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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Ripper Talk and Reunion at Braintree Museum: Thursday 25 February 2016

First Ripper Reunion at Braintree District Museum

Building on the popularity of former reunion events the Museum is very pleased to announce our first ever Ripper reunion. We look forward to meeting former employees of this important joinery industry based in Castle and Sible Hedingham, and also welcome all other interested parties.

The reunion will pull together exciting developments in preserving the heritage of this industry that have taken place over the last few years. The Museum has recently acquired a collection of Ripper items from the family, including photographs, woodworking tools and the office sign. A detailed history of the company and its employees was also published in 2014 by Pam and Adrian Corder-Birch, and Adrian will be giving a talk on the history of the company before the reunion starts. Copies of this book, ‘ The Works’, are available from the Museum gift shop for £14.95.

The event takes place on Thursday 25 February. At 2pm Adrian Corder-Birch will speak on the history of the company and his research. Tickets to the talk are £3 per person. The reunion will start after the talk at 3pm and is free, please just let the Museum know that you are coming so that refreshments can be arranged. We would love to talk to past employees of not just Ripper’s Ltd. but also all associated companies including Bowater Ripper Limited; Sarek Joinery Limited; Crosby Sarek Limited; Norcross Limited; Premdor Crosby Limited; JSR Joinery Limited and C. R. Timber Limited. The reunion will include the chance to see the materials in the Museum collection.

Adrian Corder-Birch said of his research into the Ripper industry, “It is vital that our industrial heritage is recorded before it is lost. Rippers joinery works was started by three brothers in Castle Hedingham in the 1890s and later moved to Sible Hedingham where it expanded and eventually employed over 600 men and women. It was conveniently located next to the former Castle and Sible Hedingham Railway Station and was served with railway sidings. A variety of wooden products were manufactured to help the war effort in the Boer, First and Second World Wars. The company was good to its employees by providing housing and was one of the first to give paid holidays”.

Jennifer Rowland, Education and Exhibitions Curator at the Museum said, ‘We are very pleased to be marking the important history of Rippers with this event. Reunions always provide a great opportunity for people to catch up with friends and discover new ones. We also use these afternoons as an opportunity for attendees to access the industry archives that we hold here, to reminisce, engage with the collections and discover new stories’.

To book tickets for the talk or a place on the reunion please call the Museum on 01376 328868 or email

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