parkway
housing, to be attractive, producing a pleasant sence of          roundabout, have a more traditional appearance being brick
community.                                                        and render for walls with clay plain tiled roofs. The Society
Hardwick Laundry Site. This site has for many years               gave their full support to this interesting solution for this
been the nursery for small business concerns, many of             site.
which have then developed and moved on to larger and              The Society will continue to monitor all applications. Nor-
better premises in the locality. The buildings them-              mally our comments to the Planners are of a critical nature,
selves may not be particularly attractive, but their di-          although I hope constructive, but we also write in praise of
verse size and reasonable rents, have given a lot of peo-         a scheme which we consider to be particularly good and
ple the opportunity to start a business of their own. Un-         appropriate to its location.                    John Abbott
der the proposed Local Plan, this site is classed as
'brown field' and scheduled for housing. In fact it has                               NB NB NB NB…..
already been sold to a developer, and draft layouts have
been prepared, although no planning application has yet       *To clarify our position….A majority of the Bury Society commit-
been made. The Society holds the view that there              tee backs the public building for the Cattle Market development.
should be no change of use approvals granted until an         Reservations have mainly concerned likely cost and the look of the
alternative location has been found for this very valu-       building, the latter allayed for most of us by the emerging designs
able commercial facility.                                     by architect Jim Greaves.
Eastgate Street Development . We reported in the Au-          * Plans for this year’s Bury in Bloom will be unveiled at the launch
tumn edition on a proposal for a mixed development of         on April 1st. As usual, the society will fully support the organisers,
housing and small factory units on land behind Eastgate       a major sub-committee of the
Street and to the East of the A14. The Society thought         society.
that this would be a good site for replacing the Hard-        * If you like to help the litter group in any way, please contact the
wick Laundry facilities. Whilst the application was re-       leader Monica Place on 01284 828451.
fused planning permission, an amended scheme with             * Members enjoyed our first New Year’s lunch party at the Unitar-
improved access, fewer houses and more small indus-           ian Meeting House. Many thanks to the organiser, Sarah Green.
trial units was approved. This may well help some of          * The committee has agreed in principle to give a donation towards
the displaced Laundry site tenants, but undoubtedly the       restoration work at the Friends’ Meeting House in St John’s Street
rents will be a lot higher and more than the smaller

CHAIRMAN’S LETTER                          DAVID REES                Church goes on and on- for a good summary see Marcus
                                                                     Binney’s article in the Times, Monday 8th March-written
The main topics of my annual stocktaking letter do not               after he was contacted by the society. The society has had
seem to change and superficially there seems little progress         a meeting with the East Anglian Director of English Heri-
on the dominant issues of the Cattle Market and the West             tage and urged the council planners to meet the developer
Front. But your committee and officers continue to make              and talk quietly and briefly to try and achieve the com-
significant contributions to concepts, planning and develop-         promise that is needed to save this unique and quirky
ment in the town. Where would the Cattle Market Redevel-             building before it is beyond repair. It could so easily pro-
opment be without the fantastic input on car parking made            vide four excellent and attractive houses. It is tragic that it
by our Vice-chairman. His criticisms and papers have been            is now covered in plastic sheeting and illuminated all
repeatedly acknowledged by councillors and borough offi-             night by offensive strip lights- it must be costing a small
cers alike. From an initial veto on underground parking the          fortune. It seems a paradox that as the plastic hiding the
council has now agreed on a significant number of spaces             new cathedral tower comes down the scaffolding and
under the “Public Building”. The steady trickle of letters, E-       sheeting covering the next door building seems set to stay
mails , phone calls and meetings from this society in league         for ages.
with the SPS and the Group of 32 has made a significant              Bury in Bloom went well last year but this year there
difference to the council’s attitude on parking                      seem to be problems with the safety of the lamp posts
The Bury Free Press advertisement stimulated a good re-              supporting the hanging baskets. The story has been re-
sponse with only two disagreeing with the society’ view.             ported in the national press and television and has even
Distributing copies of the advert made some members                  made the headlines in Melbourne! Once again talk and
aware for the first time of the hordes who arrive at the Sat-        compromise brokered by the society may lead to a satis-
urday market from the Parkway and Cattle Market car                  factory solution.
parks.                                                               This year’s social programme has been most successful.
