Popular Sudbury street names book is relaunched with new edition

Tony Wheeler Picture: VAL HERBERT

Tony Wheeler Picture: VAL HERBERT - Credit: Valerie Herbert

A book detailing the origins of street names in Sudbury which was written by a much-loved town historian just weeks before his death is being relaunched.

Sudbury Heritage Centre, where the relaunch is taking place. Pictured are trustees Robin Drury and P

Sudbury Heritage Centre, where the relaunch is taking place. Pictured are trustees Robin Drury and Phyllis Felton Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Tony Wheeler, who lost his battle with cancer aged 84 in 2012, published ‘What’s in a Name?’ three weeks before his death.

Former schoolmaster Mr Wheeler made national headlines after leaving more than £2million from his will to local and national charities, which stunned residents in the town.

Among the beneficiaries was Sudbury Museum Trust, which received £105,000, and the money has been used to update the town’s heritage centre, where the relaunch will take place at the weekend.

Mr Wheeler worked with friend Val Harbert on the original book during his fight with pancreatic cancer.


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Mrs Herbert, a historian who edited the original, has now produced a new edition with four more pages of street names including one named after a murder victim.

Mrs Herbert said: “The original sold out in the year it was published and there has been interest even since.

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“This seemed to be an apt time to bring it up to date as three important sites in the town have been redeveloped for housing. Two are the sites of our former hospitals and all three have streets with names that recall Sudbury history.

“Among them are Simon Theobald Way in honour of Archbishop Simon of Sudbury murdered by a mob in the Peasants’ Revolt and Alan Phillips Way remembering the influential lawyer who held many public offices and was the link between the town and the 486th USAAF bomber group stationed at Sudbury Airfield.”

The £5 book will be launched on Saturday at 10.30am in the heritage centre at the town hall by his son Andrew Phillips.

It is being sponsored by Sudbury Freemen’s Trust, a charity of which Mr Wheeler was an active member throughout his retirement years.

Sudbury Heritage Centre originally opened in 2006 and was expanded into a room at the town hall which was previously occupied by the tourist information centre.

Alongside the historical artefacts, there is now a digital touch-screen system to make local history research available to a wider audience.

The centre also has the ‘Anthony Wheeler Room’ in his memory and there is a plaque on the wall dedicated to him.

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