2016: Aldeburgh Lifeboat ‘Freddie Cooper’ Goes for Refit

As published by Aldeburgh Lifeboat, 10 October 2016

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Aldeburgh Lifeboat, the Freddie Cooper

Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station’s All Weather Lifeboat, the Freddie Cooper, is heading down to Poole for a refit.

Some of the crew went down to Ramsgate, earlier in the week, as the station will have a relief lifeboat, another Mersey called Margaret Jean. The crew brought the relief boat to Aldeburgh from Ramsgate on Tuesday 11th October, arriving at the beach at approximately 1pm.

Crew then sailed the Freddie Cooper down to Levington Marina on Thursday 13th October, where she was lifted out and then driven down to Poole by road.  The refit is expected to take about 2 months.

Aldeburgh Boatyard

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Demon Yachts takes over running of Aldeburgh Boatyard

Demon Yachts Ltd are very excited to have taken over the running of the Aldeburgh Boatyard.

Aldeburgh Boatyard and its skilled team have a fine history of interesting builds and restorations including:

  • Building Dragons, Metre Boats, several members of the Loch Long and Lapwing class, and many one-off builds such as a replica of Blondie Hasler’s ‘Jester’.
  • Restorations such as the 8 metre ‘if’, several 6 metre class yachts and many, many others besides.

Demon Yachts say:

We hope to continue Aldeburgh Boatyard’s fine history! The yard is capable of launching and recovering yachts up to 12 tonnes and we have plenty of space for winter storage, costs available here. We can also carry out all kinds of GRP and timber repairs, yearly maintenance such as antifouling, anode replacement etc, and can carry out all types of rigging work, engine servicing etc either in house or via a network of suppliers and specialist contractors.

2016: Aldeburgh lifeboat charity signals call for help to fill volunteer shortage

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 4 May 2016

A lifesaving charity has signalled its own call for help in finding new volunteers.

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54th AGM of the Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild. The guild is currently experiencing difficulties in recruiting volunteers. Veda Crane (left) is standing down as chairman and there is no one to take her place. Rosemary Trigg (right), who has managed the lifeboat shop for eight years in a voluntary capacity, is also retiring.

The Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild was founded 54 years ago – but it now faces a recruitment challenge.

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The Lifeboat Guild in Aldeburgh is looking for more volunteers for the shop.

In 2015, more than £91,000 was raised at the lifeboat shop, run for the last eight years by Rosemary Trigg.

Following her retirement, the guild launched a search for someone to take over. Meanwhile, no one was found to take the place of Veda Crane, who recently stood down as acting guild chairman after two years. Following the 54th AGM, she said: “Of more immediate importance is the lifeboat shop. Rosemary Trigg, who has run the shop for eight years in an entirely voluntary capacity, has now retired and we are seeking someone to take her place. This position would ideally suit someone who has recently retired and would like to help raise funds for the lifeboats. Our shop is eighth in the countrywide league table and last year raised £91,286. We urgently need someone with the commitment and dedication to take over the reins.”

Annie Groves, RNLI visitor experience manager for the east region, said the fundraising activities of the guild and retail element of the RNLI were essential to the service. She added: “Why not come and join a fun and friendly team doing something worthwhile for your community? You will receive first class training in whatever role you take, with ongoing guidance and support, while learning new skills, meeting new people and helping save lives at sea.”

Anyone interested in volunteering to run the shop should call 01728 452552 or email aldeburgh@rnli.org.uk for further information.

To express an interest in joining the guild committee, contact secretary Viv Holt on 01728 688448.

2016: Golden honour for 40 years of supporting Aldeburgh lifeboat

As published by East Anglian Daily Times,  8 February 2016

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Sandra Saint, who has been honoured by the RNLI with a Gold Badge for her work. Copyright EADT 2016

A tireless volunteer has been recognised for her “dedication, commitment and length of service” to a lifesaving case on the Suffolk coast.

