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Don’t panic! Mystery surrounds ‘gun’ discovered on derelict pillbox

PUBLISHED: 22:58 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:47 24 February 2020

The photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin Appleton

The photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin Appleton

Archant

An unusual sculpture with a nod to Norfolk’s military heritage has set tongues wagging after a photo of it was shared with thousands of photography enthusiasts.

The photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin AppletonThe photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin Appleton

The metal sniper-style gun rests on top of an abandoned, semi-derelict pillbox on the outskirts of the north Norfolk village of Burnham Market, between Wells and Hunstanton.

The photo of the sculpture, based at the junction of Church Walk and the B1155, was shared with more than 6,000 followers on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook by member Kevin Appleton.

He said: "Normal for Norfolk? There we were driving down a quiet back road in north Norfolk when we came across this!"

His pictures have attracted a lot of comments from other members joking that it was put there to "scare people away".

The photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin AppletonThe photo of the 'sniper gun' sculpture at Burnham Market has been shared on the Norfolk Countryside Photos (NCP) group on Facebook. Picture: Kevin Appleton

Mr Appleton added: "I know nothing more than that. We were simply on a back road 'following our noses' when we came across it at a junction on the outskirts of Burnham Market."

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One of the commenters, Daniel Burrows, said: "It's not real. Just a few bits of scrap metal welded together. Great idea whoever thought of it."

Joanne Sclater said there were "quite a few [pillboxes] dotted around in Norfolk" including one at Brandon, next to The Ram Pub.

Burnham Market resident and blogger Rebecca Fisher, also known as The Coastal Mummy, said: "I have no idea where it came from and that's about it. It just appeared one day."

And Nobby Clark, a member of the Norfolk Military Vehicle Group, explained that the style of the gun is a rough reconstruction of a USA 30/50 cal mg.

Mr Clark also helped to produce a First World War trail and leaflet with North Norfolk District Council and has been involved with more than 40 events in the past year including Armed Forces Day and the 1940s weekend at Sheringham.

This particular pillbox is from the Second World War and is a common type 22, dating back to 1940.

Although it is known when the pillbox was built, it still remains unclear when the gun appeared on the top, or who put it there.

- Do you know where it came from? Email reporter Donna-Louise Bishop at donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk.

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