Coddenham Village History:
Coddenham Recreation Ground
Celebrating 100 years
September 1921 – November 2021
In November 2021 it will have been one hundred years since the Recreation Ground land was given to the village and would become the responsibility of the Parish Council. What follows is mostly information extracted from the Parish Council Minute Book up until 1958. How has it been used by the village? How much time and money had to be spent by the Parish Council? Is it still the same today as it was in the beginning?
So, to begin at the beginning:
Mr Dudding made a statement on behalf of Lord de Saumarez & stated that his Lordship was desirous of presenting a piece of ground Pt No.165 on the Ord Map, close to the Valley Farm, as a Recreation Ground for the Parish of Coddenham, as under:
- To be held under the jurisdiction of the Parish Council.
- To be held freehold for the purpose of Recreation for the Parish of Coddenham.
- The Parish Council to maintain the fences and
- To pay all outgoings.
Proposed by Mr Maitland & seconded by Dr Addison “that the Parish Council very gratefully accepts Lord de Saumarez’ generous gift of a Recreation Ground (Pt 165 on the Ordnance map) for the Parish”, and further “that on receipt of the Deed of Gift, a letter of thanks be written to his Lordship for his kindness”. Carried unanimously
The Clerk produced and read the draft Deed of Gift of a Recreation Ground for Coddenham from Lord de Saumarez & it was proposed by Mr Maitland & seconded by Mr Lockwood “that the draft Deed of Grant as read by the Clerk tonight be approved. Carried unanimously
The Deed of Grant of a Recreation Ground was finally presented by Mr P Dudding on behalf of Lord de Saumarez.
Mr Maitland expressed on behalf of the Council its appreciation to Lord and Lady de Saumarez and Captain Saumarez.
“1921 Oct 14
Ad judged duly
BY INDENTURE of this date made between The Right Hon. James St. Vincent Baron de Saumarez of Shrubland Park in the County of Suffolk (thereinafter called “Lord de Saumarez”) of the first part The Right Hon. Jane Anne Baroness de Saumarez of Shrubland Park aforesaid his wife (thereinafter called “Lady de Saumarez) of the second part. The Hon. James St Vincent Broke Saumarez of Broke Hall, Nacton, Suffolk, a Captain in His Majesty’s Army (thereinafter called “Captain Saumarez) of the third part and the Coddenham Parish Council in the County of Suffolk (thereinafter called “the Council”) of the fourth part
AND RECITING presentation of land and acceptance
AND RECITING the said piece of land is at the
Time of execution of abstracting presents
Properly fenced and was provided with a gate.
IT WAS WITNESSED that for the purpose of carrying out the said intention Lord de Saumarez, Lady de Saumarez and Captain Saumarez according to their several estates and interests in the said premises thereby conveyed unto the Council
ALL THAT piece of land or field in the said parish of Coddenham in the County of Suffolk being part of – – number 165 on the Ordnance Map of the said parish and County three acres four perches be the same little more or less and which same piece of land is delineated in the plan drawn in the margin of abstracting presents and thereon coloured pink.
TO HOLD the same unto and to the use of the Council in fee simple as Trustees for the purpose of the Recreation Grounds Act 1859 and as Managers and Directors thereof but subject to the Restrictions and Conditions contained
The Schedule thereto
CERTIFICATE of value
The said piece of land is to be used as a Recreation Ground for the inhabitants of the parish of Coddenham aforesaid
The fence or hedge on the South West side is to be maintained in good order and condition.
The said piece of land is to be kept in good order and condition and nothing shall be done or suffered thereon which shall be a nuisance or annoyance to Lord de Saumarez, Lady de Saumarez and Captain Saumarez or any of their his or her heirs or assigns or their his or her tenants.
The Deed of Grant of a Recreation Ground was finally presented by Mr P Dudding on behalf of Lord de Saumarez.
Mr Maitland expressed on behalf of the Council its appreciation to Lord and Lady de Saumarez and Captain Saumarez.
Dr Addison proposed & Mr Dudding seconded that it be lodged at the Council’s Bank.
It was stated “ ….that the Council refrain from making rules & regulations until such time as occasion should call for them and that the Recreation Ground be free at all times for the use of the inhabitants of Coddenham, accepting such rare occasions as the Parish Council may think fit to allow Gates Money to be taken. This was carried.
And so began the ongoing story through time.
