History-The village & the people

The majority of historical photos will be placed here. Showing how the village has developed over the years & a few familiar faces in there too!

Mrs Robinson’s history of Hall Drive

In 1950 three families lived in the converted farmhouse on the right hand side of the drive going out of the village. In the first were Mr & Mrs Ted Wright and Ted’s uncle Basil. In the middle Mrs Hinchcliffe and Mr Richardson lived with their family Alan, Eileen, Rita, Keith, Trevor and James. And in the end were Miss Oswick and Mr Green.

the first, after many changes is now owned by 2 ladies who live in Norwich. Mrs Hinchcliffe still lives in the middle. Mrs H’s sister Mrs Thompson moved into the third when Mrs Oswick died, and she then sold to Mr & Mrs Stebbings who had been living in one of the Hall Farm cottages. (They were still there in 1987).

With the coming of the bypass a triangular piece of land was left on the left hand side of the drive. On this was built two houses… “Treetops” owned by Mr & Mrs Keith Harvey, and the other by Mr Peter hales, a landscape gardener who made a feature of the front of his property. Both of these houses stand high above the drive.

The piece of land lying between the main drive and the access to the Hinchcliffe and Stebbings properties was bought by Mr Rudd. He bought land on the other side of the river on which he built a house. This he sold and bought the meadow which lay behind the houses on The Street. Here he built a house into which he moved, while he proceeded to build a bungalow into which he intended to move. He died before it was finished, but Mrs Rudd moved in and sold the house.

The Police House (Now no 1 Norwich Rd) by Mrs Robinson.

This house stands opposite Richmond Close.

in 1950 it was occupied by P.C. Leonard Shaw and his wife Pat. They were there for some years, but he was eventually transferred and P.C.Edwards took over, followed by many others in fairly quick succession.

With the reorganisation of the Police Force the house was put on the market and purchased by Mr Rampton for one of his workers – a Mr Sturman who had a large family.

When Mr Sturman retired most of his children had married and he and his wife moved into a bungalow in Fellowes Rd, and the Police house stood empty for some time. In 1987 it had recently been sold to a young couple.

Hall Farm Cottages

Mrs Robinson says there are 4 cottages situated near the old walled garden and the lake. In 1950 they were occupied by

Mr & Mrs Walter Hammond and their daughter.

Mr & Mrs Smith with their son & Daughter.

Mr & Mrs Toll and their son – who married one of the assistant matrons at The Hall .

Mrs Cappucci.

The Smiths eventually retired to a bungalow in Fellowes Rd and then to Aylsham.

After Mr Toll’s retirement and move to Norwich his house was occupied by Mr & Mrs Notley and their son, who followed Mr Toll as gardener at the Hall. His son eventually married the Smith’s daughter.

Occupation of these cottages has changed many times, Mr & Mrs Dye being the only ones with a long term occupancy. Their children Mandy and Nigel grew up there, and in 1987 were occupying the cottage originally occupied by the Hammonds.

Mrs Robinson’s history of Nos 15 & 16 (Now Gun Cottages, 3 & 5)

There is a triangle of grass in front of these cottages. Old maps show that there was once a village pump situated there. It was also the resting place of a WWI German cannon – this was sent for scrap iron in the second war, and the site is now occupied by the Village Sign. Erected in Jubilee Year (1977), the ironwork was supplied by H Blyth & Son, and the base was built by H Smith & Son incorporating flints taken from the old flint and thatch Farm House featured elsewhere in these pages.

Number 15 was in 1987 occupied by Mrs Effie Clark – she moved there with her husband and 2 children in 1950. Next door were Mr & Mrs Grass and their son Peter, who later became landlord of The Buck.

These cottages were originally owned by Bert and George Smith respectively.

Bessie Grass died, and Will moved into an old people’s home at Wroxham. 16 was then let to a Mr & Mrs Jackson.


Hall or Home Farm, by Mrs Robinson

Mr & Mrs Rowbottom lived there in 1950, and a lot of the land was still worked by horses. (Mr Rowbottom’s father had moved into the property from a farm in the Gog-ma-Gog hills near Cambridge.)

After buying the estate Mr Rampton arranged for Ted – by now a widower – to move into the Village lodge, which he had modernised for him. This done, the land was incorporated into the Rampton farming system. For a short while he installed the manager, Mr Reeder, in the house, but later rented the house to Mr & Mrs Chillingworth.

In 1987 they were understood to be about to leave for a smaller property they had bought for their retirement, and Mr Rampton’s son will be taking over occupation.

Greenacres Farm

Mrs Robinson writes………………

In 1950 Mr George Price was farming here. He had changed the name of the farm from Brick Kiln Farm when he bought it. There was than evidence of the clay pit in one of the fields on the Colton Road, and there is no doubt that the bricks for many of the local houses were made here.

Mr Price occupied the house with his wife Dorothy and their children Michael, Christine and Marylin.

There were then 3 cottages housing the workmen. Mr Warnes (with his wife and daughters Vera, Vinnie and Anne) occupied the first – he was the cowman. The middle one changed its occupants with great regularity, and the last one was occupied by Mr Claxton, the farm foreman, and his wife Edna and son Leslie. Eventually a bungalow was built on the corner of the farm road and Colton Road for the Claxtons. When Mr Claxton retired and Mr Delph took over,  the first 2 cottages were made into one as the Delphs had 4 children and the bungalow was not big enough for them.