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Sandra Saint (centre), who has been honoured by the RNLI with a Gold Badge. Pictured with Veda Crane, chairman of the Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild, and son Steve Saint, who is the coxswain of the lifeboat at Aldeburgh. Copyright EADT 2016

Sandra Saint has been awarded the prestigious Gold Badge from the trustee board of the RNLI, in acknowledgement of four decades supporting Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station.

Mrs Saint joined the Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild in January 1975 – when it was known as the Lifeboat Ladies’ Guild – and has since been committed to help raise money for the cause, catering single-handedly at the charity’s many fundraising functions, including quiz nights attended by up to 50 people. Her husband, Nigel Saint, was the lifeboat mechanic from May 1961 until October 1993. Their son, Steven, joined the Aldeburgh crew in 1989 and is now the coxswain – meaning that, between them, the Saint family has served the RNLI for a century.

Veda Crane, chairman of the Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild, said: “A Gold Badge is awarded for a significant level of dedication, commitment and length of service. This award is a long-awaited recognition of Sandra’s tireless and willing commitment within the sphere of her voluntary work for the RNLI.”

The RNLI awards three levels of badge – bronze, silver and gold – in recognition of service by guild members.

The concluding paragraph of Mrs Saint’s citation for the Gold Badge reads: “The committee cannot speak highly enough of her popularity, kindness and dedication to the RNLI. “We have no hesitation in recommending Sandra for a Gold Badge award in a long-awaited recognition of her continuing commitment to the RNLI. Sandra is an invaluable member of our committee and guild.”

The first lifeboat in the Aldeburgh area was stationed at Sizewell in 1826 – two years after the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) was formed. The lifeboat station was moved to Aldeburgh in 1851 and has since been in continuous service

The Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild was formed in 1962 with the purpose of raising funds to help the local RNLI save lives at sea.

2015: Fiat 500 crashes into Collen & Clare in Aldeburgh

As published by the Ipswich Star, 15 September 2015

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The scene of the crash in Aldeburgh’s High Street. CREDIT: Edward Harvey

A car has crashed into the shop front of Collen & Clare in Aldeburgh High Street this morning. Suffolk Constabulary were called to the crash just after 10.15am. A Fiat 500 has crashed into the front of the clothes shop.

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Another view of the crash scene in Aldeburgh’s High Street. CREDIT: Edward Harvey

Edward Harvey, store manager at nearby shop Jack Wills, said: “I heard a big smash and then I saw there was a Fiat 500 in the window. I didn’t see what happened, but I just heard the glass smash. There are a lot of people having a look now.”

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said a female driver, believed to be in her seventies, was the only person in the Fiat at the time of the crash. She added that staff at the shop were not hurt as they were towards the rear of the shop at the time of the crash. It is believed the shop will be open tomorrow.

2015: Lifeboat fundraiser honoured for years of charitable efforts

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 26 June 2015

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Jo Turnbull with her letter from RNLI Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease OBE celebrating her 30 years of work with Aldeburgh Lifeboat Guild. Copyright EADT 2015

A dedicated fundraiser received a special message of thanks at a gathering held in her honour.

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Jo Turnbull, (centre front) is the guest at at a lunch party held by the Aldeburgh Lifeboat Guild commitee to recognise her work over the last 30 years. Copyright EADT 2015

The committee of Aldeburgh and District Lifeboat Guild hosted a farewell lunch for Jo Turnbull at the Wentworth Hotel yesterday.

She joined in July 1987 and helped raise thousands for the lifeboats with her husband, Dr Adam Turnbull, who was treasurer and in charge of collecting boxes for many years. Both are now in their 90s and Mrs Turnbull has decided to leave Aldeburgh for sheltered accommodation in Bury St Edmunds, close to the sheltered housing complex where her husband lives. Mrs Turnbull, already the owner of a silver badge for loyal service to the charity, was presented with a letter of thanks from RNLI chairman Charles Hunter-Pease, OBE.