…the Coddenham Quoits Club asking that they be granted the use of the Recreation Ground for three Quoit Pitches. Proposed by Dr Addison & seconded by Mr R Harfitt that this be granted. Carried unanimously
Recreation Ground:Mr E J Maitland drew the Council’s attention to the fact that damage was being done to the fences surrounding the Recreation Ground. It was decided that tenders be obtained for the supply of three notice boards, lettered & painted & that the Clerk accept the lowest. Mr Maitland & the Clerk were authorized to decide on the necessary wording.
The Clerk was also requested to ask the cooperation of the police in preserving the fences.
The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from Messrs Birkett, Ridley & Francis, complaining that footballers were continually coming over on to land, the property of Mr B Lockwood. The Council learning from Mr Lockwood that damage was still being done and that young boys, at the instigation sometimes of the bigger players got over the fence, instructed the Clerk to write to the Secretary stating the complaint & asking whether they could move their goal posts further into the field, removing them when there is no match in progress. This was proposed by Dr Addison, seconded by Mr Maitland & carried.
A reply was read from the Hon Sec of the Football Club stating that they were quite willing to provide new sockets & have the goal posts removed after matches but stated that to move the posts further into the field would make the pitch under regulation size.
Dr Addison proposed & Mr Offord seconded that a reply be sent requesting that they do as they suggest, but that the Council will waive the question of moving the posts further into the field.
Mr B Lockwood drew the attention of the Council to the fact that although letters had been sent to the Hon Sec of the Coddenham Football Club requesting them to remove the goal posts after matches, nothing had been done and he, Mr Lockwood informed the Council that the ball was still going on to his land and asked if something could be done to stop the nuisance.
A lengthy discussion followed during which the Chairman left the Chair of the Meeting. His place was taken by the Vice Chairman, Mr E J Maitland.
The following resolution was proposed by Dr E A Addison & seconded by Mr G Tye. That the Council provide posts & wire netting, the posts not to be too large or too many. The netting to be 25 yards long by 6 feet high, to be fixed by the Council above the fence opposite the goal posts near Mr Lockwood’s ……?
A letter from the Hon Sec of the Quoit Club was read asking for permission of the Council to be allowed to form three pitches on the Recreation Ground situated at the lower end next to Water Lane. Proposed by Mr G Tye & seconded by Mr E G Offord that the above request be granted. Carried.
A letter from the Hon Sec of Coddenham Football Club was read asking for permission of the Council, to be allowed to sow grass seed in front of the goal posts on the Recreation Ground. It was proposed by Mr G Tye & seconded by Mr J Barrell that permission be given. Carried.
A letter was read from the Hon Secretary of Coddenham United Football Club, asking permission of the Council for the use of the Recreation Ground for the purpose of entertaining teams of the Stowmarket & District League from the month of September 1923 to the end of April 1924.
The Chairman called the Council’s attention to the fact that the gates & fences on the Recreation Ground wanted attention. The gates and palings had not been painted or oiled & the Chairman considered it would save greater expense later if the gates & palings were seen to now. Mr E G Offord was asked if he would do the work & on agreeing to same it was proposed by Dr E A Addison that Mr Offord should dress the gates & palings with boiled linseed oil & render his account to the Parish Council. This was seconded by Mr A C Bickers & carried.
The Chairman called the Council’s attention to the state of the Recreation Ground fences which he considered needing trimming. Dr E A Addison proposed that the fences be trimmed down about two feet & the sides brushed. This was seconded by Mr R H Harfitt & carried.
It was further proposed by Mrs Fox that the Chairman offer the work to Mr Fred Taylor to do if the Chairman considered Mr Taylor’s charge reasonable. This was seconded by Dr E A Addison & carried.
A letter from the Hon Sec of Coddenham United Football Club was read, asking for permission of the Council for use of the Recreation Ground from the 1stSeptember 1925 to end of April 1926. It was proposed by Dr E A Addison & seconded by Mr King that permission be granted. Carried.
A letter from Mrs M W Addison was read informing the Council that the Coddenham Girl Guides would like to present the balance of their Company Funds to the village in the form of an iron bench for the Recreation Ground, if it meets with the Councils approval. It was proposed by Mrs Fox & seconded by Mr E G Offord that the gift be accepted. The Clerk was instructed to write a letter of thanks to the Guides informing them that their gift of an iron garden bench for the recreation ground is most gratefully accepted by the Council. Carried unanimously
Coddenham Girl Guides
A letter from Mrs M W Addison was read asking permission of the Council for the use of the Recreation Ground for Hockey playing on days when it is not needed for other purpose. It was proposed by Mr C Smith & seconded by Mr H A King that permission be granted. Carried.
