West Dereham man records lives of notable Downham Market residents

Michael Farnham with his new book
Michael Farnham with his new book
Have your say

A West Dereham man has ensured that the lives of some of Downham’s most notable residents are not forgotten.

Michael Farnham has recorded some amazing stories within his new book, Extraordinary People of Downham Market and District.

Spanning over 100 years, he looks one of the town’s oldest residents, a pilot who survived an aircraft disaster and the builders who have constructed some of the town’s important landmarks.

Mr Farnham, 79, said: “There are a lot of photographs recording the buildings in Downham but nothing about the people who lived in the town.

“There is no record of anything else like this as far as I am concerned, this is a unique book.

“I think this will be important in 50 years to ensure these people are not forgotten.”

Among the 16 stories is Norman Clingo, who was best known as Tommy.

Mr Clingo was born disabled but made good use of his mouth and feet.

He was a keen painter and even raised budgerigars.

Another amazing story is that of Sq Ldr Keith Handscomb, who survived a dramatic mid air explosion after his Victor tanker clipped another plane during a re-fuelling exercise in 1975.

Mr Farnham also tells the story of Stan Seymour, who spent five years as a prisoner of war after being captured at Dunkirk. But Mr Seymour was also captured during the Korean War.

The book, which includes many photographs, is available from Mr Farnham on 01366 500706. Price is to be determined.