Produced by the Publicity Committee of the
NORTH WALSHAM & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF TRADE & COMMERCE
with the authority of the NORTH WALSHAM URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL
Glimpses of the Past
(By C. H. W. Page, M.A., M.D., F.S.A.)
Traces of the past from prehistoric times onwards have been found in the town and neighbourhood. East Anglia was built up from the bed of the sea by the deposition of varied soils in the flow of rivers and glaciers. The bed of the sea was white chalk and chalk lies under most parts. Above it lie various deposits of gravel, clay and loam gradually laid down by the flow of water or ice, of which there were alternate ages. Granite boulders brought from the north embedded in the glacier streams, still remain in North Walsham. Bones of prehistoric animals have not infrequently been found especially in the crumbling cliffs of Norfolk, also tools and weapons of the stone ages. Rude shelters were built in shallow excavations in dry sandy soil which were roofed over, or if on ma!shy wet ground dwellings were made on a covered p'atform raised on timber piles. The chalk contains flints formed in the sponges of the chalky seas and these were fashioned to make the weapons of early man. The flints were mined from deep underground galleries. The antlers of the red deer were used as picks. With skill and experience a "flint knapper" or worker in flint will detach flakes by well directed hammer strokes into almost any shape. Flint knapping is the only prehistoric industry still surviving. The absence of stone and the uses of flint account of the characteristic flint Churches of East Anglia. First the round towers, then square ones, using imported stone to turn the corners. The coming of the Romans some forty years before the birth of Christ commenced a new stage in the development of East Anglia. With this invasion began a civilisation that lasted about four hundred years and witnessed the coming of Christianity and the founding of the British Church.
The Roman cccupation has left definite traces. There was certainly a 'Roman way connecting the great camps at Yarmouth and near Lowestoft with Brancaster on the north-west corner of Norfolk. On the borders of North Walsham and Felmmingham were found in 1844-45 Roman urns- coins and bronze figures, some of these are now in the British Museum.
A lake dwelling in clay. Site photographed at Eccles. Ends of the poles just above the clay surface.
The Roman civilisation lasted close on four hundred years when the increasing inroads of heathen Angles and Saxons and troubles at heme caused the Romans 10 evacuate Britain from which civilisation practically disappeared. When the old British Church missionaries came to the north-west of Norfolk and from Rome to the Kentish region the Vikings began their raids and there is little doubt that North Walsham was raided and occupied. The name of Walsham indicates that it was the settlement of Saxons and the Viking settlement is proved by the fact that in the time of Canute a Norseman, named Skiotr, later anglicised to Sket, gave North Walsham and the Church to the Benedictine Abbey of St. Benet, the ruins of which are still visible in the marshes of Horning. From this time, the history of North Walsham and its church were, until the Reformation, closely bound up with this abbey.
The last successful invasion was that of the Normans who left their mark in the development of the system of manors and in the style of architecture they introduced. Christianity came to North Walsham and in later Saxon times a church was built. Unlike most Norfolk Saxon churches it had a square tower. This church is mentioned in the Domesday Book compiled at King William's order in 1080. At that time there were over 4,000 freemen in Norfolk out of over 10,000 in the whole country. The mix ture of races perhaps accounts for the sturdy independence of East Anglians, Our neat countryside, patterned like a draughts board, is comparatively modern. In the days when the Normans came, North Walsham lay in open country, innocent of hedges. To the north and east were fen and marsh and river. To the south and west open heathlands interspersed with woodlands. These stretched away on all sides to the confines of other villages, traversed by rough tracks, but the country was wild and unreclaimed, the haunt of all sorts of wild birds and animals, a modern naturalist's paradise.
In the Conqueror's time the town was built of wood, no doubt thatched with the plentiful reeds that grew in the marshy districts close by. Beyond the houses lay some arable, meadow and pasture land. The arable land was divided in:o three fields, Southfield, Millfield and North-field. Each, field was cut into ctrips bounded by balks or low grass ridges These cultivated strips were allotted to the townsmen in such a way that one holding might in elude several disconnected strips in perhaps different fields, a measure designed to prevent all the best pieces of land getting into the hands of one man. The fields were fenced in from seedtime to harvest- after which the fences were removed and sheep and cattle turned in to feed the stubble. A sowing of wheat was followed by one of barley or oats and the year following was one of fallow. Beans, peas and vetches were also grown. The meadow land was common, though each holder's number of beasts might be limited. The outlying lands also provided rough grazing and pigs with a swineherd wandered the wild. In addition to the freemen there were also villeins who were bound to the soil. They held strips in return for a payment partly in labour and partly in kind.
