Visit to the Archive Centre.

On 21 March, seventeen people who had attended the  Genealogy Workshops visited the Norfolk County Archive Centre at County Hall.

Kären, who was to be our guide, welcomed us and described the Archive Centre. She spoke about the work of the Search Room, the Store Room and the Conservation Studio.  We started in the Search Room where several members of the public were working – the extra large tables were for those who wished to examine one of the many maps held by the Archive Centre.

There was a series of files where searches for particular items could be made manually. Microfiche readers and computers were also available for use. Normally requested documents are produced within thirty minutes.

Kären stressed that nothing had been lost when the old Archive Centre in the Norwich City Library was destroyed by fire on 1st August 1994. Some items were damaged by water but after being freeze-dried all were eventually restored.

The Archive holds millions of documents filling nearly ten miles of shelves. We visited the Store Room and heard from Kären that, although they are not about to run out of space, they are looking to increase the total amount of shelf space to ensure that there will be sufficient room in the years to come.

We then visited the Conservation Studio where Nick explained the work which was done there. He showed us photographs of the Aylsham Town Charters which have been worked on for the past eighteen months after having been discovered in a Church before being moved to a Library. They had not been well stored so much work had to be done to unroll them and to make  as much of them as possible readable.

Kären had arranged for several documents to be available for us to see; these included a tithe map of Saxlingham, a marriage register from the Parish Church, several faculties for work in the Church and Peal (Bell-ringing) cards. There were  two letters from Lord Nelson – one written with his right hand and one written with his left hand. There was also a wonderful scrapbook of her activities made by Mrs. Zigomala; she discontinued the scrapbook after the death of her only child John at the end of the First World War in 1919 in Russia.

It was a fascinating afternoon and our thanks go to Elizabeth who organised the trip for us and to Kären and Nick who guided us round the Archive and explained so much to us.

Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Scouts

We would like to thank the Saxlingham Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Scouts for for coming to the Church for their meetings this week.

The meetings started with Lynn doing a short tour of the church – talking about the bells, the font and the stained glass and some of the memorials.  We then split into groups.

Edmund offering his arrows

Edmund, King of East Anglia, offering up the arrows of his martyrdom

For the Cubs and Brownies we had three groups – one colouring a drawing of the window of St. Edmund, one completing the Church Trail Quiz and the third…hand bell-ringing!

For the Guides and Scouts we had two groups – one for the Church Trail Quiz and the other hand bell-ringing.

We hope everyone enjoyed learning about the church.  We were very pleased to find a total of 92 enthusiastic hand bell ringers over the course of the week – we hope some will return to ring the hand bells again and move on to the new bells in the future!


Church Crawl on Saturday 13th October 2012

Historian Kate Smith is holding a “Church Crawl” on Saturday 13th October, costing £6, to raise funds for the Bell and Tower Project.

Kate will start her tour of local churches at Long Stratton St. Mary – the round towered church on the A140 – at 10 am sharp.  Please park down the road, to the south of the buildings.  She will continue to Hardwick, Shelton, Bedingham and will finish at St. Mary’s Saxlingham Nethergate.

Kate will explain all about the churches, what everything is used for and how they have changed over the centuries and will point out some of the treasures and curiosities in our local churches.

There will be a break for lunch after visiting Shelton so please bring a picnic or contact Kate if you would like to have a pub lunch at Woodton’s King’s Head (to be paid for separately) (so she can give Chef an idea of numbers).

Kate’s contact details can be found in the September issue of “Saxlingham Contact” or by dropping us an email at info @ (please remove the spaces before and after the @ sign.)