Coddenham Girl Guides (circa) 1926
A letter from the District Surveyor was read requesting the Council to have the fences bordering the Recreation Ground cut down a bit as the Surveyors wanted to get all the sun & air we could into the road for tarring purposes. Proposed by Mr L H B Cousens that the Chairman ask Mr Taylor to cut the two fences bordering the Recreation Ground for the sum of one pound fifteen shillings £1-15-0, this was seconded by Mr H A King & carried. Four members being in favour & none against.
A letter from the Hon Sec of Coddenham Football Club was read, asking for permission of the Council for the use of the Recreation Ground for football playing & permission to cut the grass during the season. It was proposed by Mr Harfitt & seconded by Mr Gudgin that permission be granted. Carried
A letter from the Sec of Coddenham Quoit Club was read asking permission of the Council for the use of the Recreation Ground for Steel Quoit Playing. It was proposed by Dr E A Addison & seconded by Mr E G Offord that permission be granted. Carried.
On the proposal of Dr E A Addison, seconded by Mr King, the Council agreed that they were quite satisfied with the way in which The Flower Show committee left the Recreation Ground after the Show of 1926.
A question was raised by Mr E G Offord as to whether any person could turn stock on the Recreation Ground to feed. The question was answered by the Chairman, stating that stock should not be turned on to the Ground without the permission of the Council & referring to Mr Cousen’s sheep being allowed on the Ground, this was put to the Council & no objection raised at the time. With reference to Mr Semmence turning a horse on to the Ground, the Chairman reported that he, the Chairman after seeing the Clerk on the matter had given permission to Mr Semmence to turn his horse on to the Grounds during the night only. But the Chairman had noticed that the horse had been on ……………………………Having asked if any Councillor wished to say anything further on matter, it was proposed by Dr E A Addison that the matter be left in obeyance, this was seconded by Mr C D Wyles & carried.
As a means of settling the question of stock being allowed to feed on the Recreation Ground, it was proposed by Dr E A Addison, that any……………………………… Recreation Ground providing they ask permission of the Council. This was seconded by Mr A C Bickers & carried.
It was proposed by Dr E A Addison & seconded by Mrs Fox, that permission be given for the Flower Show to be held on the Recreation Ground again this year.
It was proposed by Mrs Fox, that permission be granted for the Coddenham Flower Show to be held on the Recreation Ground, this was seconded by Mr Offord & carried.
A letter from the Hon Sec of the Coddenham Quoits Club requesting the permission of the Council to be allowed to shift the Quoits Beds on the Recreation Ground to the far end of the ground so as to be more convenient for water, before dealing with this matter, it was suggested by the Chairman and put as a proposal by Mr Harfitt, that the games of Quoits, football & netball be allowed to be played on the Recreation Ground up to some date to be determined by the Council, this would dispense with applications being made each year by the three clubs, this was seconded by Mr King & carried.
Coming back to Quoit Club, it was proposed by Mr Barrett that the club be allowed to shift the Playing Beds to the far end of the ground on the condition that they left the ground in the same condition as they found it, this was seconded by Mr Cousens & carried.
A further letter from the Quoit Club was read, asking permission to make a gate charge for admittance to a Quoit Tournament, date not filed (?). After a short discussion on the matter, it was proposed by Mr Cousens & seconded by Mr Barrett that the Quoit Club be not allowed to make any charge for admission. This was carried.
The Clerk reported that he had been requested by the Coddenham School Master to ask the Council if they had any objection to him placing football goal posts on the Recreation Ground for the use of the children. A smaller pitch was required; therefore, the posts would be placed in front of the posts of the Football Club. The Council were informed that the Coddenham Football Club were no longer in existence, this raised the question as to whether the Club’s posts should be taken off the ground, it being pointed out by Mr Maitland that the posts would become the property of the Council if left on the ground with no persons responsible for same. No objection was raised to the School Master’s request.