But the problem of “the link”-number two in our shopping             The new idea of a New Year Saturday lunch was very
list-does not seem to be near a satisfactory solution. Market        enjoyable. The society is indeed indebted to Sarah Green
Thoroughfare as it is now is just not wide enough-it has             for the organisation of the programme. Our warm thanks
been unfairly compared with the wider Burlington Arcade              to her as she steps down from the post of Programme
in London. There it is forbidden to open an umbrella-here            Secretary after several years work .
two mothers with push chairs chatting would cause a traffic          The time for our architectural awards is near; committee
jam. And the route from Piccadilly to Cork Street is not the         members have already short listed several buildings, but I
vital pedestrian route we need to integrate the Cornhill with        do hope members will add to them-please contact John
St Andrew’s St and the new development. A decorative                 Abbott or myself .We like to include restoration as well
arch mimicking the Post Office is not good enough-either             as new building, not forgetting commercial develop-
functionally or visually. Both the Chamber of Trade and the          ments.
Town Centre management Group have endorsed these                     A recent article in the London Evening Standard sang the
views.                                                               praises of Bury-, the society endorses their opinion. It
Now for some good news. After so much nagging at                     wants to keep it as a fine town, not stuck in the past and
Greene King it is marvellous that a private developer                hopes to ensure that future plans and developments en-
has restored Cupola House to such a high standard.                   hance or complement its character.
None of the historic features have been lost and the new             Update I am happy to report that the chairmen of the
restaurant and refurbished bars make a splendid addi-                society and Bury in Bloom have met Suffolk County
tion to the town centre life of Bury. If you missed the              Council officers and councillors who have agreed to re-
Society’s visit there do have a drink there and enjoy the            place urgently any faulty lamp columns with ones less
interior of one of Bury’ finest houses.                              liable to cause light pollution. So it looks as if there can
After several letters the sign outside Lloyds/TSB in the But-        be even more sites for hanging baskets this year and we
termarket has been repaired and replaced. The colours may            look forward to an enhanced display. They will be sur-
be a trifle bright and a small finial is missing but it is good      veying other columns and promise to use the opportunity
to once again have evidence of the founders of the bank,             of replacing lamp posts to tidy up any clutter of notices
Messrs Oakes and Bevan commemorated by the visual pun                and signs-good news.
of an oak and a beehive.
Little things in the town can contribute significantly to the
feel and ambience of the place. What a shame that the Fox
is still bathed in blue light, that the stonework of the Grapes
is a vivid blue and that the gable end of the Dog and Par-
tridge is disfigured by a garish sign . The Society hopes that
its efforts to eliminate these eyesores will be successful.          Bury Society Newsletter
Bury can not stand still-we want to encourage and recog-
nise good contemporary architecture. We have objected to             Thanks to all who contributed to this newsletter includ-
the dull, tatty, pedestrian appearance of the proposed               ing the distribution team.
“Multiplex”. We certainly do want a new cinema but the               Photos and pictures are by courtesy of Peter Plumridge,
plans submitted are dismal. With the SPS we suggested a              Reg Sharpe, Susan Sollohub and Tony Baggs,.
design competition or seeking the help of CABE but the               Copy for the summer edition should reach me, please, by
planners ’attitude seems to be that outside the conservation         July 5th 2004, at my home address.
area anything goes!                                                  The committee points out that the views expressed in the
The saga of the restoration of the West Front of the Abbey           newsletter are not necessarily those of the society.
                                                             11 15
                                                           PROGRAMME REVIEW 2003/04
                                Looking back to this time last year in setting about writing a report of past events, I am
                                amazed how much we managed to fit into the programme – there were three visits out in
   Your Committee               the summer as well as speakers to welcome to our talks.
                                It was a delight to meet and welcome from well known Radio 4 ‘Making History
         Chairman               ‘ programme, Ivan Howlett , our speaker as part of the Festival in May. A fascinating
        David Rees              and amusing talk on the art of making Radio Documentaries was supported by some
       01284 754618             wonderful vintage archive material. Ivan, a true Suffolk man, shared his love and           knowledge of the area with some memorable and nostalgic anecdotes.