England was ear'y the great sheep farming country of the west, the wood being exported for manufacture. Flemish weavers came to England in the twelfth century, in due couise they settled at Worstead from which place the name of the material "worsted" originated. There was, prior to 1325, a well established market of worsted materials in North Walsham. Weaving made slow progress until the time of Edward III. After his accession in 1327 he introduced large numbers of Flemish weavers. This increase in population and wealth probably caused the new church to be built- leaving only the Saxon tower of the old church. The new church was built during the second half of the fourteenth century. In 1348 occurred the Black Death or Pla gue, probably while the church was being built. This fatal epidemic had its effect in the dearth of skilled labour and indeed of all labour and an Act was passed in 1351 to the effect that no man shou'd refuse to work at the same rate of pay as before the Black Death. The result was that the owners laid down their arable strips to pasture and also enclosed waste lands for sheep grazing because less labour was needed and more profit could be made out of wool. For these and other reasons the peasants rose in 1381. Locally the rising was led by John Litester and of his three assistants one was a man from Trunch and another was named Cubitt, a common name in North Walsham and in East Norfolk. A little earlier there were living in Worstead, Ralph and Roger Litester, so it is probable that John Litester orignated from that place. The rising cu'minated in Norfolk by the defeat of the peasants on the heath south of North Walsham. Despite formidable barricades, the attackers, led by the warlike Bishop Spencer of Norwich, defeated the peasants who fled northwards, many of whom are said to have taken refuge in the new church which was not yet completed. The ruthlessness of the Bishop and the cruelty of the times makes it certain that very large numbers of the people perished in this tragic rising, if not in the battle, in the subsequent executions. Three crosses, roughly forming a triangle, are supposed to cover the site of the battle.
In the church will be found a panel forming part of the screen indicating that there was a chapel of the fraternity of St. Thomas a Becket. This fraternity or gild was one of a number in North Walsham. Gilds were the means by which neighbours obtained not only the advantages of cooperation, but also were enabled to fulfil their common obligations. They endeavoured to set up something higher than personal gain and mere materialism as the chief object of man's existence and to make the teaching of love of one's neighbour not merely accepted as a hollow dogma of morality- but known and felt as a habit of life. There was the very closest association between the Gilds and the Church. The Gilds met in their common room often known as the Gildhall, and in that room were carried on numberless activities both social, religious and amusements. An examination of the accounts of a gild gives an idea of their usefulness in the lives of the people. The dissolution of the monasteries and the suppression of the gilds meant that the main source of charity and the entire self-help organisation built up through the centuries disappeared. Pauperisation began to appear and rapid'y grew and with it increasing unrest.
In the middle of the sixteenth century it became necessary to introduce legislation so that the State could carry out what was formerly carried out voluntarily by the people themselves. The land question was the ostensible cause of Kett's Rising in 1549. The local leaders were John Harper and Richard Lyon. Among the items Kett's petition asked that " all bondmen may be made free for God made all men free with his precious blood shedding."
The rising failed and many lost their lives in brutal fashion. From this time forward it is possible to trace a gradual development of the Poor Law System.
The chief industry, apart from agriculture, with which North Walsham was associated was weaving, mostly of wool. Tile trade gilds were important in building up the industry and there were influxes of Flemish weavers at different dates. A very considerable one of French, Walloon and Dutch weavers driven out from the Low Countries took place in 1565. Various North Walsham names date from this time. No doubt the influx from countries that had suffered much at the hands of Spain helped to stimulate the local activity in the time of the Armada. The churchwardens, from information contained in their accounts, were busy seeing to the Town Armour in readiness for the coming of the Spanish Armada and record that six hundred corselets were delivered to them. East Norfolk remained pre-eminent for wool until the
eighteenth century when the industry was allowed to pass to Yorkshire. The Norfolk people were accustomed to deal with long wool which had to be bought outside the county, Norfolk sheep provided short wool. The Yorkshire people bought the Norfolk short wool and Norfolk had to buy the long wool where they could. Lack of enterprise and the cost of coal in Norfolk as compared with Yorkshire helped to finish the Norfolk wool industry. In 1679 an Act was passed enforcing the burial of all bodies in woollen, i here are records of large numbers of affidavits at North Walsham commencing in August, 1695, giving the names of a 1 those buried in woollen and the affidavits were practically all made before the local c'ergy. Prior to the affidavits ftom the time the Act became Law the church-wardens made a return in rate books, year by year, of all lb-re buried in woollen and issued a certificate accordingly. The fine for burial in linen was fifty shillings and the value of the fines was distributed to the poor. Burials in wool continued for 120 years, though not actually enforced for so long.
The churchwardens' books teem with interesting items. There is the account of the great fire in 1600, probably written by the Vicar. In 1600 North Walsham suffered from a great and disastrous fire. A description of the fire and the losses of the town was sent to the Lords of Her Majesty's most Excel.ent Privy Counsel. The fire began in the house of a man named Dowle who, flying, was apprehended and put into gaol as he was thought in all likelihood to be the author. It began about six o'clock in the forenoon and went on so fiercely that "in twoe hours the wholle bodye of the towne beeinge built cheefly rounde aboute the market place was on one flame and which in twoe or three hours more burnt downe to the grounde." One hundred and eighteen dwelling houses, seventy shops and very many other buildings were destroyed, including all the market stalls. It was impossible to save great quantities of corn and household stuff. The Miarket Cross, then covered with lead- was probably burnt out and had to be rebuilt by Bishop Redman. The Church, notwithstanding it was leaded and separated from tbe burning houses by the distance of the churchyard, was fired in five places at once but escaped much damage. The "wholle market towne is utterlie ruined and consumed except the church." "The wholle loffe is esteemed at the leafte to amounte to Twentie thousand pounds." Of the rebuilding of the town there is little to be found out except for an application to her Majesty's Council for timber for the purpose, " because this part of the County is barren of timber." The request was "That Her Majesty may be moved in her gracious inclinations to bestow some portion of timber .... out of her woods nearest adjoining where ye timber is for the most part small and decaying and not fit| for any use of shipping .... at reasonaWe prices for their money." Request was also made for a general con tribution and an undertaking was given that such contribution shall not be abused.
