Woodbridge

Crash on A1152 at Bromeswell closes road and fire crews called

Police remain at the scene of a crash on the A1152 in Bromeswell, where two drivers sustained serious injuries. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Police remain at the scene of a crash on the A1152 in Bromeswell, where two drivers sustained serious injuries. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

CHARLOTTE BOND

A serious crash involving two vehicles has closed both sides of the A1152 at Bromeswell, with police, ambulance and fire crews on scene.

Police have closed the A1152 in both directions following the serious collision on the A1152 Eyke Road near the B1084 Orford Road and are advising drivers to avoid the area.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We were called just after 8.05am to a two-vehicle RTC on the A1152 at Bromeswell. The road is blocked and currently closed at both ends.

“Injuries have been reported and the fire service is also on scene.”

Three fire crews from Ipswich East, Woodbridge and Princes Street are at the scene of the crash.

Police remain at the scene of a crash on the A1152 in Bromeswell, where two drivers sustained serious injuries. Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDPolice remain at the scene of a crash on the A1152 in Bromeswell, where two drivers sustained serious injuries. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are currently attending a two-vehicle road traffic collision near Bromeswell. Crews have extracted one person from one of the vehicles after a roof removal. Another individual is awaiting extrication.”

Stay with us for more on this breaking news story.


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Fastfrate Group buys Bestway

WOODBRIDGE, Ont. – Fastfrate Group has purchased cross-border carrier Bestway Cartage and Bestway Global Limited, giving it a stronger foothold in the U.S.Bestway has been in business since 1976, serving the Ontario and U.S. markets. Discussions regard…

Which Suffolk campsites are reopening 2020?

Gypsy's Rest glamping caravans at Secret Meadows Picture: Secret Meadows

Gypsy’s Rest glamping caravans at Secret Meadows Picture: Secret Meadows

© chris rawlings 2014

With lockdown restrictions lifting just in time for summer, campsites across East Anglia are now reopening – with updated social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Enjoy what the Suffolk countryside has to offer this summer with Secret Meadows Glamping in Hakeston, near Woodbridge Picture: Roz GordonEnjoy what the Suffolk countryside has to offer this summer with Secret Meadows Glamping in Hakeston, near Woodbridge Picture: Roz Gordon

With the overall pleasant weather that we’ve been experiencing so far this summer, it comes as no surprise that the sale of tents, barbecues, caravans and camping equipment has been on the rise across Suffolk recently.

People throughout the county have taken to their gardens to recreate their own staycations, soaking up the sun over the two glorious bank holidays and additional sunny weekends we’ve had during lockdown.

With Coronavirus restrictions slowly lifting over the coming weeks, campsites across Suffolk are looking to reopen, adjusting their practices accordingly, which will allow them to run safely in line with social distancing and hygiene measures.

From tent pitches that ensure you’re at one with nature, to glamping options with all the mod-cons, there’s an abundance of camping options to suit all families, needs and budgets.

Come stay in Pod Hollow for an experience like no other Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow PodsCome stay in Pod Hollow for an experience like no other Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow Pods

West Stow Pods, Bury St Edmunds

Located on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds is West Stow Pods, a family-run glamping site in the heart of Suffolk’s scenic countryside, offering fabulous nature trails, walks and cycle paths.

Providing a range of accommodation, owner Jan Lengyel said: “We are very much gearing up to re-opening on the weekend of 4 July, barring any announcements to the contrary from the Government. All of our accommodation is separate, so is ideal for social distancing and each has its own en-suite facilities, and is totally self-contained.”

Accommodation on offer includes four cosy MegaPods, two woodland lodges and the site’s star attraction, Pod Hollow, its very own Hobbit House which itself is completely separate from the rest of the site and enjoys its own private parking and access.

West Stow Pods' cosy and self-contained MegaPods Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow PodsWest Stow Pods’ cosy and self-contained MegaPods Picture: Phil Morley / West Stow Pods

Each unit at West Stow Pods is at least 80 feet away from each other, offering both privacy and the necessary social distancing measures.

Sleeping up to four people, the MegaPods are equipped with their own showering and toilet facilities – ideal for families or couples who wish to get away from it all. Additionally, they provide a private kitchenette with sink, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle.

The campsite’s Woodland Lodges and Pod Hollow also feature private bathroom and kitchenette facilities, meaning those from different households have no need to come into close contact.

“Come and stay with us for a unique and tranquil glamping experience in one of Suffolk’s picturesque locations, which benefits from total self-isolation from your fellow glampers. We really do tick all the boxes during these unprecedented times,” Jan added. For further information, please visit www.weststowpods.co.uk

One of the Luxury Lodge Tents at Secret Meadows, Hakeston Picture: Craig GirlingOne of the Luxury Lodge Tents at Secret Meadows, Hakeston Picture: Craig Girling

Secret Meadows, Hakeston

Situated just outside of Woodbridge is Secret Meadows, a range of glamping accommodation that is based at White House Farm Nature Reserve. Camping options on offer include six luxury lodge tents, a two-storey luxury safari tent, a gypsy caravan, a shepherd’s hut and a converted horsebox truck.

