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History - Part 5

Local History

Page updated - 22 August 2008



POTTED HISTORY OF GREAT CORNARD - This series of  Potted History of Great Cornard has been submitted by Cornard News. The articles were written by Joan Herbert who researched them from a variety of local sources.


Part 5 - 1950's

As early as 1943, during the Second World War, the County of London Plan recommended the decentralisation of several thousand people from London to solve the capital’s housing shortage but it was not until the Town Development Act of 1952 that things started to happen.  The London County Council (LCC) took the decision to re-allocate some of the people on their overcrowded housing waiting lists to other areas in the South East and Great Cornard was picked as one of those areas.  In January 1961 Gainsborough Cornard (now Guilford Europe) announced that was creating 200-300 new jobs and in the same month CAV (now Delphi) a subsidiary of the large factory in Acton, London, said it was prepared to build a new factory in Sudbury.  At the same time the builders H C Janes were building 150 private houses on land formerly owned by the market gardeners, Cramphorns (now Wyevales) at a cost of £1800-£2300 each.  Even at this early time a letter printed in the Suffolk Free Press of 13 April 1961 voiced fears that factories were to be built to give work to the London overspill on ‘land needed for food production’. The new residents in Great Cornard who had bought their houses were already beginning to make a small impact as it was reported in the same paper on 18 May 1961 that the parish elections had seen 42% of the electorate voting whereas in the 1958 elections only 10% had turned out to vote. At that time, CAV had a small factory in New Street, Sudbury that employed 600 people, many of them from the new arrivals.


The Melford Rural District Council (the local Council before Babergh District Council) was still discussing whether to agree to the 7,000 people that the LCC wanted to re-house in the Sudbury and Cornard area.  Sir George Falconer, chairman of the County Planning Committee, obviously in favour of the idea, emphasised at a meeting on 3rd August 1961 that only the ‘better types’ of Londoners, ‘men and women of pioneering spirit’ would be moving to Great Cornard and ‘not the riff-raff class which the LCC desired to get rid of’. At a further meeting of the Council on 14 September 1961 it was stated that the population of Great Cornard was now 2143, an increase of 500 over 1951, 55 acres of building land had been acquired and another 37 acres was needed.


Compiled by Joan Herbert – Cornard News - 05 May 2004