HADLEIGH SOCIETY NEWSLETTER - MAY 1990
THE ALABASTER GATHERING
An historic event recently took place in Hadleigh when over 130 members of the Alabaster family came together from all over the U.K., as well as Australia and New Zealand: there are members of the family living in Canada too. The reason they all visited Hadleigh was that all were related to Thomas Alabaster (1522 - 1592) who lived in the town in the early 1550s and quickly became one of the leading inhabitants.
The gathering was organised by members of the family living in Essex, and was held on April 21st in the U.R.C. hail; with visits to Framlingham, Saxmundham, Friston and Snape on the Sunday. This was no ordinary family party. As they arrived each guest registered, and was given a name badge with a colour code and number and, more to the point, a 30 page booklet outlining the Saturday programme, and details of some of the notable Alabasters: such as Thomas 1540 - 1624, Thomas the convict 1778, and Henry born 1336 in Picadilly who went to Siam. The booklet also contained family trees: the main branch colour coded purple, and the four other branches with different colours so each member could recognise from the badges to which branch of the family they were talking. There were also marked maps of the areas in which members of the family had resided e.g. Alabaster Farm,
The morning started with a welcome by the Mayor of Hadleigh, Councillor Colin Reeve: for in the past the family had provided six mayors, and one of them had helped recover the Guildhall for the town after it had been sequestrated by the crown at the reformation. Following the welcome there were talks by Mr. W.A.B.Jones, and Messrs Adrian and John S.Alabaster, and Laraine Hake outlined the main Alabaster lines, and explained how they had been researched and computerised. Any member of the family was able to type in their number and bring up the relevant information on the screen. The organisation of the gathering was very professional: not surprisingly, since members of the family had been leads in the Hadleigh community in the past.
Following a buffet lunch afternoon tours were arranged to visit the Guildhall, and to see the family brasses in the church. Not all shared in these visits since their ages ranged from 91 years young to 6 months, and the weather encouraged many to sit in the sun reminiscing. I am sure those who came felt a great sense of warmth and family togetherness.
I was asked to show one party round the church and, having done my homework, knew where the four brasses were: but I was thrown when one member of the family asked where the window was - anyone know?
In the evening 79 members sat down to dinner: some at The George and others at The Eight Bells.
PLANNING SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT
Since the last report there have been 19 applications affecting 17 properties in Hadleigh advertised by Babergh D.C. These have all been considered by the Chairman and Secretary of the SubCommittee; it has not been necessary to convene a meeting of members. Representations have been made on 3 affecting 2 properties.
Comments and Representations included the following:
GARDEN EVENTS 1990
In aid of St. Marys Church Hadleigh Appeal
LETS TAKE A WALK -
Wednesday 20th June 7.00 p.m. Toppesfield Bridge We hope for a pleasant evening stroll up past the kennels to Hill Farm and then over to Bullocky Fen. This can be a very interesting area with horsetail ferns and many wetland plants. After Rands Farm we swing back across the fields to arrive at Love Lane and then back to Hadleigh.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Wednesday 27th June East House 8.00 p.m.
We shall be pleased to see you at this years gathering and trust you will stay a while for the refreshments to follow. You are invited to make nominations for Committee service and are asked to return the invitation slip in good time for catering purposes.
Regrettably Noel Turner has to stand down for personal reasons. All other members of your present committee have been persuaded to stand for re-election.
Editor: Jim Betteridge