Buttercross, June 19, 2015: Are we doing what’s best for Swaffham?

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A great deal of attention recently in these articles has been centred around our market place and not unreasonably given the fact we are a market town.

A lot of people will remember Plowright’s, the agricultural engineering firm which stood on the west side of the market place and has given its name to a shopping precinct occupying some of its old premises.

Many will remember the farm machinery set out in front of the shop, an area now lost to car parking, and on which there is good news.

The loading bay adjacent to Leonard Brittain’s estate agents is to be re-classified. At present, ridiculously, lorries only are allowed to load or unload here and several traders have collected parking tickets.

Common sense has at last prevailed and one would hope that similar sense will be shown on the bays in front of the butcher’s and charity shop across the road.

These few bays are barred to the public on market days, a ridiculous rule when no market stalls have used these bays for a long time, if ever.

Some people have also expressed concern over vehicles accessing the new car park used by church permit holders, and accessed through Church Walk.

This once delightful approach to our church has become quite hazardous and more care needs to be taken by some drivers.

Earlier articles have touched on the destruction of Church Walk, once an impressive entrance to our churchyard. The Pallasade gates, given by one Mary Young in 1745, are now almost totally destroyed with the remains of one strapped back to the adjacent wall with a length of blue rope.

It is ironic that when ironwork around town was being collected for the war effort in 1942 these gates were felt to be of sufficient historical value to our town to be saved. Not any more it seems.

Similarly the kissing gate area leading to the Campingland gets ever shoddier. Our town council did recently give them a coat of paint but more work is certainly required, including a way to stop the public bypassing them by creating a track encroaching into the graveyard, part of which uses some small gravestones.

What future generations will think of some of the quite appalling way we have treated some areas around our church one shudders to think.