As you come down the hill from Oakley into Hoxne you are given the impression it is a charming historical village; rustic pastel coloured cottages entwined with the local legend of King Edmund. First impressions can be wrong.
Hidden inside the pretty cottages and perfumed gardens are the Hoxne Phoenix Club ( ex Women’s Institute) members. These over 70s have formed their own independent branch of the WI because they refuse to ‘be dictated to’ and pay the obligatory additional £3 a month subscription fee for the WI magazine. They are not to be messed with.
You can usually find the Phoenix Club outside the post office with their deceased husband’s hunting rifles concealed in their shopping baskets and down the sides of their Zimmer frames, waiting for council house residents (their prey) to walk past.
Hoxne’s other main group meets at the Swan Pub. They selected this as a suitable meeting place because they felt that as it was built in 1480 by the Bishop of Norwich, it gives it a certain impression of prestige required of anything to be associated with them. To be a member you must be male, totally Tory, over 50, own at least 10 vintage cars and wear a brightly coloured blazer with beige cords. They meet every evening to drink gin (only Gordon’s] and tonic, discuss whether snake skin or specially imported Japanese calf leather is a better car seat cover and take photos of their cars from different angles.