Martham Stories
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Martham stories presentation

Over two hundred people gathered in the hall at Flegg High School for the première of Martham Stories on Friday 24th May 2013. Refreshments, supplied by the school, were consumed, photos taken, speeches made.  Then came the main event: an eighty-five minute film of interviews, animation, photographs and local scenes, all of such quality that time flew by.  The students displayed high levels of creative and technical ability, whilst their subjects, Martham residents over the last eighty years, were relaxed, vocal and clearly having the time of their lives.  To see the stories on YouTube please click here.

Some of the stories were informative, tracing Martham's earliest history through archaeology, mapping and metal detecting.  Others were personally more serious - especially those about the war years.  The death of a childhood friend in a bombing raid; a lucky near-miss during a strafing; coping with evacuees and with food rationing; the wartime mystery that is Heigham Holmes.  We heard how shops and businesses have changed over the years, especially the impact of the 1950s closure of the railway.

How different everyday life was in the mid 20th Century:  teachers with canes; dancing lessons in the meadow by the school; children with the freedom to roam and to enjoy the river and the countryside; mass football on The Green.  Childhood pranks and adventures were retold and received with laughter and applause.  There were murmurs of recognition, asides and comments from the audience. And afterwards, everyone had enjoyed the evening.


The students were presented individually to the audience, each receiving their copy of the DVD. They spoke of all they had learned, how good it was to meet with the people who are part of their own history, how the experience may affect their own futures.  One or two hope for front-line roles in the media.  The roar of approval this received from their peers, their teachers and their audience  can lead us to  only one conclusion  -  watch this space.

Noel Mitchell


From Broadland Memories blog (an independent report):

Posted on Monday 22nd April, 2013 by broadlandmemories

During one of my recent weekly browsing sessions of the latest Norfolk Broads related uploads to YouTube, I came across a delightful set of films about the history of Martham which I thought I’d share on here.

Martham Stories is a community led local history project which was funded with an All Our Stories Heritage Lottery Fund grant and is a wonderful example of preservation of the region’s heritage. The set of films cover various aspects of the village’s history through the use of old photos, animation and, most importantly, the memories of people who have lived in the village for a number of years. The interviews featured are just fascinating – this is something that every village and town, up and down the UK should be doing! Below is the “War Years” from Martham Stories – other films from the collection include Village Shops, Fire and Flood, Railway Memories, and an interesting piece on the secret WW2 airfield on Heigham Holmes from which Lysander aircraft were said to have flown Special Operations Executives to and from Europe. The full collection can be viewed here:

 Martham Stories on YouTube.

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                school assembly

(Above: The presentation of Martham Stories)
(Below: Interviewer and young people)

Interviewer and children

(Below: Group of researchers/interviewers)

                of researchers/interviewers

(Below: group of participants)