Mendham & Withersdale

    Two English villages on the river Waveney on the Norfolk/Suffolk border

        One parish, two villages... bringing the community closer together






Facebook - Mendham Parish

20th May Preparing for the Queens party

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Nearly the end of May and we are able to play outside, Soon we will be having a lovely posh tea party for the Queens Birthday celebration at the Friday Fun Club so the children got to do a bit of messy creativity by making glittery bunting Here is Sophie one of the youngest Funsters at just 2 years old and she really enjoys coming along to the club.   Jodi and some of her friends got together and painted giant images of themselves, which we are going to put up as children shaped bunting as well.


As normal there was a lots of running around enjoying the outside space and toys and we had a new gardener Logan, join the ranks looking after the trugs and he did a brilliant job at watering making sure everything had a good drink.  Logan then joined in on the rocket seed science experiment and helped do the big count and measure to be recorded ready for the European space agency to take in as scientific data for the mission to find out if it is possible to grow food in space, judging by what our club has grown we think that yes indeed food can be grown and we hope that astronauts like salad leaves.

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Grass cutting & weed killing

Grass Cutting

One thing that you can guarantee every year is that grass will grow. It will grow at a different rate, depending upon the amount of rain that falls and the hours of sunshine – and the weather in general. The challenge for every local authority is managing that growth in a sensible way.

Locally, the verges adjacent to roads and visibility splays at junctions in rural areas are cut by Suffolk Highways, in accordance with a predefined schedule.  The cutting heads on the tractors that are used cut to a standard 1.2metre width and this ‘single swathe cut’ adjacent to main carriageways is carried out on all of the roads on that schedule.

In addition, visibility splays at junctions are generally cut back to a distance of 3m from the give way or stop lines, although this may be extended in some cases due to the geometry of the junction’s layout. All grass is cut to a length of 75mm.

When will the grass be cut in my area?

Suffolk Highways will cut verges adjacent to the A-road and B-road network twice during the grass growing season. The first cut will begin on May 2nd and will take around two weeks to complete. The second cut will begin on 11th July and will take a further two weeks to complete.  The verges on C-roads and unclassified roads will receive a single cut beginning on 6th June and will take around six weeks to complete.

How will the grass be cut?

Suffolk Highways has mobilised a fleet of seven tractors which will be working throughout May, June and July to ensure the full programme of cutting is completed on time. The tractors will display the Suffolk Highways livery together with the relevant high visibility markings and beacons. Operatives are fully trained and competent in the use of the machinery, as well as being familiar with the requirements of traffic management whilst on the network.

How will the service be managed?

Suffolk Highways will maintain daily contact with its supply chain partners ensuring any variations to the programme of works are identified quickly and efficiently. Services will be monitored to ensure daily productivity rates are kept as high as possible and the overall operation runs smoothly and efficiently.

Where can I find out when the grass in my area will be cut?

A programme of works can be found on the county council’s website at www.suffolk.gov.uk/grasscutting

Weed Spraying

As gardeners everywhere know, weeds take the very slightest opportunity to grow anywhere. So, if there is any organic material in the channel of a road, decayed leaves between kerbs or pockets of soil in cracks in a footway, weeds will grow there!  

When will the weeds be treated in my area?

Weed treatments will be based upon two visits during the spring/summer season. However, an additional treatment may sometimes be necessary.  Suffolk Highways’ weed spraying programme started on Monday 18th April.

How are the weeds treated?

Weeds are treated by applying a low pressure herbicide spray with a hand-held lance.  Where possible, operatives will use a small all-terrain vehicle (quad bike) operated at a speed not exceeding 5 km/h. Footways and areas of restricted access will be treated on foot.

Where can I find out when the weeds in my area will be sprayed?

As with grass cutting, a programme of works can be found on the Suffolk Highways webpages on the county council’s website at www.suffolk.gov.uk/weed-control


Harleston & Waveney Art Trail (HWAT)


Welcome to the Harleston & Waveney Art Trail
We are a collective of professional artists who live and work in the picturesque Waveney Valley on the boundary of Norfolk and Suffolk. Each year, over two weekends, we open our art studios to the public.