“We will be re-opening on Saturday 4 July, based on the current Government advice. We’re introducing quite a few changes for this season to allow for the social distancing and cleaning requirements,” said director and manager Charlotte Daniel.

Some of the changes include an updated check-in policy, so guests can self-check-in, and the removal of ‘high-touch’ items such as information packs which will now be emailed to guests instead. “We’ll be available for guests to contact via telephone at any time during their stay, and we’ll maintain social distancing if we need to visit the guest’s accommodation for assistance,” Charlotte added.

Inside one of the Luxury Lodge Tents Picture: Craig GirlingInside one of the Luxury Lodge Tents Picture: Craig Girling

Hand sanitiser and disinfectant will be available for guests to use during their stay, and there will be a ‘one household at a time’ policy for guests who wish to access the onsite shop.

“We have signed up to the Clean and Safe Charter, which has been introduced by the top holiday agent for glamping sites, and we’re following all the government recommendations for cleaning. All of our accommodation units have private facilities including private loos and showers, and private kitchens, so guests don’t need to share any facilities with other groups,” said Charlotte.

With White House Farm Nature Reserve spanning 115 acres of meadows and woodlands, a trip to Secret Meadows allows you to enjoy both the sights and sounds of rural Suffolk. Guests are welcome to explore the nature trails, all while maintaining social distancing measures.

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Pictured here is one of the luxury lodge tents, which sleep up to six people. Each tent is nestled in its own wooded area, and comes fully-equipped with a private kitchen that features a wood-burning stove, private toilet and shower, and four-poster bed. To see Secret Meadows’ full range of accommodation options and to find out more, visit www.secretmeadows.co.uk/glamping

Birds & Bees, Rendham

Birds & Bees, near Saxmundham, is a campsite providing spacious, eco-friendly camping in the heart of Suffolk’s Alde Valley.

The family-friendly campsite, which features 15 tent pitches, is scattered across three rolling meadows, where guests will have a half an acre pitch.

Sunset over at Birds & Bees in Rendham Picture: Colin Thornton / Birds & BeesSunset over at Birds & Bees in Rendham Picture: Colin Thornton / Birds & Bees

With a tentative reopening date of Thursday 9 July, Birds & Bees has listed a number of measures on its website, in order to ensure that visitors comply with its social distancing and hygiene rules.

Its website states that social distancing must be observed between households with 2 metres at all times, and children are always to be accompanied by an adult when away from their designated pitch. For guests who wish to camp with friends or family from another household, Birds & Bees asks that separate pitches are booked.

Additionally, it is recommended that guests try to use the facilities as a group from each pitch in order to ease the flow of the facilities. This includes the kitchen, outside fridges and recycle point. Hand sanitiser dispensers will be conveniently located across the site, and communal touch points will be disinfected throughout the day – such as door handles, taps, toilets, showers, bins, power points and firewood buckets.

James and Emma Strachan of Birds & Bees said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of enquiries to stay with us this summer, and we remain optimistic that we’ll be able to welcome our camping lovelies from Thursday 9 July. Our aim is to accommodate the new normal while keeping it stress-free at Birds & Bees. Everyone has been very accepting and seem grateful for the efforts we’ve made so far. We really believe everyone will work together to help bring some welcome respite, and enjoy our little slice of Suffolk paradise.”

Inside one of the glamping tents at Lantern & Larks' Sweffling Hall campsite Picture: Lantern & LarksInside one of the glamping tents at Lantern & Larks’ Sweffling Hall campsite Picture: Lantern & Larks

Birds & Bees will also have no more than an 80% occupancy on site at one time. To see the campsite’s full Coronavirus provisions guide, and to find out more, visit www.birdsandbeescampsite.co.uk

Lantern & Larks, Sweffling Hall

Within easy reach of beauty spots such as Framlingham, Southwold and Aldeburgh is Sweffling Hall, a Lantern & Larks glamping campsite consisting of six tents.

The site’s tents can accommodate up to six guests in them – with three bedrooms sleeping two people each. They also include a large open-plan kitchen, dining room and lounge.

Waldegraves, located on Mersea Island, looks to reopen this July Picture: WaldegravesWaldegraves, located on Mersea Island, looks to reopen this July Picture: Waldegraves

With the campsite planning to reopen and welcome guests as of Friday 10 July, Emma Clark of Lantern & Larks said: “All of our tents have their own private showers and toilets, as well as their own kitchen – so no communal areas, and plenty of space to social distance from other guests. We are also following an enhanced cleaning policy which includes housekeepers wearing all the appropriate PPE, as well as disinfecting all surfaces.” For further information, visit www.lanternandlarks.co.uk

Waldegraves Holiday Park, Mersea

Located on Mersea Island is Waldegraves Holiday Park, an independent family holiday park owned by David Lord. The resort celebrated its 70th anniversary back in 2018, and like all other businesses up and down the country, was rocked by the enforced closure due to Coronavirus.

