Show and tell event in West Norfolk to shines light on heritage
Digging into the past in the Burnhams was brought to life with the first Discover and Create event at Burnham Market Primary School on Saturday.
Two years ago the Norfolk Archaeological Trust wanted to encourage awareness of the history around historical sites in Norfolk.
Tasburgh, south of Norwich, and the Carmelite Friary at Burnham Norton, opposite the village school were chosen, two of ten sites the Trust manage in the county. The project kicked off at Tasburgh last year.
Saturday’s initial Bring and Share day brought a steady stream of visitors who were not only able to have hands-on experience of some of the many artefacts found in the area over the years but could bring to the event items they themselves had found.
“We’ve had a great response. People are always very curious about where they live,” said Simon Floyd, of Floyd Performance, an organisation that through story-telling and community theatre brings alive the bare bones of the past.
On one stand well-known local author, Kevin Crossley-Holland, showed visitors, among a range of ancient artefacts, a fifth century Anglo-Saxon burial urn found in a Burnham Market garden.
Crossley-Holland knows his subject well.
He is a poet, translator and children’s author whose prize-winning writings bring alive the Britain of a thousand years or more ago.
His book Storm, set in Burnham Norton, won him the Carnegie Medal as the outstanding children or young adult’s book of the year in 1985.
More recently a re-working of the Arthurian Legend won him the Guardian newspaper’s Children’s fiction prize in 2001 and his re-telling of the thousand or more years old Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, in a new translation, brought him more plaudits in 2008.
On one wall of the school hall a time line of the area was created and Medieval and earlier masonry, pottery and a wide range of other items showed the wide diversity of people who had lived in the area over thousands of years.
Between 18 June and 1 July this major historical project will move on to creative writing sessions, singing together, pottery-making, stone-carving and the making of banners and lanterns for a Lantern Procession and Pageant on September 22 which will be scripted by Crossley-Holland.
Burnham Market senior teacher, Tim Fisher, said that the project had started in the school last September.
“Every pupils was involved and youngsters dug four trenches into the school grounds discovering items from the Stone Age to the 1980’s”.
Over the last nine months pupils have been involved in many aspects of the project from producing informative leaflets to creative writing.
“We are absolutely delighted with the way we are bringing the community together and are looking forward to the pageant in September,” he said.