The following is an extract of some detail from each of the articles originally published in the Bawburgh News decade by decade from 1996 to 1999, and in its entirety in January 2000.
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The First Decade — 1900-1909
At the dawn of the 20th Century, an archive photo shows that Bawburgh had its own Camera Club with possibly its instigator and headmaster of the time, Frederick Jackson, behind the camera. What a very smart lot they were, and what lovely elegant fashions there were around 1905. Frederick and his wife Wilhelmina (known as Minnie) were responsible during their time which spanned from 1882 until 1925 for improvements at school and education. At the same time, Rev. Gabriel Young arrived in the village, and between the two families, there was a settled feel. Whilst his sister Lottie Child became Assistant teacher and was to stay as such for 30 years, David Child was running his bakery and post office (at Rose Cottage/Fairview) and Reynolds Porrett his butchers shop at Stocks Hill Corner. There were also two rival public houses—the Kings Head and The Cock —selling Morgans or Steward & Patteson beer respectively. J.H. Walter & Co. were owners of the Mill around the turn of the century, and we believe its tall chimney was demolished about this time. It was a paper mill at the time, until 1912, when the Childs turned it to corn-milling. We are sure there are more pictures in the village dating back throughout the 20th century to which we could add a story or two!
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The Second Decade — 1910-1919
They were difficult times for many families due to the First World War, the losses having been well documented, but nonetheless, still moving especially for the loss of three Allison sons. Their father Walter “Slim” Allison was Church Warden and Parish Clerk from 1912 until 1939. The family lived in the Post Office cottages, during this decade. 1912 goes down in the records for its Floods, and this was also the year that Slim Allison took over from the long-standing Parish Clerk, John Osborne, who had held this office for 44 years. The old Post Office cottages (not yet a post office at that stage) were part of a huge upheaval when the Costessey Estate sold many of the village properties following the death of Lord Stafford in 1913. Troops used Costessey Hall during the War, but its sale followed the end of War within weeks, and the affect on many properties in Bawburgh cannot be under-estimated. The post office continued at Rose Cottage/Fairview until 1916, when it was moved to Church Stores. The Childs were forced to move from baking to milling, following the sudden death of David Child in 1912, when he had only just taken over the Mill. The Youngs continued at the Vicarage and the Jacksons at the School. So little changed in early 20th Century Bawburgh, especially with the war years putting any progress on hold—that was until 1919, when the top four houses in Harts Lane were built by the then Forehoe & Henstead Rural District Council. Henry Tufts had bought Bawburgh Hall, which had been part of the Costessey Estate and joined the “social circle” of Childs, Youngs, Jacksons, Porretts and Dobson, butchers, the Tallowins at Lodge Farm and Sparrows (at Church Farm) - well that was how our correspondent Joan Brown, grand-daughter and frequent visitor to the Childs at the Mill remembered that time. The Noverres were using Hillside as their country home, visiting occasionally from London. The Barclays at Colney Hall had their fair share of tragedy in 1911, losing son Terence through a much talk-about accident with the lions, which they kept in the grounds of the Hall. The Barclays endured another loss after the war, when their son David died due to war injuries and it was little known that the execution of Edith Cavell in 1915, would have affected the family greatly too, for she had been “Nanny” to the Barclay children around 1890.
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The Twenties — 1920-1929
The first telephones, the first cars, arrived this decade. Meadowview was built in 1925 and was the home of Lottie Child, daughter/sister of the Miller and Assistant Teacher to Frederick Jackson. This was the same date that Frederick retired as Headteacher, after a 33 year stint during which much was achieved in the early days of compulsory education—although leaving age was still 14 and absences were still overlooked at harvest time. Dorothy Wright took over as Infants Teacher, and Jack Steed as Headmaster. Joseph Harman died at The Cock, and Mary Harman continued as Landlady. Benefactor to the Church, Charles Noverre also died but his wife Laura continued to use Hillside, until her death in 1928. A bus service was started by Dunhams, and more council building continued in Harts Lane. Following the death of her husband in 1912, Emma Child died in 1928, and spurred more changes, when the Mill was sold to Warman & Sons in 1929. Charles Chenery was at The Kings Head, and the Bowling Green was inaugurated in 1923—connected to their rival public house next door, The Cock. Much was going on in this not-so-quiet village, including Mothers Union, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Girls Friendly Society and Sunday School, helped enormously by Rev. Gabriel Young and his daughters, Helena and Marjorie. The use of horses continued on local farms, although mechanised tractors were being gradually introduced. The Tallowins continued to farm Lodge Farm, the Birds were at Villa Farm, the Gaymers at Hill Farm, Harts Lane and the Sparrows and later, the Reynolds at Church Farm.
