For the past nine years Lorna and Sedgewick Boxall have lived at “Cherryripe”, The Green, Lt. Thurlow. They have two sons: Tony, a quantity surveyor and Paul, a projects engineer. At one time one of their sons and his wife also lived there with them. Their grandson is eighteen and granddaughter sixteen. Both enjoy joining Lorna and Sedge in their touring van for holidays.
Lorna and Sedge were publicans at the “Cherry Tree”, Stradishall for thirty two years, arriving on October 31st 1956. This was a time when RAF Stradishall was still an active aerodrome with many national service men. Great fun and entertainment were had all round, both officers and men. The young men lived for Thursday night which was pay day. The Cherry Tree was a second officers’ mess! There was friendly rivalry with the Royal Oak where Val Woodard was the landlord, with lots of teasing and fun about the price and quantity of the beer at each pub. Sedge and Val became good friends. The Boxall and Woodard children were at school together in Wickhambrook and then Clare.
When RAF Stradishall closed down in 1970 the base was used to house the Asians thrown out of Africa by Idi Amin. Helpers, social workers and staff became Cherry Tree customers. These were followed by prison staff and contractors as Stradishall was transformed into a prison.
The “Cherry Tree” was the first pub in the area to produce food: “hot dogs”, at the suggestion of an RAF officer. Sedge and Lorna remember Pauline and Bill Crooks having Bill’s retirement party there.
Their chief recreation is touring both in this country and all over the continent in their camper van. Sedge also enjoys shooting with his springer spaniel Chloe. Lorna sews and is a keen photographer.
They feel this is a very pleasant, quiet and peaceful area. They enjoy living here because all their friends live in the area. Last March one hundred and seventy people attended their golden wedding celebration; nearly all were one time customers of the Cherry Tree.
No significant changes have happened since they came to live in Thurlow, but they remember the days when they first lived in Denston and electricity had just arrived in 1955. They also had an outside toilet, the contents of which had to be buried in the garden. Sedge always did this at night out of embarrassment: the dahlias were magnificent!