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Parish of Hundon

A brief history of Hundon

 By Leonard Caton
This extract from the Hundon Millennium Book entitled
“Parish of Hundon 2000” by the late Mr Leonard Caton is published
with the kind permission of Mrs Irene Caton to whom we are extremely grateful

The Parish of Hundon 2000 By Leonard Caton

My idea leading to the compilation of this book arose when the Parish Council of another village where I then lived were looking for a permanent way of commemorating the approaching millennium. On moving to Hundon in 1998, I decided that the project could equally well apply in my new village, as nothing similar was proposed here.

An application for a Suffolk ACRE Millennium Award was made after the trauma of house removal had subsided in 1999. This was granted to my wife Irene and myself solely to cover the costs involved, and in November of that year with most of the £4,550 grant in the bank it was possible to start the project.

The aims were simply to record villagers lifestyles at this time and their memories with the results being produced in books. One to be deposited in the Public Record Office, one kept in the village and one being made for each house­hold in the village. Consulting the electoral regis­ter revealed that there were 884 people in it so the method of approaching them was to announce the project in advance through the ‘Hundon Herald’. This was then followed by letters, user friendly forms for completion and reply paid envelopes being sent to every person in the electoral register. These were all hand addressed to each individual. A special collection was made by the postal service and these then were delivered.

Further notices were placed in the ‘Hundon Herald’ to encourage and prompt people to reply with the offer of personal interviews for those who preferred not to write of themselves.

The completion date of 31st March 2000 was generously deferred by Suffolk ACRE Millennium Awards Committee on my being diagnosed as diabetic, the resulting diet much reducing energy levels.

The responses and interviews are of 147 residents which is a 16% return of the total. For interests purposes their places of birth are shown in the appendix. This may seem to illustrate a pre­ponderance of newcomers to the parish but only a larger survey would confirm this general feeling.

It was intended that this book should be about the people of Hundon at this time but there is a

large element of historical matter in what they have to say and I have therefore added a brief history of the parish together with accounts of the many activities that the residents follow. The history I have produced only reflects the little that I have learned and there is much that I have yet to discover. Any errors in the account are attributable to me and no other.

Speaking for my wife and I we would like to thank the Suffolk ACRE Millennium Awards Committee for their grant which has funded this project and their tolerance. The encouragement of Nicola Beckett of Suffolk ACRE has been a great help.

We also thank the people of Hundon and those who have lived here for their contributions, be they small or large. We are well aware that there are many reasons why some have been unable to take part and it has not been possible for every­one to be approached personally. It has been a privilege to meet and be accepted by so many who have shared their memories, information and photographs with us.

My own thanks go to my wife Irene who has done much ‘donkey work’, fielded enquiries, warded off visitors at inopportune moments and generally given help and advice as well as caring for me.

I am also grateful to Jock Whitehouse for his knowledgeable history of the airfield and Diana Barker, who sketches and paints under her maiden name of ‘Diana John’ for her skill and lively illustrations on one of the maps in the book. Also Mr.Steven Knight, who is producing the books, for his advice and expertise.

There is one other person I wish to thank. He immediately welcomed me to the village and has helped a newcomer who at first knew nobody. Mr. Bernard Forge has patiently answered my interminable questions and pointed me in the right directions to people who knew more. His hand of friendship and local knowledge has been invaluable.

To slightly misquote Shakespeare :

‘All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women players’. Here are some of the players.

Leonard Caton