Two letters from the Schoolmaster and one from the Games master of Coddenham School were read, all bearing on the matter of the Recreation Ground for games, requesting to do something to keep the ground in better condition. After a short discussion on the matter, it was proposed by Mr Harfitt that Mr Cousens be asked to cut the grass on the Recreation Ground twice each year (at times when it would be most beneficial for the playing of games) and that the sum of one pound ten shillings (£1.10.00) be paid to Mrs Cousens each year the work is undertaken by him. This was seconded by Mr Wyles & carried.
The following letter was written on the 26tJune 1933, and doesn’t appear in the Parish Council Minutes:
“ High Street, Coddenham, June 26th1933,Coddenham United Football Club to Coddenham Parish Council
Dear Sirs, We are now organizing a new Football Club and hope to continue in the Ipswich & Dist League. Therefore, I have been instructed on behalf of the above Club Committee to approach the Council for permission to play on the Recreation Ground. Trusting this will be granted, also thanking you for past use.
Yours faithfully, A E Race, Hon Sec.”
Coddenham Football Team 1933
A letter from the Hon Secretary of the District Nursing Association was read, requesting permission of the Council to close the Recreation Ground on Saturday, June 9thnext from 2pm to 10pm, for the purpose of a fete on that day in aid of the District Nursing Assn. Mr Cousens proposed that permission be granted, this was seconded by Mr Barrett & carried
A letter from the Hon Secretary of Coddenham & District British Legion, requesting permission of the Council to be allowed to hold a Parade on the Recreation Ground on Sunday the 6thMay next. Permission was granted on the proposition of Mr Bickers, seconded by Mr Offord.
6 May 1935
1935 Celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary
“A house-to-house collection was made to raise funds for the King’s Jubilee Celebration on May 6th, 1935, in addition the Men’s Club & Womens Institute contributed £5 each. About 500 residents were catered for meat tea & accommodated in relays at the Parish Room & two rooms at the Crown Inn. The children were provided tea & a Jubilee Mug at the School with Sports in the afternoon in the Recreation Ground………………Two seats for the Recreation Ground were purchased with surplus cashJ M Fox, Hon Sec.”
From a newspaper cutting: “…..CODDENHAM – Probably never before has the ancient village of Coddenham made a braver show than on the occasion of the Royal Silver Jubilee. Strings Of flags, lent by the Women’s Institute and the Men’s Club hung across the High Street, while almost every household had done its part with flags, bunting and other emblems of loyalty…………….. At 2pm a large gathering collected to watch the school children’s sports on the Recreation Ground, where the new Jubilee seat had already been placed. This was followed by the children’s tea in the schoolroom, which had been beautifully decorated by Miss Alice Wyles, the generous donor of the tea. Each child was also the recipient of a Jubilee Mug. Later in the evening a free dance was given in the Parish Hall, while at the Club Room a free Whist Drive had been arranged for non-dancers………At 10pm a bonfire was lighted on the Green Hill, by permission of Mr Fox and Jubilee Day was brought to a close with the singing of “God Save the King”.”
The Clerk reported that some trees and seats had been placed on the Recreation Ground without any authority from the Council and asked if the Council approved of accepting the trees and seats as Parish Property for future upkeep. It was agreed on the proposal of Mr Barrett for the Council to accept the trees and seats as Parish Property.
1937 Coronation of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth
Excerpts from a newspaper cutting:
“A meeting of the Coronation Celebration Committee was held. The house-to-house collection, it was reported, amounted to £38.7s. Of this a sum of £11.13s. had been earmarked by donors for memorials of a permanent nature. The remaining £26.14s was allotted to the following items: A meat tea for all adults; combined sports for adults and children to be held on the Recreation Ground, and to be followed by tea in the Schoolroom. Each child is to receive a Coronation mug of British make. It was also decided to hold a ploughing match, should funds permit, and a free dance and whist drive in the evening, finishing with a bonfire on the Green Hill, by permission of Mrs Fox…..”.
7thAugust 1937: To Parish Council from Donald Trafford the Hon Sec of the Coddenham Coronation Committee: “You are doubtless aware that a shelter & a seat are being erected on the Three Cocked Hat, as a permanent memorial to commemorate the Coronation of Their Majesties’ King George VI & Queen Elizabeth. The permission of the Lady C Gardemau’s Trustees has been given for the erection of the Memorial, and it is now the wish of the Coddenham Coronation Committee that the care and maintenance of the Memorial be vested in the Parish Council. To this end I beg that the matter be brought before the Council at its next meeting.” Proposed by Mr Harfitt that the vestment be accepted, this was seconded by Mrs Fox & carried.