Guild chairman, Veda Crane said: “The guild and the Aldeburgh crew wish to thank Dr and Mrs Turnbull for their dedication, loyalty and fundraising efforts over the past 30 years, and wish them all happiness in their future home.”

2015: Co-op deal set to modernise and safeguard Post Office services in Aldeburgh

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 17 April 2015

Aldeburgh Post Office. Copyright EADT 2015.

Customers in an east Suffolk town will have improved post office services this summer following a partnership deal with a major retail business.

The East of England Co-op has agreed to take over as postmaster in Aldeburgh to ensure essential post office services for the town and nearby villages are modernised and safeguarded.

Roger Grosvenor, East of England Co-op executive officer for retail, said: “The Post Office has been eager to identify thriving retail businesses in East Anglia to take on post offices when vacancies arise. As the largest independent retailer in the region, situated at the heart of so many of our towns and villages, we clearly fit the bill. We wanted to ‘do the right thing’ in keeping post office services local, and we believe this move, along with additional opening hours, brings many benefits to the community.”

Kevin Shepherd, Post Office area manager, said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents. We are confident this vibrant new-style post office at the heart of the community will meet customer needs. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future. The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

East of England Co-op will take over the current post office next door to its food store in High Street. The post office will close for refurbishment on June 9, reopening on June 19. It will feature two modern screened positions at the current location, which will open with increased hours Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm. At the food store there will be a new post office serving point, alongside the retail till, offering selected services during shop opening hours, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 9am and 5.30pm to 8pm, and on Sundays from 9am to 8pm.

Mr Shepherd said the arrangements would mean an extra 36 hours and 45 minutes a week opening, including all day Sunday and Saturday afternoon. He said: “The branch will also open earlier and will close much later every day. This will make it more convenient for customers to visit.”

The new-look Aldeburgh Post Office will enable residents and small business customers to access a wide range of Post Office and mail services, including international parcels, Special Delivery, Local Collect and home shopping returns, make cash withdrawals from a Post Office Card Account, send funds abroad using Moneygram, pay bills, buy holiday money, get insurance, mortgages and savings and top up mobile phones.

As the traditional banking network declines, customers for 95% of UK banks can use their post office for online banking cash deposits and withdrawals and bill payments.

While the post office is out of action for the refurbishment, customers will be able to use the facilities at Leiston Post Office, Sizewell Road, Leiston, or Snape Post Office, Church Road, Snape.

2014: Conversion of Grade II listed water tower to begin as soon as possible

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 26 July 2014

The conversion of a Grade II listed water tower into a six storey family home is hoped to begin “as soon as possible” after amended plans were given the go ahead. Architects redeveloping the 22-metre tall tower opposite Aldeburgh community hospital said work could begin as early as September after permission was granted on Wednesday.

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Aldeburgh Water Tower in Park Road. Copyright EADT 2014

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s north area planning committee chairman Debbie McCallum said the proposals were “extremely exciting”. She described the project as a “labour of love” after learning that it was being carried out in memory of the owner’s dead wife.

The application, which will see the 19th Century landmark fitted out with living space over six storeys, was first approved in 2012. Then, the proposal was for a minimalist “glass cube” to be built around its ground floor with a roof terrace at the top. Resubmitted plans have replaced the cube with three copper clad “modules” around the north, east and west of the tower and include alterations to the basement wine cellar.

The planning officer’s report identified the alterations as being “slightly more beneficial in terms of its relationship with the neighbouring amenity”.

Solicitors on behalf of the hospital, however, raised concerns about the development’s “unacceptable detrimental impact on the staff and residents” and called for a “construction management plan” to be submitted before work begins, addressing difficulties over contractor parking, access, noise and dust. The League of Friends of Aldeburgh and District Community Hospital also submitted concerns about disruption and privacy.

Committee members, however, welcomed the application, which they felt would preserve an important building that might otherwise be left to deteriorate.

