North Walsham and District Community Archive

Sharing Photos, Voices and Memories of North Walsham in Norfolk

Personal Recollections of North Walsham from Russe


Thanks to Russell Sparke ( a member of our committee) who has taken the time to write down his memories of the area where he grew up around the second world war time.

Memories of my early environment I shall cover the period 1940 to 1948 inclusive as I was 7 years old in 1940 and moved to Fairview Road in January 1949.

I have done this once before but probably not saved it so that I shall try to repeat. I lived at Brunswick Bungalow on Bacton Road property of the Misses Wooll who resided in Brunswick House, requisitioned by the Army including the Paddock immediately in front of the Bungalow and garden. The unmade road from the junction of Bacton Road and Crow Road led to our bungalow on the right, also Lyngate House (Mr F R Bell and family), Lyngate farm yard and cottages, in one of which I was born, and beyond that the fields extending and crossed by a footpath to Little London and the Bacton Road beyond the Bluebell Pub. Hamlet House and grounds extended on the left from Bacton Road to the fields of Lyngate Farm. Brunswick House was occupied by Army regimental staff (a minor headquarters). The paddock contained at first tents and subsequently wooden huts and in addition two unusual brick buildings having concrete floors and no roofs but the rectangular build consisted of four walls with windows, topped by rounded brick but each corner was at an angle to the sides and ends thus making an elongated octagonal. There were doors at each end. The reason for this design was that these buildings were roofed by a marquee roped to the ground. After the war these structures were roofed with timber and asbestos sheeting restored to a rectangle with each corner having an angled strut to the base of the original angled wall (I have had this detail lately confirmed by a resident who converted one of these into a conventional brick and tile dwelling, and still living therein. He told me the other one was demolished to make way for two bungalows built by the Council after the war.) Clockwise looking south from the entrance of unmade road off Bacton road the area north and south of Bacton road to Bluebell Pond was all grazing meadows except for Brunswick house and grounds on the North side and a Caravan occupied by Major Griffiths, a bee-keeper, then Mr Pitcher senior with son Arnold who had bungalows (one wooden) from the corner at the bend down past and opposite Brunswick house on grassland. Bacton road to the south towards town had on the left two bungalows (Mr Powell and Mr Roberts) then land owned or rented by Mr Hicks who kept goats, farmland (arable) as far as the cemetery, then at the top of the hill a farm once having a mill once occupied by Mr Burrell a Carrier by profession. Ditto, on the left at the corner with Crow Road were semi-detached houses, from memory occupied by Messrs Potter, Marjoram, Bowles, ? Then a bungalow (Mr Morris, Surveyor) thence cottages (I recall Mr Lee and others, to larger properties, Mr Pallett. Mr Sanders (Solicitor), Mr Plumbly, then Plumbly & Gaze's yard, footpath to Orchard Gardens Pub on Mundesley Road, Allotments,thence west side of cemetery to Randell's St. Nicholas Works (Foundry). Crow road extended to join Mundesley road. On the left the garden of first semi on Bacton Road, an earth bank, quite high with gardens behind to property on corner with Mundesley road (Mr W Pallett). On the right hand side, from Hamlet House, Bungalow (Mr Empson, Solicitor) Mr Anabell (official at Repeating Office) three more bungalows (One Miss Storey, sister of former owner and resident of Lyngate House) then Four Winds on the corner of Mundesley Road (Mr Parker, Chief of said Repeating Office). A further circular tour to the north takes us to Mundesley Road and Lyngate Road leading to the railway bridge over Mundesley line, Rookery farm (Mrs Howes). Little London over Quakers Hill to the right, with fields of Lyngate Farm on the right, arable land on left Rookery Farm property, then meadows to canal, Boulters farm on right, Royston House on left at junction with Bacton Road. Turning right towards Bluebell common up hill to chicken farmer; Mr Kett on the right, all land and property on left Melbourne House and farm (Neville Standley, dairy farmer). Melbourne cottages and two others on right before Bluebell Pub and pit (pond now) with Bluebell road off to the left opposite pit towards town, all fields surrounding (exception - Bluebell Villas (Council Houses)).

Personal Recollections of North Walsham from Russell Sparke, written 2017.