Thundersley and Daws Heath - A History

A 'Thank You' from Derek Barber

By Robert Hallmann

Today I received a card letter on a David Hurrell picture card which is really addressed to all of us. As he'd started me off on the research and supplied many of the pictures I had sent a copy of the new book to Derek Barber at his new seaside address and his daughter kindly replied. I've transcribed the contents and scanned the pictures her Dad wanted us to have. If anyone can add to the captions with names and dates, that would be nice:

Dear Robert,

First time I’ve seen my father smile in months. Thank you so much, he was absolutely thrilled with your wonderful book. The dedication is very touching and will be a legacy for his grandchildren.

My mum has been in a nursing home since November. Dad has coped well, he has a little dog, but he’s pretty much housebound. He spends his days looking through the pictures in his books; the stroke he had made him illiterate and his eyesight is failing.

Rest assured I will read the book to him cover to cover, like a bedtime story.

You truly have made a lovely old boy very happy and content.

Thank you and please send Dad’s best wishes to all involved.

Jane, Derek’s daughter

P.S.: Dad wanted you to have these pics.

Photo:Derek Barber

Derek Barber

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Archie Adams, Manor Lodge, Thundersley, 1957. David's Dad Archie

Archie Adams, Manor Lodge, Thundersley, 1957. David's Dad Archie

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Jack Barber

Jack Barber

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Derek Barber

Derek Barber

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Derek Barber

Derek Barber

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Derek Barber

Derek Barber

Derek Barber Collection

Photo:Message came on a David Hurrell card

Message came on a David Hurrell card

David Hurrell

This page was added by Robert Hallmann on 24/05/2015.
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Dear ol' Derek! Many of the images in Robert Hallmann's Thundersley & Daws Heath History book (published May 2015) stemmed from Derek's collection. His famous slide shows of Hadleigh Past (sometimes presented in partnership with his mate Peter Hammerton) were always highlights of the local "What's On" calendar and his infectious enthusiasm for his town inspired many of us to take an interest in our history. He was kind enough to put on a special show at the Methodist Church for my 50th birthday (ten years ago now, but still remembered with affection). 

Derek's hobby was collecting old pictures of the district - not just postcards but family photos, which he copied onto slide film before faithfully returning the originals. His legacy is continued in the work of our Community Archive volunteers. 

If you have pictures which help tell the story of our shared heritage, do get in touch with your local Archive - you can help make history, like Derek did.

PS The new book is selling faster than hot pies - well done Mr Hallmann (and cheers, Derek - you certainly deserved the "dedication").

By David Hurrell
On 12/06/2015