Thursday, 19 August 2010

Rural But Rekindled Redlingfield

Suffolk Online - Redlingfield RCC

The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project (RCCIP) features heavily in these early postings on Suffolk Online but no more than it deserves. Not only do we get a chance to put a little bit back into the community,  but we also get to explore some of the most remote parts of rural Suffolk.

Redlingfield is a credit to itself, Suffolk and the project. On Tuesday when we visited we were told that there were only 54 homes in the village yet 30 locals turned up for coffee which put the mug collection to the test! Also something of a record we believe across the whole of the county, and all the more impressive as the weather wasn’t great for sitting out on the small village green.

Redlingfield has no pub and no shop and is a prime example of what the RCCIP can help to achieve with a willing, enthusiastic and resourceful local audience. Acting as a catalyst the project provides a periodic focal point to help Redlingfield’s residents get to know each other better, to the extent that the social life of the village seems to have taken off. That’s in addition to the project’s main purpose of bringing helpful information and resources to the doorsteps of isolated communities.

We also had the chance to meet the indomitable founder and inspiration for the project, Sally Fogden. RCCIP was borne out of another cause that Sally put plenty of time and energy into - “Farms in Crisis” - and it seems that the farmers themselves were instrumental in helping Sally  take her fight for help for rural communities to a higher level.

Redlingfield is intrinsically a charming village with plenty of history and much to be proud of, not least the spirit of its community. It also has a great website and local magazine where you can find out more  - Redlingfield. Our only regret is that the demand for refreshments prevented us spending more time chatting to the locals. However a reasonably prompt cup of builders strength tea or coffee was the least we could provide on a cool showery “summer’s day”!

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