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Shillingfords at the Quay pop-up restaurant hopes to move to the Swan at Little Waldingfield

PUBLISHED: 15:20 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:20 16 March 2017                                              Chris Shimwell

The couple behind a hugely popular pop-up Sudbury restaurant are asking for the community to help them expand into a permanent home.

Two years ago, Carl and Beth Shillingford started their two-night-a-week restaurant, Shillingfords at the Quay, which is open on Friday and Saturday evenings. They are now hoping to buy the Swan Inn at Little Waldingfield, which has gone into administration.

Currently, they are fully booked until June, such is the popularity of Michelin-trained chef Carl, who has worked as the head chef for Michel Roux and uses locally-sourced, foraged, natural ingredients. Carl was recently on television when he filmed a segment about foraging with Jimmy Doherty, for Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast on Channel 4.

The Shillingfords want to open for more of the week and have settled on the Swan, but need to raise £250,000 to buy it. “The response has been incredible,” said Beth. “I got the post out on Facebook to get an idea of whether this is doable and just the support from the local community and our customers has just been lovely. It’s really quite humbling, that people are investing in us and what we do.  “When they come to the restaurant it’s me front-of-house and Carl in the kitchen so they know us as people.”

She said they were trying to finalise a “legal structure” that would allow them to buy the building without putting any investors’ money at risk and repay everyone a 5% return. They would like to open the Swan from 4pm-11pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with no booking needed. They would have pre-booked tables available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 4pm-11pm.

The Swan Inn at Little Waldingfield is understood to have gone into administration four weeks ago.

A representative of the administrators was at the pub on Thursday, who said he was running the business in the interim. In a post on Facebook, Beth added: “We’ve met with a funding broker, a business lawyer, spent many hours carrying out due diligence on our plan to crowd fund and repay everyone a 5% return, ensuring that we have covered every angle to ensure that everyone’s money is safe and secure.”

17th March 2017

Obituary: Olive (Coodie) Sparkes

Sadly Coodie Sparkes passed away on the morning of Monday 4th July after a long and eventful life.

Less well known since her move to just outside the village, Coodie was very well known before then, as she ran the White Horse public house during the Second World War with her husband Frank. The White Horse also is no more, having closed in 1977, but during the war it was a favourite haunt of many US airman based locally at the Chilton and Lavenham airfields. A number became lasting friends with the Sparkes, proving that some good things do happen during dreadful times. On Remembrance Sunday in November 2013, a wreath was laid for the first time at the Little Waldingfield war memorial to the men of the USAAF 486th Bombardment Group who were killed during the war - that wreath was laid by Coodie Sparkes.

Our thoughts are with her son John at this difficult time.

Andy Sheppard                         13th July 2016

Coodie with US airmen and husband Frank outside the White Horse Pub in 1944


Coodie with Jill Duffy at the 2013 Remembrance Sunday service

Village Litterpick

On Saturday 19th March, a merry band of willing volunteers turned up for our annual village litterpick, on what turned out to be a good day for it. Happily there were 17 people, including all of our parish councillors, a district councillor (Margaret Maybury) and many villagers who variously: put out road safety signs, picked litter, collected full rubbish bags, washed and cleaned village road-signs and prepared welcome refreshments for all who participated - a true team effort.

We were expecting to find less litter than previous years, which perhaps was the case, though in addition to the seemingly obligatory cans, bottles, chocolate bar wrappers, crisp and sandwich packets etc, we also collected the following:

If only passing drivers were more considerate, life for everyone else would be so much nicer and the local wildlife would significantly benefit.

Andy Sheppard       21st March 2016


Volunteers gather

Ready to go

The fruits of our labour

Welcome refreshments aftewards

French Drain Finished

Yesterday ten brave souls turned up one final time to complete the work on the much needed Frence Drain around St Lawrence Church, digging the last two soakaways and moving the final eight tons of large gravel, and very nice it looks too. In total over the five Saturdays, 28 tons of gravel have been used, taking the place of soil and rubble, meaning of course that more than 50 tons of material have been moved, mostly by hand, kept fortified by the very welcome and copious amounts ot tea / coffee and bacon / sausage rolls, much needed on bitterly cold and damp days in February / March. Hopefully the church can now begin its long process of gradually drying out, though internal plaster will also have to be removed to ensure this process can fully occur.

Andy Sheppard       6th March 2016

French Drain Update

On Saturday, about half the previous weeks crew, being gluttons for punishment, turned up once more to continue the good work on the new St Lawrence Church French Drain. We again made good use of the two machines kindly lent to us by Charlie Miller, along with Matt Foster's tipper lorry to remove the spoil. Another five tons or so was removed, on top of the six tons last week, with four tons of gravel replaced, so the digging out is now virtually complete. Once the estimated four tons of gravel still required has been acquired and put in place, the French Drain will be finished.

It was particularly hard going in the afternoon, with just the Fab Four in harness, so Nancy and Felicity's tea / coffee and bacon rolls / biscuits were most welcome and very much needed; we also had to make use of both of Charlie's excellent machines round the back of the church given the very limited availability of manpower, wheelbarrows and spades.

Once again, a small selction of photos taken on the day is shown below.

Andy Sheppard       1st February 2016


Loading Matt's tipper truck


We found the mains electric cable


Loading gravel into the tipper barrow


Taking the larger digger round the back of the church


Not your usual sight on the footpath thrugh the churchyard

Taking soil to spread on the verge by the footpath fence

Digging out the trench to the rear of the church - not a lot of room to spare

Loading the larger digger

Operation French Drain

Saturday 23rd January saw  the next stage in the ongoing project to address the issue with damp in the walls of our much loved church. Fifteen hardworking villagers joined a working party to dig out up to 4 tonnes of spoil from around the base of the south aisle, tower and south & east side of the chancel. Replacing the removed earth with an equal weight of shingle to create a French Drain. Copious amounts of coffee together with bacon sandwiches and snacks were provided keeping the workers spirits raised throughout the day.  This exercise will improve the run off and general drainage of rainwater away from the church and help to dry out the walls. Our longer term objective remains to address the issue of damp and damaged wall plaster within the interior of the church.  Watch this space for more updates as the project continues.

Peter Simpson

Below is a selection of photos taken on the day.

Little Waldingfield Flower Festival

Last weekend the flower ladies of our village put on a fantastic display combining natures beauty and their skills, and along with many helpers who set up marquees, manned stalls, baked cakes, made tea / coffee, prepared and served lunch etc etc, collectively the event was a huge success raising more than £2,000 for St Lawrence church. Very well done, and please click here to view pictures from the day.

LW Bus Services

Following enquires on behalf of residents, LWPC has now obtained the following assurance from Suffolk County Council’s Phil Magill, Operations Manager, Passenger Transport.

“The 112 bus service which operates on Tuesday and Thursday was initially contracted for one year and I can confirm that we have recently extended the contract with Suffolk Norse for a further period securing the service until May 2016. Whilst the patronage has been variable the overall performance of the contract is such that we were happy to extend the contract. We do not plan to change the timetable or days of operation.”

LWPC                                                                                                             28 May 2015

PCC Launches Church Restoration Appeal

A significant fundraising appeal has just been launched to preserve our lovely church for many decades and more into the future. Full details, with photos and an appeal donation form are separately detailed Here.

Please be generous and many thanks in advance

11th May 2015









By Andy Sheppard on August 9th, 2015

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