A letter from the Hon Secretary of Coddenham Football Club was read requesting permission to erect a hut and store for goal nets, markers etc. The Club also wished to erect a small urinal at one end of the hut and to be allowed to returf the bare patch on the ground. It was resolved to grant permission to the Club on the conditions contained in the letter and the Council’s stipulation that the urinal be kept locked when not in use. Proposed by Mr Bickers, seconded by Mr Gudgin & carried.
“Coddenham Football Club – To the Clerk of the Parish Council
Dear Sirs, I have been instructed by the Committee of the above Club to communicate with the Parish Council for permission to erect a hut on the Coddenham recreation Ground. This hut would act as a changing room for visiting teams and for the purposes of storing goal-nets, marker etc. The hut would be properly erected and would be a great asset to the Club. We also wish to erect a small urinal at one end. We would like to point out to the Council that the Club will be wholly responsible for the expense and upkeep of the hut and will be quite prepared (in the event of the Club falling through) to hand the hut over to the Council, to do with whatever they please. Site– The site that we would propose erecting the hut would be in the corner of the Recreation Ground, adjoining Mr Bloomfield’s garden and the stream at the bottom. We would propose erecting it at a distance of about three yards from either fence. The urinal would be added at the garden end. The alternative site would be in the corner adjoining Mr Semmence’s meadow and the stream. I have also been requested to ask the Council for permission to returf the bare patch on the Recreation Ground in front of the goalmouth, immediately the Football Season ends. The actual carrying out of this would depend on the financial position of the Club. In the meantime, we will do our best to ascertain the cost of turfing. V. Bickers (Hon Sec)”.
A letter from Mr T A Semmence was read, stating that considerable annoyance had been caused him owing to the netting, which had been placed to prevent footballs. After discussing the means and kinds of wire to be used to make this protection good, it was finally agreed on the proposal of Mr Harfitt, that Mr Offord be given the order to make good this fencing by moving one of the standards, so as to bring the goal posts into the centre of the netting, which is to be carried to the ground. The kind of netting to be used to be left to the discretion of Mr Offord & Mr Cousens. This was seconded by Mr Barrett and carried.
A letter from Mr A C Bickers was read, being a request for permission to hold an open air meeting on the Recreation Ground some evening in May or June. Permission was granted on the proposal of Mr Barrett, seconded by Mr Fiske.
A letter from the Hon Secretary Coddenham & District British Legion was read being a request for permission to hold a Fete on the Recreation Ground on 18thJune 1938 (9?). It was resolved that permission be granted on the condition that the proceeds of the Fete be given to the Benevolent Fund and that this be stated on the Bills advertising the Fete. Proposed by Mr Cousens, seconded by Mr Gooding & carried.
A circular letter was read informing the Council that in the case of fire, application for a Fire Engine is to be made to Debenham Fire Station.
The Council’s attention was called to the state of the Recreation Ground gates & palings, and it was proposed by Mr Barrett that the gate & palings be put in proper repair, including the concrete gate stop. This was seconded by Mr Bickers & carried. Mr E J Offord being requested to undertake the work.
Mr Bickers made application for permission to hold an Open Air Service on the Recreation Ground and under the understanding that it would not interfere with others recreation. Permission was granted on the proposal of Mr Barrett, seconded by Mr Gudgin.
The question of allowing football to be played on the Recreation Ground on Sundays was raised by Mr Bickers and after a short discussion the matter was dropped.
GIPPING RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL – Cultivation of Land: I submitted to the Council at their last meeting a circular letter received from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries calling attention to the urgency for increased food production and asking local authorities, without delay, to utilize for this purpose recreation grounds, sports grounds, vacant building sites, etc., which may be in their occupation, and I was instructed by the Council to make enquiries to ascertain what land under the heads named was available for cultivation. I should be much obliged if you would be good enough to let me have particulars of any such land in your Parish. Yours faithfully, E Yates, Acting Clerk.
A letter from the East Suffolk County Council was read and explained by the Chairman on the matter of appointing a Parish Invasion Committee, with the Chairman of the Parish Council as Chairman of the Committee. In addition to the heads of local War Services, Mr Cousens was appointed a member of the Committee.
“To the Clerk of the Council – Dear Mr Hillier, It has been proposed that “Wings for Victory” week in Coddenham should be organized & the Committee have agreed to have sports on the Recreation ground on June 12th, subject to the approval of the Council. Could you please inform me where the flags belonging to the men’s Club now are? As we may require same., Thanking you, J M Fox, Hon Sec.”
