Stradbroke in the snow
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Stradbroke (// STRAD-brook) is a village in the English county of Suffolk. It is in the Mid Suffolk district and part of the East of England region of England. The Census of 2011 gave Stradbroke a population of 1,408, following an estimate of 1,330 in 2005.
During the Middle Ages, the name of the village was sometimes spelt Stradbrook. A prominent medieval philosopher Robert Grosseteste, also Bishop of Lincoln, was born in Stradbroke in about 1175. Its parish church of All Saints, with its 15th-century tower and raised stair turret, dominates the village as a local landmark.
In October 2014 the state primary school celebrated the 150th anniversary of its predecessor's opening on 28 September 1864.
The village used to host a Navy Day on the last Saturday in July. This mourned the end of the Royal Navy's rum ration in July 1970, and as part of the celebrations a tot of rum was taken in procession round the village. The last such Navy Day was held in 2007.
Because Stradbroke is central to many smaller villages and hamlets, it has always had more facilities than its population might suggest. It serves as a centre for education for Mid Suffolk and there is both a Primary School and a High School in the village.
There are also two pubs, several shops and many other local services, including a public library, a community centre, a swimming pool and a gym. There is an extensive playing field for cricket and football, three tennis courts and two bowling greens. There is also a fitness track. The village includes some 12 miles of public footpaths, almost all clipped and maintained twice or three times a year by the Parish Council and Suffolk County Council. Near the community centre there is also a doctor's surgery open every weekday and a play area for young children. At Westhall there is another play area and a recreation ground for informal games.
The village post office re-opened in its new home in the library, which is housed in the historic Courthouse building, on 14 October 2014. This was two years after the previous post office shop closed. It is the first post office in England run by a library service, Suffolk Libraries, and the library staff work on both the post office and library counters. The village Spar shop was extensively refurbished in summer 2014 and is open every day from 7 am to 9 pm. There is also a bakery, a butcher's shop, a Wedding Shop and an antiques centre and cafe in the village.
In 2012 a six-acre field was purchased on Drapers Hill and 28 allotment gardens created there, together with a Community Orchard and a Wild Flower Meadow. A large pond was also donated at the top of the site, and there are now four donated seats for public use which overlook it and offer views of the Church back towards the centre of the village.
Stradbroke has a monthly magazine that is delivered free to houses in the parish entitled The Stradbroke Monthly. The village also has an online community radio station called Radio Stradbroke that broadcasts shows and live events in the village.
Stradbroke has also had its own music festival, "Stradisphere Music Festival", since 2014 hosting a variety of musical acts on two stages. It has been nominated for a national award two years in a row for bringing communities together. Stradisphere is now an annual event, organized by a committee of local residents. Stradisphere also works in partnership with charities such as Help For Heroes, as well as developing music charities within Suffolk and Norfolk.
Stradbroke is near the small Suffolk town of Eye and the larger Norfolk market town of Diss (9 miles, 14.5 km), which is an hour and a half by train from London. There are bus services linking the village to surrounding towns.
In birth order:
- Robert Grosseteste (c. 1175–1253), scholar and Bishop of Lincoln, was born in Stradbroke.
- Mary Matilda Betham (1776–1852), diarist, poet and miniature painter, was born in Stradbroke.
- William Betham (1779–1853), antiquarian, brother of Mary Matilda, was born in Stradbroke.
- J. C. Ryle (1816–1900) became Vicar of Stradbroke in 1861, launching a restoration of the church in the 1870s. He served later as Bishop of Liverpool.
- Herbert Edward Ryle (1856–1925), son of J. C. Ryle, was brought up in Stradbroke. He served successively as Bishop of Exeter, Bishop of Winchester and Dean of Westminster.
- Data view : Population - 5 year age bands - Persons - Census, Suffolk Observatory. Parish best estimates from United Kingdom Census 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-15.
- G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (London: Oxford UP, 1971), p. 142.
- Stradbroke All Saints', Suffolk Churches Website. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "Clocks turned back in 150 years celebration at Stradbroke Primary School". Diss Express. Johnson Press. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "Final Navy Day Photo Album". Stadbroke Village Website. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Post Office returns to Stradbroke two years after closing". Diss Express. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Stradbroke Library Post Office is open!". Suffolk Libraries. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- S. Govier, 2010, An Illustrated History of Stradbroke and Denham [publisher missing]
- Media related to Stradbroke at Wikimedia Commons