                                Our guided tour of Saffron Walden and visit to Audley End House was a enjoyable day
      Vice-Chairman             out. I particularly liked being able to see the restored Kitchen garden but found the inte-
   Sir Reginald Harland         rior of the house rather gloomy although to be fair the afternoon became rather overcast!
       01284 763078             The many paintings and furnishings could be appreciated more with better, if subtle,          lighting.
                                In June, Clive Paine gave members on a fine summer’s evening, a real treat of a guided
         Secretary              tour of Culford Hall, grounds and church – his knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject
        Reg Sharpe              is always highly valued.
       01284 725706             Unfortunately, I was unable to join the ‘fact finding’ party to Gt Notley Garden Village in
                                July but from all accounts it turned out to be a very interesting and well worth the trip
         Treasurer              with members having the opportunity to see an award winning development.
      Siobhan Barnes            ‘Bankers, Politicians, Saints and the occasional sinners’ was the title to an excellent talk
      01284 723391              given by Graham Nurse in September on the East Anglian Gurney family. It certainly       was a most intriguing history beautifully presented together with fascinating documents
                                on display and I am most grateful to Graham and his wife (nee Gurney!) for giving us
      Planning Officer          such a good evening.
        John Abbott             To those who were unable to come to the meeting in October, you missed out on know-
       01284 753594             ing about some interesting facts on aspects of our Suffolk Woodland heritage – a rare
abbott@st-edmunds.freeserve.    ‘moving’ wood at Long Melford and some of the countries oldest native trees at Staver-
                 ton Thicks nr Butley in East Suffolk.
                                Granville Clarke, Chairman of Suffolk Wildlife Trust illustrated his talk with some won-
  Membership Secretary          derful slides as well as explaining about the work of ‘The Green light Trust’ based at
  Margaret Charlesworth         Lawshall – the newly planted ‘Golden Woods’ is open to everyone to visit and enjoy and
     01284 763073               demonstrates the involvement of schools and the community which is the particular as-
                                pect of the much to be commended scheme.
   Programme Secretary          With the opening of the splendid and sensitively restored Cupola House last October, I
       Sarah Green              am particularly grateful to the owner Paul Romaine for giving two opportunities for
      01284 755650              members to be shown round the interior and having the restoration work explained after      many long months of closure and indeed general concern at the state of this much loved
                                Grade 1 building so special in the town. Members enjoyed the tea and the most interest-
     Newsletter Editor          ing recently researched background history of the house given by well known local histo-
      Susan Sollohub            rian Pat Murrell
      01359 269574              For a change, the idea of members being given lunch as the New Year Social in January       was considered and it was pleasing to see over fifty members at this pleasant and enjoy-
                                able occasion to commence the more informal programme for the year. As always, Nick
         Ian Pryer              Martin, Town Centre Manager, was in good form as our guest speaker and I am sure eve-
       01284 769475             ryone will agree that Liz Stowell and Rob Lansman provided an excellent meal.
                                It was good to welcome back Mark Mitchels last month when giving his delightful talk
         Alan Jary              about Edward Fitzgerald– as well as being reminded of the lovely area and town of
       01284 764584             Woodbridge with its amazing literary and fun loving set!
                                Forthcoming events
        Terry Taylor            On Tuesday 27th April at 7.30pm in the Cathedral Lecture room Jim Greaves of Hop-
       01359 269292             kins – Architects for the Cattle Market Development will be giving a presentation on the
                                design plans.
                                The trip to Birmingham takes place on Thursday 6th May details of which will be
                                found in the newsletter. A 53 seater coach has been booked and we do hope many of you
The Bury St. Edmunds Soci-      will come along and enjoy what will be a most interesting day out.
ety is represented on various   Two visits are being planned for later in the year, a visit to Columbine Hall near Stow-
bodies including its Bury in    market and a return visit to 78 Derngate Northampton, the newly restored house de-
   Bloom sub-committee          signed by Charles Rennie Mackingtosh. Dates and details will be available at further
                                meetings and in the next newsletter.