The family of Paston, many of whom wrote family letters which are of prime importance to students of social history was closely associated with North Walsham. This Guide might therefore recall that there was a William Paston, who was a Draper there in 1.415/16. This William Paston was doubtless connected with the weaving industry of which that town was a great centre. He also appears to have traded in nuts and stockfish as well as cloth. His exact relationships are uncertain.
There was another Paston who was a great benefactor to North Walsham. Born in 1528' he succeeded on the death of his grandfather in 1575 to most of the family possessions. In 1578 he was knighted and became one of the richest men in Norfolk. He was a man of the most liberal (urn cf mind as is described on the monument to his memory on the south side of the main altar in North Walsham church. He founded the Paston School, which was opened in 1604, and so achieved his longfelt desire to provide instruction and training for the young. It is in tcresting that the Paston monument was designed under Sir William's direction and was completed two years before he died and was buried in it. After the funeral Lady Paston was disintened at Paston and reburied with her husband in North Walsham Church.
The fall of the tower of the church, which was 147 feet in height, happened on a Saturday " between nine and ten of the clock in the forenoon." The date was May 16th, 1724. In 1836 the north segment was blown down bringing the " bells into one mass of ruins." Later some forty or fifty feet of the dangerous portion was removed. In the Bodleian Library at Oxford there is a somewhat crude drawing of the tower as it was before the first fall. From this it will be seen that the square tower was surmounted by a small spire rising from its middle and flanked at each comer by a figure of the four evangelists. The date of this drawing is 1705.
The same Bodleian MS draws attention to ye Mansion House and Residence of ye famous Mr. Kendall, Counsellor at Law." This is the Girls' High School. On the outer wall of the house are the Scarburgh Arms- which are here described. They also occur on slabs in the church. 'Mr. Kendall married the last Scarburgh of North Walsham, an heiress, Mary. The Scarburghs had been a principal family in North Walsham since early in the sixteenth century and have left their name in Scarborough Hill. One was knighted, Sir Charles Scarburgh. The MS draws attention to the high character justly bestowed on his family, and Mr. Kendall's greatness of soul, to the magnificence and bravery of his establishment. The gardens are incomparably rare. It mentions an heraldic achievement at the entrance to the kitchens and a curious row of palisades surmounted with crests.
In 1616 there was a dispute between the Vicar, John Mauris, Robert Allen the Clerk and Sexton, and the inhabitants of North Walsham about the conditions of the appointment. His duties were agreed and were set forth. Among these are mentioned: "He shall keep well and sufficiently the clock, the clock chimes and diall " so that the people may both see and hear " how the days and nights do pass away." Then follows an unpleasant duty which no one, I should imagine, wou'd wish to be performed nowadays : " For the more and belter content and general good and satisfaction both of the Town of North Walsham itself, the bordering Towns and neighbours thereabouts, the comfort and directing of passengers and travellers coming early and late the said officer shall at four of the clock in the morning and eight of the clock at night every evening and morning throughout the whole year ringe or cause to be rung out the Great Bell orderly and full out one halfe hour at the least besides and betwixt the setting out and the ceasing thereof."
In the south aisle of the church is a brass to John Page who is described as a man of signal piety. John Page was a leading business man in North Walsham and he and othvr members of his family are frequently mentioned in the churchwardens' accounts. Several members of the family served a,s churchwardens and Joseph, son of John-is mentioned in the Paston Letters. John Page, in his will, left " to my sen, Jcseph Page, the messuage wherein I dwell with my shops and yards thereto belonging, and my houses- yards and pightel called Parkers, lately purchased of my father-in law Robert Bowde." Other lands and shops in North Walsham were left to Joseph. There must have existed some fairly close relationship between William Roberts, the tutor of William Paston, and Joseph Page, for John Page in his will says :—
"I entreat Mr, William Roberts, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge- to take some pains to set my son Joseph and wife Elizabeth at peace, if any controversy happen between them ; and give him £3 to buy a suit of apparel."
Joseph was bom in North Walsham and baptized there 4th December, 1597, and was buried there 21st July, 1644. Another relative, 1 homas Page, was buried in the church in 1640 ; he was Chief Constable of the Hundred of Tun-stead. This Page family was an offshoot of a numerous family of Pages whose main branch originated from and lived at Walsham le Willows in Suffolk. One of the earliest members of this family, another John Page, probably had a hand in building the church at Walsham le Willows. At a later date the family from which the writer descends, separated off from the Walsham le Willows family and so can claim some kinship with these North Wahham Pages.
