Paper mill faces doubtful future

A SUFFOLK village's historic paper mill faces an uncertain future today as the family business which has occupied the property for almost a century prepares to abandon it.

A SUFFOLK village's historic paper mill faces an uncertain future today as the family business which has occupied the property for almost a century prepares to abandon it.

For more than 90 years the R E Rushbrook and Son Sports turf has sold its products from the wooden building that stands on Paper Mill Lane by the river Gipping in Bramford.

But now the family are preparing to say goodbye to it as the company has been bought by Yorkshire based Aitkens Sports turf, who no longer want to operate from the mill.

Former manager Colin Rushbrook, of Barham, said: "Our family business has been at the mill for just over 91 years.


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"It is very painful to be leaving it as I have a lot of fond memories and it has been a joy to work at the mill.

My grandfather, Robert, bought it 1912, I worked there for 40 years and my father, Cyril, was actually born in the mill.

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"It is absolutely brimming with character and the mill pond, where we used to swim and fish, is beautiful."

The Rushbrook family used to live at the neighbouring mill house until Colin's father retired and sold it 20 years ago.

Colin added: "When my father retired he wanted to leave the business behind and he felt that the house was part of it."

"I would like to see the mill maintained as we have always looked after it and kept it in good nick. Hopefully the number of years people have been looking after the place will be appreciated. It will probably be converted into homes."

"My brother David wanted to take things a bit easier and do something a bit different and unfortunately our children are not interested in taking over the business so we had to sell it."

Among the company's achievements is the hallowed turf at Portman Road that it re-seeded seven years ago.

Beryl Sims, secretary of Bramford local history group, said: "It will be sad to see Rushbrook's go and it may leave the mill in danger of being knocked down for redevelopment. It has been there for several hundred years, originally built as a corn mill."

The loss of Rushbrook's is another historic blow to the village. Earlier this year work ground to a halt at the nearby Bramford Works, a former Fisons factory making fertilizers and pesticides.

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