Search

Sunny start to new season at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

18:31 11 March 2012

Team Panhard at Gressenhall have restored a Panhard et Levassor, that was built in 1899 for Charles Royce, to full working order. Driving is chief engineer Ken Hilton with Vivien Waltham. Picture: Ian Burt

Team Panhard at Gressenhall have restored a Panhard et Levassor, that was built in 1899 for Charles Royce, to full working order. Driving is chief engineer Ken Hilton with Vivien Waltham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Excitement was expressed about a popular Norfolk tourist attraction’s new season which kicked off today, but concerns still remain about plans for a £150,000 education centre at the venue.

Phil Jones, duty manager at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, near Dereham, said there was a “fantastic” turn-out of people for the attraction’s opening day activities, which focused on a celebration of engineering.

Mr Jones also explained that work was being done to alleviate people’s concerns about plans to build the environmentally-friendly education base on the site.

Norfolk County Council, which runs the museum, has applied for planning permission for the glass-fronted building which would house three toilets, two stores, a staff refreshment area and a reception space to be used for meetings, exhibitions and teaching.

Local parish councillors have expressed opposition.

Beetley parish clerk Bryan Leigh said: “It is not the right type of building in that location next to the old workhouse. It is not in keeping.”

Mr Leigh said the council understood the project would cost between £150,000 and £200,000.

He said: “In the current economic climate that does not seem to be justified.”

Gressenhall Parish Council chairman Anton Crisp said: “It is a futuristic design and does not fit in with the 200-year-old building.

“Architecturally it would be a blot on the landscape and morally spending that amount of money in times of austerity seems wrong.”

Mr Jones said: “We have worked with the planners many times and have done the best that we can to overcome the objections and to take everyone’s views on board.

“We have tried very hard to cover all of the comments we’ve received and the matter is now with the planners.”

At today’s opening day visitors viewed an 1899 Panhard et Levassor, which was originally owned by Charles Rolls, co-founder of Rolls Royce, and is kept at Gressenhall, and met the team of volunteers who keep the vehicle in working order.

Gressenhall’s coal-fired Garrett boiler was steamed up and stationary engines were run throughout the day.

People also took the opportunity to make their own rockets and enjoyed the surroundings of the historic workhouse, woodland playground and traditional farm.

Mr Jones said: “The sun has been shining and there has been a fantastic turn-out of people enjoying themselves.”

Like many Norfolk tourist attractions, it is hoped that Gressenhall will reap the benefits of the worldwide audience flocking to London for the 2012 Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The “staycation” factor is also expected to have an impact, with many people opting for holidays at home rather than abroad, due to the tough financial climate.

Mr Jones said: “We had very good visitor numbers last year and we are hoping for another big year this year.

We’ve got a new souvenir shop and there will be loads of activities going on over the coming months.”

0 comments

Other news

Yesterday, 17:34
The Community Hero takes the ball onto the pitch before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich.  Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

A life-long Norwich City fan’s dream came true when he got the chance to follow his heroes’ footsteps onto the hallowed turf at Carrow Road ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
John Cheketts with one of the wardens' new radios.

Flood wardens in Wells took to the streets today try out new equipment.

Sunday, March 1, 2015
Brian Sayer with his J69 engine at the exhibition. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The show, which was the first to be organised by the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, filled the venue with layouts of all shapes and sizes and stalls selling second hand trains and other essentials.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Norman Lamb MP visited Alderman Peel High School in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

Education chiefs have agreed to fund a therapist for children suffering mental health problems at a north Norfolk high school, while money from the government’s pupil premium is increasing opportunities for those from poorer backgrounds.

Most Read

Yesterday, 17:34
The Community Hero takes the ball onto the pitch before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwich.  Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

A life-long Norwich City fan’s dream came true when he got the chance to follow his heroes’ footsteps onto the hallowed turf at Carrow Road ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Read more
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The funeral procession of 16 year old Ellie Loades makes its way through Colkirk - Ellie's coffin covered in photos of her, is carried into the church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The life of a brave young girl who touched so many people’s hearts has been celebrated.

Read more
Monday, February 23, 2015
The Quay at Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

A man, now believed to be middle-aged, died after falling into the harbour on Sunday morning.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015
Police would like to speak to this man about the theft of alcohol from Morrisons in Fakenham.

They’ve released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the theft of alcohol from a supermarket in the town.

Read more
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The empty shops in Bridge Street, Fakenham, where Costa hopes to open

A national coffee chain has been given the go-ahead to open a store in Fakenham, bringing two empty shops back into use.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 2°C

min temp: 2°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition