Have you any memories of Rendham, have you lived here, went to school even worked here

Did you attend the Church or visit the White Horse pub

Do let us have your recollections for everyone to share

If you have any memories no matter how small please send details to

If you have any pictures that would be great

Hi Richard. Good to hear from you. I remember your brother Trevor Chambers, although he was not in my class but in Mrs Orvis's infants class in the photgraph. I remember the cottage that your family lived in which was near the old shop, and the post office which was then at the other end of the terraced cottage. Were they called Trinity cottages? I have a postcard that illustrates the South View of the Cottages if you would like a copy?

My late auntie and uncle (Jean and Arthur Shawcross) gave us sone great holiday memories of Sweffling Cottage and Rendham Gable Cottage (the latter with my grandparents - Russells).

Cheers Mike (Leeds)

Posted 20th June 2017

Hi I was born in Rendham in 1960. I was born at home in a cosy cottage opposite the church. I can remember we had a tin bath and an outside toilet out back. We had great rhubarb in the garden. My mum used to work in the pub and I can remember the corner shop as my mum used to pull me there on my pull along tractor.

I can just remember there was a fair or show with animals and stalls on the field just over the bridge in the field on the right before the sharp right hand bend going towards Sweffling. I think it was around 1963/64 but not sure as we moved in 1965 to Benhall. In your school photo of 1962 my brother is on the front row 3rd one in from the right - Trevor Chambers.

My mums name was Jean Chambers and my dad was Victor Chambers.

Rendham holds a lot of memory's for me as I was born there and I still think of it as home.

I have attached a photo of me in the back garden of cosy cottage. I have got some more photos and I will hunt them out.

Richard Chambers

Posted to website 14th October 2016

Dear Sirs.
I can remember the Congregational Chapel on Chapel Road in Rendham, and I remember there was a Mr. Jolliffe (rector/preacher?) there in the 1960's. He had two daughters that went to Rendham School. The Chapel had some excellent jumble sales (bric-a-brac) in the annexe, where you could get some bargains. The Church Hall near St.Michael's also had some good jumble sales.
The White Horse Pub at Rendham was once run by Tolly Cobbold Brewery in Ipswich, and you can still see the outline of the brewery name in the side of the building nearest the car park. I remember the off license there at the side of the building. There were coloured lamps across the front of the public house (probably installed by Hubbard's Electrical of Saxmundham).
My sister was christened at St.Michael's church in 1962 when we moved from Leeds.
I have many great memories of the various journeys that we had from Leeds to Sweffling & Rendham on holidays by train & sometimes by van (sleeping overnight en-route).
Kind regards
Mike Horne, Leeds

Posted to website 29th January 2014 

I managed to get to visit Rendham & Sweffling this summer, it was great to see it all again even though most people that I remembered had long gone. It is a shame that no pubs were available for refreshments or toilet facilities. Not so long ago, both villages were very popular with people staying at local B & B places. I could not wait until opening times at both pubs as I had to connect back up with the last bus to Aldeburgh from Saxmundham.
I can remember the former petrol filling station at Rendham when Scott Squirrell ran it. He sold Shell petrol (from what I remember). Also he sold paraffin for heating (not really allowed nowadays). We relied on that when we moved in to Forge Cottage, Sweffling in that dreadful winter of 1962/63, although we bought it from Sweffling shop mostly. Scott used to repair tyre punctures on bicycles sometimes, and I remember he fixed a puncture on my bike tyre once. You could get Redex badges for your children if father bought so much fuel from the petrol station.
Mike Horne, Leeds

Hi. I noticed your latest memory recall of Rendham by David (his grandparents owned the village shop). My grandmother used to buy groceries in the store when she lived at Gable Cottage, Rendham in the early 1960's. My brother & I stayed with her on holiday in 1961, and I can remember visiting the shop. A few things that I remember are the ham and bacon that they used to sell there, people used to come for miles to buy some. My great auntie (from east Leeds) also had holidays in Rendham, and she could not get over how good the meat was at the shop.
I remember all the vast variety of sweets in jars that there were on display, some made by Foremans. There were also "Merry Maid". There were many more varieties of sweets available then than there are now. Also I remember my auntie (who also lived at Gable Cottage then) saying about a Mr.Mac (for short, probably she couldn't remember his full name?) who owned the shop. Yes, I remember your grandfather, David.
More memories later!
Kind regards
Mike Horne, Leeds

