For a taste of the topics we cover, take a look at the outlines and accompanying pictures covering most of our most recent talks/events. :-
“Notorious Norfolk Murders”-Neil Storey
Award winning historian Neil R. Storey gave a talk entitled “Notorious Norfolk Murders” at Sheringham Little Theatre.
This is was a darkly fascinating, illustrated, talk exploring the murders and dark deeds of Norfolk past including once infamous cases such as the Norwich Dumpling Poisoner, the the Burnham sickness, the Yarmouth Beach Murder, the Weybourne trunk murderer and the curious Sheringham connection with the last executions in the county. Neil is the author of ‘The Grim Almanac of Norfolk’, ‘Hanged at Norwich’ and ‘Norfolk Murders’.
This was a night of stories of nefarious individuals, crimes of passion and downright rotten rogues.
The story of Sheringham Museum
Lisa Little reviewed how the Museum came into being, a story featuring people well known to many of our members. From small beginnings in a back lane off Station Road to the present building, the story will be continued with an outline of plans for the coming year.
The talk was followed by a short SHG AGM.
Our meetings resumed after the Covid restrictions were largely lifted with the annual Sheringham History Group excursion. This took place on Wednesday, August 25th. This was a two part event, with visits in both the morning and afternoon. Gunton Park Sawmill, the only water powered sawmill in North Norfolk, was visited in the morning. In the afternoon there was a visit to the Aylsham Roman Pottery Project. This provided the chance to view the excavations of the ARP with the chance to see work being undertaken on the diggings.
Simon Kinder spoke on “The Cambridge Spies and their local connections” on Wednesday 4th March 2020.
Simon explored the fascinating history of Norfolk, spies and traitors. His illustrated talk began in the Elizabethan era, visit the Napoleonic Wars before exploring Norfolk’s spies, imagined, alleged and real, during the First and Second World Wars. Finally he exposed how Gresham’s School in Holt became involved in one of the most daring and successful pieces of espionage ever, the Cambridge and Oxford Spy Rings recruited to serve the USSR.
Sheringham History Group resumed its talks programme following the New Year break with a presentation by David Stannard entitled “Spoyl’d by the Rage of the Sea” in which David examined the local history of North Sea surges. Many members recalled the storms of 2013 and perhaps 1953, but events dating back into the Medieval period and their effects on the geography of the Norfolk coastline will feature.
As is traditional, the December meeting took the form of a social event for members and their guests.
It took place at the North Norfolk Railway Station, Station Approach, Sheringham NR26 8RA.
Roger Richardson “History of the Sheringham Fire and Rescue Service”
Roger Richardson spoke about the history of the Sheringham Fire and Rescue Service. Roger is the latest of the five generations of his family who have served in the local Fire and Rescue service. Roger also discussed some of the many changes that have occurred over the years, culminating in the move to the new emergency services station on the Cromer Road.
Neil Storey “North Norfolk at War 1939”
September brought the hugely popular “1940’s Weekend” to Sheringham with civil and military vehicles, music , food, steam hauled trains and visitors encouraged to dress up in styles from the period to be “transported back in time”.
A glimpse of the reality behind this picture was provided when professional Norfolk historian Neil Storey presented his talk on “North Norfolk at War” at the Sheringham Little Theatre. With the declaration of war 80 years ago on 3/09/39, only 21 years after the previous “war to end all wars”, Neil discussed how Sheringham and North Norfolk were transformed into a fortified barrier to resist probable Nazi invasion. The effects locally of call-ups, rationing, establishment of Home Guard units and the ever present gas masks were covered.
Dave King “50 Years of the North Norfolk Railway”
Dave King will talk on 50 years of the North Norfolk Railway on Wednesday September 4th 2019.
History Group trip to Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History
As usual, our July meeting will be a visit to a local place of interest and this year we have arranged a visit to the Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History on Wednesday 3rd July at 11am.
The Museum charges an entrance fee is £5 per person for a group visit which is payable on arrival.
Non-members are very welcome to come along.
The museum has a website which is a little out of date
Father Denys Lloyd “The Catholic Church in Sheringham”
On June 5th the Sheringham History Group will have the latest of a series on the background of the various churches in the town.
Father Denys Lloyd will tell us of the development of the Catholic Church in Sheringham, culminating in the consecration in 1936 of the Gilbert Giles Scott designed St. Joseph’s Church, which remains the town’s only listed building. A tour of the interior, described as “a treasure trove of early 20th century art”, will follow.
John Balls “Norfolk and the Titanic Sinking”
John Balls is a Cambridge Graduate who was Head of English in a large Comprehensive School. He founded the ‘Norfolk Titanic Association’ in 1996, and it remains a lively and well-supported group of enthusiasts.
He has written two books on the ‘Titanic’ – ‘Titanic – the Norfolk Survivors’, and ‘Lucky for Some – Titanic’s Lifeboat 13’.
He has also contributed articles to the magazines of a number of ‘Titanic’ Societies. John has given ‘Titanic’ talks in Belfast, Italy, the USA and Canada, and is speaker in schools, basing his talk on the story of Ruth Becker, aged 12, a passenger in Lifeboat 13.
His main area of research involves the stories of five people from Norfolk who survived the sinking in April, 1912. Their stories add a very human touch to this iconic global tragedy.
Russell Yeomans “ The Gunton Park water powered sawmill”
The Sheringham History Group meeting on April 3rd will be given by Russell Yeomans on the topic of the Gunton Park water powered sawmill.
Featuring on national TV in both drama and documentaries, the story will run from initial building and operations of the mill in 1824, through decline, followed by restoration from 1988 onwards as a working history museum
A highlight of Russell’s talk will be his description of the part the mill played in producing the detailed wooden carriage for the Mo museum cannon.