Sudbury Ephemera Archive marks a special milestone

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREG

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREGG BROWN

This month marks a special milestone for the Sudbury Ephemera Archive.

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREG

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREGG BROWN

For it has been in existence now for five years and is aiming to boost its collection and at the same time attract more volunteers.

Its beginnings can be traced back to Lord Phillips of Sudbury and former Sudbury mayor and clergyman Tony Moore who had the brainchild for the idea, said Sue Tibbetts, who leads the organisation’s working team.

“We then picked it up and we collect all the little bits of history that people tend to forget. In fact we found a lady the other day who desperately wanted to get involved with activities like ours and had no idea we were around.”

But it has now become established in the town and collects Sudbury’s memories before they are lost and consists of a working team of up to 25 people.

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREG

Sudbury Ephemera Archive celebrates its fifth year. Pictured is organiser Penny Power. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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It could be a theatre programme, an advert for a film, a till receipt from shopping, a menu from a restaurant, even a ticket from a parking machine.

Anything, usually paper, that was issued for a short time - that is what ephemera is.

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The organisation also takes part in events such as the carnival, bygones events on Sudbury airfield and at Melford Hall, the 70th anniversary of VE Day in 2015, an appearance of Suffragettes at the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Gainsborough statue in 2013, Sudbury on Show, Christmas tree festival in St Peter’s and many more.

The most recent donation is the Thornton/Turner Collection which provide details of the rateable value of properties, size and the designated usage of rooms. They can be used as a source for the present day owners or for people trying to discover about the houses their ancestors lived in.

The Sudbury Ephemera Archive dress as suffragettes to walk in the Sudbury Carnival on Sunday, August

The Sudbury Ephemera Archive dress as suffragettes to walk in the Sudbury Carnival on Sunday, August 24. - Credit: Su Anderson

In some instances properties may have been sold more than once in the 70 years that the business was in existence so it will be possible to identify changes made to the house as well as the value of it.

Other donations have been school exercise books from the 1930s, apprentice indentures from the 1840s, bus and railway timetables from the 1920s and nurses’ autograph books signed by First World War soldiers recuperating at Belle Vue Hospital (1914-18)

SEA meets in the Mayor’s Parlour of the Town Hall on the second Monday morning of each month from 10am to 1pm and the last Wednesday afternoon, 1pm to 4pm, to sort and catalogue donations.

The Sudbury Ephemera Archive dress as suffragettes to walk in the Sudbury Carnival on Sunday, August

The Sudbury Ephemera Archive dress as suffragettes to walk in the Sudbury Carnival on Sunday, August 24. - Credit: Su Anderson

The visitors book from the former Belle Vue Hospital which forms part of the Sudbury Ephemera Archiv

The visitors book from the former Belle Vue Hospital which forms part of the Sudbury Ephemera Archive. - Credit: Archant

The indenture of Henry Brackett, 6th July 1844. This Indenture was donated to Sudbury Ephemera Archi

The indenture of Henry Brackett, 6th July 1844. This Indenture was donated to Sudbury Ephemera Archive by Sudbury Museum Trust. Not only is it a fascinating document together with the wax seals and ancient language but it is an interesting piece of social history. It lays down how the apprentice is expected to behave during his term of years and the amount he will be paid. - Credit: Archant

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