North Walsham was not above a bit of smuggling, as in July, 1736, fourteen gallons of brandy and six hundred and ninety lb. of tea were seized there by Customs officers.
To show the varied nature of the duties of the Churchwardens they are recorded as paying for the destruction of twenty-four foxes, six polecats and one badger and in 1747 twenty polecats and in 1753 six hedgehogs and four thousand moles.
The old fire engine, with which we are familiar, is frequently mentioned in the churchwardens' accounts about 1736 and there is a full description of the method of working it and for the care of it.
As organisation developed the State or the local authority assumed the secular functions formerly and on the whole very ably performed through the church. The process was giadual until well into the nineteenth century. Since then the change has been at an ever increasing pace. Most people to day are entirely unaware of the great services rendered by and through the church in the evolution of local government.
From earliest times the church organisation has made possible the steady socia1 progress of mankind in North Walsham as elsewhere. Everything revolved round the church. That does not mean at all the predominance of the local head of the church, the parson, but the church gladly encouraged and permitted the development of all forms of parish and town life under its guidance and protection, but with churchwardens appointed jointly by the parson and the townspeople as leaders. The duties of the churchwardens were most onerous but were carried out with honesty and goodwill.
The Church, which was one of the finest built in the prosperous days of the weaving industry, with magnificent furnishings and a blaze of colour, is still worth a visit and an illustrated guide is available which tells much, of its history.
The restoration of the stonework of the South Porch was completed in 1955 and is in memory of the late Dr. C. H. W. Page. The figures inserted in the niches are— (top) The Virgin and Child, (left) St. Nicholas, (right) St. Benet.
A few readers knowing the present Church Rooms may recognise the two illustrations of Fisher's Theatre. Very little is known of Fisher except that he took over an older theatre and rebuilt it in the manner shown.
Whilst every endeavour has been made to ensure accuracy in the compilation of this guide, no responsibility can be accepted for any errors which may occur therein.
NORTH WALSHAM is pleasantly situated on a slight eminence between the rivers Ant and Bure, five miles only from the coast and within easy reach of the Norfolk Broads. It is I4i miles from Norwich, the capital city of Norfolk, 25 miles north-west of Yarmouth- the major East Coast holiday resort and 128 miles from London.
The surrounding countryside is very peaceful and quite unspoilt by modern industrial development. The land is gently undulating, well wooded and closely cultivated. It is enriched by many fine old buildings, halls, churches, tithe barns and cottages, still standing as examples of the skill and prosperity of former centuries.
North Walsham does not claim to be a holiday resort-but it can offer visitors many means of enjoyment according to their taste. If objects of historical or archaeological interest are sought, there is Blickling Hall now under the care of the National Trust, or such fine medieval churches as those of Knapton, Trunch, Salle and Worstead to name but a few ; or the great Tithe Barn of Paston associated with the famous Paston Letters, or Bromholm Priory at Bacton. All these places- and many another of equal merit, are situated within easy reach of the town.
Some may be more interested in scenery and the countryside. They will find much to delight them, whether in the lanes and byways or in the nearby woods and heaths ; by the inland waterways and Broads or by the sea. For those more actively inclined there is a diversity of interest such as golf on the links at Mundesley, Cromer, and Sheringham, or sailing at Wroxham, Potter Heigham and Coltishall. Should entertainment or amusement be yond that offered by the town be needed- it can be had with little effort.
North Walsham is very fortunate in having ready access to the surrounding towns and country. Good roads for motorists converge from all directions and the town is served by two railway stations, providing frequent trains to all main centres. There is also a very adequate 'bus service covering the rural area.
The schools of North "wVsham serve a large surround ing area and by their scope and variety have made the town an important educational centre.
The Paston School, in the School House of which hangs the original Deed of Indenture dated October 1st, 1606, by which Sir William Paston endowed the school, is known far beyond the borders of Norfolk. The School House, rebuilt in 1765' is the oldest portion of the school, and the continuous growth of the school has necessitated subsequent additions, the most recent being completed in 1939.
The school possesses a very fine library, up-to-date laboratories, spacious playing fields and an open-air swimming bath. Headmaster: Lt. Col. K. N. Marshall, M.A. (Cantab.) Among its old beys the School is proud to number Lord Nelson.
The High School for Girls, originally a well known private boarding and day school' was taken over by the Norfolk Education Committee in 1919. In 1920 there were seventy pupils and three mistresses. To-day the school has grown to 340 pupils and 18 assistant mistresses. Head Mistress: Miss M. S. Middlewood, B.A.
The North Walsham Secondary Modern School is a co-educational school opened in October, 1938, with 257 pupils. Extensions since that date have provided accommodation for over 400 scholars. It has spacious playing fields and two acres of garden with experimental agriculture and horticulture plots. Headmaster : Mr. M. McManus.
The Primary School, adjoining the Secondary Modern School, caters for some 400 children from 5 to 11. Head mistress : Miss M. M. Pullen.
The Millfield Infants' School, opened in 1953, caters for 5—7 years olds on the South side of the Town. Headmistress : Mrs. B. Walker.
There are several Private Schools in the town.