Just discovered your website, and absolutely love it. My grandparents, Tom & Grace McLachlan, owned and ran the village shop from (I think) 1948 - 1965, when they sold it to Jack Godefroy and his wife, and returned to Glasgow for their retirement, as Tom originally came from here, although Grace was a Suffolk girl. After my parents, Jack & Marie McLachlan, married, they also lived in Rendham, where my father also worked in the shop and delivered the orders to customers. I was born in Rendham in 1953, and was baptised in the Congregational Church, where my family were members, and where Grace played a significant role until she left the village. Mum, dad and I moved to Friston when I was 2 years old, and to Glasgow just after my 5th birthday. Mum was from Glasgow, but dad was a Suffolk boy! In the early 1960s I spent long summer holidays from school staying with my grandparents at the village shop. They have given me many happy memories. Amongst them is trying to get the water pump, which was in the back yard of the shop & house, to work. We never succeeded.

It is good to see the community spirit in the village is still live and kicking, and I wish everyone well for the future. I hope to get back for a visit before too long,

Kind regards
David McLachlan






Dear Sirs. I enjoyed visiting your website about Rendham village, and also seeing some of the old pictures of the village.
My auntie & uncle, and grandparents once lived at Gable cottage past Rendham Green from 1961 to 1966. I remember staying on holiday there and really enjoying the area. I also lived there for a while in 1962, until we got to live at a cottage in Sweffling (near the old forge). We stayed there until 1967, and moved back to Leeds.
Auntie & Uncle previously lived in Sweffling at Hall Cottage (then thatched), when it was part of Hall Farm at Sweffling. I also have some great memories of holidays there from 1959 to 1961.
I have an original postcard of the South View of Rendham, which I bought when I lived with my relatives in July 1962 to send to my great auntie in Seacroft, Leeds, which was bought from the old Post Office at the end of Trinity Cottage.
My photo appears in the school group picture, I am on the top row on the right hand side, second boy on the left of Mrs Orvis (infant class teacher).
Other memories of mine include the White Horse Pub when it had an off licence, the village shop when it was run by a Scottish gentleman, and the petrol station when it was run by Scott Squirrell, also a taxi driver (later moved to Saxmundham).
Sometimes I return to the area (when I can), and although most of my relatives have now long gone, it still brings back some great memories of about half a century ago (how time flies!)
Best regards
Mike Horne,


Rendham School 1962


I sat at the computer and typed in Rendham. Absolutely no idea why except that this my first day out of bed after an illness and my mind has been freewheeling for three weeks. Anyway here I am, 86 in a fortnight with a vivid early memory.
After three years in the army and some unqualifield teaching I had trained as a teacher and had been accepted by East Suffolk. Teachers were hard to recruit and I was lucky to start on December 18 for three days and be paid for almost half a month - a sort of golden hello.

I took up lodgings in Saxmundham and went home to South Manchester for the holiday. My mother enjoyed Christmas and then suddenly died on January First 1951 aged only 51 My dad had deserted us before the war and mum was just worn out. I returned to Suffolk for the first term of 1951 very bewildered.  Mrs Orvis was lovely and could see that I had to return home to pay the rent and do dozens of things. The other members of staff were Mr Pretty who was prettier each morning after he had sidled into a cupboard for his electric shave ( no electric at his Peasenhall home) and a charming lady in her thirties called, I think, Helen Killick.

George Orvis had the top class up to leaving-age 15 and Mrs Orvis had the Infants. I was the middle class. After half a term pedalling to and from school the local Congregational Minister, Jack Vick, took me in to the Manse which was housekept for him by his 84 year old parents. Kindness just oozed out of them and in my sadness I was able to enjoy a sort of social life at various Chapel functions and at a social club in Sweffling where we played table tennis and one or two locals managed to understand my Lancashire accent. My general memory is of a gentle group of friendly people. Even after 61 years I can see my class but the only name that I can recall is Gavin Meikle from a farming family.

