Please note: The book publishers & ISBN numbers are taken from the books in my collection, and the books may now be available from different publishers with new ISBN numbers. Likewise, cover illustrations may vary with reprints, and publishers may be different in other parts of the world.
A Broads-eye View
by Mike Page
Hardback, 128 pages, 112 colour photos
Published 2005 by Halsgrove
Mike Page's photographs are already well known to readers of the Eastern Daily Press as they often accompany news items as well as the special supplements of his photographs. A Norfolk man in semi-retirement, he combines his two hobbies- flying and photography - to capture stunning views of Norfolk from the air.
In this, his first book (with many more to come we hope), he follows the course of the seven rivers that flow through the Broads to the sea. With stunning photographs we pass over town, village and countryside to the open spaces of the broads themselves.
While the landscape may be well known to us at ground level, to see it from the air expands our knowledge and appreciation of the area.
At the time of the War of the Roses, a Norfolk family rose from the peasantry to the aristocracy within just two generations. That family was the Pastons.
The Paston Letters are unique in that they are the earliest great collection of private correspondence in the English language. They give a glimpse into the private and public lives of a family at one of the most turbulant times in Englands history.
Helen Castor is a Fellow in History at Sidney College, Cambridge. In this book she goes behind the famous letters and legal documents to present a dramatic, moving, often funny and always human story of the Paston family across three generations.
In 1996 a chance discovery led Derek Bickford Smith to embark on a quest to find the communities around the world named after the original Norfolk and Norwich, and to initiate The Norfolk and Norwich World Family organisation.
Through map research, letters, and web searches he found many, and set off on several journeys around the world to visit as many of them as he could.
This book is more than just a catalogue of places found. Along with the records of the communities - profusely illustrated with photographs maps and histories, are memories of his visits and the people he met, and reports on the first two 'World Gatherings'.
The journey is still on-going, and the book includes several communities recently discovered that have yet to be explored.
This series has become THE reference on English architecture. Since Sir Nikolaus's passing, Bill Wilson has taken on the daunting job producing a second edition, which has been updated with the new developments and the latest discoveries about the older buildings.
Bill Wilson's knowledge of Norfolk's buildings comes from 15 years of studying the great heritage we have here in Norfolk, not only for this book, but also for the Department of the Enviroment, English Heritage & the National Trust.
A large 160 page introduction provides an overall view of Norfolk's architecture and development through the ages before we get to the book proper, which goes alphabetically through the many towns and villages.
Details of everything of significance are included, from the cathedrals to the village churches, from the stately homes to the village pub, farms & barns and even unexcavated barrows. There are also street maps of the towns and major villages, plus walks around the areas of interest.
From the fens to the sandy heaths and the old forests, Norfolk has a wide variety of habitats for wildlife and wild flowers, many unique to the area. There is such a range of plants that while many of us know the common ones, there are many that although we may be familiar with them we have no idea of their names.
While there are 'spotters guides' to the more common wild flowers that cover the whole country, what is needed by the ordinary countryside visitor is a good book on Norfolk (or East Anglia's) wild flowers. Unfortunately, despite being a really beautifully produced book, this is not it.
This is a reference book for botanists, a collection of data on 2400 plants, when they were last seen and where, and as such is probably the definitive reference.
Just after the First World War Mr FL Wills founded Aerofilms, the first aerial photographic business in the UK. With a converted De Havilland DH9 biplane, photographic sorties were flown all over the country. Over the years the company has built up a collection of over 2 million photographs, and is today working on a complete photographic map of England. The changing landscape, the towns and villages, the waterways and broads, and along the coast, here is a collection of photographs that truly live up to the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". The accompanying text sets the scene for each photograph and also provides historical background.
Books about Norfolk generally concentrate on the larger issues and the towns, so this contribution by the Norfolk Federation of Women's Institutes nicely fills a gap in our historical records.
With contributions from all the WI's (about 200 of them) the information has to be limited in a 256 page book, but there are many snippets of history and memories of times past, taht make enjoyable reading.
The landscape of Norfolk is continually changing. New roads bypassing the villages. The villages themselves expanding out of all recognition. And of course, nature itself which is continually changing the coastline. Even for us that live in Norfolk, it is sometimes difficult to remember the way things were. This map takes us back to a time none of us can remember. The time before the Acle Straight was built, and when Sprowston was just a few houses.
Produced 10 years before the first Ordnance Survey map at a scale of 10 miles to 12¼ inches, this historical reference is for everyone interested in how the Norfolk landscape has changed over the years.
This Francis Frith book contains sepia photographs of over 20 towns and villages around Norfolk, the photographs dating from the mid 19th century thro' to the 1960's.
The photographs include the Custom House in Kings Lynn with boats on the Purfleet, the fishermen of Sheringham, the cornfields of Coltishall, and the herring fleet setting sail from Gorleston.
Frith Publishing is continually issuing new variations of these books.
East Dereham has very ancient roots. Although the story of St Withburga depicted on the town sign may be more legend than fact, it embodies the true origin of the town in a monastic foundation established by that pious Saxon princess. The town slowly grew over the years, but significant change had to await the coming of the railway in the mid-19th century, when local industries were established, so that the population doubled by the end of the century. It has more than doubled again since then and the bright, bustling modern town continues to expand, providing few hints of its ancient roots. The more a place changes, the more interested we become to know how and what it used to be - and the author's very readable account of Dereham's past will fascinate the modern resident as well as adding significantly to the published history of the area.