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Holme through the ages on show

There was no shortage of visitors to a History of Holme exhibition, at Holme-next-the-Sea’s village hall on Saturday.

It is a village where one farming family who still live there, the Renault’s, can trace their ancestors back to at least the 1700’s, though the boundaries of their land have changed.

But long-term research by the late Rodney Frohawk, and Sally and Martyn Crown over the past two years, has unearthed a mass of photographs, artefacts and material about the village going back nearly a thousand years.

Their research was helped by the memories of residents and former residents backed up by information at the records office in Norwich.

Mr Frohawk’s work included a timeline stretching back to 1035 when an Anglo Saxon chronicle mentions the will of Aelfric Bishop that included bequests of land at Holme.

These chronological century-by-century records show that Mother Nature repeats herself and that nothing is a new or a first time occurrence.

Many remember the devastation caused by the 1953 floods but similar tragedies have struck the area many times over the centuries.

The sea flooded the land in 1135 and again in 1236 whilst in 1362 the area was immersed in what was called the Great Drowning.

A volcanic eruption in Iceland in 2010 caused a volcanic cloud to cover a large area of the Northern hemisphere and grounded aeroplanes.

It happened at least once before in 1273 though there is no record of the damage it may have caused or the reaction of a people who were much more superstitious in those days.

And, when you shiver on a cold winter’s day, think of Holme residents who had to endure weather so cold in 1607/08 that the sea froze over.

There are also examples of the dramatic rise in the price of everything.

Re-hanging church bells would cost many thousands today but in 1863 it was £103. 1.9p (£103.9p), less the scrap value of the old bells bringing the total down to £73.3.10p (£73.9p).

More recently, the village had a connection to secret and vital First World War radio transmissions, which were still in their infancy at the time.

Richard Hippisly and Russell Clarke set up a ‘secret listening device’ in an old wooden bungalow in Old Hunstanton having moved from the cliffs at Hunstanton.

It is believed that one of the wooden structures they used was dismantled and erected in Holme where it still stands. When Commander Hippisly died his obituary in The Times said: “He was one of the men that really won the war.”

Today, it is also hard to imagine that In 1945 a Mr Thomas Nelson was the village’s first resident to buy a car.

Sally Crown was delighted with the success of the event and praised all those who had been involved in the project, especially co-helper Mary Burton, who also organised the refreshments and headed up a team that raises money for the Norfolk-based Astro Brain Tumour fund of which Mrs Burton is treasurer.

She can be contacted by email at: treasurer@astrofund.org.uk.


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