Park manager Krystal Crawford said: “David has never experienced anything like this. While it’s lovely to see our park blossoming along with all the wildlife, we miss seeing all our holiday homeowners and holiday makers. Our restaurant, bar and clubhouse with live entertainment are usually busy this time of year, and our outdoor swimming pool is a popular choice – especially when we have this lovely weather. We hold numerous charity events throughout the year, which have unfortunately been cancelled due to the current pandemic we all face.”

Enjoy a fun-filled family break at Waldegraves Holiday Park Picture: WaldegravesEnjoy a fun-filled family break at Waldegraves Holiday Park Picture: Waldegraves

Hoping to reopen at the beginning of July, the park is currently working on a range of measures to implement in order to make sure Waldegraves is as safe as possible for both customers and staff.

“Our trade association, British Holiday & Home Parks Association, is drawing up some detailed guidance for measures which parks should put in place – we’ll be paying close attention to these, ensuring everything is in place prior to opening our holiday park,” added Krystal. “We want to protect both visitors and our own staff from any risks.”

With pitches generously spaced out across the Waldegraves site, visitors can socially distance with ease. “Caravan holiday homes, both privately owned and rented, are entirely self-contained with their own bathrooms and kitchens,” said Krystal.

In order to ease the flow of visitors, the park is considering a staggered return, with those camping in caravans given priority over tent campers. “It’s likely that there will be a phased return to parks, so it might be that those guests requiring use of communal areas, like showers and laundries, might not be in the first phase. We feel holiday homeowners should be priority along with our static holiday home lets and our seasonal tourers, but we do hope to be welcoming touring caravans, motorhomes and tents before the end of summer.”

To stay up to date with Waldegraves Holiday Park, and for further information, please visit www.waldegraves.co.uk or ring 01206 382898.


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Soldier Harry Cole's letter returned to Suffolk family

Harry Cole in his uniform Picture: Andrew Young

Harry Cole in his uniform Picture: Andrew Young

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The family of a British soldier who was killed during the retreat to Dunkirk have finally received a letter he wrote just before his death nearly 80 years ago.

Clemmie Cole has been reunited with his brother's last letter Picture: Andrew YoungClemmie Cole has been reunited with his brother’s last letter Picture: Andrew Young

Private Harry Cole, 30, penned the letter to his mother Rosa on May 26, 1940, predicting with hopeless optimism that German troops would soon be “on the run” and “back in Germany in double quick time”.

He also reported the death of a friend and added poignantly: “Well mother, please don’t worry about me, I shall get through it OK.”

But he was shot dead by a sniper just three days later in Belgium while serving with the British Expeditionary Force in the 1st Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.

His letter was lost as British troops were evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk in the face of the lightning Blitzkrieg advance by German forces early in World War Two.

Harry Cole's mother Rosa sobbed as she received a telegram informign her he had been killed on the front line Picture: Andrew YoungHarry Cole’s mother Rosa sobbed as she received a telegram informign her he had been killed on the front line Picture: Andrew Young

It has now finally been delivered to his old family home in Hasketon, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, after being kept in an attic by a German Army officer and stored in a council archive for eight decades.

Private Cole’s younger brothers Clemmie, 87, who still lives in the family’s old council house in the village and Derek, 89, who lives nearby were shocked to finally read his last written words.

The letter was among 50 written on the front line by soldiers from the 1st Battalion, which were sent to a local headquarters for checking by censors to ensure they contained no military secrets.

They were found in an abandoned truck by a German Army officer who kept them in his attic until 1968 when he was having a clear out.

A war memorial honouring Harry Cole Picture: Andrew YoungA war memorial honouring Harry Cole Picture: Andrew Young

He took them to the British embassy in Bonn and they were forwarded to the Suffolk Regiment Association in Bury St Edmunds, where staff set about trying to trace the recipients in 1969.

Nine were successfully forwarded to the families who were supposed to receive them, but the other 41 remained languishing in archives which were taken over by Suffolk County Council.

The surviving letters including the one written in pencil by Pte Cole were uncovered again this year by council researchers planning to exhibit them as part of a local history project.

Incredibly the council’s assistant archivist Heidi Hughes, who lives in Hasketon, saw that Pte Cole’s letter was addressed to a house in her home village.

Harry Cole's letter home from the warzone Picture: Andrew YoungHarry Cole’s letter home from the warzone Picture: Andrew Young

She realised that she knew fellow villager Clemmie Cole and made inquiries to find out if he was related to Harry. He confirmed that the soldier was his older brother who had been killed in the war.

Retired prison service carpenter Clemmie, who lives with his wife Joy, recalled how he came home from the village school as a boy in 1940 to find his mother weeping over a telegram, confirming that his big brother was missing in action.

He said: “It was such a shock to receive Harry’s letter after so long. I was quite moved to read his words, knowing that he was killed just a couple of days after he wrote them.

“My mother had seven sons and no girls. Harry was the oldest and he was her favourite. She thought the world of him and she always looked forward to his letters.