A Branch of W.E.A. formed in 1943, meets every Tuesday at 7.30 p.m. at The Girls' High School, from September to March. Secretary: Miss J. Gunns, The Terrace, North Walsham.
Evening Classes in commerce and cultural subjects are held at the Secondary Modern School.
The Parish Church of St. Nicholas is situated next to the Market Place. Its history and features are dealt with elsewhere in this guide. Services! Sunday, Holy Communion 8 a.m. and on the third Sunday in the month at 12; Sung Eucharist 11 a.m. on the first Sunday in the month, on all other Sundays Morning Prayer; Evening Prayer at 6.30 p.m. Week-days : Saints' Days, Hoy Communion at 8 a.m. and on every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Baptisms, Marriages, Churchings and Funerals by appointment. The Church is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (or dusk). Clergy: The Reverend R. H. Bradshaw, B.D., Vicar and Surrogate' The Vicarage, 16, Yarmouth Road, North Walsham (Tel. N. Walsham 2069).
The Catholic Church is situated in King's Arms Street and built in 1935, serves the needs of Catholics for many miles around. There is Mass at 9.30 a.m. on Sundays and Evening Service at 6.30 p.m. Visitors should note the striking stations of the cross on the walls- and the, fine statue of St. Nicholas, the Patron of North Walsham, which is in the side Chapel. Priest: Rev. Fr. Watkis, 4, Norwich Road (Tel. 3258).
Methodist Church situated in Grammar School Road. Ministers: Rev. John J. Mahoney, " Epworth" Mundes-ley Road, North Walsham ; Rev. Harry Hart, Stalham. Sunday Worship: 10.45 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.; Sunday School 10.15 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.; Monday, Methodist Guild at 7.30 p.m. ; Tuesday, Junior and Senior Christian Endeavour Society ; Wednesdays, Women's Own 3 p.m. ; Friday. Prayer Meeting 7.30 p.m.
North Walsham and Bradfield Congregational Church, Cromer Road. Minister : The Rev. W. Clements, 32, Brad-field Road, North Walsham. Divine Service Sundays 10.45 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. ; Sunday School in School Hall 2.30 p.m.; Thursday, 7.15 p.m. Midweek Fellowship; Friday 6.30 p.m. Youth Fellowship.
The Salvation Army Hall is situated in Hall Lane. Services are held at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on Sundays' and at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Children's meetings are held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays. The Home League, a meeting for Women, is held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons. A Youth Cub, "The Torch-bearers," meets on Friday evenings at 7.30 p.m. during the Winter and on various evenings for outdoor activities during the Summer.
Undenominational Christian Assembly meets at the Gospel Hall, North Walsham.
THE Youth of North Walsham are adequately catered for in their leisure hours by the Youth Centre in Park Lane under the guidance of the Norfolk Education Committee. It is run by two part time Wardens, Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Howard, and opens on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7—10 p.m., with an extra evening in the Summer months.
The Park Lane Premises have been in use since January, 1949- when the premises were taken over and renovated by members who have since done most of the interior painting and decorating themselves.
The centre provides a meeting place for boys and girls of 14—21 where they can enjoy, in pleasant surroundings, most of the things which interest teen-agers.
Members are encouraged to participate in various activities including Week-end Courses, Drama, Record Groups, Film Shows, Lectures, Indoor Games Tournaments with other clubs, Dances, Athletics, Soccer, Cricket and Tennis. The Centre has gained proud record on the sports fields of North Norfolk during the last few years. The Warden will be glad to give full information both to potential members and their parents and to those willing to serve as a leader.
The 1st North Walsham Scouts meet on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Youth Centre, Park Lane. Scoutmaster : Mr. A. A. Bird. Chairman : Mr. R. W. Howard, 4 Churcn Street, North Walsham.
The 3rd North Walsham Company meets on Fridays in the High School Gymnasium from 6 to 8 p.m. Miss Pauline Watson is the Captain and can be contacted at c/o Windy Ridge, Meeting Hill, Worstead.
The 1st North Walsham Wolf Cubs are very active under their Cubmaster, Miss G. M. Smith, of Ferncroft, 3, Station Road. Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 5.45 p.m. in the Winter in the Church Rooms, and in the Summer, by kind permission of Mr. R. E, R. Ling, in his garden. An Auxiliary Pack meets every Wednesday at the Youth Centre under the Assistant Cubmaster, Miss I. Howard.
The 2nd North Walsham Brownie Pack meets on Fridays, 3.45—5.30 p.m., under Mrs. Wiggins, Hazelwood, Yarmouth Road- North Walsham.
The 3rd North Walsham Brownie Pack meets on Saturdays, 2.45—4.30 p.m., under Mrs. Macmillan, Hol-gate Farm, North Walsham.
Both at the Youth Centre.
GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY
North Walsham Branch, founded 1892, at present covers each age group. Candidates. 7-11 years ; Prentices, 11-14 years; Members and Townsend members, 14 years and over. Meetings are held every Monday from 6 to 9.30 p.m. The President is Mrs. Bradshaw, The Vicarage, North Walsham, from whom further details can be obtained.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
The principal youth employment bureau for North-East Norfolk of the Youth Employment Service operated by the Norfolk Education Committee is at I, Church Street. Advice and assistance about employment are available to all young people up to the age of 18. Parents are also able to consult the Youth Employment Officer. Employers are invited to make known their vacancies to the bureau. Office hours are Monday—Thurs day. 9 to 1 and 1.30 to 5 p.m. ; Friday, 9 to 1 and 1.30 to 6 p.m.: Saturday, 9 to 12 noon. In addition the Bureau is open from 5 to 7 p.m. on the first Thursday in each month.
FURZE HILL EVENTIDE HOME
The Home is the property of the Salvation Army and is staffed by Salvation Army personnel. Superintendent of Home : Senior Major J. S. Bell.
The. North Walsham and District Branch was estab hshed in 1923. The Committee meets once a month at the ex-Servicemen's Club, 17, Market Place, which is also the Legion Headquarters. Hon. Sec, A. J. Chandler, The Limes, Yarmouth Road, North Walsham.
ROYAL AIR FORCES ASSOCIATION
North Walsham and District Branch No. 666, formed in January, 1947, has an average membership of 100 and has raised large sums of money for R.A.F. Charities since its inception ; at the time of going to press, the formation of a Club in North Walsham is under consideration. Information concerning the Branch may be obtained from the Hon. Sec, J. C. Laws, Lyngate Road.
BRITISH RED CROSS SOCIETY
The North Walsham Detachment, Norfolk 80, was formed in May, 1914, and has done much work in the town and district.
The number of members is increasing, and a varied range of voluntary work is undertaken. Enquiries to: The Commandant, Miss Learner, 16, New Road, North Walsham.
ST. JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE
North Walsham Division, formed April, 1924. Headquarters, 20, Market Place. Superintendent and Secretary, Mr. G. B. Fuller. The Division is financed by public subscription and all its work is voluntary. The motor ambulance, which is the property of the Division, operates under the National Health Scheme, and is manned by members of the Division and Nurses of the Red Cross under Commandant Miss O. Learner. The district covered extends from Sea Palling to Burgh-next-Aylsham, Scottow to Bacton.
First introduced to North Walsham in 1934, but closed down in 1939. Re-formed in 1945, and attained branch status that year. Continuous expansion resulted in the division of the Branch in 1950, and another unit known as the Holgate Branch was brought into being. The Town Branch meets at "The Barn," Mitre Tavern Yard, each Thursday at 7.30 p.m. Hon. Sec, Mr. W. J. Pashley, 21, Bradfield Road, North Walsham. Holgate Branch meets at the A.R.P. Club Room each Thursday at 7.30 p.m. Hon. Sec, Mr. C. E. J. Smith, 4, Manor Road, North Walsham.
Founded in 1945, No. 6133 of the world-wide Rotary Movement. Membership this year is thirty-four, and the members meet weekly on Wednesday at Payers' Restaurant at 1.5 p.m. Visiting Rotarians are heartily welcome. Hon. Sec, E. P. Rackstraw, Happisburgh Road, North Walsham.
INNER WHEEL CLUB
Formed in 1948. Meetings are held at the King's Arms Hotel at 3 p.m. on the second Friday in each month. Visiting members of Inner Wheel Clubs are cordially welcomed at meetings. Hon. Sec.
N. WALSHAM AND DISTRICT WOMEN'S INSTITUTE
Founded 1930. Meets once per month, on the first Tuesday, at 2.30 p.m. in the Church Rooms. Membership is open to any woman resident in the district, and the aim of the organisation is to enable country women to take an effective part in rural life and development. Hon. Sec, Mrs. Yates, 19, Park Avenue, North Walsham.
BRITISH LEGION WOMEN'S SECTION
Present membership 200. Meetings are held monthly, at the Old Bear Club Room at 2.45 p.m. on the last Tues day of the month. Hon. Sec, Mrs. E. E. M. Smith, 4, Manor Road, North Walsham.
Meetings are held at the King's Arms Hotel on the second Monday and fourth Thursday of each month at 7.30 p.m. Hon. Sec, Mr. J. W. E. Self, Happisburgh Road, North Walsham.
EX-SERVICE MEN'S AND SOCIAL CLUB
Formed in 1946 by a group of ex-Servicemen, but is not exclusively for ex Servicemen as its object is to provide recreation and social for all men of the district. The premises are situated in the Market Place and contain a main lounge and bar, reading room and games room. It is also the Headquarters of the British Legion and
accommodates the Draughts Association as well as the Committees of the A.A.A. and the Cricket Club. Membership, 5/- per annum. Secretary- Mr. R. Drake, " Rose-dene," Norwich Road, North Walsham.
Originally formed in 1945 by members of the Civil Defence Services in North Walsham. Membership is open to ex-Civil Defence Personnel and associated members selected by the executive. The Club is open to members en Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for games, whist drives, etc. The rooms are let to other bodies for similar activities and for meetings, etc. Hon. Sec, Mrs. H. J. Jarvis, 50, Cromer Road, North Walsham.