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The Thirties — 1930-39
The River Yare and Village Green, an image of the thirties
A decade of change: The Rev. Young, who had been incumbent for 40 years, handed over his Ministry to Revs. Addison and Frost this decade. Gabriel Young died, having moved from the Rectory next door to Babur Cottage, in 1934. He had made a huge impact on the village and the church during those years, visiting the villagers and the school, on his tricycle, restoring not only the Church’s fabric, but its popularity. He is remembered also as a great orator and nearing the end of his tenure, 1931 saw a huge Catholic pilgrimage to Saint Walstan’s Well. The Chapel continued to enjoy a very popular stage in its history and in 1932, 50 Chapel-goers took part in what was a regular trip to Great Yarmouth.
At the School there was continuity with Mr. Steed as Headmaster throughout the decade, losing Lottie Child as his assistant in 1931. She, like Helena and Margaret Young, had remained single and devoted her life to the children of the village.
At the butcher’s shop, Porrett Dobson died suddenly aged only 36, having only just established his shop; but his widow Eva showed that this was to be the Century of the Woman, and continued for another 14 years with the help of Ernest Symonds and Billy Clitheroe, as well as bring up her family of four young girls. At The Cock, next door, the landlord had died ten years before, and Mary Harman continued to “man” her hostelry. Changes at The Kings Head, meant that George Cooper handed over to Billy Johnson in 1933. The Tallowins moved on from Lodge Farm, but the Reynolds moved in to Church Farm.
The Warmans carried on their animal feed business at The Mill and just as they had been the first telephone users in the village, in 1935, they were the first to have electricity installed. Most properties in the village followed, but it was to take two more decades before oil lamps and water pumps could be dispensed with altogether. There was a surge in building as the Ringle took shape at the end of the decade. The road surface had necessarily to be improved as more and more cars were seen, in addition to the lorries and vans used by the mill, butchers and bakers. Two village shops traded, and there was quite a scandal, when the reason of “tampering with the royal mail” was given to transfer the post office from Church Stores to Bridge Stores in 1937. Local services were more than supplemented by calling trades people, like Browns with bread deliveries, Peruzzis with ice cream, Ottaway with fish, Cannells with fish and chips and the Maypole grocery van. Also, Eastern Counties ran service number 28 from 1931.
There was great community spirit within the village when in 1935 it was agreed to build a Village Hall and villagers gave their labour services free, with only the roof having to be paid for. PC Seymour was by this time living next door, and helped by providing the power! The new hall was officially opened on 18th February 1937.
Nationally, there was plenty of news too, with the death of George V, and the abdication of Edward VII, but the coronation of George VI on 12th May 1937 lifted spirits and the children had a tea party and received mugs, and pensioners received tea or tobacco.
Finally, the worse of national news was the outbreak of War on 3rd September 1939.
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The Forties — 1940-1949
With war raging for half of this decade, the importance of the strength of women left at home became obvious in Bawburgh as they 'manned' the village pubs, post office, farms and butchers. Eva Dobson ran the butchers in Harts Lane, until the arrival of Basil Cannell in 1945. Daisy Harmer and sister Elsie ran the Bridge Stores Post Office; Mary Harman continued to be landlady at the Cock and Billy Johnson at the Kings Head. Ivy Morter was at Lodge Farm and Ted Reynolds at Church Farm. Clifford Warman's war effort was farming his land at Lower Hall Farm, whilst continuing at the Mill - fortunately the fine summer of 1944 is remembered also for an excellent harvest. The transition from horses to mechanisation was completed during the second half of the decade.
In 1947 Eric Mortimer bought Hill Farm from Percy Child and instigated an archaeological dig on the land off Harts Lane. Human remains and Roman pots were found, which proved that Bawburgh had been an ideal settlement for centuries - and we still agree! The Heath, now part of the Golf Club, was a favourite playground for the children of the village but sadly tragedy struck in 1944 when 10 year old Geoffrey Cullum was suffocated when the light sandy soil caved in.
Mr Steed was still headmaster at the school and insisted on frequent gasmask inspections and taught 19 evacuated children during the war years. He frequently called the school together to warn against the dangers of touching objects following enemy action. The health of the under-nourished war children was a concern, with a measles epidemic recorded in 1943. There was great relief when a National Holiday was called on the 8th and 9th May 1945 to celebrate the close of the War. School leaving age was increased to 15, but pupil numbers decreased until the arrival of 11 children when Marlingford school closed in 1949, when numbers went back to around 50. Attendances were good except during the severe weather of 1947. Press reports on the snow kick-started Percy Garrod's career as Press Correspondent - a post he would hold until 1974.