Harry Cole in his uniform Picture: Andrew YoungHarry Cole in his uniform Picture: Andrew Young

“He had gone into service in a big house after he left school, but ended up joining the Army. He was posted to India before the war and was in uniform for seven years.

“I can remember him coming back on leave and bringing his rifle with him. I picked it up when he put it on his bed and thought how heavy it was.

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“My mother used to say that he hated the Army. He was apparently a very quiet chap and it was not the life for him, but he was unable to leave.

Clemmie Cole has been handed a letter written by his brother Harry before he was killed in action in the Second World War Picture: Andrew YoungClemmie Cole has been handed a letter written by his brother Harry before he was killed in action in the Second World War Picture: Andrew Young

“When he was away fighting, my mother said she suddenly saw his face appear at her bedroom window one night. She told my father to look, but it had gone.

“She always thought that it was his spirit visiting the house on the day he was killed.

“Another soldier who was with Harry when he was shot, later told my parents what had happened to him.”

Mr Cole said he had another brother Wilfred who served in the Suffolk Regiment and spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war of the Japanese after the fall of Singapore.

A third brother Alfred served in the Royal Navy on Russian convoys before being posted to Australia in 1945 where he deserted and gave himself a new identity only writing to his family a decade later to say that he was alive and married with two sons.

A fourth brother Stan also served in the Royal Navy and went to live in London after the war, but never contacted his family again.

Rosa Cole died aged 69 in 1958 while her husband Harry, a former railway signalman who fought in World War One, died in 1989 aged 98.

Extracts from Pte Cole’s letter and six others sent by troops and lost at the same time are in an online exhibition, called With Love From Dunkirk, put on by Suffolk Archives and Suffolk Artlink in a project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hannah Salisbury, a community and learning officer for Suffolk Archives, said: “When we looked at these 41 letters, we thought we might be able to find some great nieces or nephews of the soldiers who wrote them. It was incredible to find a brother.”

Councillor Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for heritage, said: “This is an astonishing story and really demonstrates the importance and personal nature of our archives.

“These letters are so very poignant; one can only imagine the hardship and anguish these soldiers and their families must have endured. It is heart-warming to think that we may now be able to help some of their families to fill in the gaps and see letters that up to now they didn’t know existed.”

The online exhibition can be found here.

Private Cole’s letter reads:

“My Dear Mother, At last I can manage to write you a few lines after all the hustle and bustle of this life. I was very pleased to get your letter and to hear you are all OK, got it yesterday, and you sent it on the 12 so you can tell it has taken some time to get here, the reason is we are not in one place long at a time, I have just received papers which I was glad to get as we don’t get much news nowadays, funny isn’t it being at war and don’t know what’s happening.

“Well mother, please don’t worry about me, I shall get through it OK

“So Stan thinks of joining up does he, I shouldn’t trouble if were him, I should wait until I got called up, anyway tell him it’s join anything but the infantry.

“What did you think of the Jerries getting through to France (?) I have an idea that they will soon be on the run and when that happens, nothing will stop them getting back to Germany in double quick time. Hitler’s number is booked alright, and the day they catch him they ought to roast him alive.

“I am sorry to say that Bob Bishop has been killed.

“Well mother, dad and boys, I guess I must close once again, hoping you all keep well, roll on when this do is over so we can get back to rest, peace and quietness once again.

“Don’t worry if you have to wait a long while for a letter or card sometimes mother, as we can’t always write for days at a time, also there is delay getting it away, so until next time, Cheerio, Love to all, Harry xxxxxx.”


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What festivals are happening in Suffolk this year and when are they on?

Lowestoft's First Light Festival will be the perfect event to allow families to let their hair down together. Photo: First Light

Lowestoft’s First Light Festival will be the perfect event to allow families to let their hair down together. Photo: First Light

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Suffolk has rich culture and heritage which is celebrated through a series of popular family friendly eventrs throughout the year. Here’s our guide to the diverse array of attractionswhich should keep everyone entertained over the next 10 months

Crowds at the East Anglian Game Fair at Euston Hall.Crowds at the East Anglian Game Fair at Euston Hall.

The East Anglian Game & Country Fair

Where: Euston Estate, Euston Hall, Thetford

When: April 25-26

The East Anglian Game & Country Fair is an annual two day, family event which celebrates the heritage and traditions of rural life. Headlining the main arena this year are The Bolddog Lings Freestyle Team who will amaze the crowds with their gravity defiant Freestyle Motocross Show.

Crowds enjoying the music at LeeStock as the sun sets Picture ANDREW DEERECrowds enjoying the music at LeeStock as the sun sets Picture ANDREW DEERE

There will also be an opportunity to see the exciting, fast and skilful British Scurry & Trials Driving in the main arena. Falconry is always a popular attraction at country fairs and Ray & Wendy Aliker’s Ye Olde Redtail Birds will be performing a very special tribute display to the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.

The East Anglian Game & Country Fair will also be hosting the Horseboarding UK Championships. It has been described as being “Somewhere between scurry racing and wake boarding.”