That's it. Surely all the staff are now dead and anyway I was just a ship passing in the night. Rather ashamed that I can only recall one child's name especially as they were a lovely lot who did not come to school to make my life difficult. All-age schools have long disappeared but it was most interesting to see big playground games taking place with the big girls helping the tiny ones to join in. Was the cook Mrs Cracknell?. Her dinners kept me going for that term.

Even a five year old starting school that January First will have now retired.
I recall that the children in the school came from Sweffling, Cransford and Bruisyard as well as Rendham. I would guess that today even the little ones go to Saxmundham or Framlingham at least. Like all children they deserve the best and I wish them a happy schooling

Phil Dunsford

Follow Up

Somewhere in this house is a postcard of the Congregational Manse although it is titled Wisdoms Hill. Is there still a gracious house of that name in the village ? 
Rendham will be a very different community these days. None of the school staff owned a car for instance and every month Mr Orvis used a taxi to take him to Saxmundham to cash the salary cheque. My share was £28. No younger teachers drove cars and I was Head of a village school before I bought the delivery van off the local butcher. I do not think that we were any less happy though.

I long ago realised that the many problems and anxieties that I had during that term could have sunk me but the gentleness of the place kept me afloat. I retain a very soft spot for Rendham and wish you all well.

Very best wishes
Phil Dunsford


Richard Chambers say his brother is on the front row of this picture and his name is Trevor Chambers  pasted to website 14th October 2016

Does anyone know anything about John Mayhew

Below is a picture of a clock face with his name and the village name

A longcase clock by him was sold for £7400 at Bonhams in 2004

If you have any information please let us know on

WHAT we have discovered so far

The Rendham Clockmaker

This was received from an Irish Clock and Furniture restorer in 2013

‘Does anyone in Rendham know anything about the clockmaker John Mayhew, who was working there in the early eighteenth Century? (He enclosed the picture of the clock which appeared to be an early to mid eighteenth century dial which seems to show the name as Mayhen although John Mayhew is documented in Rendham at that time’.

He also sent the following information

He managed to trace a Henry Mayhew, watchmaker who is listed in Bury St Edmunds in the late nineteenth century and a P E Mayhew in 1937 but of course only a fraction of all clockmakers are recorded. That particular clock is most likely made by a man who had been trained in London and brought that knowledge back to (or near?) his home town.

On investigation there was a discovery of two George III clocks which dated at between 1725 and 1750 from Bonham auction house assigned to John Mayhew.

It would appear that John Mayhew was a highly accomplished clockmaker with a good following – lacquer cased clocks were expensive then and usually associated with high status homes.

Other Information

Ann Self married William Mayhew in Hoxne in 1769 – was this John’s son?

And from the Registers of Monk’s Soham

John MAYHEW and Elizabeth WHAYMAN both single persons of this Parish were married by License October 3d. 1733.

John the Son of John and Elizabeth MAYHEW was baptized October 13, 1734

John Son of John and Elizabeth Mayhew was buried on All Saints Day 1734;

and John Mayhew was buried May 28, 1749

No record of his burial in Rendham churchyard only a Margaret Ann in 1859

William Mayhew in Great Glemham maybe a relative

From Carol Twinch Rendham’s own local historian Carol Twinch

John Mayhew was a Rendham clockmaker who flourished 1718. He may have been related to four other clockmakers who lived in Parham:

HENRY MAYHEW 1686 – 1720

FRANCIS MAYHEW fl. 1710 – 1730


WILLIAM MAYHEW fl. 1725 – 1751

William Mayhew was taken on as an apprentice by Stephen Wyard of Framlingham in 1741 for a fee of £40. Among the bequests of Wyard’s will was a wish that William Mayhew, clockmaker of Parham, should be allowed to purchase the shop and premises at Stone Street (now Church Street) for £105 on the condition that he also took the stock at valuation. Mayhew took up the offer and built up a large business employing several apprentices and at least one journeyman. He is described as ‘ingenious’ and ‘self-taught’ and had a considerable reputation as a master craftsman.

Francis Mayhew married circa 1723 and died in 1730. He was the son of Henry Mayhew ‘of Parham and Hacheston’ so it looks as if there was a family business going on.

Latest news from Ireland 2013

The conservation project will be given to two students on an international work placement programme commencing beginning of June 2013 so if you would like any updates as the work progresses and any more information about the maker if any new discoveries are made, just let me know.