Mr A J Gibbons offer to take down the Recreation Ground trees, measure all that were good and give the Government price for them was accepted on the proposal of Mr Barrett, seconded by ………., the stipulation on the proposal that the trees be cleared off the ground within six months of felling was to be … in the acceptance of Mr Gibbons offer.
It was agreed that the Recreation Ground gates should be removed for the duration of the War and Mr Offord’s offer to remove and store the gates was accepted with the thanks of the Council.
“Post Office, Coddenham. To Mr Hillier, Dear Sir, We are holding a Fete on the 30thSeptember, 1944, in aid of the Forces Home Coming. Would you be kind enough to ask the Council if we could have the Rec-Ground for that day. Yours faithfully, E R Waspe, Hon Sec.
“Post Office, Coddenham, Dear Sirs, We are requested by the Committee of the Forces Homecoming Fund to write & ask you if it would be possible for us to have the use of the Recreation Ground, Coddenham on July 14th, 1945, to hold a Flower Show, Fete and sports. Proceeds for Forces Homecoming Fund. We should be very pleased if you could let us know as soon as possible so we could get Bills printed and put out., Yours faithfully, E.R.Waspe & H.Harvey
Permission was granted to Messrs Waspe and Harvey for the use of Recreation Ground to hold a fete in aid of the Homecoming Fund. Proposed by Mr Offord, seconded by Mr Cousens.
Wire netting to stop footballs going into the adjoining gardens of the recreation ground to be left for the time being.
A letter from the Secretary of the Coddenham Football Club was read, being a request for permission to use the Recreation Ground for a Fete sometime in June 1952. It was proposed by Mr Ovenall that permission be granted, this was seconded by Mr Fiske & carried.
A letter from the Hon Secretary of Coddenham Cycle Speedway Club was read, being a request for permission to make a Speedway Track on the Recreation Ground. Permission was granted on the condition that the Club take out an Insurance Policy which would cover the General Public using the Ground when practice or trials were on. Proposed by Rev’d Jarvis, seconded by Mr Barrett and carried.
It was proposed by the Rev’d Jarvis that a Public Meeting be called to arrange for the Celebration of the Coronation of Her Majesty the Queen. This was seconded by Mr Barrett & carried.
Coddenham Coronation Celebrations for Elizabeth II
9thDecember 1952: “At the public meeting held in the Parish Hall, the following suggestions were voted on and were placed in this order; Tea for the elderly, Sports (especially for the children with refreshments), Speedway racing events, Dance in the Parish Hall with refreshments, Street Lighting, Planting of trees, Bus stop shelter.
It is hoped to carry out as many of these suggestions as possible in the order given, but it will depend entirely on your generosity. Members of the Coronation Committee will be calling before the end of this month with a subscription list and will be glad to receive your contribution. S Martin Hon. Treasurer”.
From the recollections of the Queen’s Coronation by Mary Jarvis (wife of the Rev Clifford Jarvis).
“You ask if I can remember anything about the Coronation festivities. The answer is “not really” – I think we had some sort of a do on the Recreation Ground and then a Social Evening in the Village Hall – just a lot of chat and games and dancing. Jack Day and I had a wonderful few waltz’s – he was jolly good. Of course, we were still in the days of post-war austerity and refreshments were more of the fish-paste sandwich and jelly variety. Of course, Clifford had the church bells ringing and beer to slake their thirst afterwards.”
A letter from Mr Ovenall was read, being a request to the Council for permission for the use of the Recreation Ground for Steel Quoit Playing. Permission was granted on the proposal of Mr Offord, which was seconded by Mr Stallibrass & carried.
The Clerk was asked to see Mr Ovenall on the matter of cleaning up the disused Cycle Track.
A letter from the Chairman (Mr Cousens) was read requesting the Clerk to put the following items before the Meeting. 1) A letter from the Secretary of the Suffolk Community Council on the matter of Suffolk’s “Best Kept Village” Competition. 2) Should the Council consider insurance against 3rdParty Risks. 3) Why was only one hedge on the Recreation Ground trimmed.?
In reply: 1) It was agreed by the Council that the village was not in good enough trim to enter for Competition at present. 2) It was ……… that the Council take out a Policy of Insurance to cover the Council’s liabilities. Proposed by Rev’d Jarvis, seconded by Mr Stallibrass & carried. 3) The Clerk had not been authorized to pay for the trimming of the lower recreation Ground hedge.