HWAT 2016: ‘Open Studios’ Art Trail

Two Mendham Parish artists showing this year are Val Lindsell and Sue Laughlin

21 – 22 May 2016

28 – 30 May 2016 (including Bank Holiday Monday)

The artists studios will be open 11am to 6pm

Download the Harleston & Waveney Art Trail brochure 2016 [PDF 3mb].


Aldeburgh beach boats (batik on silk) by Caryl Challis

Latest News: Update on HWAT exhibitions & events in 2016

HWAT’s new book: Waveney Reflections: From Brockdish to Bungay, a Portrait of the River


Insect night 13th May 2016


I just love the Friday fun club it does exactly what it says on the tin FUN!!!!

Our night started with a massive dance off and loads of fab music to get everybody in the mood, there were some funky shape thrown about and after every one was warmed up off to have more fun...

bomb 1

The Crazy mad professors were creating and hatching bombs with all kinds of mysterious things inside, messy fun at our club sure is messy and very fun and Julie is a fountain of mad and crazy ideas that keep all the children engaged, exploring and being curious.  Some of the children then went on to think about what happening if you do something slightly different with the bombs ??? of course Julie was well up for more experiments from the heads of her crazy mini professors. 

bomb 2

Over at Crafty Foxes Ros and Christine and the rest of the gang were making pet bugs check out these wonderful fluffy creatures.

insect 1

Outside was just as good fun if a little grey today, but Brian has finally got his Frisbee golf running he is a very wonderfully patient man with more great ideas on how to keep the kids happy, and naughty Sophie thought she would cover poor old Brian in grass and so he gave chase round the field.  Our kids bring us so much joy each week and we really do look forward to seeing them and seeing their creativity and social bonds grow with each week that goes by check out the 3 little old grannies with mad jumper hair they kept us laughing most of the night with their antics.

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Finally our really rather exciting seeds from space are growing look how big they have gotten in just a few weeks.  In fact our club is now affiliated with the RHS and has even more gardening projects on the way which we hope to be sharing with you all soon. 

Lastly A MASSIVE thank you to LEO, BRIAN, SOPHIE and ELLA for donating their old toys to the boot fair held at the village hall on the 14th your help along with MUCH LOVE to VAL and ROS who manned the stall raised a whooping £72 which is going towards a really special treat for the children for next term we cant wait to share with you, but before we do Val and Ros will be doing another boot fair to help raise a little more our target is another £100 so if you have any old toys you don't need please bring them along to the club on Friday night or give Val a call 01379 586557.  So if you fancy a clear out to make a bit of space or a spring clean please do think of us.


Party on the Green 6th May


How quickly the weather changes this time of year, last week it was snowing and to cold to play and this week it was hotter than Barcelona !!!!


We were due to have a disco but the weather was just too good so we took our music and headed outside for some fun in the sun. 




The Children had been waiting ages to get out side and run around and as you can see by these pictures they all had a wonderful time and the fresh air and sunshine made everyone happy.  The children also enjoyed making their own cocktails and loads of fruit concoctions were mixed up in glasses and slurped down fast as all that running about is hot work.


Our little green thumb club were itching to get out also even though the gardens had just been planted they insisted on dead heading the pansy's and looking for troublesome weeds, and just making sure that the designs and layout was perfect.


All Saints concert - Four Voices


Brome Community Recycling Centre re-opens!

Mid-Suffolk District Council is pleased to announce that after a period of closure; Brome Community Recycling Centre will re-open on Monday 2nd May 2016, more details are included on the attached leaflet. If you have any questions or enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 07857 662528 or have a look at this leaflet.

Amy's London Marathon update


Our Amy did it!! she ran and completed the London Marathon.   Her time was a very impressive 4 hours a 29mins she said "it was amazing, the atmosphere was incredible and she enjoyed every minute of it, although she is feel a little achy now"  and who wouldn't be after a gruelling experience as a 26 mile run.  Amy raised an impressive £3740.75 on her just giving page found here, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Amy-Godbold4.  The Friday fun club also help raised funds for this amazing lady and our night took a fabulous £164 well done kids and parents that all supported Amy and her chosen charity of Children with Cancer. 


We hope Amy is looking forward to a bit of a rest now and putting her feet up as she totally deserves it.

