Forncett History Group

Puzzle for the FHG

Written by John Webster on .

At the latest meeting of the Forncett History Group an item noted on Ebay generated a great deal of discussion. The postcard – acquired in the end by another party unknown to us – showed a young man with a pony and cart/trap.


Click pic to enlarge

Closer analysis of the image showed the name ‘J. HUMPHREYS’ to be on the side of the trap. The Chairman then explained how Dennis Ludkin had been quite challenged by this and set about comparing older larger scale maps to see if a similar range of buildings to that on the photo could be found. Dennis had pinpointed a small group near Chestnut Farm as being comparable. Discussion then turned on the shape of the buildings and established that the building in the foreground might well be separate from the main range, which would correspond with the representation on one of the maps (see detail of map of 1906). One would have to bear in mind that the angle and direction of the photo would mean that Chestnut Cottage was obscured by the other buildings.

Thanks to the detective work of Dennis L. and useful discussion at the FHG it would seem that the location has been reasonably established. We still do not know for certain who the young man is and why he was photographed at this place. James (‘Jimmy’) HUMPHREYS was the baker at Forncett End at Harley House. With evidence from copied documents referred to by the Chairman it was shown that J.H. had fallen on hard times and by 1924 was declared bankrupt. It was pointed out that his fate reflected the social problems of the times. His assets included various fixtures and fittings and ‘pony, cart and harness’, valued at £25.

Visit to Devlin & Plummer Stained Glass

Written by Richard Ball on .

On Wednesday 15th June the Forncett History Group visited the Stained Glass Works of Devlin and Plummer in Great Moulton who recently restored two windows in St Edmund's Church, Forncett End.

The group was shown round by Terry Devlin who explained the numerous processes in detail while we interrupted the work of the various people then engaged in the workshop - and very friendly and patient they all were.

A very interesting visit indeed. Many thanks to Terry and his co-workers for their time and to John Webster for organising it. 

Photos by Richard Ball

Click pic for slide show

Forncett War Memorials - an update

Written by Jackie Scully on .

I now have information regarding Edwin Charles Gostling and have details of his memorial.

I have been given a photograph of Ernest Pymer and now know why George Henry Thomson is buried in Forncett churchyard. My correspondent was unable to supply a photograph of George Thomson. Maybe a Scottish descendant knows of him? His father was William B. Thomson, his mother Elizabeth H. Thomson and they lived in Dalry, Kircudbright.

My thanks go to relatives of these men who took the trouble to contact me and for supplying me with information.

I am still seeking photographs of WW1 victim Walter Ernest Brooks, and Thomas Edward Green and Roy Arthur Tann from WW11.

Many thanks for help already given and that to come. .

Jackie Scully
April 2012

Great Hospital Visit - 25 January 2012

Written by Super User on .

Great Hospital_25_01_12_(17)_(Medium) (1)Forncett History Group members were invited to take part in a guided tour of the Great Hospital in Norwich. This was a wonderful opportunity to explore this building, that has such a long history and is rarely open to the public.

The hospital was first founded by Bishop Walter de Suffield in 1249 for the housing of elderly, poor priests, the sick and infirm and for the education of 7 boys in Latin. No women were allowed, except for nurses who had to be over 50 years of age. By the end of the 14th Century the building had been taken over and its remit changed to purely the care of priests; the poor were no longer considered. During this period much new building took place.

Norwich Walk - Weavers and Shoemakers

Written by Jan Rutter on .

Colegate, Cloth Merchan'ts HouseOn Thursday 13th October a group of about a dozen Forncett HIistory Group members and friends met at the Erpingham Gate of Norwich Cathedral for a guided tour around the area, where weavers and textile workers of the past had plied their trade.

Our excellent guide for the event was Rod Spokes, who delivered a very interesting and informative talk and commentary, skilfully guiding us around many ‘nooks and crannies’ in the streets and courtyards around the Colegate area. One particularly surprising place was ‘Whip and Nag Court’, a quaint, council restored courtyard such as would have been seen in many areas around central Norwich.

Previous Meetings

Written by Super User on .

The Forncett History Group met on 15 June at Forncett St Edmund’s. The officers were confirmed for the coming year, as was the agreement to have an annual £10 membership subscription. Reports were given on the two recent visits by members of the group.

On 13 May a small group visited the Landscape Archaeology Unit at Gressenhall Museum, where Dr Alice Cattermole had made an interesting selection of aerial photographs of Forncett to back up her talk about the continually developing record of the local landscape in former times. The facility at the LAU has improved noticeably since our last visit; the computerized database is more impressive and also viewable by projection, with various overlays and comparisons possible from a variety of mapping records – tithing and Ordnance Survey maps of various types. These are then used with data relating to buildings and archaeological features to establish ‘snapshots’ of the landscape at various times. Thanks to Alice’s local knowledge and expertise we gained a great deal from the visit and are certainly keen to visit again. It was pointed out that input from Forncett folk would be much appreciated to add to the information already on file. In fact a member brought a number of items found in their house, and these are at present being analysed at the LAU.

Forncett St.Peter War Memorial

Written by Jackie Scully on .

1939-1945I am researching into the backgrounds of the soldiers named on St. Peter’s War Memorial. (St.Mary’s was completed by Raymond Harvey in 2004). I now have much information, and have found photographs of 17 of the 21 WW1 soldiers on these Memorials.

I am therefore trying to trace photographs of:

Edwin Charles Gostling, who almost certainly lived in Bentley Road, Forncett End, and whose family lived in the same house until the mid 1990s. So far I have been unable to find any details of a memorial or grave save he died of wounds in Flanders, France.

Ernest Pymer, son of Mr. & Mrs Pymer of Long Stratton, and husband of Dorothy Pymer, living in Tabernacle Lane, also Forncett End.