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Life and times of Swaffham industrial family with connection to BBC radio legend retold




A well-known BBC radio producer met the author of a new book who has charted the history of his West Norfolk family.

Graham Ferguson’s book ‘The Plowright Story’ has been well-received by Piers Plowright who met the author at Swaffham’s Heritage Museum last Friday.

The book documents the the industrial development of Swaffham with the Plowright family business at the heart of the story.

With a backdrop of Plowright Place are, from left to right, Dr Sue Gattuso, Francesca Plowright, Poh Sim Plowright, Piers Plowright, Matthew Plowright and author of The Plowright Story, Graham Ferguson
With a backdrop of Plowright Place are, from left to right, Dr Sue Gattuso, Francesca Plowright, Poh Sim Plowright, Piers Plowright, Matthew Plowright and author of The Plowright Story, Graham Ferguson

Starting in 17th century Swaffham, the book retells the expansion of the business into Lynn after a branch of the family established a metal-working business: Plowright, Pratt and Harbage.

Mr Ferguson said: “Piers is a quite a well-known gentleman in the BBC and he particularly wanted to read it.

“He provided some general complements and was very pleased to read about his family as he knew there were connections but it was the first time someone had put it together.”

As part of his research for the book, Mr Ferguson visited the University of Reading where there is a special museum on English rural life.

He also investigated some of the early documents held at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse museum.

Mr Ferguson, who moved to Swaffham six-years-ago said his book includes tales of a family friendship with Queen Mary and a daughter who went to Hollywood.

The Plowright Story can be purchased from WH Smith in Lynn, the Ceres Bookshop and from Swaffham Heritage Museum for £8.99.



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