Older News

Below is some older news before we introduced the new method of providing news.

The War Generation Project (WarGen)

This is an Oral Online record of memories of people who experienced WW2, from all over the world.

WarGen was founded by broadcaster and historian, Dan Snow, and author and broadcaster, James Holland. We’re a small team with big ambitions. We’re creating a crowd-sourced online repository of oral-history from the people who lived through World War 2 and we are asking you to help us. We are looking for individuals willing to join our volunteer team as interviewers and to go out into your local communities and record these important stories of a fast disappearing generation or to let us know if they have a family member or friend or even know of someone who they believe would like to have their stories recorded. Please check out the website for the interviews that have already been carried out the length and breadth of the country.

If you wish to add your story or help please visit the WarGen website.

Wells High Street & Railway

Wells Library, Thursday, November 16th 14:00 to 15:00

Tickets £5 including tea and cake. Booking essentail on 01328 710467

Various Events at Norfolk Record Office (October & November 2017)

Drawing in the Archive: The Visual Record of Norwich’s Medieval Churches, 1700-2017

Free Exhibition open during NRO normal opening hours until Friday 17 November

How to use the NRO Searchroom.

Wednesday 18 October 5.30-6.30pm

FREE book on www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/events

For absolute beginners, we will take you through the first steps to using the searchroom.

FREE Behind the Scenes Tour for Thomas Browne Day

Thursday 19 October 2-4pm

Which will include a number of documents relating to Thomas Browne and his work

Please book on www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/events

An Exhibition Unpacked: Curating, Conserving and Engaging

Thursday 19 October 5.15-6.45pm

Find out more about how the Drawing in the Archive exhibition was created. Join curator Clare Haynes for a walk-through of the main exhibits, discover how a medieval screen painting was conserved, and explore the programming of events.

FREE no booking necessary

Creative Writing Workshop

Friday 20 October 2-3.30pm at Great Yarmouth Library

Our first creative writing workshop on the road. Using copies of some of our documents, local writer Abby Erwin will help you start your creative writing journey.

FREE book on www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/events

Not forgetting our FREE half-term activities for children.

Monday 23 October Norwich Skyline 2-3.30pm

Monday 24 October Painted Panes 2-3.30pm

Please book on www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/events

The Walsingham Bible: A 12th Manuscript Treasure from Norfolk

Stiffkey Village Hall Saturday, October 14th at 4pm

Kristine Rose-Beers, Senior Conservator at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin will give a talk on The Walsingham Bible to Stiffkey Local History Group

£ 2 members, £3 non-members. Refreshments available.

The Railway Wells to Dereham

Thursday, October 5th at 7.30pm

Friends of St. Botolph’s present an illustrated talk by Richard Adderson rekindling memories of our local steam railways and a lost way of life

Not so very long ago, Norfolk was criss-crossed with railways so that it seemed as if every village and town had access to a nearby station. These lines not only provided essential services to many rural areas but also jobs and a way of life. The mania for building these railways began in the second half of the 19th Century and Norfolk’s geography with its generally flat landscape enabled rapid expansion.

Sadly, this era is now but a fading memory although some evidence remains, usually in the form of original station buildings converted to private homes, goods and engine sheds, level crossings, bridges, cuttings and so on. Aerial photography will often define the routes of previous trackways.

Richard Adderson’s knowledge of our local railway heritage is second to none. He has written several books and co-authored others. His extensive photographic archive of the Wells to Dereham line, which at one time was linked direct to London as well as King’s Lynn.

St Botolph’s Church, Grimston PE32 1BG
Tickets on the door £7, members £6 including refreshments
All Welcome

Beer & Bridges: Holt’s Neglected Arhitect William Mindham

Sunday, 23 July 2017 7pm at the Kings Head, Letheringsett

BAHS member, Margaret Bird, is giving a talk on William Mindham the designer of many landmark buildings locally.

Two-course buffet supper in the garden marquee. Tickets £28.00 to include free glass of wine, Norfolk beer or soft drink. Tel. 01263 712691 to book.

Mindham designed public houses, including the King’s Head at Letheringsett (1808), the malt-kilns and brewery tun room beside the pub (early 19th century), and the bridge over the Glaven (1818).

He brought the Greek Architectural Revival to north Norfolk in 1809 with his Greek Doric portico at Letheringsett Hall, as well as designing Holt’s first two Wesleyan chapels and the original Foundry Bridge over the Wensum in Norwich (1810).

Tour of three Medieval churches with wall paintings

Saturday, 12th August 2017

The ‘Friends of All Saints Church, Hemblington’ have asked us to inform members about a tour of three churches which each contains Medieval wall paintings, including the death of St Thomas at Canterbury, two versions of the Seven Acts of Mercy, and “the living and the dead” sequence.

