Why I love Norfolk: Jane Crockett

Jane Crockett

Jane Crockett - Credit: Jane Crockett


I was born in Harleston and one of my earliest memories is of climbing up onto a stool and opening the front room window to lean out to watch trains arriving and departing from the station a few hundred yards away. Once I leaned out too far and was suspended from the window catch by my dress! When my grandfather retired we moved just over the border to live on the family farm in Suffolk and I seem to have spent my life border-hopping between our beautiful counties. 


Having lived in Wymondham since marrying Chris in 1977 it has to be Wymondham Abbey. What an awe-inspiring building it is with its two distinctive towers being visible from all directions. I love to walk along Chapel Lane towards town to look across the Tiffey Valley towards the Abbey especially on autumnal mornings when the mist hangs low on the marshes. 


We have mostly stayed away from the coast this summer preferring to avoid traffic jams and crowds but when we have ventured out we have often found almost deserted beaches. My favourite coast trip this year was a day spent in Walcott with my daughter where we enjoyed the azure blue sea and sky and acres of pristine soft sand while soaking up a bit of vitamin D.

Town, city or villag

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We loved taking our two children to Castle Acre when they were youngsters and had many happy days exploring the priory ruins and castle grounds and enjoying lunch at the Ostrich. More recently my daughter and I have attended yoga retreats at The Old Red Lion and between yoga and meditation sessions we took time to walk by the river, revisit the priory and castle and appreciate the restful spirituality that seems to surround the whole of Castle Acre.

Place to eat

For many years I have enjoyed visits to the Mulberry Tree in Attleborough and more recently have found the Queen’s Head in Wymondham equally excellent. The connection is Head Chef Haydn Buxton who spent many years at the Mulberry Tree but who now works at the Queen’s Head. Both venues have welcoming and friendly staff, great food and ambience. I like the way both buildings are divided into various sections so there is always a cosy nook or more open space to dine depending on the mood. 


The Green Dragon in Wymondham where the Guinness is always good and the surroundings full of historical interest.

Attraction or day out

My first job was in the vice-chancellor’s office at UEA - at that time in Earlham Hall. Summer lunchtimes were spent in the gardens watching the resident peacocks. A favourite day out now would be a long walk in the grounds of UEA and Earlham Park with coffee or lunch in the Sainsbury Centre including a look at the exhibitions.

Thing that happens every year

For many years I have run a stall at an annual festive fair in Norwich to raise awareness of, and funds for, Keeping Abreast. There is always an impressive array of stalls selling locally-produced festive food, handicrafts and gifts and our tombola and used books stall is always very popular. This year's Festive Fair at the Forum is from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 November  and entry is free. So many people have been affected by breast cancer and our volunteers are always happy to chat about our charity and the work we do.


There are so many wonderful independent shops in Wymondham that it is difficult to select just one but Reeves is a favourite. As well as stationery and art and craft supplies you can buy jewellery and china gifts and my grandson loves choosing a game or puzzle made by Orchard Toys of Wymondham.


Am I allowed to hop a very short distance over the border to Fen Farm Dairy at Flixton and their oozy and smelly Baron Bigod brie-style cheese? As a small child I enjoyed milk and butter produced by our cows and Fen Farm’s produce takes me back to those carefree early days.

Jane Crockett, of Wymondham, is a volunteer with the breast cancer charity Keeping Abreast Breast Cancer Reconstruction Support. She arranges support group meetings in Norwich and outreach support in Wymondham to women considering or undergoing breast reconstruction and organises fundraising and awareness events. Visit keepingabreast.org.uk for details of support groups 

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