Characters of Fakenham revealed by Raymond

Raymond Monbiot works on his latest book, More Characters of Fakenham,  with former nurse and midwife, Lee Muston is on screen MLNF16PB11535 ANL-161130-143300001
Raymond Monbiot works on his latest book, More Characters of Fakenham, with former nurse and midwife, Lee Muston is on screen MLNF16PB11535 ANL-161130-143300001
Share this article

The success of Characters of Fakenham, published seven months ago, has led Burnham Market author Raymond Monbiot, to pen a follow-up.

Now in retirement but formerly a senior management figure in the food industry, he has now turned his hand to becoming a successful writer.

He once helped guide the fortunes both of the former Joe Lyons corner house empire and later Campbell’s Soups.

His ability to deal with employees on all levels made him well-suited to squirrel out facts from a range of significant townsfolk for his just published latest book, More Characters of Fakenham.

In it he has committed to paper a snapshot history of some of the people that have helped fashion the town’s image to the outside world.

In time this book could become a significant historical document revealing how its residents contributed collectively and individually to help this market town cope successfully with modern life.

He astutely identifies the people who make Fakenham tick.

It came about because a number of people, having read Characters of Fakenham, encouraged him to delve further into the lives of yet more residents who have contributed something valuable to the town.

His new book does that and is the sixth in a series that began with The Burnhams Book of Characters and Memories, Characters of North Norfolk, More Characters of North Norfolk and Retirement is for Younger people.

The book starts with a portrait of the author himself, and his surprisingly diverse life, before delving into the lives of some of the unsung heroes of the town.

Perhaps most surprisingly is the part played by Nurse Pru, otherwise Marion Pruden, midwife and district nurse who, over a 40-year period, delivered a large proportion of those now living in Fakenham.

Fakenham and District Light Opera Society (FADLOS) will be 50 years old next year as music-lover Avril Temple knows only too well because she was a founding member.

Music has wrapped itself around her whole life and as a Methodist she has played the organ in one or other of the 29 chapels in central Norfolk for 57 years and is continuing to do so.

Others include Dr Mike Bridges, who recently died. He became one of the world’s leading academics in soil science and was involved with a number of local organisations including the History Society.

There is also Lee Muston head, for 17 years, of what is now Fakenham Academy and a driving force behind the formation of Fakenham Rugby Club.

Another is Johnny Wright who played football and cricket for Fakenham and now restricts his sporting life to indoor bowls.

Or you can read about the late Jack Richards who built a major nation-wide transport haulage business from a one lorry beginning. Or of Jim Baldwin a historian and expert on the life of RAF Sculthorpe.

Fifteen characters were selected for this book from a much longer list.

So there could be a third, Even More Characters of Fakenham?

The book costs £7.95 and can be bought from most local outlets or Raymond Monbiot Books, Eastgate House, Burnham Market, PE31 8HH.