West Dereham Sign Gary Trouton

West Dereham Heritage group

October 2012

After the eventful weekend of 7th July the August meeting was a somewhat subdued affair with just a handful of members present.

It was an open round the table meeting with much discussion on the success of the Heritage Room Open day. Several members were in favour of making it an annual event and continue with the local crafts and collections theme.

There were final preparations for the forthcoming Young Researchers Day and offers of help on the day from several members.

Paddy Murfitt also spoke about a project he has had in mind for sometime and that is to walk and explore certain sections of Pedders Way. It would be a very leisurely approach with time to stop and look and progressing only a few miles per day.

Several members expressed an interest in taking part and there might be a start this autumn if the weather is fair. Others thought it could go on to next years programme.


Janet Tanton and Pam Walker organised the day of various activities starting at 10am on the Saturday morning. Meeting at the village hall 7 children along with a parent, committee members Jack Walker, Pam Bullas and Ruth Marsters. Janet made the introductions and explained the plan for the day. Each young researcher was given the name of a former resident and it was then their task to find out as much as possible about that person. A short walk up to the churchyard to then try to find the name on a gravestone. Will a little help from the adults this was eventually achieved and all the information they could read was noted. A short break was taken in the Church to have a drink and snack before returning to the village hall. Here they looked at some items that were on loan from Ely Museum which included a stone hot water bottle,school copy books, a fox fur as well as some toys and games. There was also a large selection of dressing up clothes.

After a picnic lunch the computers were available for our researchers to find out more about “their” person from the census records provided by Paddy Murfitt and Cyril Marsters. During the afternoon they had a go at making peg dolls, spinners and paper marbling. At the end of the day each researcher shared what they had found out and a copy of their work was made for our archive. To finish the day they were able to look at the dated maps of the village (recently digitally redrawn by Paddy Murfitt) from 1823, 1845 & 1884 to see where some of the people they had researched lived.

The day ended at 3pm and clearly these enthusiastic young people had a great time and hopefully will have been inspired to find out more about their heritage and pass it on to others.

Thanks to Janet who planned and organised the day along with the other committee members previously mentioned. This event was such a lot of fun it is hoped that it can be put on again next year. Well done to all who took part.


On the evening of the 16th. August 40 members and guests attended this annual event in the Abbey Room and White Hart Bar. All the usual delicacies were available along with a vast array of salads and deserts. The “chefs” were Pam Walker, Paddy Murfitt along with helpers Pam Bullas, Ruth Marsters and Jack Walker. Another great night out and it was very clear as the evening progressed most of us do look on the bright side of life.( with apologies to the Monty Python show). Those who were there will know what this is all about.

Next meeting is on September the 20th when Anne Barnes will come with a talk about the Life and Times of Margery Kempe of Kings Lynn. Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Richard C. French.

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