The tour will be led by the local Rural Dean, Rev’d Canon N. Garrard and refreshments will be offered at the end of the tour, all for £11 per person.

For more information please see the home page of their website www.hemblingtonchurch.org.uk

BALH’s flagship event – Local History Day 2017

The keynote speaker will be the distinguished historian, Professor Chris Dyer, whose theme will be ‘Local societies on the move: migration and social mobility in the middle ages’. Other speakers include Professor Geoff Timmins and Dr Alan Crosby on ‘Housing and local history: research agendas and practical issues’.

The Annual General Meeting of BALH will be held at 12.30pm and will be chaired by Professor Caroline Barron, President of BALH, who will later be presenting the 2017 awards for research and publication, for a society newsletter, and for personal achievement in local history.

For more information and to book your place online please click here.

Call for stories on the Battle of Gaza for Norfolk in the First World War exhibition

Click here for poster.

The Forum, Norwich, is appealing for the people of North Norfolk to share their stories and memories of relatives who fought in the Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April 1917 to mark its centenary in April. Hundreds of Norfolk men who served in The Norfolk Regiment fought in this battle, including many from North Norfolk and The Forum is keen to hear from local people who may have stories, photographs, letters and objects relating to the Second Battle of Gaza.

Information and stories of local soldiers will help add to the research for The Forum’s community project ‘Norfolk in the First World War: Somme to Armistice’. The project honours Norfolk’s First World War heroes and runs until November 2018 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Local people with information on their connections to the Second Battle of Gaza are invited to get in touch with The Forum’s Learning Manager, Sarah Power via email or on 01603 727977.

All of the research and learning from the project will culminate in a Battle of Gaza exhibition starting at The Forum and the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library on 18 April 2017. Following this, the exhibition and an accompanying film will go on tour to schools and community venues around the county.

We will be holding two talks at The Forum on the Battle of Gaza on the evening of Wednesday 19th April which your members may be interested in.

Norfolk Record Office Conference

Saturday February 24th 2017, 10:30am – 3.30pm

Find out about successful HLF applications, BBC Voices, and much more. The fee also includes a one-day photography permit which is worth £10.50 and lunch.

Call 01603 2225999 or click here.

War Memorials Workshop, Norwich

Tuesday, January 24th 2017, 9.45am – 1.00pm

The workshop is being held as part of the national First World War Memorials Programme.

Don’t miss your chance to find out how to assess the condition of your local war memorials, obtain funding for their repair and make a positive difference to an important part of your local heritage. The project covers war memorials of all types and volunteers are needed to record those that are in good as well as poor condition.

Free places can be reserved by visiting by clicking here.

Exhibition of the Pentney Brooches at the Lynn Museum

10 January – 28 February 2017

Two of the extraordinary Pentney brooches will be on display at the Lynn Museum. This special display features two of the Pentney brooches on loan from the British Museum. These silver brooches were found in 1977 when a grave was being dug in Pentney churchyard, ten miles outside King’s Lynn. Six brooches were found and two are to be displayed here. At the time, neither their age nor value were recognised and they were left in the church parish chest. A few years later the brooches were brought into Norwich Castle Museum where they were identified as dating from the Anglo-Saxon period and of great rarity and archaeological importance. During the Anglo-Saxon period brooches like these were worn to fasten clothing. All the Pentney brooches have cruciform designs, although the cross is more obvious in some than others.

The display will open to the public on Tuesday 10th January and run through to the end of February. Our colleague Dr. Tim Pestell will be giving a talk about the brooches and the period in the museum on the 8th February. His subject will be ‘Anglo-Saxon East Anglia and the Pentney Hoard’. East Anglia was one of the wealthiest regions of England in the Anglo-Saxon period, which makes it easier to understand why such a fabulous hoard of jewellery like the Pentney brooches was buried here. Dr. Pestell’s talk will look at why the region was so rich and why the hoard may have been buried.

The Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 5 and admission is free.

The museum hopes that people can come to Lynn to see the brooches, and we would be fascinated to hear if anyone remembers their discovery.

Lynn Museum

Film Slide Show on Blakeney, Wiveton and Cley & Mardle 28th October 2016

Wiveton Parish Room

We have been asked to pass this on to our members:

On Friday 28th October we will be hosting another talk with slides by local historian Philip West covering memories of Blakeney, Wiveton and Cley. 7.30pm start.
Philip’s talks are entertaining and fascinating, and it’s also an opportunity to see lots of slides of this area in the past.