Car Boot Sale & Market

Saturday 14th May 2016, 9am - 1pm

Mendham & Withersdale Village Hall

All tables/stalls £5 and are limited so please book early!

For further information and to book, please call:

Steve  01379 586557

Becky  01379 586739

Jill  01379 852559

22nd March Monsters night


 Friday once more and we had a jam packed session with lots to do for everyone, but there was still time to chill out and chat and look through the magazines


Our theme this night was monsters and the crazy professors hit it off in style by making the most disgusting, gloopy, slimy, drippy, crazy coloured basil seed slime YUK!!!


The Crafty foxes had loads of fun creating lots of cute stone monsters and the parents had better be ready when it comes to doing the bedtime reading as there were munching monsters made from origami ready to bite into bedtime stories. 


We have been so lucky to team up with the RHS and ESA ( European space agency) and work on Tim Peakes Science experiment and grow some actual seeds that have been up in space with him to find out if micro gravity will effect them.  Some of the children thought the seeds would grow upside down and some thought aliens plants would grow and chase the children .... I guess we will find out soon!!!   

Space seed

As I said we had a jam packed session and we had our big launch of the Little green thumb club, as you all know we have just started our club so we are so very grateful to a few companies who have stepped in to support our children have a wonderful experience with us.  Thank you to Veg trug who have given us 2 very beautiful trugs to create miniature landscapes in for years to come, Thank you to Wyevale Garden centre at Bressingham who supplied us 75liters of composts to fill them with and some forks to dig with and thank you to Weybred garden centre who have supplied us with some very pretty plants for the children to get to grips with and understand an introduction into gardening.  Thank you so much for help us make such a wonderful and enriching activity for the children happen and for the future years to come.


Here is Val the proud G'Ma of the little green thumb club with some of her newest members to the club, getting ready to design a landscape to our two themes one Dinosaur and one fairy and it was so great to see so many little hands getting involved and crossing over from one garden to the other creating and layout out their ideas from the lovely handmade, beg, borrowed and charity bought props and then enjoying creating the story for the props laying out flowers and plants and enjoying the planting process.  Have a look below at what they have achieved already and if you are around the village hall make sure you have a little look at all their hard work. 






Planning applications - Public meeting

Public Meeting

15th April Marathon Night


Well what's going on here ?????? 

Super hero's with skipping ropes and girls showing us their fighting faces these kids look like they are up for a major challenge !!!! 

If you have been following the Friday Fun clubs story so far you will know that soon our very own Super mum AMY is going to be taking on one enormous endurance challenge as she competes against herself on a 26 mile run in the London Marathon..... WHAT A WOMAN !!!! 


Our Kids were so super impressed by this real live super hero they got behind her to show support in a night of VERY FULL ON sports challenges, and even though the heavens opened on us the rain could not dampen the spirits of these amazing kids in raising much needed funds for Amy in support of her chosen charity Children with Cancer.  Then ran, they bounced, they threw, they jumped and skipped their way to raise an impressive total of £164, a massive thank you to all of you who took your time out and gave a little that would mean a lot to a child out there suffering from cancer. 


We are all so lucky to have such healthy, bright and beautiful young lives fulfilling our lives and here are some of their wonderful little faces enjoying yet another wonderful night at The Friday Fun Club.


Major thanks to the team who helped run the night like a dream and provide the children with the most amazing prizes at the end and Everyone who is involved in The Friday Fun club would like to wish Amy the very best good luck for her big race, we will all be watching for you and we all know you will total smash the marathon and have the most amazing time.  We will be there in the back of your mind spurring you on.   GO GO AMY XXXXXXXXX 

Read more about Amy and her story here, if you have just a few quid to spare you can find Amy's just giving page right here on this link.  http://www.mendham.org.uk/index.php/test-2/527-amy-s-london-marathon-run-for-children-with-cancer


Community Council AGM 2016

Wednesday 4th May is the date for the Mendham & Withersdale Community Council (CoCo) AGM, 7pm at Mendham and Withersdale village hall. Everyone is, of course, most welcome.


