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Bury St Edmunds historian, author and Suffolk News columnist, Martyn Taylor, scoops prestigious Suffolk Preservation Society Heritage Champion award

A well-known historian has scooped a prestigious award for his work championing a town’s history.

Martyn Taylor, chair of The Bury Society, and also a Bury Free Press/Suffolk News columnist, has been awarded a Suffolk Preservation Society Heritage Champion Award.

The award, which will be presented at Heveningham Hall in July, recognises people dedicated to preserving the county’s history.

Historian, author and columnist Martyn Taylor. Picture: Mecha Morton
Historian, author and columnist Martyn Taylor. Picture: Mecha Morton

Mr Taylor, said: “I was surprised to win the award, very surprised. It came right of the blue.

“I’ve been involved in the history of Bury for a long time and enjoy what I do for the town; who wouldn’t?

“I just love what I do.”

Martyn won in the award in the Amenity Society Leader category; one of five categories including Ecclesiastical, Community, Architectural Historians and Landscape.

The nomination reads: “Martyn Taylor has made a longstanding contribution to protecting and promoting the heritage of Bury St Edmunds.

“He has lived in Bury St Edmunds all his life and is the go-to person when it comes to all things relating to the history of Bury.

“Martyn has been chairman of The Bury Society since 2016. He is also involved in many other heritage groups in the town including The Past and Present Society and The Abbey Partnership Group.

“In 2012 he was instrumental in getting eight new Blue Plaques installed around the town which included author Charles Dickens and artist Sybil Andrews.

“In 2023 he was part of a group who successfully lobbied Greggs to start repairs to their 17th century building in Abbeygate Street which had become very rundown.

“He is a published author of 11 books on the town including Secret Bury St Edmunds, Bury St Edmunds in 50 Buildings, and Abbey 1000.

“The latest book, Bury St Edmunds Through Time was published in 2023 and he has a weekly column in the Bury Free Press/Suffolk News, often describing little known nostalgic gems of information.

“Always keen to share the town’s history, Martyn is also a popular tour guide for the town and Abbey.”

The Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS) is the only countywide group dedicated to protecting and promoting the special historic and landscape qualities of Suffolk.

The awards evening at Heveningham Hall on July 18 will feature renowned architectural historian Jeremy Musson.

Tickets for the event when all the winners will be crowned, can be found here:

All the winners can be found here

SPS, a charity, supports individuals, community groups, parish councils and amenity societies on heritage and landscape issues.