BEDFIELD TOWN ESTATE TRUST
TO ALL RESIDENTS OF BEDFIELD
Q. WHAT IS THE BTE?
A. The Bedfield Town Estate. It is a Charity Trust that was set up in 1883 to benefit Bedfield residents.
Q. WHERE DOES THE CHARITY GET ITS MONEY FROM?
A. The Trust owns farmland, sports field and nine allotments which are leased to various individuals and organisations. Other income comes from the interest of its liquid assets
The organisation is registered with the Charity Commission and exists to support the village church, education and the poor of the Parish. It has existed for well over 100 years and is governed by seven trustees.
Bedfield Town Estate Fund Distribution
Part of the remit of the BTE is to consider the distribution of the funds. The original Trust Deed was set up to enable maintenance and repair of the church, therefore a large proportion of the income is used for that purpose. The remaining amount is distributed for education, those in need and the general benefit of the residents of Bedfield.
THE BEDFIELD TOWN ESTATE - BOOK TOKEN SCHEME. ATTENTION BEDFIELD PARENTS / GUARDIANS OF STUDENTS IN YEAR 6 AND YEAR 11
Part of the BTE remit is for the education of children in the Parish of Bedfield. If you have a child in Year 6 and moving onto secondary school or Year 11 moving onto 6th Form or college the BTE Trustees would like to recognise this part of their educational path by presenting them with a book token.
For information on how to apply for this please contact Trustee Denise Mazurkewicz on 01728 628444 by 25th April
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN RENTING AN ALLOTMENT FROM THE THE BEDFIELD TOWN ESTATE PLEASE CONTACT
Emma Rodwell of Trust Farm, Long Green, Bedfield, Woodbridge IP13 7JD: Email:
You don’t have to be a resident of Bedfield to rent the allotment!
Bedfield Primary School
Bedfield Primary School is a small rural village school situated close to the market town of Framlingham and Debenham village. They have 38 children on roll in September 2012. Bedfield Primary feeds Debenham High school, but some pupils opt to attend Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, both High Schools have exceptional reputations. There are six primary schools in the pyramid that feeds Debenham High School.
The school prides itselve in being small and special! Indeed, they recently achieved an ‘outstanding’ assessment by Ofsted. There is a friendly family ethos and the school is supported by a very vibrant set of parents and the local community. The school is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School and is part of the Diocese of St. Edmundsbury. Pupils visit the local church, St. Nicholas, for Harvest Festivals and Christmas services. Occasionally they visit the Church as part of curriculum activities.
In 2014 the school will have been serving the community for 150 years. It first opened its doors to "The children of the poor" on the 3rd of May 1864 with the Lord Bishop of Norwich doing the honours. Total cost for the school and teachers house build, £400. More details can be found on this event by viewing the "Ipswich journal extracts" found in the left hand column. There is also an article refering to a fund raising event for the school held in Framlingham in 1864.
To visit the schools own website go to: http://www.bedfieldschool.co.uk/index.asp
The school blog is compiled by the children and gives information about the activities, sports and topics in which the pupils of Bedfield school are involved.
To view the blog go to: http://bedfieldschool.blogspot.co.uk/
Join the Club!
If you would like to join us simply complete the membership application form and send to:David Entwisle on 01728 628128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or email your completed form to
You can pay online once your application has been processed or you can include payment by cheque with your application form (payable to Bedfield and Monk Soham Tennis Club).
Membership fees for 2016 (6th April 2016 to 5th April 2017):
Adult (16 years of age and over): £20.00
Junior(under 16): £10
Family (up to 4 adults, up to 3 children living in same household): £35.00
Club members will be able to make court bookings online via the Club’s website
When club members 2016 applications have been processed they will receive an email inviting them to register with "Clubspark". Once registration has been completed members will have access to the clubs online booking form.
Follow this link: Bedfield and Monk Soham Tennis Club
Children between 5 and 12 years old can get stuck into the world of tennis with an exciting programme from the LTA . With smaller courts, nets and rackets and lower bouncing balls, LTA Mini Tennis offers the perfect introduction to the sport, with all the fun and energy of the real thing.
The Club is now affiliated with the Lawn Tennis Association. This offers the Club and its members a number of benefits including Public Liability Insurance and free LTA membership for all club members (normally £25) plus a lot more! For your free LTA membership simply follow this link and click on "Join today" under the Club Members box. In the "LTA registered place to play" box simply type Bedfield and Select Bedfield and Monk Soham tennis club from the menu. Your login details can also be used to sign in to the Clubspark site for court bookings.
Monk Soham & Bedfield Sports Club Accounts: 11/10/2016 to 30/09/2017: CLICK
FINAL CONSTITUTION SPORTS CLUB AGM POST 2016: CLICK
BEDFIELD AND MONK SOHAM SPORTS CLUB
Salient Points of a Meeting held at The Bedfield Crown on Monday 8th August 2017
(The discussions followed on from an earlier session to debrief the 2017 village fete, which will be separately summarised)
Present: Graham Mobbs (Chairman), Keith Frost (Vice-Chairman), Geoff Robinson (Secretary 01728 685425 or email@example.com), Brian Belton, Gillian Edmunds, Kathy Thurman, David Whitham, Eleri Whitham and Nigel Billington (Fete Organiser).