Mendham crowned 'Suffolk's Most Active Small Village 2015'

The parish of Mendham has been recognised for being the 'Most Active Small Village in Suffolk' for 2015. The award was revealed at a ceremony on Tuesday 15th March at the Eastern Enterprise Hub, Ipswich where an engraved brass plaque was received as a permanent recognition of the community's  achievements.

The village hall hosts many weekly classes including keep fit, PiYo, line dancing and TaiChi, and the MUGA (multi use games area) is available for family, school and club use for football, tennis, basketball and netball all year round, thanks to the floodlighting installed. The community also hosts an annual inter-village rounders competition and the Pub vs Parish cricket match. Other active groups include the Community Council, Friday Fun Club, Bell Ringers, Choir, WI, the Over-60's and Mendham School, pictured here with 'Most Active Village Plaque', having just completed a fundraising event in aid of Sport Relief on Friday 18th March.

It is such a great achievement to have won this award. There is such a lot going on in the parish and there really is something for everyone and it is right on the doorstep! You don't have to travel far to find a class or activity that is right for you. We are always trying to provide activities and facilities to suit every age group. The next project will be up and running soon. Work is due to start this month on the installation of a boules piste in the grounds of the village hall. A huge thank you to everyone who runs the weekly classes, puts on events, and supports events and activities. We couldn't do it without you.

BUT there is always room for more activities! What about some walking football on the MUGA? Or a dancing class at the hall? There may be funding available to set up a new class or activity! If you have an idea, do run with it! For more information please contact Tracey on 01379 852969 or Maddy Knox (Physical Activity Development Officer Suffolk Sport) on 07825 790832 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Annual Parish Meeting 2016


Old sales brochures, 1907 & 1938

On Wednesday 14th March 1907 Messers Sanford & Broom held an auction at the Magpie Inn, in Harleston for:

  1. Mendham Priory Farm (277 acres)
  2. Gentleman's residence, dwelling, entrance lodge and gardens
  3. Top Farm (140 acres)
  4. 3 cottages in Metfield

The following pictures are of the sale brochures which are actually photocopies hence the quality is not high but they are very readable. The images are not presented in order (it's the 'quick' system we use on the website to display a group of images) so just browse through them. Of special interest are the images of the maps of the Priory area and Top Farm (today known as Highfields at the top of Foxes Lane) and the field names given for Priory  and Lower Farms in Withersdale and Top Farm in Mendham. It would be a nice project one day to list all of the field names in Mendham parish from around the turn of the century.

 This is the introduction page for the 1907 sale (lots 1-4):


This is Lot 1 which is Priory Farm which is the land the river side of Withersdale Street shown in blue on the map on one of the images. The farm buildings are on the second corner as you go out of Withersdale towards Harleston. The main farmhouse is today 2 properties and the old farm buildings in the corner were converted a few years ago into another dwelling. The full size image is quite large and on a large monitor you will see a lot of dail. The field numbers link to the table of field names.

An interesting item on the plan is on the Weybread road out of Mendham just at the border of the parishes. We have seen on old maps that there is a rectangle marked 'Hulks Grave' and as of yet, we don't know what it is. On this plan there is a building but slightly to the south of where the grave site is and it's labelled as number 427. On the list of fields names that number is referred to as 'Hulks Grave Cottages' although there is no depiction of Hulks Grave. This could give us a 'latest date' for Hulks Grave, 1907. Hulks grave is labelled on older maps in field 426 (shown as '9 acres') just the other side of the road from the number 69 on the plan.


Lot 2 is the house itself descibed as a 'Gentlemans residence' with entrance Lodge and gardens. Today the house is known as Mendham Priory but is nothing to do with the priory. The stoneward shown in the west wall of the garden which is visible from the oad near bluebell wood today, was 'removed' from the derelict priory which happens to be an scheduled ancient monument, even today!


Lots 3 & 4 are Top Farm (Highfields) and 3 cottages in Metfield situated on the left just before you get t the Chriustmas Lane junction. Again, field names are in the documents and correspond to the numbers on the map.


At a separate sale 31 years later by by George Durrant and Sons, again in the Magpie, on Wednesday 29th June 1938 we see the details of Lower Farm in Withersdale near Priory Farm on the river side of The Street.


