Docking Heritage Group

Through these pages we aim to bring you a snapshot of the activities of the Docking Heritage Group and keep you informed of the progress we are making researching and recording the history of the ancient village of Docking in North West Norfolk.

We are always looking for new material for our village archive and if you have any photographs, newspaper cuttings, memories or artefacts we would welcome the opportunity to record them. By publishing our event diary on this website we hope you will be able to join us in the Tony Arter Heritage Room at the Ripper Hall, High Street, Docking.

The room is open most Wednesday mornings between 10am and 12 noon, including through the winter months, when some of our members will be on hand to help you with any queries you may have and show you our collection of photos, maps and other documents. A Community Information Point can also be found in the room which is available during the room opening hours.

Contact: Helena Aldis, Hon Secretary.

We look forward to meeting you through this website and welcome your feedback.

Latest News

2024 Local History Fair

We had a splendid turn out for the fair this year, almost 200 visitors over two days and good sales of raffle tickets and DHG publications. This is our only fund-raising activity each year so we’re grateful to everyone who attended, and to all the exhibitors who made it such an interesting event. The ‘Waggs the Baker’ display, film and reunion made it extra special.

We’re already getting requests for stalls for next year, so it’s becoming an annual fixture.

Dates for your diary

Our next event is  a talk on Wednesday June 5th by Adrian O’dell entitled ‘Aerial Photography and its use in understanding prehistoric sites’. It will be in the church at 7pm.

For anyone interested in joining in the Community Dig this year we will be having an informal meeting on Wednesday May 8th to discuss where we dig, then on July 3rd at 7pm we will meet in the Heritage Room for a more formal meeting, revealing the site and signing people up.

Dig dates are July 12, 13 & 14th. If you’ve ever wanted to be part of an archaeological dig, come along and join in.

New Research into Farming in Docking

We’ve published a new web page Farming in Docking, which aims to document all the farms in the village and around it. It’s still a work in progress but there’s plenty to read now. If you have any comments on what’s there do get back to us.



A new Heritage Group publication

Docking Station and the West Norfolk Junction Railway

The West Norfolk Junction Railway ran from Heacham to Wells-next-the-Sea, passing through five intermediate stations, the second of which was Docking. Railway enthusiasts will love this booklet, but so will everyone who’s interested in the effect the railway had on local communities. Price £4, details of how to purchase it are on our Sales and Publications page.

Docking Heritage Group would like to thank CTM Harpley Engineering for their generous help with the printing of this publication.

Workhouse Project

We have finally finished the Workhouse Project, and you can download the results of members’ researches into the inmates and their lives as shown by the census returns from 1841 to 1911 on a new web page, the Union Workhouse.

2023 Community Dig

A big thank you to everyone who helped out and volunteered at our Community Dig on July 28th to 30th. It was a very enjoyable event and we had such a good team this year.

The discoveries we have made will help us to expand our knowledge about the origins of the village, with prehistoric flints and pottery being our exciting finds.

Our Open Day on the Sunday was a very worthwhile event and we shall hopefully be able to do a similar weekend next year. Many thanks to SHARP for their input, to Mark Nicholson for his expert help, easy explanations, enthusiasm and hard work, and to the Hill Group for supplying and erecting security fencing around the test pits.

It’s not over yet – we still have to write up the dig and analyse the finds.

Path to Courage

Heritage Group member Michael Strutt, who sadly died last June, recently published a book about Squadron Leader Ernest Deverill DFC and Bar, AFC, DFM who married a Docking farmer’s daughter and is buried in Docking churchyard. Path to Courage tells the story of his life and daring exploits as a WW2 pilot with 97 Squadron in Bomber Command. It’s available from independent bookshops, price £9.99. Copies can also be purchased from the Tony Arter Heritage Room at Docking Village Hall on Wednesdays, 10am to 12 noon, or on our Sales and Publications page.

“The book paints a picture of day-to-day village life as well as Ernest’s dangerous missions over continental Europe. Time and time again, he defied enemy onslaught, mechanical problems and atrocious weather, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Flying Medal and the Air Force Cross.” Norfolk Magazine, November 2022.

You can read more about Squadron Leader Deverill and Path to Courage on the Docking’s Airmen page.

Helena Aldis has written an appreciation of Michael Strutt here.




Docking Heritage Group have created another way to allow people to share their photographs, stories and memories by setting up a new Facebook group called ‘Docking Community Archive’. For those with a Facebook account simply click on the icon on the left, join the group and begin sharing your Docking related memories.