Bury St Edmunds Festival

The Grand Parade on the final day of the Suffolk Show Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe Grand Parade on the final day of the Suffolk Show Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Where: The Apex, the Cathedral and various venues across Bury St Edmunds

When: May 14-24

Tony Christie, Dead Bones, Deadringers Live and Jenni Murray will appear at the 35th Bury St Edmunds Festival. Spread over 11 days, in 12 different venues and with 50 different events across the West Suffolk town, the locations for the scheduled activities range from the very modern and flexible Apex to the 800-year-old Guild Hall, the Theatre Royal – the last working Regency Playhouse in Britain – and The Abbey Gardens, an English Heritage site with monastic ruins.

This year also marks the 1000th anniversary of the Abbey of St Edmund. The Festival will perform a series of concerts at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, including by The Sixteen on May 18. On May 14 the Aurora Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Eroica. Over the following days there will be a Words Weekend from (May 15-17) with writers and actors including Jenni Murray, Robert Webb, Katie Piper and Alastair Campbell discussing topics, such as mental health and gender roles.

Partying on the beach as the sun comes up. First Light Festival in Lowestoft celebrates the arrival of summer with a 24 hour arts extravaganza Photo: First LightPartying on the beach as the sun comes up. First Light Festival in Lowestoft celebrates the arrival of summer with a 24 hour arts extravaganza Photo: First Light

May 19 will see jazz singer Stacey Kent perform.

Beccles Food and Drink Festival

Where: Beccles Town Centre

Welcome to the Maverick Festival at Easton Farm Park Photo: MaverickWelcome to the Maverick Festival at Easton Farm Park Photo: Maverick

When: Saturday May 23

After a record breaking last year, Beccles Food and Drink Festival is back in 2020 with a feast of culinary delights. The free Festival features over 80 food and drink stalls, many of them local artisan producers, as well as those from further afield in East Anglia. Based in the centre of the vibrant market town, the Festival will include cookery demonstrations and talks, world street food, musicians and children’s entertainment.

Hungate Church will be the new home of the Cookery Theatre offering people the opportunity to visit and taste some great local produce.

A free park and ride shuttle service will run throughout the day from Beccles Quay, where additional parking will be available. Building on the successful formula of previous years, the Festival is set to repeat Fringe events in the local area a week either side of the main Festival day.

Audiences enjoying the experience of Latitude at Henham Park. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAudiences enjoying the experience of Latitude at Henham Park. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

LeeStock Music Festival 2020

Where: Melford Hall, (National Trust) Long Melford, Sudbury

When: May 23-24

Thousands of people will flock to Helmingham Hall for Suffolk Dog Day. Photo: Sarah Lucy BrownThousands of people will flock to Helmingham Hall for Suffolk Dog Day. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

LeeStock returns to celebrate its 13th anniversary with another top line up. This year’s headline acts include: Ash, Scouting For Girls, Toploader, Lucy Spraggan, Space, Electric Six and Stereo Mc’s. It’s a family event so there will be plenty for youngsters to do in the The Drage & Tozer Family Area including: Story time and music time, face painting, glitter tattoos, books to read, chalk table, colouring in as well as sand and water play.

Suffolk Show

Where: Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich

Festival of Wheels at Trinity Park in Ipswich. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGEFestival of Wheels at Trinity Park in Ipswich. PICTURE: RACHEL EDGE

When: May 27-28

The Suffolk Show is an event that celebrates both modern life and the county’s rich heritage. Traditional livestock share space in the show ring with various attractions like showjumping, motorcycle displays, parachute jumps, best in show parades even on one occasion dancing diggers.

Local craftsmen can also display their wares at the show. It is a unique celebration of everything that makes the county great and showcases the best of Suffolk’s food, farming and agricultural heritage. The aim is to promote food, farming and the countryside and its importance to Suffolk.

FolkEast music and art festival showcasing the best of Suffolk at Glemham Hall. FolkEast music and art festival showcasing the best of Suffolk at Glemham Hall.

First Light Festival

Where: Lowestoft South Beach

When: Saturday June 20

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, First Light Festival will return on the 2020 summer solstice weekend.

Join in the fun and frolics on the beach for 24 hours of non-stop multi-arts programming on Lowestoft’s South Beach. This is a free festival for thinkers, for dreamers and for fun-seekers. Pick the brains of some of the world’s top scientists, authors and broadcasters; dance on the sand to live music and DJs; watch films at the outdoor cinema; take a moment for yourself in the well-being tipis and see site-specific installations, art and sculpture as you discover 24 hours of imaginative programming.

Maverick Festival

Where: Easton Farm Park, Easton, Woodbridge

When: July 3-5

Maverick is the UK’s first and finest Americana music festival and an event that continues to build on its reputation for securing the best and brightest in American roots music from both sides of the Atlantic.

The Maverick Festival is set amongst the restored Victorian barns and out-buildings of Easton Farm Park, nestled deep in the Suffolk countryside, with films, workshops and performances from more than 50 different artists across six stages, indoors and out.