There was a big celebration at the Chapel in 1943 following its redecoration. The Chapel was a busy and vibrant place during the decade and the headmaster and family were great supporters. Both the Chapel and Church were full on Sundays and the Rev Thomas Frost was Vicar until the Rev Llewellyn Davies arrived in 1948. They both lived in what is now Rectory House on the Watton Road, caring also for Little Melton. Ben Harmer was Churchwarden and Parish Clerk, having been associated with the church all his life. "The Bawburgh Bomb" shattered windows in the church, were were mended thanks to the War Damage Fund. Herbert Baldwin, Chairman of the Parish Council, held Home Guard training at Hillside, and the Royal Engineers were often seen training on the meadow.
The election of 1945 brought the Labour Government to power and a Welfare State promised. The National Health Service and National Insurance Scheme were introduced in 1948 and already the Family Allowance had begun. The football team became very successful late in the decade, as the men returned from War, and Bawburgh FC made an appearance at Carrow Road. Post war progress was slow, however, since with the completion of the Stocks Hill council houses before the War, there was no more building during the Forties. In 1947 the Electricity Act nationalised electricity, but it would take another twenty years before all the village was 'turned on'. It was not far away in suburban Norwich that the housing needs after the War were being met in the shape of the West Earlham Estate.
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The Fifties — 1950-1959
A QUESTION OF FAITH FOR VICAR
This is the dilemma facing the Vicar of Bawburgh, Norfolk, the Rev. H. L. Davies: Must he ban the pilgrimages to St. Walstan's Well near his church?
For an analyst's report says the well waters, which the vicar believes work miracles, are unfit to drink.
Yesterday, on the vicarage study desk, lay 80 letters written by the sick and the lame asking the vicar to send them the healing waters.
The vicars decision: “The inferior quality from an analytical point of view has nothing to do with its miraculous properties. It is a question of faith.”
In July 1957 Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister, declared "You've never had it so good", and certainly it proved to be an era of progress following the War. We described it as a decade of "hesitant progress" in "Bawburgh's Century", published in January 2000. High on memorable occasions was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953—a tea-party was put on for the children of the village at the village hall, and the event was recognised as spurring the ownership of television sets. More locally, 1953 is remembered for all the wrong reasons, by the devastating East Coast floods which occurred on 3 1 st January—the village generously donated an amount of £38.15.0d. for the appeal. There were other "water problems" with the condemnation of Saint Walstan's well water (see newspaper cutting right, which appeared in the national press in July 1952), and it was surprisingly not until nearly the end of the decade, in 1959, that water was laid on to the council properties in Harts Lane and Stocks Hill. The Forehoe and Henstead RDC as it was, also hastened the later demolition of Bawburgh Hall by refusing a grant in 1956 for its restoration. It had until two years before been the property of the Barclays of Colney Hall, but for the whole of the Fifties decade, it was allowed to deteriorate, whilst the duck farm in its grounds thrived.
The Rev. Herbert Llewellyn Davies resurrected the waning interest in our Saint Walstan, by encouraging the celebration of his feastday, in spite of the above "bad press" regarding the quality of the water from the Well. On the other side of the World, another Church in Kenya was dedicated to Saint Walstan on his feastday in 1955. Whilst the Rev. Llewellyn Davies was the vicar for most of the decade, there were two other Vicars —Claude Palfrey and Eric Griffiths. His time actually coincided with the excitement of the Norwich City cup run of 1959, and he cites the semi-final as one of the highlights of his incumbency at Bawburgh which lasted only 15 months!! Sadly the previously very successful Bawburgh Football Club could not equal their success and had to be disbanded by the end of the 1950s, due to lack of members.
Mrs. E. Steed, Mr A.J. Steed and Peggy Steed, (photograph by R.Cushing, Church Street, Bawburgh
Jack Steed had been Headmaster at Bawburgh School for 29 years when he retired in 1954, and had also been a lay preacher at Bawburgh Chapel. The photograph (left) comes thanks to Brenda Bell, showing Mr. Steed's retirement as organist at Bawburgh Chapel a few years later. Mrs. Steed and Peggy looking in the height of Fifties fashion! Constance Stannard followed Jack Steed as Head at the School, and in September 1954, the first intake from Bawburgh to the new Costessey Secondary Modern school took place.
Music certainly took a change of direction during the Fifties, with the introduction of Rock and Roll, and if you remember "Diana" by Paul Anka, you will be sure to remember the Hula-Hoop craze of 1957. There was a succession of Landlords at the Kings Head—Billy Johnson, Alfred Flitton, Sidney Hilling and then Billy Howlett—and Mary Harman at the Cock.
Outside progress could not help but affect a small village like Bawburgh—they were exciting times, you could shop in self-service shops (although this was not available at the post office, run by the Harmers, or the Browns at Church Stores), buy package holidays, Premium Bonds and a mini cost only £500.
