Tag Archives: Norfolk Ramblers

Workshop at Norfolk Record Office

We were pleased to have been able to arrange a Workshop at the Norfolk Record Office at the end of last month.  The 18 people who attended were drawn from those who had registered an interest in researching paths to be claimed as rights of way before the infamous cut off for claims based on historical evidence on 1 January 2026.

The Workshop started with a brief introduction to the Record Office itself, but quickly moved to a slide show illustrating the types of records which might be most useful in our research.  (That presentation is available on request from ken-hawkins@tiscali.co.uk.)

After responding to questions, and having further information added by our own Ian Mitchell, we were taken to the public searchroom and shown how to order original documents. We then went into one of the strongrooms (to which the public is not normally admitted) to see where the documents are stored, before returning to The Green Room, where a range of relevant documents had been laid out for inspection.

That process also provided opportunity for a lot of detailed questions and exchange of views between small groups of individuals.

Our thanks go to Gary Tuson and his staff at the NRO for providing this session, and in particular to the Education and Outreach Team (Victoria Draper, Kären Gaffney and Claire Bolster) who arranged the workshop, looked after us so well on the day, and also provided the photographs reproduced here.

Boardwalk Improvement at Scarning Fen


On a fine but frosty day, Peter James was out once again, but this time without path cutting equipment.  Instead, he was geared up with generator, compressor and staple gun to renew 50 metres of decaying wire mesh on the boardwalk at Scarning Fen in Dereham (Footpath 14a).


Once the equipment had been carried on site (a small job in itself), Ken and Catherine Hawkins scraped off the old wire netting – and the frozen on leaves – and Peter followed up installing the new wire mesh.


It was gratifying that a number of people using the path stopped by to say ‘thank you’ for the work being done.  Four hours later, and the mesh was down and ready for use.


We’re always keen to get more volunteers for path clearance work, it’s good exercise, great for the local community and also fun! We have lots of equipment available to use, and we’re also keen to hear from anyone who has blocked paths near to where they live. Please do contact us (we love hearing from people!), our details are available at http://www.norfolkra.org.uk/.

New Bridge at Topcroft as Memorial for Sheila Smith

A new memorial bridge has been installed at Topcroft to replace the old damaged structure. The council have completed the work in the south Norfolk village following involvement from a Norfolk Ramblers group.

The bridge was identified by Sheila Smith as one which need replacing. She noticed that the bridge needed some work in one of the last walks she was to write for the EDP Norfolk Magazine. Although Sheila had contacted Norfolk County Council regarding the state of the bridge the work hadn’t been completed.

Sheila sadly died in September 2014 and at her funeral donations were collected for a project in her memory which would improve the public rights of way in Norfolk. Sheila was a tireless volunteer for Norfolk Ramblers and as a memorial Southern Norfolk Group members decided to use the monies raised to fund the new bridge. After some protracted discussions with the County Council the work was approved and the group has ensured that the work to replace the bridge was completed.

Southern Norfolk Ramblers will be holding a walk in memory of Sheila on Sunday 10 April 2016 when a plaque on the bridge will be unveiled.


02fp.2015.08.05.JStevens - looking to Hempnall side, SSmith project 010

The above photo shows the bridge before the work took place.

new bridge topcroft

The completed new bridge.