NORFOLK FARM MACHINERY CLUB
Formed in 1946 under the auspices of the Norfolk Centre of the Institution of British Agricultural Engineers. It now has a membership of 1100, and covers also West Suffolk and Huntingdonshire. The C'ub has nine Centres. The objects are the study of farm machinery of all kinds and to encourage its efficient use, to encourage the education and training of operators and mechanics. Subscription, 5/- per annum. The Centres stage many meetings and demonstrations. Hon. Secretary, Mr. J. E. Cleveland, B.A., A.M.I.B.A.E., Sprowston Hall. Norwich.
One of the oldest of North Walsham's Organisations, is known to have been in e'.istence before 1835. Meetings are held during the winter at the Girls' High School, first Friday in the month, 7.30 p.m. During the summer visits to places of interest are arranged. The Society has 180 members and new members- are always welcome. Subscription, 2/6 per annum 'ft lilizers- bulb*, etc., are supplied at competitive p An Annual Show is held in September. Hon. Secretary, Mr. S. Bowden, 28, Kim-berley Road, North Walsham.
NORTH WALSHAM AND DISTRICT FUR AND FEATHER CLUB
Meetings are held on the third Thursday of most months. The Club holds two Shows a year, one for cage birds and one for rabbits and poultry. Subscription, 2/-per annum. Present membership, approximately 60. Headquarters : The Old Bear Stores, Market Street, North Walsham.
OLD FOLKS WELFARE COMMITTEE
Representative of all the. Churches and organisations in, the town. Administers the Old Folks' Club which is held at the Congregational Hall, Vicarage Street, North Walsham, each Friday, from 2.30 to 5 p.m. In addition, special activities such as a Christmas Dinner, Summer Outings and Garden Meetings are arranged. Hon. Sec, Mr.'D. R. Ingham, Council Offices, North Walsham.
INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODDFELLOWS
The Loyal Trafalgar Lodge, a Branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Manchester Unity Friendly Society, meets at "Trafalgar Room," Yarmouth Road, and the Secretary is Mr. Arthur F. Mace, 31, Happisburgh Road. The objects of the Society are the provision of benefit in time of sickness and funds are available for mortgages on house property to non members as well as to members. The membership of the Branch is 500 and the capital just over £31,500
CHAMBER OF TRADE AND COMMERCE
Hon. Sec, J. T. E. Jones, Kimberley Road, North Walsham.
THE NORTH WALSHAM AND DISTRICT COTTAGE HOSPITAL
(Tel. 3053), a General Hospital situated on the Yarmouth Road, was built as a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914-18. It was opened in 1924 by H.R.H. Princess Marie Louise. There are two public wards, for men and women respectively, two private wards, a children's ward and an emergency ward. Maternity cases are accepted. There are outpatients' X-ray and physiotherapy departments and a post-mortem and mortuary building.
THE WAR MEMORIAL PARK
The war memorial Park perpetuates the memory of those who paid the supreme sacrifice in the 1939-45 war. The War Memorial, situated in the Garden of Remembrance, takes the form of a cairn of masonry and Norfolk flint with an inscribed tablet of Hopton Wood Stone.
Facilities are available in the Park for old and young and include a sports field, hard tennis courts, a putting green and a children's playground.
North Walsham is the head of a Petty Sessional Division ; there is a court house and the Headquarters of the Police Division on the Yarmouth Road. The County Court is held at Cromer.
The Urban District Council own and operate the Waterworks on the Norwich Road, which have a daily output of approximately half a million gallons.
ELECTRICITY AND GAS
Electricity is supplied by the Eastern Electricity Board at 400 volts, 3 phase 50 cycles, and 240 volts, single phase 50 cycles. Gas is supplied by the local works of the Gas Board in Mundesley Road.
There are two stations in the town : one on the line between Yarmouth and Peterborough, and the other on the main line to Norwich and London.
"The Eastern Daily Press" published in Norwich; "The Norfolk News" (weekly) also published in Norwich, and "The Norfolk Chronicle" (weekTy) published in Fakenham.
There is a branch of the Norfolk County Library temporarily housed near the King's Arms Hotel.
THE POST OFFICE AND TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
Are both in King's Arms Street. The last post on week-days is at 8.30 p.m., and on Sundays at 4.30 p.m.
REGISTRAR OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS
The Office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths is at Council Offices, New Road. Hours: Tuesday, 11 —12 noon; Wednesday, 10—II a.m. ; Thursday, 2.30—4 p.m. ; Saturday, 9.30—10.30 a.m. The Register Office for Marriages is at 25, Grammar School Road.
MINISTRY OF LABOUR OFFICE
Bank Loke (off Market Place).
NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Local Welfare Office is at Council Offices' New Road, North Walsham.
FUEL OVERSEER'S OFFICE
At the Council Offices, New Road.
Northern Sub Divisional Offices are at 1, Church Street, North Walsham. Assistant Civil Defence Officer, Capt. A. C. Brannon. Mr. J. Lloyd, Clerk to the North Walsham U.D.C., is Enrolment Officer for the North Walsham U.D. Volunteers are still needed for all Branches, for the National Hospital Reserve and the Auxiliary Fire! Service.