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The Sixties — 1960-1969
Beyond Bawburgh the Sixties represented a decade of excitement for the young (the voting age was reduced to 18) but here, in retrospect, there was stability with the new Vicar Rev Willson arriving in 1963 and staying ten years. Edie Blyth the butcher, in residence throughout, Billy Howlett Landlord at the Kings Head, the Harmers at the Post Office and Roy Robinson at Church Stores. When Ben Harmer retired as Churchwarden and Parish Clerk in 1968, he had held the position for 30 years! The farms continued to be farmed by Ivy Morter at Lodge Farm, Arthur Perowne at Villa Farm and Ted Roynolds at Church Farm. In 1962 Mary Harman, landlady at The Cock, died and so the Bowling Green was transferred to the Kings Head. this was not the drama that was feared, since the Bowling Club enjoyed many years of success in their new, but not different, location. In 1962 Philip Broughton took over milk deliveries from his father, who had started in1946. Mrs Sewter continued her 'temporary' post as Assistant Teacher throughout, but served under four different Heads at Bawburgh School. A mobile classroom arrived to house pupil numbers, which stabilised between 57 and 67 during the Sixties.
Disruption to this sense of stability was visible from the demolition of Bawburgh Hall in 1963, after three hundred years followed by Hill Farm in 1966 and then, in 1967, the closure of the working Mill with the retirement of Clifford Warman. It would be twenty years before the Mill building was converted, but the Sixties dictated change and 'medernity', and so there was a lot of infill building in the form of Treetops, Jalna and Hill House at one end of the village, and Roblands, Cestria, Mandabar, The Sheralee, The Gables and Greenfields at the other! In Church Street part of Church Cottage was demolished to build Walstan, along with White Gables, the Bungalow, Brook Lodge and Multnomah. It was Maud Holmes who had the foresight to sit it out in Childs Terrace when the demolition order was served by the District Council - she thereby presented the village with a legacy of the terrace which was later restored.
Whilst things were swing elsewhere in the Sixties, Bawburgh was certainly also a lively place. The Kings Head has been transferred to Watneys and musical evenings and games were popular. The Chapel celebrated their Centenary in 1966 with a Tea in the village hall for 70 people. It also hosted its first wedding and a vestry had to be added.
Whilst the Bawburgh Football Team had had to be abandoned, football was certainly still popular, with the English win of the World Cup in 1966, as television became 'normal' in all households and world affairs came right into our homes, like the Profumo affair, the Great Train Robbery and the assassination of President Kennedy, all in 1963. It was the same year that we endured a very long and cold winter, and the year the first buildings were opened at the UEA - an event which was to affect Bawburgh greatly during the ensuing years, with lots of residents being connected.
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The Seventies — 1970-1979
The Rev Loveless took over the Little Melton vicarage from Rev Willson in 1974 and resurrected more interest in Saint Walstan with the first modern-day pilgrimage in 1976 and introduced us to a parish magazine called The Good News in 1977. Ex-Vicar's daughter, Marjorie Young died in 1977 and the present Saint Walstan sculpture in church was dedicated to her memory.
The village physically in general at the dawn of the Seventies was not in a good state, with the Kings Head closing in 1975, Bawburgh Hall already demolished and Childs Terrace awaiting some TLC. But help was at hand, with the renovations at the Kings Head resulting in the opening late in 1976 of the Kings Head Sporting Club (amidst fears of the villagers, which resulted in a huge public turnout at the Parish Meeting at which it was discussed). The Bowls Club also found new momentum and went through a very successful period to become 'top of the league' by the end of the decade. In 1973 the building next door, previously The Cock, became The Dickens and enjoyed a very successful period as a restaurant. The follies at Bawburgh Hall were happily included in plans for Hall Farm Place, which was on the map by the end of this decade. Childs Terrace's future was also saved by the Conservation Report of 1973, resulting in the completion of its restoration by 1977. Seventeen village properties were added to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Although the Seventies has often been quoted as 'The Decade that Taste Forgot', there was definite progress in Bawburgh. Bawburgh's past was not forgotten with renewed excavations on the Roman burial site on Harts Lane and more findings thanks to the new natural gas pipeline which skirted the village.
There was little change in the fabric of the Old Post Office, although it saw three different occupants. Edie Blyth continued at the butchers until David Baker took over in 1978. Roy Robinson called it a day at Church Stores in 1979, reflecting the swerve to supermarket shopping, and they all had to cope with decimalisation in 1971. Also in 1979 the Unthank family sold Church Farmhouse to the Hannisons, who started their own renovations. Lodge Farm was sold to Atlas Aggregates, on the death of Ivy Morter, and the Auction in 1975 highlighted the architectural interest inthe farmhouse, which has a Grade II listing. The Fabers took over the closed working Mill and started a very successful era of Mother and Toddler Groups there. Meanwhile the Warmans were farming at Lower Hall Farm on Stocks Hill, but had the trauma of their 200 year old barn being demolished by fire in 1975.
