Ascham House

Tom and Rosemary Allcock have lived at Ascham House for the past three-and-a-half years. Both are retired, Tom from Deputy Director of Anglia Polytechnic and Rosemary from teaching French and Latin. Tom is now clerk to the parish council and Rosemary his chief assistant. They have two cats, Mikhail and Gorbachov. Rosemary was born in Pinner, Middlesex and Tom in Southport.

Tom and Rosemary enjoy playing short tennis, with friends from Clare, at Haverhill sports centre which they are very impressed with. Tom watches Cambridge University play rugby and cricket. They both attend W.E.A. classes. Rosemary does voluntary work at Addenbrooke’s hospital and Tom is a governor of Long Road sixth form college.

They feel Thurlow is a very attractive village with friendly and welcoming people. Rosemary is a keen ornithologist and there is an excellent range of birds in this area. They like rural life and have plenty of wild life through the garden, including first the fox and then the hounds. They love the peace and quiet when the traffic noise ceases; they watch rabbits in the field and enjoy lovely walks.

Thurlow is a good “jumping off” point for Newmarket, Cambridge and the rest of East Anglia. Lack of crime and feeling of safety make it a good place to live.

Some negative aspects of living here include the forty mile round trip to Cambridge. “We should either have moved much nearer or too far away to be tempted to go there”. They go to lots of concerts. Village traffic and its noise are in contrast to the quiet of a cul-de-sac where they lived before, although it was the increasing roar of the M11 which drove them away. Traffic speed and danger prevent children playing on the green (Pound Green) or walking along the roadside. Gt. Bradley and Burrough Green don’t have the same problem. Parking at Thurlow School is very dangerous. Tom also prefers to drink at the White Horse at Withersfield.

Tom feels that the local benefactor’s generosity obviated the need for church fund raising which could act as a cohesive force to the congregation. Rosemary disagrees, feeling the congregation is too small to raise funds. She also feels there is no awareness within the benefice of what is happening in the church elsewhere.

Changes they have seen include a lot more traffic; more and more property left vacant, and short lets which raise questions about the nature of the village in the future. “There are a lot of elderly people living in the houses, when they go there will be even more change.”

Rosemary feels there are a lot of problems with schools, with parents preferring to send their children to the Cambridgeshire schools instead of middle schools in Haverhill.