Afternoon tea at the famed Uggeshall Country Teas
PUBLISHED: 09:42 19 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:42 19 July 2016
Uggeshall’s village fundraiser draws crowds from far and wide
If you enjoy afternoon tea (and who doesn’t?), why not try Uggeshall Country Teas, an annual event, traditionally held over the last weekend in July and the first weekend in August?
Originally conceived to raise funds for the maintenance of the famed thatched-roofed St Mary’s Church in Uggeshall, the event can be traced back to 1970 when it was known as Farmhouse Teas. They were the brainchild of retired art teacher Robert White, church organist and choir master at St Mary’s Church, who lived at Valley Farm, Uggeshall with his wife, Muriel. Robert and Muriel decided to open their home to visitors, helped by neighbours Joy and Colin Hill and family. Robert created posters advertising ‘Farmhouse Teas’, tables were set throughout the White’s lovingly restored old Suffolk farmhouse and, weather permitting, in the beautiful garden. The people of Uggeshall, a village with a population of less than 200, became increasingly involved making bread, cakes, rusks, scones, fancies, and jam. Volunteers waited at table, carried water, filled urns and teapots and washed up. When Muriel passed away in February 1992, the Farmhouse Teas became too much for Robert. Increasing numbers of visitors were turning up, so it was moved to the Old School and renamed Uggeshall Country Teas. Its fame spread and visitors now come from further and further afield – holiday makers from Southwold and Aldeburgh, some even arranging their holiday dates to coincide with ‘The Teas’.
More than £100,000 has been raised over the years. Robert White would be proud of the achievements of his brainchild.