Accompanied by Wiveton’s Janet Harcourt and Godfrey Sayers and from Cley Richard Newton, all of whom have years of knowledge of the history of the local area, characters and events –they will be regaling us with facts and tales from the past.
Do you know whether your house was used as a poor house or was it a local shop?
Come along and bring your own memories and knowledge to participate in an evening of nostalgia.

£ 5 including a glass of wine/soft drink at the interval (pay on the night), raffle.
Booking advisable, tickets available on the door, please reply by email or phone Michelle on 01263 711585.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Morningthorpe Manor Country House Sale starting 6th September 2016

One of the largest private collections of Norfolk related archives is being auctioned as part of the Morningthorpe Manor Country House Sale from 6 September. The Norfolk Record Office needs help to secure many of these items so that the unique information they contain on Norfolk’s past can be preserved and made freely accessible to the public. More information is contained on our blog

The Record Office is working with a recently established charity, the Norfolk Archives and Heritage Development Foundation (NORAH), to raise funds in support of this appeal. If you are able to help us by donating money to NORAH you will be helping to secure these important historical records for generations to come. To thank those who have helped us, we will be holding a special event at the Record Office where items purchased in the sale will be on display.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please get in touch with me at the Record Office; whatever help you can give would be most appreciated.

With thanks


Read more…

October 2015: Save Norfolk’s History

It has been proposed that Norfolk County Council withdraw funding from finds identification and recording service from next April (2016). This would leave posts funded solely by the Portable Antiquities Scheme: A Finds Liaison Officer, a Data Input Assistant (half-time) and a numismatist (half funded by the portable antiquities scheme). So in affect 4.5 posts would be reduced by 2.5 to 2 posts.

23 October 2015: Hunstanton to Blakeney

A Retrospective View

A talk with slides by local historian Philip West

Friday 23rd October
7.00 for 7.30 start
Wiveton Parish Room

Tickets £5 on the door including glass of wine/ soft drink

[This is not a BAHS talk]

1 October 2015: Magna Carta & the Binham Connection

An illustrated presentation by Nicholas Vincent, Professor of Medieval History, U. E. A., an acknowledged expert on Magna Carta

Binham Priory, Thursday 1st October 2015 at 7.30 pm

Binham Local History Group

Baron Robert Fitzwalter had a very colourful life including playing a significant role in the actions leading to the drafting of Magna Carta. For many years he was also Lord of the Manor of Binham and Patron of the Priory. During this time he was much involved with events which would have influenced his increasingly fractious relationship with King John. In his later years he initiated the building of our great West Front, completing the Priory Church in spectacular fashion. It is so appropriate that this evening, which promises a fascinating insight into a significant time of our history, should be jointly hosted by the Friends of Binham Priory and the Binham Local History Group in Binham Priory.

Tickets £5, including a glass of wine

Tickets from David Frost on 01328 830362 or email, David Frost

[This is not a BAHS talk]

September 2015: BALH Newsletter

The BAHS is a member of the British Association of Local History (BALH). Below is a link to their website and their most recent newsletter.

BALH website

South Creake Talks

Battle of Agincourt to be given by Dr Juliet Barker at South Creake at 7.00pm on Friday 4 September 2015.

Making Sense of the Bible to be given by Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, at 7pm on Friday 2 October 2015

We understand both lectures are free.

Read more…

Cley Marshes Talks

The Conservation Movement In Norfolk
Thursday 4 June, 7.30pm

Coastlines – Patrick Barkham
Monday 8 June, 7.30pm

Art and the Sea
Thursday 18 June, 7.30pm

Poetry & Pimms
Saturday 15 August, 7pm

Crime and Punishment evening at Norfolk Record Office

Norfolk Record Office are holding an event on Thursday, 4 June between 5pm to 6:30pm. The event will include a talk on how to trace your criminal ancestors.

Donation by Blakeney Parish Council

On Thursday19th March at the Annual Parish Meeting in Blakeney Village Hall, Pam Peake accepted a cheque from the Parish Council Community Fund on behalf of the History Centre. Pam explained that the donation will be used towards a presentation case for the Hettie lifeboat model and that this means we are closer to our goal of having the Hettie lifeboat on display in St. Nicholas Church in front of its service board.

After accepting the cheque Pam gave an interesting talk about the men from Blakeney who fought in WW1 and that five names are missing from the Memorial in New Road.

The History Centre also had a presentation in the Village Hall and a handout on The Great War 1914-18 about 25th April Anzac Day and Anzac biscuits.

Click here to see handout.

