Book Launch - 19 November 2006

A long awaited history of Duddenhoe End and Wenden Lofts has at last been published and it proved to be a best seller at the book's launch on Sunday, November 19.

Entitled "Aspects of an English Village ­­Duddenhoe End with Wenden Lofts", the author, Olive Harvey of Knowle Lane, Duddenhoe End, had only been allowed home two days before the launch after spending several weeks in Addenbrooke's Hospital.

"I didn't think I would make it," said 86 year old Olive who had 100 copies of her book printed and sold all of them at the launch held in the village hall.

She spent much of the afternoon signing copies of the book, the first of a trilogy, and taking orders for the reprint. The other two parts of the trilogy will deal with the history of the two hamlets and farming through the centuries.

Olive spent over quarter of century researching for the books and in that time amassed a large collection of photographs of days gone by.

She trawled through the archives at Chelmsford but also gained much of her information from her late husband, Percy, who was born and bred in Duddenhoe End.

Olive, who originates from Canada, was working at a girls' school in Victoria when she met Percy at a Halloween Party while he was serving in Canada with the RAF. The couple married in 1942 and came to Duddenhoe End in 1944 where for many years they ran a newsagent's business. They had three children.

The photograph on the front cover of the book features seven girls outside the village hall and all dressed up for the village celebrations of the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

Of that number five were able to attend the book launch. They were Glenys Youens (nee Harvey), Molly Phipp (nee Loveday), Joy Warboys (nee Flack), Vivienne Aplin, Olive's daughter, and Jennifer Sargeant (nee Morris).

The two who couldn't attend were Margaret Burgess and Glenys's sister, Sylvia.

A slide show of old photographs rounded off the afternoon and teas were served which made a profit of over £100 for village hall funds.

Half a century later: Glenys Youens, Molly Phipp, Joy Warboys, Vivienne Aplin and Jennifer Sargeant.


Pictures and report by Di Pohlmann