The music begins on Friday at 5pm and runs until around 11.30pm. Saturday’s programme starts at 11am and finishes around 11.30pm. Sunday is altogether more relaxed beginning around 10.30am and running until approximately 2.30pm.

This year’s line-up includes: Steve Forbert, California Feetwarmers, Legendary Shack Shakers, Terra Lightfoot, Henhouse Prowlers, Weeping Willows and Hank Wangford.

Latitude

Where: Henham Park, near Blythburgh, NR34 8AQ

When: July 16-19

Latitude is a major part of the UK’s festival season and an important corner-piece of Suffolk’s cultural jigsaw. What makes Latitude special is, in addition to the eclectic selection headline music acts, the festival held at Henham Park, just outside Southwold, is also home to a fascinating lineup of theatre, cabaret and comedy, while an inspiring variety of spoken word, poetry and film features regularly throughout the weekend. You’ll experience everything from the spectacular to the surreal at Latitude’s diverse array of stages, with the main stage (Obelisk Arena) sitting at the top of the hill overlooking the festival.

Among the headliners at this year’s festival are: Liam Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers, HAIM plus Bill Bailey and Simon Amstell.

Suffolk Dog Day 2020

Where: Helmingham Hall, Stowmarket

When: July 26

This is no ordinary day in the doggy diary, but a day to celebrate our furry friends in all their guises. Enjoy a great day out with your dogs, family and friends.

There are fun dog classes with great prizes, agility, dog scurry and lots of attractions and trade stands to keep everyone entertained. There are children’s activities as well as more than 50 stalls selling everything from dog accessories to cheese. There will also be a catering village as well as entertainments and demonstrations.

Festival of Wheels

Where: Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich

When: July 31 – August 2

An intoxicating mix of cars, bikes, trucks and all things motoring come together over two superb days for the Festival of Wheels.

The largest event of its kind in the South-East, the festival gathers together the east coast’s rarest and most glamorous cars, bikes and trucks. The Festival of Wheels is a unique event created for those with a passion for motoring in general. The festival format enables visitors to enjoy a full day or weekend of motoring entertainment.

Attractions include: Monster Truck Rides, Honda’s Official And The UK’s Number 1 Freestyle Motocross Display Team, 2 Bros Stunt Team, Extreme Bike Battle, Wall of Death and Happy’s Circus.

FolkEast

Where: Glemham Hall, Little Glemham, Woodbridge

When: Aug 21-23

FolkEast is a festival where a group of like minded people from across the generations, who gather together for a three day annual festival of music, arts, crafts, legends, traditions and frivolities on the Glemham Hall estate in Suffolk.

The line-up is hand-picked from first class national, international and local folk artists, the food and ale all locally sourced and fairly priced. With the feel of a large village fete and set amidst a Constable-esque landscape, there is plenty to sing and dance about.

This year’s line-up includes: Afro Celt Sound System, Drever McCusker & Woomble, Elephant Sessions, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, The Shee, The Trials of Cato, Gigspanner Big Band, The Moulettes and festival patrons The Young’Uns.

Retro Dub Suffolk VW Festival

Where: Trinity Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich

When: Fri Sept 25 – Sun Sept 27

Retro Dub Suffolk VW Festival is an old school camping and live music weekend for all ages. Now in its sixth year, the event proves to be a chilled-out show, offering a genuine VW camping festival experience – like it used to be back in the day.

The show is hosted at Trinity Park, Ipswich, situated within a beautiful 300 acre secure complex, has rural landscapes, and even has 4G for most networks. On the Saturday, Norfolk and Suffolk Retro Riderz are hosting a bike show and shine with various trophies up for grabs. All old-school rides are welcome, be it chopper, cruiser, BMX or trike.

Sunday is the VW show and shine, where if you enter with a cool vdub, you could be in with a chance of winning a unique trophy. No pre-registration is required to enter and is just £1 to participate, with all the money raised being donated to charity.

We have a variety of traders and catering options, as well as a full programme of live music and children’s entertainment. The sponsors area will be full of invited guests from Europe along with top show cars, drag cars and some specialist traders.

Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival

Where: Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape

When: September 26-27

This event showcases products like raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, beer and spirits and much more. This year, the Festival promises to deliver a jam-packed weekend of fabulous food adventures, from tastings and demonstrations to ‘roll up your sleeves and get stuck in’ masterclasses.

Among the visiting chefs are Chetna Makan, Indian food writer and Great British Bake Off contestant, Jo Pratt, a TV cook, food stylist and author of seven books including The Flexible Vegetarian. She’s former food editor for both Elle and Glamour magazines, Galton Blackiston, chef owner of Morston Hall Hotel in North Norfolk where his restaurant has held a Michelin star for the past 16 years, Jack Adair Bevan, an award-winning drinks and cocktail creator, Thomasina Miers OBE, winner of BBC MasterChef in 2005 and James Morton, doctor, Scottish baker, brewer and runner-up of the third Great British Bake Off series in 2012.

