A 1000 Year Old Town – A quick word on how the poems ‘Tiffey’, ‘Oak Tree’ and ‘The Abbey’ were inspired by a historic town.

Wymondham has a history of rebellion, this idea of justice and equality seems to have permeated the generations and is still very much alive today. The threat of expansion beyond what the town’s infrastructure can cope with and the loss of green land has activated a ‘Ketts Rebellion’ reaction in many residents who have spoken up and rallied to defeat the plans for expansion.

A great example of this defiance came about recently, when a much-loved playscape came under threat. The buzz of discontent led to a well documented sit-in at King’s Head Meadow to prevent contractors removing play equipment. Parents, grand parents and children all pulled together to successfully hold off the Council. Shopkeepers supplied refreshments and locals spread the word. A community proclaiming ‘No!’ in one voice- there’s some strength in that.

A brush, a yarn, a mill. Spooner Row and Damgate Street are examples of how Wymondham’s industrial past are alive and present in the daily lives of residents. A settlement adapting and expanding for over 1000 years, I have discovered a couple of booklets which explore and document some of the changes Wymondham has experienced. I found them really interesting reading, especially ‘Looking Back at Damgate’ by Anne & Adrian Hoare. The photos and the accompanying stories of real people, families and events make it a captivating insight. ‘Wymondham in the Seventeenth Century’ is another reference point for the residents, trades and events of a time long past. This booklet doesn’t have photos, some sketches accompany quite detailed facts and geography, handy to dip into but not quite so captivating.

June has been the month of Wymondham for me, I’ve really enjoyed looking under the surface of a town with so much to give. I’m sure I’ll come back to writing about it again, but as July approaches it is time for a change. 

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