This study of North Walsham in the Nineteenth Century continues the history of North Walsham that begun in NORTH WALSHAM IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY which was produced by the North Walsham Branch of the Workers' Educational Association in 1983.
The book results from work begun by a class tutorial by Pam Warren in the summer of 1988 which was followed by another class in 1989 and a further one in 1990 which was also tutored by Pam and sponsored jointly by the North Walsham Branch of WEA and the University of Cambridge Board of Extra-Mural Studies (now the Board of Continuing Education).
From these courses a small group of enthusiastic students was guided by Pam in writing this study and they have spent much time researching the events of the last century in and around North Walsham.
The wide range of contents and the references to the sources used speak for themselves as to the amount of effort that the team of researchers under Pam's guidance have put into their work.
No two places have the same history and it is only as more and more local histories are written that we gradually get a clearer picture of what a particular period in history was like. The food given to the inmates of North Walsham's workhouse was not exactly like that given to inmates in other parts of the country; the reaction of North Walsham agricultural labourers to severe agricultural crises were as particular as were those of local landlords such as Lord Suffield. How did a member of the local gentry, such as Mildred Duff become a dedicated worker in the Salvation Army and how many foundries specialised to serve local arable agriculture in the inventive way that George Cubitt and the Randells did? It is only when a town is looked at in this detail that a true picture of a place and its people at a particular time comes to light.
The collective group of authors, their tutor/editor and the North Walsham Branch of the WEA are to be congratulated on having produced this interesting new volume.
Christopher Barringer. Director of Extra-Mural Studies, University of East Anglia.