The school, above all else, had a mixture of highs and lows this decade. In 1976 there were Centenary celebrations amd mugs were presented to all children. But pupil levels soon after this started to decline to the worrying level in December 1979 of only 49 pupils. It was strangely in contrast to the highest ever populations recorded so far that Century of 435 in 1971. A year after the School's Centenary, the village again pulled together for a two-day celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. An "It's a Knockout" competition was held on the meadow, with Tug of War across the river, fancy dress competitions and tea parties for the children and Darts and Bowls matches for adults. Sadly it rained for the event, just as it did when the Queen visited Norwich on 11 July 1977.
Beyond the village the first bricks were laid at the Bowthorpe Development in 1974, which was to greatly reduce the green space between city and village. No-one in 1970 could have predicted that, by the end of the decade, there would be a successful Sporting Club, the Dickens Restaurant, two small housing developments and a restored terrace of cottages.
When the Twinches arrived at Glenlodge Farm in 1976, Percy Garrod had already put his Press Correspondent down, and so it was that Carol Twinch put this very hat on, as well as producing church guides and postcards of the village's landmarks.
The eventful year of 1979 brought this varied decade to a close, with several good features, including the formation of the unique Community Car Scheme by Parish Councillor Joyce Masters, with £90 from the Hartt and Wagstaffe charities, and with the much-neglected Saint Walstan's Well being renovated with funds from the Jubilee events.
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The Eighties — 1980-1989
The availability of information has to have been helped by the launch of Bawburgh's own magazine in 1983, which ran alongside the Good News and later Grapevine church magazines. It has always independently provided information and (hopefully) entertainment. Carol Twinch was inspired by the Rev John Watson when he arrived in 1982 (following Rev Loveless) to inaugurate a village magazine. But by 1984 Bawburgh had become part of the Cringleford/Colney parishes and Rev David Sturdy was in charge.
By 1988 it was too dangerous to ring the church bell because of woodworm and the Church embarked on a very necessary restoration fundraising and, in addition to the annual Saint Walstan festival, Harvest Suppers became regular events. In 1989 Walstan was adopted as patron of the Food & Farming Year, and a huge gathering took place on the meadow, attended by the Bishop of Norwich. Ray Clare was churchwarden and council chairman, whilst Sandy Munro continued his organist/churchwarden/parish clerk duties. Carol Twinch edited the magazine, researched and wrote church and village guides, as well as being Press Correspondent and sketching around the village. There were lots of powerful women around! Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, Cindy Baldwin became Headmistress at the School in 1987 (following Mr Jervis), Jean Roberts was postmistress, Pam Wimmer became landlady at the Kings Head and Pat Southgate became our first female Parish Clerk by the end of the decade.
The School had been threatened was closure early in the decade, due to lowering pupil numbers, which bottomed at 27 in the 1982-83 school year. But on the 3rd October 1984 the good news was received that there was a reprieve, thanks to the vigorous "Bawburgh School Defence Committee" and from then on the School went from strength to strength. Congregation numbers were also declining at the Chapel, which went back more than 100 years. Anniversary celebrations continued each May and then they were invited to join the annual Walstan celebrations at Church. The Revs Brian Dann and John Dean were preachers during the Eighties.
New building continued, in addition tot he conversion of the Mill into six dwellings in 1988. Considered development was allowed in line with the 1973 Conservation Report. It was not a museum village, however, since the Parish Council felt it necessary to erect "Please Drive Slowly" signs on incoming roads.
Some businesses were changing names - The Dickens to The Villager and, at Lodge Farm cottages, the Bangkok Thai Restaurant to Simpsons. Meanwhile, the Squash and Bowling Clubs were enjoying great success. Pam and Martin Williams took over the Post Office in 1986 and provided the only grocery shopping in Bawburgh. Mr Baker continued to be the butcher and Vincent's Duck Farm, which surrounded the new Hall Farm Place, had been part of Bawburgh for thirty years and was, by 1984, owned by Buxted Chickens.
The Village Hall continued to be busy and the Mother and Toddler Group existed there until 1989. It was becoming obvious that the fabric of the fifty-year old Hall was deteriorating and a fundraising drive was initiated with 50/50 Auctions, Whilst Drives and the first Duck Race on Fete Day 1988. The Good Friends Club continued throughout the decade. Neita Sparkes took over as Organiser of the Community Car Scheme from Joyce Masters in 1984.
