2019 Programme

Coming up…

November 6th, 7pm at Brandon Library, The Brandon Centre

Speaker: David Empson – What did your Grandfather do in the War?

December 4th, at Brandon Library, The Brandon Centre

A Tudor Christmas

Live music, words and images performed by Hexachordia

Doors open 7pm

The evening has been sponsored by West Suffolk Arts Centre CIC


Wednesday 6th February 2019, 7pm BDLHS AGM at Brandon Library

March 6th 2019, 7pm at Brandon Library, The Brandon Centre

Study evening

April 3rd 2019, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Sarah Doig – The A to Z of Curious Suffolk: strange stories of mysteries, crimes & eccentrics

Sarah Doig

See Ancestral Heritage on Facebook

May 1st 2019, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Leigh Driver – May Day Traditions in East Anglia and Beyond

May 4th – 6th

Tudor May Day Celebrations – Kentwell Hall

June 5th 2019, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Robert Leader – In Search of Secret Norfolk

Each of my county talks is illustrated with over 100 beautiful transparencies and cover the heritage and history of the county. The focus is on abbeys, castles, guildhalls and stately homes, and follows the courses of all the major rivers. Our rivers were the early avenues of exploration, conquest and trade, and so most of our major towns and villages have grown along their banks. Following the rivers helps to build up a comprehensive picture of the county as a whole.

With all best wishes,

July 3rd 2019, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Robert Halliday – Unusual Graves and Gravestones in Suffolk

August 7th, 7pm at Brandon Town Council Offices, Market Hill, Brandon

Study evening: Brandon Tithe Map with a special presentation by local historian, John Basham.

September 4th, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Dr. Kate Jewell – Bonfires and Bells: Ritual and Festivals in the Medieval Suffolk Landscape

September 21st, 11am-6pm – Tales & Trails at Brandon Country Park

Come and see us at the Tales & Trails Festival – free shuttle bus from George Street

October 2nd, 7pm at The Engine House, Brandon Country Park

Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Amor – The Suffolk Medieval Cloth Industry

Dr Nick Amor is chairman of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, an honorary fellow of the University of East Anglia and author of several books and papers on the late medieval economy. His talk is based on the research he undertook for his book From Wool to Cloth: The Triumph of the Suffolk Clothier.

2018 Programme

Coming up…


5th December, 7pm

Society Christmas Social – Members and their guests only

Please email the Society Secretary (secretary@bdlhs.org) or call 01842 816100 for details.


7th February, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

AGM – election of new officers – followed by a short talk from Leigh Driver about National Events Reflected in Local Documents

7th March, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Guest Speaker: Eddie Mallett – Metal Detecting in the Brandon Area

4th April, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Guest Speaker: Leigh Driver –  Q&A: Researching and Writing Local History for Publication

Local historian and heritage travel writer Leigh Driver answers questions about the research behind and writing of her books The English Village , The Lost Villages of England and work in progress Barnardo and Bob which took her and her partner Paul on a bumpy trip across Great War battlefield-site mud in Belgium in a Mazda 6,  as well as a 4000+km dash across Canada and the northern US.

2nd May, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Guest Speaker: Keith Eldred – Semi-detached to Scheduled Monument

Situated on the edge of Thetford Heath, this Scheduled Monument to the Cold War is adjacent to a nature reserve which is a breeding ground for the Stone Curlew.

Keith and Margot Eldred purchased the site in March 1966 from the Ministry of Defence  having seen an article in the Thetford & Watton Times.

Keith will talk about the history that led to the purchase of the Estate, the Cold War and why the estate was built to store and maintain atomic weapons, including Blue Danube, the first operational British nuclear weapon.


6th June, 7pm. Venue –  The Engine  House, Brandon Country Park, Bury Road (B1106), Brandon,Suffolk IP27 OSU

Guest Speaker: Mike Willett – Flint in the Brecks

An illustrated talk by Mike Willett on the ‘Flint In The Brecks’ Project
undertaken by the Breckland Society in 2014

Flint mining, flint knapping, gun flint manufacturing,  flint mine sites & the amazing LIDAR images.

4th July, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Guest Speaker: Paul Bingley Ridgewell, Chairman of the Ridgewell Air Field Commemorative Museum

A talk about the history of RAF Ridgewell and the USAF in Britain.

1st August, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Study evening: Local maps through the ages – what can they tell us?


Planning for the B&DLHS’s future, potential project partnerships, participation in community events and training needs.

5th September, 7pm, The Engine  House, Brandon Country Park, Bury Road (B1106), Brandon,Suffolk IP27 OSU

Guest Speaker: Jo Caruth – Evidence of life in death: 20 years of research into the Anglo-Saxon community living at RAF Lakenheath between 450 and 750AD

Jo will be talking about what we can tell about Anglo-Saxon life on the Suffolk fen-edge from the 400+ burials found between 1997 and 2008 at RAF Lakenheath.





20th September, Musical Mayhem

BDLHS will have a stall at this event on Market Hill, Brandon 

2.30pm to 8.30pm

From the people who brought you Ferry Tales and last year’s Fire and Flint festival join us in Brandon on Saturday 22nd September for Musical Mayhem, a music festival with a difference.

Brandon Musical Mayhem brings together a musical talent from across the region for a day of unexpected happenings. Market Hill will be taken over with interactive musical activities and themed stalls for all the family to enjoy. There will be surprise performances from a variety of musical acts including school and community choirs and orchestras. After the sun goes down the Town hall will once again become the canvas for a visual extravaganza including a finale musical performance commissioned especially for Brandon that you won’t want to miss.

There will be body paint, lip sync battles, and a lot of musical surprises. Come along to enjoy the atmosphere, bring a picnic or enjoy local food stalls, and get involved in the musical madness, there will be something for everyone!

3rd October, 7pm, Bridge Hotel, Brandon

Study evening: Plotting communities  – UK Census Data and OS Maps

This is a change to the previously advertised programme. Guest Speaker, Bob Charles, will now give his talk In Search of Secret Norfolk as part of our 2019 programme.

7th November, 7pm, The Brandon Centre, Bury Road, Brandon

Guest Speaker: David Empson – The Brave Men of Ipswich (WW1)

A talk based on medals and medal research by local historian & collector David Empson. Please bring any family medals along.


Welcome to the new web site of the Brandon & District Local History Society.

Follow the links above to find out more about us, how to become a member and how to get in touch.