GR introduced the topic by explaining that the Parish Council would be considering several items that would affect the Sports Club and that their views will be required. He emphasised that it was “early days” but included:
- The provision of a bottle bank on the hardstanding outside of the pavilion
- The relocation of a new play area at the Sports Field to replace the current one on Long Green, to allow a more compact family use of the pavilion and other facilities.
- The removal of the entrance gate to be replaced by a fence and gates around the current hard standing to provide easier access to the two “new” facilities above and the defibrillator.
Points raised included:
- Concerns that although the bottle bank would be a useful facility, was it really necessary as other nearby villages already offered this facility? In addition, further concerns were that it would lead to a spread of litter and broken glass in a recreational area. GR to copy the original MSDC document to everyone to asses.
- Overall the removal of the gate was thought to be a good idea. However, concerns included the type and height of the proposed fence and the prospect of it been seen as a barrier between the field and the pavilion area, especially on fete day. It was also stated that the hard standing would have to be increased in size to allow great vehicle manoeuvrability, the proximity of the football pitch being a potential problem in this respect.
- The relocation of the play area was generally accepted as being a good idea. However, one concern was the conflict of restricting access for dogs viz a viz the field in general.
Several attendees voiced concern that despite our best efforts and those of David Lee, dog fouling was still happening. KF stated that this had been evident during the setting up and dismantling on fete day. GE said that finding dog waste near the pavilion was not uncommon. All agree that whilst the vast majority of users acted responsibility, action still need to be taken to tackle the problem. It was decided that GR would:
- Contact David Lee to express our concerns and seek his view
- Place another article in the parish magazine highlighting the problem and the potential consequences of non-compliance.
- Deliver a fly-sheet to every home in Bedfield, Monk Soham and Worlingworth, via Steve Tuckwell (as above).
- Consider “naming and shaming” know offenders (if any) and CCTV.
The current hire charges for the pavilion, field and equipment was discussed, together with concerns about damage and misuse. It was accepted that the fees must reflect the fact that the equipment and facilities are provided under the constitution for the use of all villagers at a reasonable cost. However, the fees must also reflect the cost the Sports Club in terms of their supply and maintenance.
After a lively discussion, it was decided that with effect from 1st September 2017 charges would be:£10.00 for the pavilion.
£30.00 for the marques if on the field and £50.00 for use elsewhere in Monk Soham & Bedfield, including delivery, erection and dismantling by committee members. Hirings will be restricted to the two villages only.
The gazebos will not be hired out under any circumstances.
£10.00 for barbeque hire, with a £30.00 refundable deposit refundable on the clean state of the barbie after use.
GR to place an article in the parish magazine accordingly.
The Sports Club is run by an elected committee and all residents of Bedfield and Monk Soham are deemed to be honorary members.
It is associated with Bedfield Parish Council and exists to provide and maintain excellent recreational facilities and other amenities for the benefit of the community residing in Bedfield, Monk Soham and the surrounding neighbourhood.
The Club is self funding with the majority of the income raised during the annual fete and tennis court hire.
Situated at Bedfield Long Green, the Club has a pavilion and changing rooms on the edge of a beautiful sports field which contains a football pitch and all weather tennis court. The pavilion has a small kitchen and is very good for social events and children's parties, especially in the summer months when access to the field is an added pleasure. For all enquiries regarding the rental or use of the facilities, please contact Gillian Edmunds who can be contacted on 01728 628421. Gillian will also collect payments and arrange for the key to be provided.
Hire of the facilities are free to residents of both villages and for hire at a nominal rent to all others. The tennis court can be hired on a one-off basis or for an annual subscription. Hire rate for the facilities or equipment is £10, to be paid for in advance.
Tennis Club Bookings: Contact Mick Evans on 01728 628552
*PLEASE NOTE: All bookings (Equipment or Tennis Club) MUST be paid for in advance, and the £10 Hire Fee paid at the time the key to facilities is collected from her. NOTE: Any damage sustained by users of the Club or Equipment must be paid for.
Other contact details are:
Mr Graham Mobbs (Chairman) on
Mr Nigel Billington (Secretary) on
Gillian Edmunds who can be contacted on 01728 628421. Gillian will also collect payments and arrange for the key to be provided.
Mr Richard Bell - Tennis Club Representative
Worlingworth Cricket Club have entered a Ladies Team in the Two Counties league for the very first time and anyone interested in playing or learning to play please come and join us for the 2018 season at our lovely ground at Earl Soham Rd , Bedfield.
Please also note the following dates -
Sat 20th January for 10 weeks - Junior Indoor Coaching starts at Thomas Mills - for info contact Dawn Robertson 07831 316705
Fri Feb 2nd - Worlingworth CC AGM at theh Clubhouse at 8pm - all welcome.