When Mr Price retired Jock Alston of Honingham Thorpe bought the farm, and his son Ian got married and moved into the house. The bungalow was enlarged and Mr & Mrs Allen, Ian’s parents – in – law moved in. The cottages were in 1989 still occupied by Mr & Mrs Delph and Mr & Mrs Leveridge, though neither of them work at the farm.

(in 2013 the cottages were demolished to make room for a large house)

The Brecks – By Mrs Robinson

There were thre drives connected to Honingham Hall – The Village Drive, The Front Drive, which came out onto the A47 near the church, and Ringland Drive. The Lodge at Ringland Drive was occupied by Mrs McEwen in 1950. She was followed by another couple who had twins and another boy. They have since left.

To the left of Ringland Drive a path led to two cottages and farm buildings. The cottages were occupied by Mr & Mrs Norman and their son Albert, and Mr & Mrs Rackham. All of these buildings are now demolished, the Normans and Rackhams having moved into the village.

Continuing along this track, which led out into Ringland Lane, one came to the bungalow occupied by the Brunyee family. After the senior Brunyees had moved on the land continued to be worked by their son, who had married an Australian girl. They had two children, and finding their 30 acres insufficient for a good living they converted their chicken houses into breeding grounds for maggots sold to anglers. They eventually emigrated to Australia.

Also living in these parts was a Mr Reynolds, the game keeper. I believe his bungalow is no longer in occupation and that the present gamekeeper lives in the Ringland Lodge.

The land on the Weston end of the Ringland Road was occupied by the Air Force during the war and in 1950 the concrete bases of the buildings were still in place – this was a prolific place for blackberries!

The fields that lay between the Ringland Drive and the footpath to the Brecks buildings wer known as Hilly Holey and a very popular spot in snowy weather – the villagers went there with their sleighs and hot soups.

Fellowes Road – by Mrs Robinson in 1989

The ground occupied by the Council Houses had originally been the village allotments. In 1950 there were 8 council houses there, occupied by – No 2 Mr & Mrs Wake; No 4 Mr & Mrs George Webb; No 6 Mr & Mrs Billy Hanwell; No 8 Mr & Mrs Fred Hemnall; No 10 Mr & Mrs  Curtis; No 12 Mr & Mrs Archie Simmonds.

On the other side of the road No 1 Mr & Mrs Norton (Mrs Norton was the District Nurse) and No 3  Mr & Mrs Rollo Smith ( Mrs Smith was Infant teacher at Honingham School).

The Wakes’ children were Gwen, Isobel, Rosemary and Richard.

The Webb’s, Aubrey and Brian.

The Hanwells Sidney, Jack and Dennis

The Hemnalls, Bob and Betty

The Curtis’s Sheila & David and ?. Also living there were Mr C’s father, who lived well into his 90’s, and Albert Tubby (son of Ernie Tubby, brother of Audrey, living with Mrs Spinks in Barrack Buildings)

The Simmonds later had twin boys and later still Gordon.

A pair of bungalows was added on each side of the road, into which the hanwells and Hemnalls moved on one side, and Mrs Edith Wright and her son Tom, and Mrs Mary Dack from the Buck moved into the other side.

Next two blocks of 3 bungalows were put up, the centre one being a one-bedroom one. Into these moved Mr & Mrs Wake, Mrs Jessie Palmer and Mr & Mrs Billie Palmer on one side, and Mrs Spinks and Mr Tubby, Mr Charles Barker and Mr & Mrs Spelman on the other.

Finally 4 bungalows were built to be occupied by Mr George Webb, Mr & Mrs Matless, Mr & Mrs Jenns, and Mr & Mrs Rackham.

Numerous changes have taken place over the years.

(many thanks to Bryan Webb who has corrected some of the above numbers. Bryan says he also remembers the allotments and large sand-pit which were there before Smith & Sons built the council houses)


Mrs Robinson’s history – Top of Colton Rd

On the left as you climb the hill, set back from the road, is a bungalow occupied in 1950 by Mr Lew Smith, his wife and his mother. The wife’s father had been a farmer at Hockering, for whom Lew worked. Mrs Smith, now widowed, was living there in 1989 with her sister.

(The bungalow is now named “Britons Grove”)

On the other side of the road is another bungalow, also set well back from the road,  where Mrs Haddon lived . The bungalow had been converted from her father’s (Fred Arthurton) slaughter house and in 1950 was occupied by Eric Arthurton and his wife Leila.

Eric eventually opened a Butcher shop in Lyng and moved there, when his sister and her husband Mr Haddon took it over.

Mrs Haddon sold the orchard in front of the bungalow for development, and a bungalow (“Iona”) was being built there in 1989.

Mrs Robinson’s history of “Breck View”, Colton Rd

Built by Mr Fred Arthurton for his retirement in what had been their garden.

On Fred’s death Mrs Arthurton moved out to live with her daughter Joan Rolph at School House, and the place was sold to Mr & Mrs eric Ball.

The old Telephone Exchange was in the brick building to the front and slightly to the side of the bungalow, and when the new exchange was built near the school, this was bought and incorporated into the Breck View property. Mr Ball, being a builder, used it for storage.

When Mr & Mrs Ball moved to Old Buckenham they sold it to Mr & Mrs Myhill – he was a painter & decorator. The old exchange was converted into stables.

In May 2016 we had this message about the bungalow…….We, Jeremy and Fiona Allen, purchased Breck View in September 1967 from Mrs Arthurton, after our marriage, and bought the old Telephone Exchange in the front garden shortly before selling the bungalow to Mr & Mrs Ball in December 1975.

Our daughter Louisa was born there in November 1972