Councillor Michael Gower said: “Someone is willing to put a great deal of money in to preserve the building when there are no other offers on the table. This is the sort of building that in other towns can easily remain empty with bits falling off. It’s great to see that in Aldeburgh the building will be preserved and put to use.”

Dominic Goldfinger, of Polyhedron Architecture Ltd, told the committee he was keen to begin work “as soon as possible” and expected the project to take between 10 and 15 months to complete.

Aldeburgh/Saxmundham: Communities assured there will be no cut in manpower as police stations reduced

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 7 January 2014

Police have reassured residents that they are not planning to cut the number of officers on patrol in east Suffolk, despite axing a number of police stations.

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Police stations will be closed. Copyright EADT 2014.

Both Saxmundham and Aldeburgh will be losing their stations, the latest communities to do so – both destined to make way for housing. But the stations are not open to the public – except for advertised drop-in surgeries or public forum meetings – and are mainly used as a base and office accommodation for police officers who are working in the area. The force said the presence of officers in communities would not be reduced, and it was seeking alternative and more cost-efficient accommodation for the teams.

Many of the smaller town and village police stations around the county are too big and expensive – especially their heating – to run. Suffolk Constabulary has applied for permission to knock down Saxmundham police station and use its quarter-of-an-acre site to build four new homes. One pair of semi-detached homes would face on to Station Approach and the other on to New Cut. Town councillors though are against the demolition and want the single-storey building listed as a “community asset” so they can spearhead plans to use it as a possible youth centre.

Permission is also being sought to demolish Aldeburgh police station in Leiston Road, Aldeburgh, and replace it with five detached homes.

It is understood that negotiations are taking place to provide new accommodation for officers patrolling the Saxmundham area in the Fromus Centre, while talks are also under way over a new location in Aldeburgh.

Suffolk Constabulary is aiming to make the new premises in market towns more central and convenient, as well as being cheaper. Consent was given previously for the police station in Badingham Road, Framlingham, to be converted into a house with a new house built on land alongside. A deal was struck for accommodation for the police officers at the town’s fire station. Approval was also given last summer for Bungay police station to be replaced with a two-storey house. Arrangements were made for a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) office elsewhere in the town.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Firstly, and most importantly, I must stress that any changes to our police station provision will not affect policing levels in the county. I am totally committed to maintaining the SNT cover throughout the county and that is definitely not up for negotiation. We have sold several of our ageing police stations and replaced them with offices shared with partners. Our joint police/fire stations in Framlingham, Elmswell, Debenham and Ixworth are good examples, as is the SNT office in the Mid Suffolk District Council office in Needham Market and the one at Hartismere Hospital. I am committed to working with local communities to find alternative uses for the redundant stations and looking for creative and innovative ways to maximise the opportunities that present themselves through changes to the Constabulary’s estate. I will always ensure that we get the very best value for the council tax payer, sometimes this will be financial value and in other cases it may be community benefit. This is an integral part of my Police and Crime Plan.”

2012: Aldeburgh: Equipment fault suspected cause of shop blaze

As published by East Anglian Daily Times, 19 June 2012

Aldeburgh Market Fire

Fire investigators suspect a kitchen equipment fault to have been the cause of a blaze that left a shop badly damaged in Aldeburgh.

An investigation has found that a fault in kitchen equipment may have led to the outbreak at the Aldeburgh Market, shortly before 10.30am yesterday. Staff and customers were evacuated from the delicatessen and cafe minutes before flames spread through the first floor and broke through the building’s roof, closing the High Street to traffic for much of the day.

Fire crews from across the county joined the effort to fight the flames. Two crews initially sent to the scene required further assistance from Orford, Halesworth and Woodbridge, as well as the turntable ladder from Ipswich East.

Roadblocks were set up at either end of Aldeburgh High Street and on the Saxmundham Road approach to the town, which is currently in the middle of hosting its 65th annual arts festival.

Part of the roof collapsed under the force of the fire and most of the building was smoke-logged before firefighters were able to bring the flames under control.