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Barford goes back to the First World War for history weekend

15:16 16 September 2014

The village of Barford and it

The village of Barford and it's residents put on a vintage weekend. The big breakfast team cook butties for visitors. L-r Trevis Chiles, Carol Chiles, Chris Whiting, Dorothy Bailey, John Bailey. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Archant norfolk

A Norfolk village took a step back in time to the First World War as part of a historical weekend.

The village of Barford and it's residents put on a vintage weekend. Richard King sits in a shepherd's hut owned and restored by Ian McDonaldThe village of Barford and it's residents put on a vintage weekend. Richard King sits in a shepherd's hut owned and restored by Ian McDonald

Barford joined forces with nine surrounding villages and towns along the Yare and Tiffey valleys - including Wymondham, for the event to mark the centenary of the conflict’s outbreak.

The Cock Inn became a recruiting station for the weekend, while the village hall became a vintage tearoom.

St Botolph’s Church hosted displays revealing the stories behind the names on the village war memorials, while archive films were shown throughout the village.

Ian MacDonald, chairman of Barford History and Community Group, which organised the event’s focus on the impact of the First World War on rural life had made it unique.

The village of Barford and it's residents put on a vintage weekend. Recruiting Sgt for Royal Norfolk regiment Mark Taylor.
Picture by: Sonya DuncanThe village of Barford and it's residents put on a vintage weekend. Recruiting Sgt for Royal Norfolk regiment Mark Taylor. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

“What we’ve done different to most other events is that we’ve gone out to tell the story of the impact on the rural community,” he said.

“Lots of people know about the dreadful bombings on Great Yarmouth and other places but not many people realise the impact on the rural community.

“For example, land was requisitioned for airfields and men had to go out to the front. Some troops even had to return from the front towards the end of the war to ensure crops could be brought in.

“It is the forgotten story.”

The villages of Barnham Broom, Bawburgh, Marlingford, Mattishall, Whinburgh, Westfield and Wramplingham also took part in the free event.

How is your community marking the centenary of the First World War? Tell the Mercury by calling 01379 651153 or email dma.news@archant.co.uk

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