Three Short Illustrated Talks

Tuesday 24th March 2015 at 7:30pm

Cley Village Hall

Singapore in the 1950s’ by Tim Ambler

A Kenya Safari by Richard Jefferson

Tales of a Beachcomber by Richard Porter

[Added 26 February 2015]

‘Study Day’ on Great Yarmouth in the Fourteenth Century & the Battle of Sluys (1340)

Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society is holding this event.

The study day will be followed by the unveiling of a ‘blue plaque’ on the Custom House on South Quay.

2015 is 675th anniversary of this battle in which Yarmouth men and ships were heavily involved and as Great Yarmouth Local History & Archaeological Society felt that few people knew of the events that happened all those years ago we should do our best to educate those who might be interested.

This project expanded greatly and led on to the organizing of our Study Day and we have gained the services of three very distinguished historians who have agreed to speak at St George’s Theatre on 27th June this year.

Read more…

Please note the writing on the above programme describing Dr. Craig Lambert should read “Senior Lecturer Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute”.

Professor Bailey also advises me that research since Professor Hoskins wrote his excellent book ‘Local History in England’ (Longman 1959) details of Yarmouth has updated his research as follows:- In the 1334 Lay Subsidy Yarmouth’s tax charge placed it 7th in the rank order of English towns (no need to cite Hoskins for this, which is now long outdated on this point, though not on many others!), and the number of taxpayers in the first Poll Tax of 1377 placed it 19th…already in decline!

Andrew Fakes (President)
72, Lawn Avenue, Great Yarmouth NR30 1QW
01493 84381

[Added 26 February 2015]

Local History Day 2015

The British Association for Local History is holding this event.

The Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Saturday 6 June 2015, 10:30am to 4:30pm

[Added 16 December 2014]

Christmas in the Trenches

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Saturday 29 November 2014, 10:30am to 4pm

[Added 5 November 2014]

Wiveton Bridge

EDP article on Wiveton Bridge

From Peter Trudgill, EDP, Monday 13th October 2014 using the excellent Glaven Historian as a source for the article.

Read article…

Click here to read what is on Wiveton Parish Council’s website.

[Added 3 November 2014]

A Monk’s Life

Friday 17th October 2014 at 7.30 pm at Binham Priory Church

A presentation in words and music by Andrés Hernandez-Salazar

Read more…

[Added 9 October 2014]

The Company of Preachers

This course is being run by Mary Fewster at Wells WEA, weekly for seven Tuesdays from 30th September, 10.30 – 12.30, at the Friends Meeting House, Church Street, Wells.

The Company of Preachers‘ looks at the social history and impact of preachers, new religious movements and their buildings in Norfolk and East Anglia from the Reformation until the beginning of 20th Century. The fee for seven weeks is £45.

Read more…

[Added 15 September 2014]

The Merchant houses in the heart of Blakeney High Street

On Saturday 6th September a pleasant walk exploring the Merchant houses in Blakeney was led by Pam Peake. Around 18 members and guests were escorted around the gardens and outsides of two Merchant houses that were built and further enhanced by the Brereton, Page and Turner families. The walk focussed on the evolution of the Merchant House once part of the Page and Turner estates but also took in other houses and the Methodist Chapel in the High Street.

[Added 7 September 2014]

Crabs, Cliffs and Coasters

A retrospective view of the north Norfolk Coast on Friday 24th October at 7.30pm in Wiveton Parish Room.

The talk is by local historian Philip West.
7pm for a 7:30 start.
Glass of wine/soft drink & Raffle.

£3.50 on the door.

[Added 4 September 2014]

Binham Priory Conservation and Community Project

Invitation to a Presentation about this project on Tuesday 16th September at 7.30pm in Binham Memorial Hall.

A new Binham Priory Conservation and Community Project needs your help. Binham Parochial Church Council and Friends of Binham Priory are working in partnership to submit a grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is to provide for long-term conservation; raise awareness of the heritage significance and involve people and the community to sustain Binham Priory for future generations.

The project will conserve the west front and carry out repair works on the south and east elevations. Internally, it will repair cracks in the upper walling and replace the outdated electrical wiring system. To enable wider and increased use by the community, new work will be undertaken to improve and enhance the church building and pathways. This will include lighting of a performance space; improved heating and car parking arrangements.

A programme of activities and events is being planned and the Project Team would like ideas to help put this together. What would you like to know more about? Do you have suggestions for workshops and day schools, for family events and children’s involvement?

Please come to a Presentation on Tuesday 16th September at 7.30pm in Binham Memorial Hall to hear more about the project and how you – and local and wider communities – can be involved.

Please let Pauline Scott know by 15th September, if you are attending.