Ed Sheeran's 13 best moments of 2019

Ed Sheeran's second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people Picture: ZAKARY WALTERS

Ed Sheeran’s second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people Picture: ZAKARY WALTERS

Archant

World tours, pizza ovens, Stormzy, ketchup… Ed Sheeran has had a memorable 2019 – here’s his best bits.

More than 150,000 people saw Ed Sheeran perform in Chantry Park in 2019 Picture: ZAKARY WALTERSMore than 150,000 people saw Ed Sheeran perform in Chantry Park in 2019 Picture: ZAKARY WALTERS

1. Ed’s Chantry Park homecoming gigs

In case you missed it, 150,000 people visited Chantry Park over the August Bank Holiday for four days for Ed Sheeran’s most anticipated UK shows.

Some fans had tickets for two, three or all four shows, queueing for hours and travelling from across Europe and even Australia to soak up the atmosphere at these special concerts. Friend and collaborator Stormzy appeared on the Saturday night as a special guest for a performance of their track ‘Take Me Back to London’.

The shows marked the end of a two-year world tour and were followed by the announcement that Ed would be taking a well-earned break from music.

The Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition at Christchurch Mansion is full of some of the most iconic moments of his career Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition at Christchurch Mansion is full of some of the most iconic moments of his career Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

2. Ed’s Made in Suffolk exhibition

Opening at the same time as his landmark concerts, Ipswich’s Christchurch Mansion was filled with family memories, never-before-seen photos and relics of Ed’s rise to fame for the Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition.

Alongside pictures of his earliest performances, including one to an audience of one from the side of a flatbed truck, there are framed records and costumes used in videos when he has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest stars.

Curated by his father and open until May 3, the exhibition is free to enter but bookings must be made in advance.

The East Anglian Daily Times changed its name for one day only in celebration of Ed's homecoming concerts Picture: ARCHANTThe East Anglian Daily Times changed its name for one day only in celebration of Ed’s homecoming concerts Picture: ARCHANT

3. The Ed Sheeran Daily Times

After 45,681 issues and for the first time in the 145-year history of the East Anglian Daily Times, the newspaper changed its masthead in honour of Ed’s four Ipswich gigs.

The newspaper contained a 20-page commemorative souvenir pullout and was ordered by fans from around the world, quickly selling out and soon popping up for sale on online auction sites. Second-hand copies will now cost much more than the original 95p cover price.

Also on the front page was GCSE results day coverage and a stellar interview with Ipswich Town FC’s Kayden Jackson, who had just days prior scored an injury-time winner against AFC Wimbledon.

A group photo at the Castle on the Hill Elmer at the Cornhill - an Elmer covered in tributes to Ed Sheeran Picture: SARAH PEARSONSA group photo at the Castle on the Hill Elmer at the Cornhill – an Elmer covered in tributes to Ed Sheeran Picture: SARAH PEARSONS

4. Ed’s very own Elmer

Anyone who visited Ipswich this summer found dozens of colourful elephants on the street as part of the art trail, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.

Among the patchwork animals was one artwork called ‘Castle on the Hill’, a tribute to Ed’s career displayed on the Ipswich Cornhill. It was later sold for £10,000 and signed by Sheeran, with the money going towards St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

Following the Pigs Gone Wild art trail in 2016, Ed himself bought his porky likeness, Ed Sheer-ham, for £6,200.

Ed Sheeran also appears in Richard Curtis' Yesterday Picture: PA WIRE/PA IMAGESEd Sheeran also appears in Richard Curtis’ Yesterday Picture: PA WIRE/PA IMAGES

5. Ed’s Yesterday cameo

Somehow finding time in his tour schedule to work with legendary British director Richard Curtis, Ed appeared in blockbuster movie Yesterday, which was filmed in Suffolk this year.

Featuring the music of The Beatles, the main character Jack Malik, played by Himesh Patel, suddenly finds fame and meets Ed on a private jet. They later record a new single called ‘Hey Jude’.

This star turn came after his cameo in the Game of Thrones TV series in 2018.

Ed Sheerans Suffolk estate, near Framlingham, will now include a prayer retreat in the shape of a boat Picture: DONALD INSALL ASSOCIATES/PA IMAGESEd Sheerans Suffolk estate, near Framlingham, will now include a prayer retreat in the shape of a boat Picture: DONALD INSALL ASSOCIATES/PA IMAGES

6. Ed’s planning permission saga

Ed has been busy developing his estate close to his home village of Framlingham. In March, Suffolk Coastal District Council concluded that his wildlife pond – with steps, handrail and jetty – was not in fact a swimming pool, despite complaints from neighbours it was being used as one.

In April, he was ordered to remove a caravan (which had been converted into a sauna) and a pub sign after they were erected without permission. This was overturned on appeal in June.

Then in August Ed was given approval for an outdoor kitchen, complete with a brick-clad pizza oven big enough to cook three pizzas at once. And lastly in November, he was granted permission to construct a prayer hall in the shape of a boat.

