Town’s long tale explored in new website by children for children

An aerial photograph of Aylsham from 1932. Picture: COURTESY AYLSHAM TOWN ARCHIVE

An aerial photograph of Aylsham from 1932. Picture: COURTESY AYLSHAM TOWN ARCHIVE - Credit: Archant

The history of one of north Norfolk's oldest settlements is now the subject of a new website for the district's youngest residents.

Children from Bure Valley Junior School have completed the project with the Aylsham Heritage Centre, as part of an after-school club.

The website explores the town's history from its Roman and Anglo-Saxon beginnings to its historical railways, wherries and shops.

Jayne Andrew, learning officer at the heritage centre, said she and the children were delighted with their efforts.

She said: 'The idea came about because as we had more children visiting the centre with the guides and scouts, etcetera, and it became apparent that there was no information available to them which was written at their level or to engage them.

'So, we decided to rectify that situation by creating a number of resources for children - the first being the website.

'Thanks to some funding from the town's Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Trust, we were able to set up an after school club at Bure Valley Junior School to begin to create a site writing by children, for children.'

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A group of 11 children were chosen to work on the project, which started with an interactive game asking the children to use 'evidence' from the town's history to uncover the identity of a secret spy. Ms Andrew said: 'From this activity, which gave the children a broad overview of the history of the town, they selected the areas which they thought children would be most interested in.

'The children then worked in groups and took ownership of one area per group. Topics covered were wherries and the flood of 1912, north Norfolk supply stores, railways, school, and the cinema.

'They used information from the heritage centre, videos, oral history recordings and the texts already published about Aylsham to collect the information needed, and chose how to present this and what should be included.'

Ms Andrew said they were now seeking further funding to expand the site, involving different groups of children and covering different aspects of the town's history. They also producing a children's town heritage trail to accompany an existing version, with funding from Tesco Bags of Help scheme.

The website can be visited at