Bury St Edmunds historian Martyn Taylor reflects on 1921’s notable events in the town
Bury and its environs were still reliant on agriculture, but this year saw a terrible drought, so bad that the River Lark by Eastgate Bridge dried up. The influx of cheaper foodstuffs from the USA also affected the prices farmers could get for their products, this situation continued until the outbreak of World War Two.
1921 saw the inevitable slowing down of production of flax for linen for aeroplane wings at the Bury flax factory and it shut down permanently a couple of years later.
Perhaps the major connection to World War One was the unveiling of the war memorial on Angel Hill by General the Lord Horn, in the form of a Celtic Cross, the names of the fallen recorded in a book of remembrance held in the Cathedral.
There were also deaths of notable people in 1921. On February 28, Dr Henry Bernard Hodgson died. He was the first bishop of the newly created (1914) Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
Also mourned this year was George Gery Milner Gibson Cullum of Hardwick, a cultured man, mayor in 1913, who had the foresight to ensure his wonderful collection of art and books were bequeathed to Bury St Edmunds Council, though his home, Hardwick House, was demolished in 1925 through an entailment clause of his step-grandmother’s will.
Not all was doom and gloom though an, Bury, saw the election of its first woman councillor, Eva Wollaston Greene, wife of solicitor John Wollaston Greene, she would later become the town’s first woman mayor in 1927. Another town asset was the swimming pool built at the Playfields off Kings Road; it would remain there until 1975.
-- Martyn Taylor is a local historian, author and Bury Tour Guide. His latest book, Bury St Edmunds Through Time Revisited, is widely available.