Barclays Bank- Ltd., Market Place ; Lloyds Bank, Ltd., King's Arms Street. Hours: 10—3; Saturday, 9.30—12 noon. East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank, Market Place, Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., 10.30—3.30; Weds., 10.30—12.30.
The Regal Cinema, New Road, provides two complete changes of programme every week.
NORTH WALSHAM TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB.
This is the oldest amateur club in Norfolk and was founded in 1879. Meetings are held at the Headquarters, "The Lord Nelson."
The Club competes in Senior and Junior County Competitions, the East Anglian League (Division I) and Norwich C.ty Junior League Premier Division).
NORTH WALSHAM AND DISTRICT ATHLETIC CLUB
Affiliated to the Amateur Athletic Association and Norfolk County A.A.A. The Cl ub organises an Annual Open Sports Meeting, which, for several years, has included many Norfolk County Championships and is now established as one of the leading Athletic Sports Meetings in Norfolk, attracting competitors from many counties. There is also an Annual Inter-Club contest open to all Athletic Clubs in Norfolk (Senior and Junior) for a chal lenge cup.
NORTH WALSHAM TOWN CRICKET CLUB.
The Club was re-formed in 1946 and commenced play ing on the Millfield Recreation Ground. With permission of the Urban District Council, the Club now has the use of the Memorial Park and Saturday and Sunday matches are arranged during the season.
Residents of the town are cordially invited to become playing or non-playing members of the Club. Applications to the Secretary, Mr. D. R. Lee, Spa Common, North Walsham.
NORTH WALSHAM ANGLERS.
Meetings take place on the Monday after the first Friday in each month at 8 p.m. in the Angel Hotel.
NORTH WALSHAM RIFLE AND ARCHERY CLUB.
The Club's range is in Happisburgh Road and shooting is twice a week. It is open to men and women and the membership is about 50. Hon. Sec, Mr. J. R. Brooks, North Walsham Woods.
There are several Bowling Clubs in the town, including one for Ladies.
Courts in the War Memorial Park can be booked at the Council Offices ; or, after 5 p.m., with the Attendant on the Park.
NORTH WALSHAM, with its broad Market Place, old established shops and sales yards, has for many centuries been the market town and shopping centre for the outlying villages. It is always busy, particularly on Thursdays when it is athrong with farmers and dealers ior the market and their wives for shopping. That North Walsham can cater for all everyday wants is apparent from the advertisements in this guide. Similarly the town can offer ample facilities for the comfort of travellers and visitors in its good car parks, restaurants and hotels.
A casual visitor might be led to believe that North Walsham is concerned only with rural commerce but, behind the visible activity in shops and Market Place, there are other important industries. It is true that most of these are linked directly with farming as, for example, is that of the Agricultural Engineer. Farmers to-day rely on machinery more than ever before and would be hard pressed without the means to keep their equipment in good running order. For this reason there are in the town firms able to manufacture, supply, maintain or repair almost every type of agricultural machine, and thus render an indispensable service to the community.
Another firm employing many skilled workmen still practises one of the o'dest Norfolk crafts, reed thatching. Samples of its work, varying from the simple thatching of a barn to the intricate thatching of a gabled country residence, may be seen throughout the length and breadth of England. Baskets and wicker-work articles are made in endless variety, and the firm is the proud holder of the Royal Warrant.
Corn Merchants and Millers are, of course, well represented and conduct their businesses with modern efficiency. Years ago they were served by the old Norfolk Wherries, but to day rely on speedier methods of transport. Most of the mills are situated out of town in picturesque settings.
In recent years the acreage put down to vegetables and fruit has been increased considerably, and this has led to the growth of a new industry within the town and district. Every year many thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables grown locally are transported to the factories as soon as gathered and there bottled, canned or "quick f reezed " under modern hygienic conditions. These products are distributed for sale throughout the country.
Of more than local interst, also, is the Egg Packing and Grading industry. Each year approximately twelve million eggs are collected from neighbouring farms and smallholdings. They are graded, packed and distributed to retailers for the Ministry of Food, some being sold in North Walsham and district, but the bulk in London.
Mention has been made soi far only of industries connected directly with agriculture, but of course there are others. There is a Contractor ready to take on work of transport, " bulldozing," or excavating at any time ; a most efficient Steam Laundry. Builders, masons, motor engineers, printers, dry cleaners, cabinet makers and upholster ers, these and many other trades and crafts are well and worthily represented. From time to time new industries are started ; and there is always room for more. The town will welcome any who, by their skill and enterprise, can increase the activity of this small but thriving community.
The local government of North Walsham is vested in the Urban District Council. Members retire every three years and meetings, which are open to the public, are held in the Council Chamber at 7.15 p.m. on the second Tuesday in each month. The offices of the Council are in New Road, North Walsham.
The rateable value of the Urban District is £28,633, and for the last half-year was 14/3 in the £. The population is approximately 4,850.
Below Bacton Wood Bridge 60 years ago
V.H.F. Radio from the Tacolneston transmitter is due to start towards the end of 1956.
Television is on Channel 3 Band 1 Horizontal Polarization transmitted from the temporary transmitter at Tacolneston. The high power permanent transmitter comes into use towards the end of 1956.