North Norfolk Stories


North Norfolk Stories Festival

In 2015 and 2016 we ran this project to put on an annual, large-scale and free Museums at Night event in North Norfolk. It was funded with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Almost 4,ooo people attended festival events.

Norfolk Record Office and the School Library Service worked together to deliver workshops to schools from north Norfolk. Eight schools visited the Record Office and took part in education activites at Felbrigg Hall.

Twenty Young Ambassadors helped to deliver the project. These volunteers created a touring exhibition, collected and transcribed oral histories and worked on all the festival events.

We were able to employ two of the Young Amabassadors towards the end of the project, giving a great boost to their career development.

Twenty oral histories were recorded, covering a wide range of people’s stories and personal experiences, including life in North Norfolk and the experiences of eight former RNLI servicemen. The RNLI are now looking to hold reminiscence and oral history sessions for former crew more regularly.

Nine reminscence kits were created on a range of subjects related to the area, such as domestic life in North Norfolk, seaside holidays, memories of the Broads and railway heritage. One pack about North Norfolk’s cinema heritage was created in partnership with Cinema City, Norwich. The reminiscence kits are now available for the public to borrow at each of the eight North Norfolk Libraries that participated in the project.

Ten local history resource packs were created by the Education Team at Norfolk Record Office. These help people learn about the history of ten North Norfolk towns and villages through archives such as census records, images and maps.

Five libraries delivered 36 shared reading sessions. Participants said that they learnt new information, including that relating to Norfolk, had an enjoyable experience and appreciated the opportunity to socialise, which is likely to have impacted positively on their sense of wellbeing.

Young Ambassadors, volunteers and staff of participating organisations benefitted from eleven training sessions, delivered by professional experts, in historical research, oral history, marketing, customer service, income generation, event management and event creation and planning.


Local history packs

Local history packs have been produced with resources about Cromer, Fakenham, Holt, Langham, Mundesley, Neatishead, North Walsham, Sheringham, Stalham, Wells.

They contain sources from the 1840s to the 1940s, including census returns, maps, photographs, trade directories and school log books. Every effort has been made to enable comparative study, especially between the 1850s and 1900s, using the same and different kinds of source material.

The packs have been produced by Norfolk Record Office’s Archive Education and Outreach Service.

You can view copies of the packs at North Norfolk Libraries – each library holds the pack about the town or village where they are located.

Oral histories

Our team of volunteer young ambassadors collected 20 oral history interviews with older people in North Norfolk. The interviews cover a wide range of subjects, including holidays, life in North Norfolk, and experiences of volunteering for the RNLI in Cromer. All the interviews are deposited at the Norfolk Sound Archive at the Norfolk Record Office in Norwich. For more information, please contact the Record Office on 01603 222999 or email putting ‘Sound Archive’ in the heading.

Reminiscence kits

We created nine reminiscence kits about a range of topics, including domestic life, shopping, holidays and railway history. The packs can be borrowed for free from Norfolk Library Service.

‘Holidays by the Sea’ touring exhibition

Our team of volunteer young ambassadors (aged 16-25) researched and created a pop-up touring exhibition about the history of tourism in North Norfolk from the 19th – 21st century. The exhibition, which comes on five free-standing grasshopper panels, is available to loan from Museums Norfolk.


North Norfolk Stories Project Partners

  • Cromer Library
  • Cromer Museum
  • Fakenham Library
  • Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History
  • Fishermen’s Heritage Centre, Sheringham
  • Holt Library
  • Langham Dome
  • Museum of the Broads, Stalham
  • Mundesley Library
  • Norfolk Record Office
  • North Norfolk Railway, Holt & Sheringham
  • North Walsham Library
  • Peter Coke Shell Gallery
  • RAF Air Defence Radar Museum
  • Sheringham Library
  • Sheringham Little Theatre
  • Sheringham Park
  • Stalham Library
  • RNLI Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer
  • Wells Library
  • Wells Maltings