Group News

Michael Strutt

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Michael Strutt, our friend and colleague for many years. He passed away peacefully at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 19th.

Michael lived in Downham Market but continued to be a valued member of the Heritage Group after moving there from Docking a few years ago. He served on the committee and despite poor health recently made the effort to attend all our events.

He will be remembered as the force behind our Oral History Project; seeking out the older village inhabitants and interviewing them. He meticulously wrote up their memories and kept in contact with several of them after the initial contact.

He was interested in many other projects especially the history of the railways in Norfolk.

Michael’s background was journalism. He had worked on many of our well known newspapers as sub-editor and a freelance journalist. He had written and co-written several books, his latest being ‘Path To Courage’, the story of the career of Ernest Deverill.

We shall miss him both as a fellow member and a personal friend.

Helena Aldis

Docking station and the railway line

We have added several new pages to this website to document the railway line which used to run through Docking on its way between Heacham and Wells. Go to the Railway link in the Village History section to read about its history and see photos of the stations and trains which were once so important to the area.

Workhouse exhibition

We were delighted that the Heritage Group was given permission by the vicar, Peter Cook, to display our Docking Workhouse exhibition in the church of St. Mary the Virgin at Docking. It was available during church opening hours for several weeks over summer 2021. Although the exhibition has now closed the Workhouse Project is still ongoing, and we are always happy to help visitors to the Tony Arter Heritage Room every Wednesday morning from 10am till midday.

An interesting acquisition

An interesting acquisition – Mike Walsh has very kindly given the Group the beautifully restored Docking Division Register of Charges covering a two-year period in the 1880s. The charges are mostly not too serious – being drunk and poaching for example – and those charged come from a wide area around Docking. It will be available for study on application, or we can look up entries on request.

The Priory

 Do go to the Village History web page to find a link to some very interesting research which a historian has been doing into the mystery of Docking Priory.

Pub crawl of Old Lynn

Dr Paul Richards took us on a pub crawl of old Lynn on September 4th 2019. It was truly fascinating as Dr Richards is such a fount of information and stories of the people who inhabited the houses. We discovered streets which most of us didn’t know existed despite living here for years. The evening ended at the Ferry Lane Social Club overlooking the river with a welcome glass of refreshment.

We are planning visit Hardwick Cemetery with Dr Richards in 2020, probably in June or July when the evenings are longer and warmer. Do think about joining us it will be full of interesting stories of the folk who are buried there with or without monuments.

SHARP Archaeological Festival

The Heritage Group had a stand at the SHARP Archaeological Festival in Sedgeford on July 21st 2019. We took along a selection of finds from our Community Digs and were very pleased to get a mystery object identified. Click here to find out what it is.

2019 Local History Fair

We had a brilliant local history weekend this year with over 250 paying visitors plus members. We sold £290 worth of new books and our DVDs and made a good profit from the raffle. Click here to see the local press report.

Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come and help and visit the exhibition – we had some interesting queries and conversations and most of us have learnt something new about the village and the area.

Local radio

Kirsteen Thorne from BBC Radio Norfolk being shown around by Helena Aldis

On the Sunday of our 2014 exhibition we had a visit from BBC Radio Norfolk’s Treasure Quest team as we were the holders of one of their clues for that weeks quiz.

Later in the afternoon our secretary Helena Aldis did a short telephone interview on the following programme Treasure Quest Extra Time, where she was asked about the exhibition, the heritage group and its activities. Click on the play button below to listen to her interview.