QUITE A LOT HAS happened in our town since my last Letter.
We have formed a North Walsham Society which is affiliated to the Norfolk Society and, through that membership, with the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. The North Walsham Society has held several meetings and some members had a 'walk about' to really see the town, its lokes and backways and its interesting buildings and to assess v/hat they felt should be preserved, renovated or be pulled down when the occasion arises.
One of the most exciting events in recent months has been the 'discovery' of North Walsham's oldest house. It stands on the corner of the Cromer Road, at the traffic lights and was for a long time used as a florist's (J. Hall Florists), the owner and his family living behind and over the shop. It was recognised that the house was old but not until it recently changed hands was it dicovered how old.
A party of local enthusiasts set to work and dug out the floor levels—there were several of these—uncovered beams and fireplaces and removed plaster from the walls. This revealed some ancient brickwork and the size of the bricks helped to establish the date when the house was first built—somewhere about 1580. (Ketts Coffee House)
At the Annual General Meeting of the Community Association it was stated that a start would soon be made on the much-needed extension. More money to pay for it is, of course, still needed and more people are wanted as members of the Association. The Community Centre plays an ever-increasing role in the life of the town, being used by many organisations for their weekly or monthly meetings and for Dinners and Receptions, for Drama productions and Dances. The proposed extension will enable several meetings or functions to go on at the same time without interfering with one another.
North Walsham has not lagged behind other Norfolk towns and villages in making its voice heard in the Great Rates Protest.
At the first packed meeting it was suggested people should only pay for this half year the same amount they paid for last half year plus 10 per cent. Mr. Ralph Howell attended and promised to pass on the views of the meeting to the Leader of the Opposition.
Another meeting was held on 20th May at which a Rate Payers' Association was formed with Mr. A. L. Owers as chairman, Mr. D. W. Millington as Secretary and Mr. J. C. Laws as treasurer.
The Association has a large membership and vigourous action is promised in the near future.
Congratulations are due to the young people who, under the auspices of the District Council of Youth, have begun the job of cleaning out the Blue Bell Pond. They were assisted in this task by the loan of a pump by Mr. Edward Bullimore of North Walsham Plant Hire, to draw off some of the water; the North Norfolk District Council also made a tractor and trailer available for their use.