Swaffham market celebrates 800 years

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A series of events marking 800 years of Swaffham’s market will begin in the town today to coincide with the annual Brecks Food Festival.

The Strattons Hotel is hosting a Great Brecks Bake-Off cake competition, while environment secretary and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss is expected to attend an afternoon tea event there later.

And supporters are also being given the chance to find out more about the market’s history at two talks taking place next week.

On Monday, Dr Sue Gattuso, the manager of the Swaffham Museum, will give a presentation called Swaffham’s Market or Swaffham market.

The talk, which will be held at the Green Britain Centre from 7pm, will look at how the market has shaped the town over the centuries.

Then, next Friday, from 6.30pm, former market auctioneer Tony Abel will speak on the history of the market day auction and some of its best known personalities.

There will also be a display of old market photographs, plus a screening of footage taken during the celebration weekend held in July to mark the earliest written reference to Swaffham’s market.

Both talks, which are taking place ahead of a markets festival next weekend, are part of the ongoing programme of events to mark the anniversary, which has been supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Full details of the programme are available at www.swaffhammarket800.co.uk