By the end of the decade the coypu had finally been eradicated, but the boats and vans of the coypu catchers were a familiar sight during the Eighties. The village was always vulnerable to flooding and the winter of 1983/84 was particularly bad, but not so memorable as the hurricane of October 1987. 1987 also saw three days of heavy snow in January and the hottest May for 46 years! In 1986 a Public Enquiry took place regarding the Norwich Southern Bypass and a Parish Council survey indicated that 61% of respondents backed the Bypass.
If the Queen's Coronation in 1953 was responsible for an upsurge in television ownership, the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981 also consumed the nation. Their sons, William and Harry, were born in 1982 and 1984. A staggering £50 million was raised through LiveAid in 1985, which had been inspired by the charity needs in Africa. Along with CDs introduced this decade, video recorders meant we needed to miss nother on television, even though we now had breakfast and daytime television, Australian soaps, EastEnders and an additional Channel Four!
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The Nineties — 1990-1999
The late Twentieth Century was dominated by women in the village of Bawburgh - Cindy Baldwyn was sitting at her "Heads desk", Pam Wimmer was behind the Kings Head bar, Carol Twinch at her typewriter at Glenlodge Farm, Pat Southgate our first lady Parish Clerk (Roy Boswell took over later), and later even our first female Parish Council Chairman, Doreen Williamson. Pam and David Baker were selling their renowned sausages, and Pam and Martin Williams were selling stamps at the post office. But some areas were still male orientated! Rev. Sturdy was sharing himself between Cringleford, Colney and Bawburgh. Sandy Munro was chairing the Parish Council and sitting at the Church organ, and Rev. Sulsden was preaching at the Chapel.
Work on the Southern Bypass had only just begun, the Bottle Bank just arrived at the Kings Head, and the new posts and rails erected on the Village Green. The village experienced some difficult times with the changes in the Parish Council and Clerk in 1994 but, following the 1995 Council Elections, Robin Green became Chairman and Victoria Smillie, Clerk. The Nineties were determined to be a period of change, but stability soon reigned, as June Tucker took over the Parish Clerk duties in 1996 and Tom Hubbard, Chairman in 1997. Even the Editor of the Bawburgh News left the village in 1991, leaving her assistant to carry on! Sandy Munro continued his duties as Churchwarden and Organist, but the Vicar's post was far from stable. New Vicar, Clive Blackman, arrived after Rev. Sturdy's retirement in 1994 and his replacement, the Rev. Canon Beake, arrived in October 1998n but left the Village in December in 1999, with no incumbent as the decade closed.
In 1994 the Chapel, which had enjoyed extremely popular times during the middle of the Century, had to close its doors, almost simultaneously to the closure of Mr. Baker, the Butcher, which had been established at its premises in Harts Lane by Mr. Dobson during the 1920s. As if changes at the Chapel and butchers were not enough, only a few months before the Post Office had had to close. as the Williams sold the property, still known as "The Old Post Office" as a private residence.
It was not a museum village, however, and 30 mph signs appeared in 1995 and the benefits of the nearly Norwich Southern Bypass had already been seen since 1992.
Carol Twinch's efforts in the inauguration of Bawburgh News in 1983 were rewarded in 1990 as Bawburgh News won the Norfolk area Community News Contest. The summers of 1990 and 1991 saw a happy association of all village organisations at Fetes held at School, with the continuation of the iconic Duck Race started in 1988. The Village Hall invested in 1,000 ducks in 1993 and took up the organisation of this pleasurable annual event. At the Village Hall the Good Friends (started in 1958) and Mothers and Toddlers (started during the 1980s) were in full swing, but sadly by the end of the decade, both had folded. In 1991, inspired by Pat Southgate, regular monthly Coffee Mornings were started and not only provided a meeting place for villagers ont he first Saturday of the month, but was part of a new fund-raising launch for a new Village Hall. A 50/50 Club was also initiated by Tishy Bayne. A Parish Meeting on 14 April 1994 agreed that the existing Village Hall site could be sold to help finance the new project. In 1996 Intwood Farms agreed to donate a plot of land for the new Hall, although on the very month that the Committee were celebrating the old Hall's Sixtieth birthday, Millennium funds were refused. By the end of the decade, however, the land had been gifted and the existing site put on the market, ensuring the Village would have a Village Hall to be proud of for the next century.
In 1995 Carol Twinch, who had left the village four years before, launcher her first Walstan book, which delved in depth into the Saint Walstan legend. The annual celebrations continued throughout the decade, which had been held near to his feast day since the 1970s and continued to be a joyful occasion where village and church met and enjoyed the gardens of Church Farmhouse. Church Farmhouse was again sold at the beginning of the decade and, for the whole of the 1990s, was receiving care and restoration from the Green family. So with fete days, Saint Walstan celebrations and regular events at the Village Hall, life in Bawburgh was not so bad as the end of the 20th Century approached.
