Wymondham Heritage Museum will open for the new season showcasing the town's historic bell.

For more than two centuries the news was delivered to Wymondham by the town crier, who would ring his bell to announce public notices, sports results and local events.

Three generations of the same family carried out the role of town crier.

The first to bring the news to the town was 'bellman' Robert Harvey.

On his death, his son Jesse inherited the title. The tailor and father of 16 children held the office from 1853 until 1914 when he handed it to his son, also Jesse.

Jesse Junior, who was well known in the town, worked for brush makers S D Page for 57 years.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the town crier was silenced when the ringing of bells was banned.

He gave up the role in 1945.

After going out of use, the bronze bell was spotted in later years at an auction by a local antiques dealer.

Local residents Jill Clarke and Michael Armstrong bought the bell and presented it to Wymondham Heritage Museum.

The late Pete Green assumed the role of town crier and borrowed the bell from the museum.

Following his death in 2021, his family returned it and the bell will now be one of a number of new exhibits for the 2022 season, when the museum opens on April 4.

Wymondham Heritage Museum, which is entirely run by volunteers, is based in the ancient Bridewell. As well as a prison, it was once the town’s police station.

The new exhibition will also highlight a policeman’s lot in the past century.

Featured is PC Alfred Charles Newman who was on the town’s beat at the turn of the 1900s. He is reputed to have been issued with Norfolk Constabulary’s first bicycle.

The display is housed in a cell once used for offenders on remand.

And also on exhibition is the history of the town's Regal Cinema until its final closure in June 1993.

In the 1930s, Douglas Bostock purchased land off Friarscroft Lane in the town to build a cinema.

On March 18, 1937, the Regal Cinema opened showing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Swing Time.

Wymondham Heritage Museum opens daily from April 4 from 1pm to 4pm. For more information visit thewhm.org