Thurs 1st March for 8 weeks - Indoor Adult Nets start at Thomas Mills - 8 - 9.30pm contact Simon Rodwell 07786036765
Also net sessions for "Dad's "and others who have not played for a while and might like to play again -Chris Watson 07545123699
Sun 8th ,15th and 22nd April - Nets at Thomas Mills for Ladies - practice for our first season - 3.00- 5.00pm - for more info contact Jenny Holmes 07850769465
Saturday 21st April - Junior cricket coaching starts at our Bedfield ground
Petanque/Boules - we play in the Adnams Coastal League - anyone interested whether you have played before or not contact Val Swallow for more info - 01728 628068
Monk Soham means "monks meadow by a lake". The monks belonged to the abbey at Bury St Edmunds, who were given the land in the late 10th century by Alfric, Bishop of East Anglia. The lake no longer exists but is believed to have lain immediately north of the back road which now runs from Earl Soham towards Ashfield-cum-Thorpe.
In the Domesday Book of 1086, Monk Soham was recorded as having fifteen acres of meadow and enough woodland for sixty pigs. The villagers owned one horse, ten cattle, forty-three pigs, forty-three sheep and twenty-one goats.
Between 1500 and 1640 most of the woods were felled to make more pasture and the village is described in County records as consisting mainly of meadow with people rearing dairy cows, pigs, horses and poultry as well as growing a variety of crops. These included barley and wheat, rye, oats, peas, vetches, hops and hemp. The 21st century of Monk Soham farmers concentrate on intensively grown cereals and sugar beet.
Monk Soham's population rose to a peak in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1086 there were 32 men adjudged able to pay tax but women, children and the elderly or infirm were not counted. By 1524 there were still only 35 taxpayers and the records suggest that this may have included neighbouring Worlingworth. However, from the 17th century onwards the census becomes more reliable and detailed. In 1603 there were 129 adults in the village, living in thirty-nine households. By 1801 the population had risen to 329 and in 1871 peaked at 470. A slow decline followed in the 20th century and by 1931 there were 208 people and 160 in the last census of 2001.
Until the middle of the 20th century farming and its associated supply trades provided most jobs and in 1831 for instance, Monk Soham had 57 farmers & farm workers, 19 people working in the retail trade and 13 domestic servants. By 1912 there were 12 farmers, a beef retailer, a farm bailiff, a shopkeeper, a cattle dealer, a publican, a thatcher and a school mistress. Today some people who live in the village commute to London, Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge and all points beyond, leaving only a very small minority to work on the land.
However, the days when Monk Soham residents all found a livelihood in the village were no rural idyll for the majority. A recurring theme of the official records is the supply of poor relief and in 1792 the Guildhall (now the site of a modern bungalow) and two cottages, plus 48 acres were let at £42 a year to maintain the poorhouses. In 1818, the Reverend Francis Capper left funds to supplement existing relief and to give twelve loaves of bread every Sunday to the hungry. This system seems to have continued into the 20th century, although by 1922 the bequest was buying coal instead of bread. There is mention in the county records of poor relief coal being supplied to the village as late as 1937. Poor relief in Monk Soham cost £83-17s-6d a year in 1776 but rose sharply to £575-19s-od in 1818 and £439-7s-od in 1834. During years when coal burning and rural poverty was intense and many East Anglia villages saw rick burning and other protests against high corn prices.
A school opened in the village in 1850 and was built to hold up to 85 pupils and with a succession of resident school mistresses living in the house provide next door. School attendances averaged 82 by 1883 but had fallen to 42 in 1900 and then by gradual decline to lower numbers. In 1947 the school was marked for closure although the building remained in use as a school hall until 1953. Today the village's primary children travel the two miles to Bedfield
Monk Soham has been a shrinking village since the Victorian villagers worked so hard and lived so poorly, seeing a net loss of at least 20 houses since 1871. Old maps show houses and farms where there is now no trace of habitation. In 1862 the Great Green of Monk Soham. a sweep of open land covering 25 acres of common land where Oakfields now stand was privatised under the 1848 General Acts with the aim of making it more profitable and productive. A small surviving tract of open land at Hungers Green is close to the former school and is cared for by the Parish Council. It provides in way that will encourage wildlife to thrive there and provide a beautiful open space for use of the villagers.
In the late 19th century the people of the village were given the chance to travel and in 1904 the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (the "Middy") opened stations two miles away at Kenton & Worlingworth for goods traffic and extended the service to passengers in 1908. It was then possible to catch a train to Haughley Junction and thereonwards to Ipswich & London in one direction and Laxfield in the other. The line was never extended as intended and was closed on Monday 28th July 1952.
In 1958 the Suffolk Parish History described Monk Soham as "a small dispersed settlement". This is still true and High Suffolk Community Bus operates a greatly appreciated, volunteer driven service to neighbouring towns. Other public transport runs from Bedfield and Earl Soham to Framlingham and Ipswich (see the USEFUL INFORMATION page).