After discussion the following proposal, proposed by Mr Cousens, seconded by Mr Fiske. That the Recreation Ground gates, at present in possession of Mr Offord be rehung and concrete posts or blocks be inserted either side of the gates allowing access for pedestrians and perambulators only. To be placed level with the boundary fence and parallel to the road., subject to the approval of the appropriate Planning Authority (for which the Clerk will apply.) – adopted unanimously.
Proposed by Mr Harfitt, seconded by Mr Cousens that the Clerk be directed to enquire of H.M. Stationery Office re the procedure of passing a Byelaw prohibiting the use of the Recreation Ground by Motor Vehicles – this was carried unanimously.
Proposed by Mr Smith, seconded by Mr Miles, that the Clerk write to the Police Authorities requesting action to be taken to restrain the use of obscene language on the Recreation Ground during game practices, particularly during the Football Season.
The Clerk informed the Council that he had received the Model Byelaw pamphlet from H.M.S.O. and summarised its contents for the Council, stressing the recommendation by the Home Office that all other methods should be explored before passing additional Bye Laws.
In view of this and the fact that the Council had under review the matter of rehanging the Recreation Ground gates, it was proposed by Mr Harfitt, seconded by Mr Miles that the matter of a Byelaw and for a prohibiting notice board be waived for the time being pending developments of the larger scheme. This was carried unanimously.
Behaviour on the Recreation Ground: The Clerk reported that he had contacted the local Police Officer and that he had been assured that the Officer would take action. The Council’s request had been confirmed by letter.
This was the last date in the old Parish Council Minute Book. What follows is a selection of village events that have taken place on the Recreation Ground in the following years.
1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee
The Coddenham Jubilee Committee was set in motion by the Parish Council in April 1977 to raise funds for the Jubilee Celebration on the 7thJune with representation from The Women’s Institute, Football Club, Country Club, the Church and Chapel and other village people. Fund raising began with a Beetle drive and was followed by a Coffee Morning with Bring and Buy Sale at Church Close, a Concert in the Village Hall of English Music by Helen Wyles, Joan Leefe, Zena Baker and accompaniments by Alan Page, and a play acted by the Guides in the Church.
On the morning of 7thJune food was delivered and prepared by the WI at the Butcher’s shop in School Road. Meanwhile, the men had been busy on the Recreation Ground, which had been decorated with red, white and blue bunting chains and the ground marked out for the different events. A piece by the hut was sectioned off for refreshments and bales of hay placed around as seating.
The children’s Fancy Dress was followed by races including a sack race with the eldest entrant being Mt Stallibrass, 90 years young! There was a carnival “Rocket” made by Dave Bickers in which the children enjoyed rides both on the Recreation Ground and through the village. A Greasy Pole which was tested by “Past and Present” WI Presidents, Mrs Baker and Mrs Semmence and much more other entertainment. Buses were provided by Bickers to bring those who had no transport, which also provided a “grandstand” view for those who just wanted to sit and watch. In the evening there was a barbeque with accompanying Disco. The festivities were brought to an end at 11 o’clock with a final Conga round the farmyard and the singing of “God Save the Queen”.
A Fun Day in 1982
2002 Queen Elizabeth II
Coddenham Golden Jubilee Celebration Weekend
The events over this weekend were organized by the Coddenham Community Forum and beginning on the 2ndJune included a History Exhibition, Photographic Competition, a Jazz Lunch, treasure trail, tours of the Coddenham Observatory and more. Monday the 3rdwas a free Fun Day on the Recreation Ground.
In 2019, the Coddenham Recreation Ground was transferred along with the Community Centre, to an especially formed charity, the Coddenham Centre CIO, part of a long-standing commitment that will continue to care and manage the ground for the people of Coddenham.
In November 2021 we celebrated one hundred years since the gift of our Recreation Ground from Lord and Lady de Saumarez and Captain Saumarez. A gift that has been well used and enjoyed by many people in many ways. The present Lord de Saumarez had generously provided the Coddenham Centre the means to plant a new tree in recognition of this historic milestone and to look forward to many future years of pleasure for us all.
Planting of the oak tree: Brenda Hudson, Alfie and Jake Hall and Andrew MacPherson
Coddenham Village History Club – November 2021