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Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group Programme 2017/2018


The Group runs an informal family history Reseach Centre in Leiston. This is housed in the Old Council Room of the Leiston Council Offices in Old Post Office Square, Main Street, opposite the Long Shop Museum. There is convenient public parking (including disabled parking) immediately outside.  Postcode IP16 4ER

The Research Centre is open to the general public, and provides free access to a variety of family history advice and reference material. It is open on the first and third Saturday morning of each month, and on Wednesdays by prior appointment. If you wish to request an appointment, please contact Maggie Strutt on 01728 602298 or

This is an opportunity for those who cannot normally get to our Wednesday research mornings to discover what gems we have in our archives: these include local information such as graveyard catalogues for Benhall, Saxmundham, Leiston, Eastbridge, Aldringham and Sutton, censuses, directories, information on local war memorials, books, and historic maps. We have recently acquired a large number of CDs and microfiches of local interest. The research centre has computers with Internet, printer, and a scanner. There is also WiFi Internet access if you wish to bring your own laptop or tablet. Experienced family history researchers will be present to give assistance if required.

The Research Centre is upstairs in the old Council Offices in Main Street, Leiston, IP16 4ER, in the same building as and to the right of the Library, opposite the Long Shop Museum. Please note that access is by a steep staircase. You can park outside free of charge for one hour, or there’s an “unlimited” free car park in Valley Road — go straight on past Barclay’s Bank and it’s on the right.

The Research Centre will be open from 10am to 12 noon on the 1st Saturday and 3rd Wednesday of the month.


20 Nov: “History of the Leiston Quakers” - Ruth Hawthorne & Seija Tattersall - at 2.30pm at Aldeburgh Community Centre

NOTE: change of time and venue

At the next meeting of the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group, members of the Leiston Quaker Meeting will talk about Quakerism in general and in our local Alde Valley area. You may be familiar with some of the beliefs and works of famous Quakers, but did you know the Society of Friends has always taken records particularly seriously? From their origins in the 17th century to the present day, with no formal church hierarchies they have needed to do so, and their records of membership and activities can illuminate many more general features of local life.

The meeting will be held on 20th November at 2.30pm at Aldeburgh Community Centre. Visitors welcome. Admission: members £1, visitors £3, incl tea/coffee.


The January meeting of the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group will be an illustrated talk by Diana Hughes  to demonstrate the fascinating insight into the history of early modern Aldeburgh, gained from the Borough’s accounts.  We shall meet the Councillors and the problems they had to deal with. There were attacks on the coast and cannon on the beach;  punishments could be cruel; and seven local women were tried and hanged for witches. And all in the town that we know so well today. 

Since retiring from a career in teaching Diana Hughes has furthered her interest in local history, firstly with the National Trust on Dunwich Heath and then with the Aldeburgh Museum. Presently she is working to finish a transcription of the Aldeburgh Chamberlains’ Accounts (1566–1590 & 1625–1649), and at the same time helping to plan a new display for a revitalised Aldeburgh Museum.

The meeting will be held at 2.30pm on Monday 15 January at Snape Village Hall. Visitors welcome. Admission: members £1, visitors £3, incl tea/coffee.
Note: Change of time and Venue 
Mon 19 Feb  “Suffolk Workhouses”  2.30pm  Kelsale Village Hall 
Mon 19 March  “Introduction to Heraldry”  7.30pm  Leiston United Church 
Mon 16 April  AGM  7.30pm  Leiston United Church