Wedt Dereham Heritage Group
WEST DEREHAM HERITAGE GROUP
Another successful meeting on the 15th of March in the Village Hall with guest speaker, West Dereham’s very own Barry Glover who gave another of his talks about his families life in the village throughout the past 100 years. It was illustrated with many of his extensive collection of family photographs and postcards using our new screen with assistance from Janet and the projector.
The Glovers have been residents in the village since the beginning of the last century and made their living from farming, the family home being White House Farm offChurch Road. This is a very ancient site which has been occupied for many centuries by successive farming families, the present building dating from the late 1600s.
Like many of these farmhouses in the village it is now a private residence.
The collection gives us an insight into the day to day life of a farming family through two world wars right up to the late 1970s. The changes made in agriculture during this period are easily seen in the scenes shot by the family camera, the prize winning horses giving way to tractors which appear as strange looking metal monsters compared with today’s streamline but equally large examples.
The whole farming year is captured from sowing through to harvest as well as many domestic tasks such as washing day when the wash house boiler was fired up with help on one occasion from a incendiary bomb during WWII.
Festivals like Easter with the Donkey going up to the Church, holidays when the family dressed in their best clothes and the boys getting astride the first motorcycles. At times bringing deep sadness with the deaths of two young people from the village who lost their lives as result of accidents riding these vehicles.
During WWII a few local lads decided to increase the sugar ration for the village by drilling holes through the bottom of wagons coming from the Wissington sugar beet processing factory parked up at Abbey Station one night. Apparently the expedition was successful but the appearance of so much extra sugar attracted the attention of the law as well as the reports of wagons with leaking cargo at the Station It was decided to get rid of these ill-gotten gains by burning it until it was found to burn with a blue flame which might have also brought the law down on the guilty. Most of it was distributed locally but there were no more incidents of this kind reported so perhaps lessons were learned from this venture.
Throughout the evening we were regaled with Barry’s reminiscence of his time in the village, many humorous others tragic but as he has demonstrated before it never fails to interest and entertain an audience.
A vote of thanks was given by our Secretary, Pam Walker who presented Barry with a bottle of Scotch.
A Committee meeting was held in the Heritage Room on 2nd April to discuss Lottery Grant spending to date and to start finalising details for forthcoming events. On the 7th of July the Group will hold an open day,11am - 4pm when Dr Paul Richards will officially open the Heritage Room. Other groups in the area will be invited to take part and there will be displays in the main hall as well as the Heritage Room.
Richard C. French
5th April 2012.