Ed Sheeran appeared halfway through Snow Patrol's performance of their hit single 'Chasing Cars' Picture: STEPHEN FOSTEREd Sheeran appeared halfway through Snow Patrol’s performance of their hit single ‘Chasing Cars’ Picture: STEPHEN FOSTER

7. Ed’s surprise appearance with Snow Patrol

Since performing in Suffolk in August, Ed has spent more time in the county recuperating after his Divide world tour.

A guest at Snow Patrol’s November show at the Ipswich Regent, the band invited him on to sing with lead singer Gary Lightbody for their mega-hit Chasing Cars.

Ed Sheeran and the X Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Tattoo Edition. Picture: HEINZ UKEd Sheeran and the X Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Tattoo Edition. Picture: HEINZ UK

8. Ed’s Tomato Edchup

Shoppers were able to get their hands on Tomato Edchup in 2019 – a rebranded Heinz ketchup featuring a tomato wearing glasses and a leafy fringe – in supermarkets across the UK.

However, 150 super limited edition signed bottles of ketchup, with a unique bottle design inspired by Ed’s tattoos, were sold to raise money for East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH). Sheeran has been an ambassador for EACH since 2014.

Three were auctioned off by Christie’s and another 100 were given away in a charity raffle, with the remaining 50 donated to museums across the world.

Sheeran showed off his Divide Ipswich Town shirt at a game in 2019 Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMSheeran showed off his Divide Ipswich Town shirt at a game in 2019 Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

9. Ed signs for Ipswich and Framlingham Town

Unveiling his own Ipswich Town kit in the days before his Chantry Park gigs, Tractor Boy Ed had queues out the door of his pop-up shop in Ipswich’s Buttermarket with fans trying to get a limited edition shirt with the ‘Divide’ tour logo in place of the Magical Vegas sponsor.

But Ed had a secret second shirt, a replica of Framlingham Town FC, which he revealed on the last night of his four Ipswich shows – demand for the shirt was so high the club’s website crashed due to the number of visitors and customers are still being asked to wait three weeks for delivery due to high demand, even today.

Ed Sheeran has donated hundreds of items of clothing to charity shops in 2019 Picture GREGG BROWNEd Sheeran has donated hundreds of items of clothing to charity shops in 2019 Picture GREGG BROWN

10. Ed’s charity shop donations

A big supporter of St Elizabeth’s Hopsice, EACH and other charities in the region, Ed often donates clothes and old belongings to their shops to sell or auction.

This year alone has seen him donate clothes to a new EACH shop in Woodbridge, tour merchandise to a Sue Ryder shop in Ipswich, and 300 items of clothing to a St Elizabeth’s Hospice shop in Framlingham.

Ed Sheeran posted this image on Instagram announcing his engagement to Cherry Seaborn. The coupled married in secret at the end of 2018 Picture: TEDDYSPHOTOS/INSTAGRAMEd Sheeran posted this image on Instagram announcing his engagement to Cherry Seaborn. The coupled married in secret at the end of 2018 Picture: TEDDYSPHOTOS/INSTAGRAM

11-ish… Ed’s marriage reveal

Technically married in the last few days of 2018, the news of Sheeran’s marriage to childhood sweetheart and girlfriend of four years, Cherry Seaborn, only broke in February 2019.

The pair were married in the company of a priest and their oldest school friends in their Suffolk estate – electing to have a more intimate ceremony rather than a star-studded bash.

The pair threw a star-studded bash in a big top circus tent in a secret Suffolk location in September instead.

Stormzy surprised crowds for one night only at Ed Sheeran's Chantry Park homecoming gigs Picture: KELLY MARIEStormzy surprised crowds for one night only at Ed Sheeran’s Chantry Park homecoming gigs Picture: KELLY MARIE

12. Ed’s Suffolk Music Foundation

With a surprise announcement on Instagram on December 23, the superstar revealed he was founding the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation.

In the video he posted, he said: “The reason I’m doing it in Suffolk is it’s the area that I grew up, I still live here, I learnt to play music here and I feel like I’ve had a lot of support from the area and I want to give some support back.”

There is a three-week wait for an Ed Sheeran Framlingham Town shirt, months after the superstar wore one on stage in Ipswich Picture: TOTAL FOOTBALLThere is a three-week wait for an Ed Sheeran Framlingham Town shirt, months after the superstar wore one on stage in Ipswich Picture: TOTAL FOOTBALL

Ed said the aim of the grants are to help with buying an instrument, music studies, vocal lessons, rehearsals, gigs and more. In order to get involved with the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation, youngsters are asked to register their interest here before applying online.

13. Ed’s taking a break

After one of his busiest years to date, Ed also shared on his Instagram account a note to tell his 32.2million followers he will be stepping back from music until further notice and will not be posting on social media in the meantime.

In the note he said: “To my family and friends, see ya when I see ya – and to my fans, thank you for always being amazing, I promise to be back with some new music when the time is right and I’ve lived a little more to actually have something to write about.”