If you are unable to attend the Presentation but would like more details; have any queries or wish to be involved, please email Anne Mason, Project Manager or email Pauline Scott, Chair of the Project Team,

[Added 30 August 2014]

19-27 July 2014Egypt Through The Artist’s Eye

Egypt Through The Artist's Eye

Part of the Holt Festival, Egypt Through The Artist’s Eye is open 11am to 5pm in the Meeting Room, St Andrew’s Church, Holt.

A loan exhibition of paintings and ancient artefacts, including small works from some of the most important private collections ever put together, a very rare Tutankhamun piece, augmented by original film and rare recordings of Howard Carter, original drawings, the only existing bound, printed copy of his album of watercolours of birds and animals. Also including works by David Roberts, Edward Lear, Frederick Goodall and other important artists, together with travel diaries and ephemera never before exhibited.

In the Special Lecture Series there is a lecture Howard Carter (1874-1939) Artist, Naturalist & Archaeologist on Thursday 24th 10.00am – 5.00pm at Old School Hall, Church Street, Holt.

The cost is £45 Includes coffee, light lunch, tea and followed by drinks

12-27 July 2014Archaeological walks and talks in Reepham

Click here for details of various Archaeological walks and talks in Reepham

7 May 2014Free Training Talk

To Whom it may concern,

I am writing to you from the Eighth in the East project in the hope that your group might be interested in a free training talk we are running. We are a 3 year project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to look at the impact the Eighth American Air Force had on the landscape and local communities in the east of England. Through a series of archaeology training days, oral history recording, museum development, school visits and community events, we hope to encourage local people to learn more about their area and how it linked to the Americans in World War Two. Our partners in this project include The University of East Anglia, The East Anglian Film Archive, as well as The Norfolk Historic Environment Service. We also have a number of other partners in the other regions we are covering, including Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. More information about our project can be found at www.8theast.org

As part of the project, we will be running a number of training days for groups of volunteers in how to archaeologically record some of the remaining standing buildings at airfields. I was wondering if this is something your members might be interested in? The talk is about an hour. We have our own projector, laptop and screen. This talk can be run on any day of the week at any time depending on when you can fit us in. The hope is that volunteers will then be able to go away and start recording buildings on their own and we can collect the results and add them to the local Historic Environment Record and see how much of these airfields remain.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind Regards,

Hannah Potter
Community Archaeologist
Eighth in the East
New Heritage Solutions

30 March 2014: The entry in April’s Glaven Valley Newsletter about the recent loss of Sheila Harvey mentioned that she appeared being interviewed in a 1961 film about the Blakeney Neighbourhood Housing Society (BNHS).

Click here to see the archive film about the BNHS including an interview with Mrs Norah Clogstoun who founded the BNHS in 1946. Whilst on the East Anglian Film Archive website if you do a search for local places such as Blakeney or Cley you will other interesting film footage.

Click here for information about the BNHS today and in the past.

19 March 2014: 2014 Excavation season of the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Read more…

10 January 2014: The Yellow Caravan – a trip round Norfolk in 1912

Yellow Caravan Tour Of Norfolk, 1912 This fascinating talk by Juliet Webster was held on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 at the British Legion Harbour rooms to around fifty members and visitors. We were taken back in time on a two-week horse-dawn caravan holiday round Norfolk 100 years ago in pictures and poetry by Honor Elwes and her two intrepid lady companions.

26 November 2013: Pathways to History: researching public rights of way in Norfolk

This interesting talk by Dr Sarah Spooner and Dr Jon Gregory of the UEA was held at the British Legion Harbour rooms to nearly sixty members and visitors.

6 November 2013: Houghton Revisited

The magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great to adorn the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, is reassembled in its spectacular original setting for the first time in over 200 years. This exhibition ran until 24 November 2013.

12-15 September 2013: Heritage Open Days

A contribution from the History Centre Blakeney to ‘Ships Ahoy’ 500 years of Blakeney Haven. An exhibition and tours at St Nicholas’ Church, Blakeney on 12-15 September: 2-4pm

Maritime History through Ship Graffiti, presentation model of the Hettie lifeboat; stories from the Churchyard, paintings, photographs and even more.

June 2013: Chris Barringer

1931 -2013

Chris Barringer played a fundamental part in the formation of this Society. In 1990 he was invited to give a series of lectures in Blakeney and two more series followed in 1991 and 1992.

2013: Blakeney Lifeboat Hettie

An exceptional presentation model of Blakeney lifeboat the Hettie has returned to the village of Blakeney after being donated to the History Centre.

[Update: It is now on display at St Nicholas’ Church, Blakeney]