The Friday Fun Club to grow seeds from space!

PRESS RELEASE - The Friday Fun Club to grow seeds from space!


Children at The Friday Fun club are preparing to become space biologists and embark on a voyage of discovery by growing seeds that have been into space.

In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.

The Friday Fun club will be one of up to 10,000 schools to receive a packet of 100 seeds from space, which they will grow alongside seeds that haven’t been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks. The children won’t know which seed packet contains which seeds until all results have been collected by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and analysed by professional biostatisticians.

The out-of-this-world, nationwide science experiment will enable the children to think more about how we could preserve human life on another planet in the future, what astronauts need to survive long-term missions in space and the difficulties surrounding growing fresh food in challenging climates.

Helen Sims, Youth club leader, says: “We are very excited to be taking part in Rocket Science. This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our children to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole community.

Rocket Science is just one educational project from a programme developed by the UK Space Agency to celebrate British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the ISS and inspire young people to look into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, including horticulture.

Follow the project on Twitter: @RHSSchools #RocketScience 



Space seeds back on earth

The seeds are back!

At 04:26am on Tuesday 2nd March, Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed safely back on Earth in Kazakhstan. The seeds then travelled with Scott Kelly to NASA in Houston on a charter flight from Moscow, Russia and returned to the UK on Thursday.

The seeds are now getting ready to be packed up so they can be sent to us here at The Friday Fun club with our Rocket Science experiment pack!

The special packets are due for deliver on Tue 12th or Wed 13thSo we will be planting our space seeds experiment on the 22nd April.  The Children are sure getting excited at being a part of the future of food and if we can grow food in space.  

The Guardian article for rocket seeds space experiment

Read all about the delivery of Space seeds here and they are being packed up by Seed Packers Ltd in Bury St Edmund

11th March Disco night


It was our first big disco this week at The Friday Fun club, and how can you not lead a story with a picture like this.  Monty how wonderful you looked and you definitely got the best dressed of the evening, and we all loved how you stayed in character too all night long.  What a star!!! 


If you had driven past the village hall you may have thought that aliens had landed with all the disco lights twinkling out of the windows, like a multi coloured spaceship ready to take off and the children were certainly ready for a full on night of fun.  We had a dance off competition of best boy and girl dancer, best group dancers and couples dance which made most of the boy run for the toilets and hide till it was over much to the dismay of the girls..... There were lots of prizes won, here are a few of the winners.


There were lots of awesome moves thrown all night, Stanley and Tom showed some of their special signature moves to impress us all.  At the end of the night the girls all got together and decided to treat us all to Katy Perry sing along and they sounds FAB!


Not only did we have a brilliant time dancing, the children got to invent and make their own cocktails and ice cream smoothies which were a hit, Zac made the most delicious cocktail I think it was the best drink of the night. He wouldn't tell me what was in it as it was a secret!!!! 


We also turned our hands to a bit of balloonology and Brian was very popular all night making all sorts of crazy hats, dogs, swords I hope he has enough puff to come back next week, and the children had a go and had lots of fun trying to create things out of balloons, there were some very strange and inventive things being made.



Events at All Saints, Mendham

Forthcoming events organised by All Saints Church, Mendham some in support of their extension project:

Friday 1st April Fashion Show with the Artichoke Collection, Wortwell Community Centre (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
Saturday 28th May Four Voices Concert at All Saints’, Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
2nd and 3rd July Summer Luncheon with a Flower Festival at All Saints’ Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)
Saturday 10th September

Hymnathon with Café at All Saints’ Church (to coincide with Historic Churches Bike Ride)

Evening talk by Mary Moore ‘Forty Years at the Forge’ (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)

Saturday 26th November      Christmas Market and Café at All Saints’ Mendham (proceeds to All Saints’ building fund)


EADT Pub of the Year?

pubs 2 20140715 1217317943Your pub needs you!

Mark and the Sir Alfred Munnings have been nominated for the EADT Pub of the year and we need you vote to make it happen and quickly as voting closes on 4th April 2016. Go to www.suffolkfada.co.uk and click on pub of the year to place your vote. Lets make this happen and reward the pub for its contribution to the community!



Events pre-2009


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Withersdale tiles


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