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The 21st Century First Decade 2000-2009
We had the benefit of Parish Council notes, School, Village Hall and Church reports, Bawburgh News archives, personal memories and the guidelines of Bawburgh Centuries 1900-1999, published in 2000. Much which was planted during that last decade came to fruition and continued into the 21st Century. The Census figure for 2001 was 466. We were told that a "jolly crowd gathered on the last day of December 1999 and challenged each other to take a dip in the river the next day"...It took a couple of years to thaw out and there was another in 2002. As the church bell was tolled on 1st January 2000 to welcome in the new Millennium, plans for the first Dip went around the village which had begun in the Kings Head the night before. As a result, £230 was raised for Leukaemia Research (in memory of Frank Press) and Rescue for Brain Damaged Infants and two years later, a total £300 was raised for Leukaemia. This so typifies Bawburgh's ability to rustle up a crowd and raise money for others. But it wasn't until 1st January 2008 that Pete Hallam and Ian Williams spearheaded the resurrection of the Dip and it's social beginning to every year since.
Bawburgh News helped specify the timing of events, and there had been a comfortable agenda to most years during the First Decade. In 2008 the magazine celebrated it's 25th birthday and reflected on the help which digital photography had provided to record events; cameras had been at the ready in 2007 on the Green to record the annual Duck Race, which had suddenly to take a different form, due to flooding. Very quickly the event was transferred to the Village Hall and a Duck Holding Pen was erected, and the winners randomly picked by children - how inventive!
Topping Out of the Village Hall
As the Millennium arrived, the new Village Hall was in progress of being built, and it became a symbol for the forward thinking villagers who had fought and worked so hard for it. Here was future of Bawburgh, and it has proved thus. In the spirit of always being able to throw a party, a large gathering of villagers celebrated the "Topping Out" of the Village Hall in February 2001 and an even larger gathering celebrated its official Opening on 15th June 2001, with the help of Messrs. Keith Skipper and Percy Garrod, who played the violin, just as he had during the opening of the old village hall in 1937. Richard Hitchcock had been pivotal in forging ahead with the Village Hall plans and was Chairman at its Opening. In his speech he said "this is by no means the end of a project, but just the beginning". The importance of the new Village Hall was profound - the Coffee Mornings which were started at the old Village Hall continued throughout the Decade - providing a regular meeting place for villagers, raising funds as it went. Tishy Bayne had started the 50/50 Club to help raise funds for a new Hall, and continued to do so. Other events at the Hall such as Bingo and Whist continued, alongside an afternoon Bridge Club started in 2005, which developed into one of the largest Clubs in Norfolk. Quiz Nights each year taxed the brains of villagers, many Musical Evenings by Peter Fenn took place this decade and every November, the biggest fund-raiser and most popular of all, the Bonfire Party and Fireworks. A Farmers Market took over the car park once a month, as the Decade closed. The youth of the village had requested a Youth Club and by 2002 this facility had been reinstated. It meant all ages had an up to date meeting place.
Most of us will remember where we were on 11th September 2001. When the History Group discussed the Decade, Roger Thompson and Pamela Ross were reminded they were caught up at Boston Airport, due to thhe terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, and had to wait 10 days for their flight home. George W. Bush was the incumbent President and Tony Blair Prime Minister of the UK (until 2007). The Decade saw the resultant War in Iraq from 2003, and due to the 24 hour news availability, the village was able to monitor Wars happening on the other side of the World, unlike a Century before. There are not many of us either, who will not forget Boxing Day in 2004, when our televisions showed the horror of the Asian Tsunami.
What was a marvel at the end of the 20th Century, with mobile phones seen more and more on the streets, and in the village, by the end of the decade, over a third of the World's population owned a computer and used the internet. Bawburgh was not lagging behind - the village had its own website by 2001, and by 2007 wi-fi was available to hirers at the Village Hall. World wide news in 2008 affected all the World as well as Bawburgh residents, when a World wide financial crash affected all.
New Buildings - Kings Head 2008
In tandem with those events, the village lost its rare Black Poplar tree just 6 days before the terrorist attacks in New York. Warman's Close was so named to remember the last Miller. Later during 2008, new buildings appeared, in the pivotal position on what had been the Bowling Green until 2004. The Kings Head was updated, and fancier menus offered, but the plans for a change to a Hotel did not materialise. The long-living Queen Mother, who was born as the last Century began, died in 2002, aged 101, gave stability to the country, as her daughter had since, with her continuous Reign during this Decade. Norwich's ground-breaking Park and Ride Scheme brought two sites close to the village, at Costessey and Thickthorn. Soil from the Longwater site was transferred to the water meadow in Bawburgh, and Bawburgh News reported that we all felt surrounded by mechanical activity as, at the same time, building work started on the new Village Hall. The new Hall was taking shape as the old Village Hall was replaced by three properties, which helped meet the cost of the new Hall.
