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Nostalgic East: Winding back the clock on another north Norfolk town

PUBLISHED: 10:07 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:28 26 March 2019

Aylsham Evening WI goes Hawaiian at the carnival in 1984. Photo: Archant Library

Aylsham Evening WI goes Hawaiian at the carnival in 1984. Photo: Archant Library

Archant

As part of a Nostalgic East series running in the Eastern Daily Press, REBECCA MACNAUGHTON looks back at days gone by in the north Norfolk town of Aylsham.

Aylsham, 8 November 1967. Photo: Archant LibraryAylsham, 8 November 1967. Photo: Archant Library

Just under 10 miles North of Norwich lies Aylsham, a quaint little town, perfect for escaping the noise and bustle of the city. 
Developing a growing reputation for commuter living, Aylsham blends the best of small village England with a perfect location for surrounding area 
travel.

Aylsham has seen a wide variety of produce and materials manufactured in the area throughout history.

In medieval times it was famed 
for cloth production, before shifting to linen in the 15th century. Aylsham’s linen became a nationally known and beloved product.

But linen manufacturing declined in the 16th century, and so production in Aylsham shifted again – this time to wool. The Industrial Revolution brought great change to the whole country and Aylsham was no different. In the 19th century, the principal trade of the town became grain and timber.

Aylsham Water Mill beside the River Bure,  9 June 1954. Photo: Archant LibraryAylsham Water Mill beside the River Bure, 9 June 1954. Photo: Archant Library

Various scenes here show what life was like in Aylsham. Its water mill was of vital importance to production in the area.

As for the Aylsham market, it’s been a staple of the town since at least the 13th century and continues to this day. Interestingly, the rights of stallholders in the market place today date back to rights that were established in medieval times.

Did you know?

Aylsham has a history of being green, including becoming Norfolk’s first plastic-bag-free town in 2008.

Aylsham Nurses presentation, 7 June 1967. Photo: Archant LibraryAylsham Nurses presentation, 7 June 1967. Photo: Archant Library

Following this, a new Tesco’s store that claimed to be the “greenest in the world” opened in the town in the same year.

MORE: Through the years: Some nostalgic pics of a charming north Norfolk town.

Shopping street in Aylsham, April 1963. Photo: Archant LibraryShopping street in Aylsham, April 1963. Photo: Archant Library

A view of Aylsham church, 20 May 1958. Photo: Archant LibraryA view of Aylsham church, 20 May 1958. Photo: Archant Library

Two youngsters plough their way through swirling flood water at Millgate, Aylsham, 27 April 1981. Photo: Archant LibraryTwo youngsters plough their way through swirling flood water at Millgate, Aylsham, 27 April 1981. Photo: Archant Library

Competitors running through Aylsham, past the Black Boys Pub,which is the half-way mark of the full Norfolk Marathon, 6 May 1984. Photo: Archant LibraryCompetitors running through Aylsham, past the Black Boys Pub,which is the half-way mark of the full Norfolk Marathon, 6 May 1984. Photo: Archant Library

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