Community  Life 2001

People now have much more leisure time. There are laws about how many hours people can work in a week which guarantees them a certain amount of time off and paid holidays.

A regulated minimum wage means that no one can be paid a ridiculously low amount. We spend more of our money on leisure activities and luxuries than in 1851, 1901 and 1951.

A Thriving Local Scene

At the beginning of the twenty first century people living in Stowupland do not even have to leave the village to find a range of different activities. There is an active Women’s Institute, Book Group, Over 60s Club, Bowls Club, Cricket Club, Sports and Social Club, Home Library, Mobile Library, Telstar Village Magazine, Good Neighbour scheme, Rainbows, Brownies, Girl Guides, Scouts, the Pubs – The Retreat and The Crown - and much more!

4th St. John’s Scout Group in Bury St Edmunds C.1926
The Village Hall - where a lot
of Stowupland's activities are held
Lots of these groups are run by members of the community for the community to try and keep the close knit atmosphere of the village – it does seem to have worked! Members of the local Women’s Institute told the museum that the village is active and lively compared to many others in the area. 

The village still supports two pubs and the village hall provides a venue for many events as does Stowupland High School which was opened in 1979. The Sports and Leisure Club is situated at the school and is basically a sports centre for the whole village.

Travel and Culture

Travel is now so much easier and cheaper than in the past. People can now afford to go on foreign holidays, short trips away and days out to London and other cities.

There is a cinema in Stowmarket and large multiplexes in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Norwich.

There are many museums and other cultural organisations that have sprung up across the county since the 1950s to add to the Victorian museums in Ipswich and Norwich.

The Museum of East Anglian Life

The Museum of East Anglian Life was set up by a group of locals including Stowupland man, Jack Carter, and a number of Stowupland residents volunteer at MEAL on a regular basis.

Entertainments at Home

In-home entertainment has become very popular. Lots of people watch films at home or play computer games and there is of course the ever popular television to occupy you in your spare time. This does mean that people are spending less time on community events and more time at home.


This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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