Aviation landmarks documented in Docking historian’s latest book
The significance of aviation landmarks in West Norfolk has been documented in a new book thanks to a historian from Docking.
Peter Gunn has released his seventh book, Aviation Landmarks Norfolk and Suffolk, which explores important sites in the region.
Mr Gunn, a former history teacher, said his latest publication was the result of three and a half years of work.
“I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation, particularly in local aviation and flights – things like that,” he said.
“There’s a long history of aviation, particularly in this area. What I have done is I’ve hoped to cover Norfolk and Suffolk buildings, the aviation landmarks, and anything that’s been left behind.
“My intention was to go round various villages and towns and to say if there was anything of interest in that place.”
Airfields, radar stations, churches, memorials, museums and country houses are just some of the locations explored in the book.
More unusual sites such as pubs, streets and village signs are also included, such as the Fox and Pheasant pub in Great Massingham, which personnel from the No. 107 Squadron were pictured outside of during the summer of 1941.
In the book, Mr Gunn says: “Favourite pubs for the airmen include the Fox and the Pheasant (nicknamed the ‘Poxy Peasant’), which is now a private house; the Oak – a haunt of No. 169 Squadron personnel, and also no longer a pub; the Rose and Crown (nowadays the Dabbling Duck) where there was a book containing the signatures and mementoes of veterans.”
Facts relating to both the past and present of landmarks are at the core of the book, including the historic and current usage of the site at RAF Marham.
The historian is hopeful that his newest work will be of interest to both the general reader as well as aviation enthusiasts.
“I would hope anyone would be able to enjoy it. It concentrates on aviation in these villages and towns, but I hope that generally readers would find it interesting to discover what happened in their area,” Mr Gunn said.
“I’ve been interested in this for 30 odd years and I’ve amassed so much material over the years, it made sense to put it in to a book.”
In addition to the guide through the region’s landmarks, the book also contains an aviation timeline and map references so readers can visit the locations if they wish to.
Mr Gunn’s previous works include Sculthorpe Secrecy and Stealth: A Norfolk Airfield in the Cold War, Naught Escapes Us: The Story of 206 Squadron, and Flying Lives with a Norfolk Theme.
Aviation Landmarks Norfolk and Suffolk is available for purchase now, with a recommended retail price (RRP) of £19.99.