Historic records ‘dumped in landfill’ claim

FL; Peter Thorogood who is angry that old ledgers, records and photos from the war along with memorials were dumped after conservative club closed down. ANL-140826-171732009
FL; Peter Thorogood who is angry that old ledgers, records and photos from the war along with memorials were dumped after conservative club closed down. ANL-140826-171732009
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Historic records dating back more than 150 years are believed to have been destroyed when Sudbury’s closed-down Conservative Club was cleared.

A last-ditch bid to save the club’s ledgers, records and photographs failed.

Now a plea has been made that wall plaques dedicated to members who died in wars should not go the same way.

Peter Thorogood, chairman of the Sudbury Society, described the destruction as vandalism.

“These documents were a fascinating part of Sudbury’s past but, when I went to try to collect them, I was told they had been sent to landfill,” he said.

The Conservative Club in Prince Street, Sudbury, finally closed in June after months of speculation about its future.

The imposing building that includes the Victoria Hall was used by the club from the mid-19th century.

Meeting space was also rented out to other groups, including the Royal British Legion.

Mr Thorogood said he had been contacted by the ex-bar manager of the club who wanted to find a home for the old documents.

“I immediately agreed to collect and store them,” said Mr Thorogood.

“But when I turned up, I was informed by someone on site that not only were we denied access, but all the record and photographs had been termed combustible material and disposed of at a landfill site.

“This corporate vandalism is apparently not only legal but common practice.

”Those records and photos were as much a part of our history as the Corn Exchange or Belle Vue. It is a very sad ending for a grand old club and a loss to the town.

“Many, including the museum and history society, are reluctant to immediately accept such records due to lack of space.”

He said if ever there was an example of the need for a Walnuttree archives centre – suggested for part of Walnuttree Hospital site by the Sudbury Society – this was it.

And he appealed for the engraved plaques to be rescued from the club and displayed in Sudbury Town Hall.