Books chronicling Bedingham’s history given to each house in the village
- Credit: James Bass
It took two dedicated researchers 30 years to complete.
But now, a three-volume history spanning almost 1,000 years of live in Bedingham near Bungay has been published - and given free of charge to every house in the village.
Bedingham 1066 to 2001 AD was written by villagers Margaret Latham and Ruth Hadman, who spent three decades trawling through archives to find out as much as they could about the area and the people who lived there.
Sadly, Mrs Latham died five years ago, but Dr Hadman was determined to see their work in print.
“We were great friends,” she said. “I decided we had done all this work and I wanted it to be published.”
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The work began in 1977 when the friends were asked to help date hedges in the village. Eager to continue the research, they investigated pieces of the village’s history as and when they came across them, coming up with a wealth of local information.
They also spoke to fellow residents for the latter chapters.
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“We talked to a lot of elderly people about what they remembered,” said Dr Hadman. “Things have changed quite a lot in the last 100 years with people getting cars, televisions and radios but the village has always been agricultural.
“And the population of Bedingham in the Domesday Book was about the same as it is now.”
The three chronicles were given out for free, with people invited to make a donation to the village church if they felt they would like to.
And in honour of the generous donation, a bench has been placed outside the church in honour of Mrs Latham and Dr Hadman for their work.
“I’ve enjoyed doing it,” said Dr Hadman. “And I have a very big sense of achievement.”
Do you know local people writing about the history of their community? Email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01502 715674.