Boughton Church Window Gary Trouton

Boughton News

August 2005

The news from Boughtong for August

BT proposes to re-align payphone provision to meet consumer demand, in other words remove payphones where there is little or no demand. They say 99% of homes now have a phone in the house: 85% also have a mobile as well. Two thirds of the 66,000 public payphones do not cover their costs and Boughton's is one of them. However, BT is mindful of its responsibility to provide access to the telephone network, particularly for emergency calls. The solution they propose is to remove the ability to make cash payment calls, but retain the callbox so calls can still be made to the emergency services, also operator controlled, reverse charge, credit card and Chargecard calls.

We have until August 9th to respond. If anyone has any comments/objections, please let me have them. Alternatively speak to BT Payphones Customer Services on 0800 661610: our callbox number is (01366) 500379.

Paul Coulten

Vintage Tractor Charity Road Run

[Supporting the East Anglian Air Ambulance]

On 19th June 2005 25 entrants, supported by other members and friends, gathered at Beachamwell for the NVTEC East Anglia Group's annual sponsored vintage tractor road-run. It was the first time at this venue and we were made very welcome.

The philosophy of the run is quite simple. The entrants get to operate their tractors and enjoy themselves with a very worthwhile charity gaining a few quid. Each tractor must be sponsored to a minimum of £10.00 with the driver of the one gaining the most sponsorship winning a trophy sponsored by Frontier Agriculture Ltd.

The plan was to set off at 10.30 so by 10.45 we were all on our way, the delay being due to the obligatory one tractor refusing to start. We went towards Oxborough, cut back cross-country before reaching Eastmoor. From here we again went "off road" down into Boughton Fen returning via Barton Bendish to Beachamwell for lunch. During the afternoon we travelled through Shingham and Cockley Cley to Snailspit Farm where we again left the road heading for Drymere and thence back to Beachamwell. All entrants successfully completed the 26-mile route.

David Askew who drove his tractor (top speed 15mph) from and back to Wisbech to participate won the trophy with £300.00 in sponsorship. Overall we raised £1470.00 for the Air Ambulance.

We would like to express our thanks to Beachamwell both for the support and welcome we received and tolerating the intrusion into their pretty village. Thanks are also due to Lucy and Carol at the Great Dane for keeping the drivers and supporters refuelled.

National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club [East Anglia Group]

We have been in existence for over 30 years and currently have approximately 7500 members. As its name implies it is a National organisation, however it is divided into Regional Groups with our group known as East Anglia having over 400 members.

The Club presents an opportunity for devotees of tractors and stationary engines to contact fellow enthusiasts both at Group level, and nationally via its flagship, the magazine "Vaporising". Each year the East Anglia Group organise a Rally held in May and currently located at Stradsett [near Downham Market], a Charity Tractor Road Run in June and a working weekend in early October. Between these events the Group is normally invited to participate in other rallies. Winter meetings, comprising of a talk, film show etc, are held on the third Thursday of the months October to March at Ryston Park Golf Club [Downham Market]. They may be replaced or supplemented by a visit.

The National magazine "Vaporising" is a high quality publication produced quarterly. It will provide information on future events, reports on past ones, features, contact information for restoration and parts, along with items for sale and or wanted.

The East Anglia Group Newsletter also appears quarterly. It will supply group news, such as meeting topics and rally dates, along with contact information and other local issues.

For more information please contact

Chris Hunt (01366 388907 or email

Norfolk Record Office

Alongside County Hall in Norwich, there is a white cube shaped building: inside are the strong rooms of the new Archive Centre, where an extensive collection of local authority, ecclesiastical, parish, manorial, port, business, society and borough records is held, along with maps, personal papers, wills, and film. The storage rooms are controlled for temperature (14-19 degreesC) and humidity (45-60%), fans circulate the air, whilst an Argon gas system guards against fire: this inert gas, heavier than air, would be released into the building if fire was detected, and effectively force out all the air through low level vents thus depriving the fire of oxygen.

Each of the 12 million items held at the Centre is unique, so security is also an issue. There are excellent facilities for researchers, but if you wish to go along yourself, be sure to take some ID with you, so that a reader's ticket can be issued. The storage rooms themselves are protected by a system of keys, though not quite like the storage systems of old: the Great Yarmouth borough chest was protected by seven locks, all of which had to be operated simultaneously. Long after this particular chest fell out of use, but retained as a decorative feature, the Queen came to visit: the police insisted it was opened, in case there was a bomb inside. All seven keys were only found after a long search!

Light is also an important consideration. The research room is light at one end for studying documents, whilst dark at the other end for viewing film and the like. The storage rooms are windowless, and the items are kept in acid free boxes (with holes to permit air circulation).

In 1994, the Record Office's previous premises at the Central Library in Bethel Street caught fire. No archives were lost in the fire, as they were stored in the basement, and the fire went upwards. However there was inevitably a lot of water damage, and now, even after 11 years, 40% of the affected items remain to be repaired. Thus a large room is given over to this work of conservation generally, with state of the art facilities. Here the only windows are north facing, to avoid direct sunlight and heat.

Parish Councils and Meetings were established under the Local Government Act of 1894: their records from this date can be very informative about local affairs, such as footpaths, rights of way, village greens and commons, celebrations, planning, and the impact of WW1 and 2. Incidentally, councillors were elected by a show of hands until after WW2: intriguingly women had the vote from the outset, yet it was not until 1918 that they were able to vote in parliamentary elections.

Many parishes have loaned their earlier records to the NRO, for safe keeping under ideal conditions: note they always remain the property of the parish. This arrangement also permits access by all. If you have anything which you think may be of interest for archiving at the NRO, or you wish for advice on storage or conservation, contact the Norfolk Record Office, The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DQ telephone 01603 222599 or E-mail to Their website at contains a lot of information about what is available from the NRO. Another website is worth a visit. A Shouldham field survey of the 1440s may well be England's oldest local map. The Record Office is situated on the County Hall site in Norwich. There is free parking in the County Hall car park and a regular bus service runs to and from the city centre. Give it a visit!

So next time you are reviewing your Council Tax bill, and wonder what comes under "miscellaneous", well, the Norfolk Record Office is part of it - and worth it.

edited by Pam Wakeling

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.