Neita Sparkes continued her good work with the Car Community Scheme until 2008, when David Goodman took over. Bawburgh generated the need for a high car ownership, and after much campaigning, a 20 mph inner zone was put in place in November 2003, but it was not until 2008 that the village Speedwatch group was trained to monitor the speed of passing traffic. A stolen lorry proved that the new safety barriers were required, when it arrived and stopped suddenly at
Fairview on a quiet Sunday Afternoon
Fair View cottage on a quiet Sunday afternoon in March 2004. Bus services through the village, quite good in 2000, declined to nearly zero by the end of the Decade. A small but financially beneficial group had been set up in Little Melton and in 2004 Bawburgh was invited to join the Oil Economy Group, negotiating oil prices for members. And let us not forget that Wheelie Bins arrived in 2003!!
Parish Council 2005. Brenda Bell, Clive Dunn, Shirley Fenn, Robin Green, Tom Hubbard and Marrianne Moselle. June Tucker (left) Parish Clerk
As the decade (and Millennium) began, Tom Hubbard was Chairman of the Parish Council, Robin Green was Vice-Chairman and June Tucker was Parish Clerk. The last Parish Council Meeting in the old Village Hall took place on 13th July 2000 and the last Coffee Morning on 1st July. In 2008, Robin Green became Chairman. The new Millennium was creating excitement in the village with a new venue to match the 21st Century.
It was certainly a busy decade, with lots going on in the village. The new Village Hall soon found its place in Bawburgh's social calendar and was a good back up plan for Fete or Saint Walstan's Day, which had invariably been bathed in sunshine (although this decade there were a few wet ones!).
Rev. Angela Reynolds arrived as Vicar in November 2001 and became a very popular figure, leaving as the Decade came to a close. After much fund-raising, the Bishop of Lynn consecrated the refurbished organ in 2006, and could not resist trying it out!
Rev. Angela Reynold's last Saint Walstan's Day in 2009
At the beginning of the Decade, a Millennium Yew was planted in the churchyard during Saint Walstan's Day 2000. Annual Carol Singing for other charities was organised by the Church, but the Saint Walstan's Festival continued to be one of the most popular Church events of the year, supplemented by the biennial Safari Supper since 2007 and the occasional Harvest Supper. Carol Twinch published yet another book about our local Saint Walstan.
Sir Bernard Fielden and Jenny Press preparing the Art Exhibition in Church in August 2005
Another very popular biennial village event was Bawburgh Open Gardens Day, which was inspired at the beginning of the Decade by Dorothy Seargeant and Clive Dunn in 2000 and continued under the care of June Tucker. Carol Stephens and Jenny Press continued their involvement with an art Exhibition, following the very successful one in Church in August 2005, with an addition to the Open Gardens in the Village Hall, called affectionately BOGART. Bawburgh has a small population and the work of volunteers tends to fall on the same shoulders, but there were many different projects inspiring different villagers throughout the First Decade of the 21st Century. It certainly was not a sleepy village, retiring in the shadow of Norwich. The opening of the Bypass just before the turn of the Century and the nearness of University and Hospital and the affects of the people Bawburgh has met because of them, has enriched all our lives.
The closeness to the expanding Norwich boundaries had introduced others from outside the village to the School, which would not otherwise have enjoyed capacity pupils of 100. The School continued to flourish and a new Assembly Hall was added in 2006, to signify its secure future. A School Nursery was set up and Headmistress Cindy Baldwin had been in situ for 21 years, when she was succeeded by Jan Staff in 2008. The Secretary of State for Schools, Mr. Ed Balls, attended Mrs. Baldwin's retirement (he had been a former pupil). Then a new uniform and logo was launched in May 2009. The high standards of the School kitchen were offered to the Over 60s for a monthly lunch in 2006.
The young people of the village were in mind when the hard-working Village Hall Committee, made even more applications for, and secured, a Children's Playground behind the Village Hall in 2003, only two years after its opening, and another phase for even younger children, was opened in April 2006.
So the challenge of a new Decade and a new Millenium were adequately met by the village for all ages and what better event than the Annual Village Fete (again organised by the Village Hall Committee) which brought everyone together for the highlight of the year - the Annual Duck Race of 1,000 yellow plastic ducks. Christopher Bayne cleared the river and stewarded all Races during the Decade. The summer of 2006 was particularly kind for all events - our iconic Green had even turned brown!!
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