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Founder of 'incredible' archeological project nominated for Stars of Norfolk award

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 18:00 18 September 2019

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

Archant

The founder of a community project which has been entered multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Award has said he feels "very lucky" to be recognised.

The team who trekked through bad snowy conditions brought by the Beast from the East to respond to an emergency call in Chedgrave, win the Hospital/Ambulance Hero of the Year award at the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, presented by Peter Larke, centre, from the East of England Co-Op. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe team who trekked through bad snowy conditions brought by the Beast from the East to respond to an emergency call in Chedgrave, win the Hospital/Ambulance Hero of the Year award at the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, presented by Peter Larke, centre, from the East of England Co-Op. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Aylsham Roman Project has been entered for the Community Project of the Year Award for the team's efforts to share a north Norfolk site's archeological riches with members of the public.

And now, as the deadline for entering individuals and groups for the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards is approaching, founder Peter Purdy, whose family have lived on the 40 acre Woodgate Nursery site for 200 years, has shared his excitement at the group's nomination.

The project began when Mr Purdy, 55, first took a piece of pottery he had found at the site to the Castle Museum in Norwich - and was told it dated back to the Roman era.

Mr Purdy, who lives at the site with his wife and stepson, and owns Woodgate Nursery, said: "It's huge - a massive site. I've lived in this house all my life and had been walking around picking up bits of pottery for years."

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman ProjectThe north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

The project came together formally with a dig in 2016 after the community raised funds to start excavating the area.

READ MORE: Stars Awards organisers urge people to nominate as deadline gets closer

"We thought we'd get 20 people turn up but we had more than 100 that first week," Mr Purdy said.

"I couldn't believe it.

John Gordon-Saker, chief executive of the Open, speaks at the launch of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJohn Gordon-Saker, chief executive of the Open, speaks at the launch of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And since then the project has gone from strength to strength, with a three week dig held every August at the site which dates back to 1,000 BC up to present day.

"You find Roman activity but we've also found Saxon and Norman remains," he added.

And commenting on the award nominations, he said: "It's just an incredible thing and I'm very lucky to have it and to share it with the local community.

"At the current rate it will carry on for another 50 years - at least.

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman ProjectThe north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

"I'll be long gone but it's nice to know it will continue on.

"We all contribute to it and come together to raise the money.

"We have some very kind local people who give a huge amount each year to keep it going."

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards categories

The chatterbox Talking Newspaper team, winners of the Team of the Year award at the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, presented by Sarah Butikofer, left, and Nicholas Coppack, right, of the North Norfolk District Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe chatterbox Talking Newspaper team, winners of the Team of the Year award at the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, presented by Sarah Butikofer, left, and Nicholas Coppack, right, of the North Norfolk District Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, sponsored by Hopkins Homes, aim to recognise everyday heroes.

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This is your chance to nominate someone who deserves recognition for what they have achieved for you and/or the local community.

You can nominate as many times as you like and for more than one category.

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman ProjectThe north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

The categories are:

- Carer of the Year;

- Young Person of the Year;

- Sporting Achievement of the Year;

The north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman ProjectThe north Norfolk Aylsham Roman Project has been nominated multiple times for a Stars of Norfolk Community Group Award. Photo: Aylsham Roman Project

- Education Champion of the Year;

- Outstanding Bravery Act of the Year;

- NHS Person of the Year;

- Fire & Rescue Person of the Year;

- Police Person of the Year;

- Community Champion of the Year;

- Team/Community Group of the Year;

- Charity Fundraiser of the Year;

- Cultural/Arts Person of the Year;

- And Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year.

The deadline to enter groups or individuals into the awards is at midnight on Monday, November 30, and to make a nomination visit the OPEN Norwich nominations page.

- Or send your completed forms to EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney, c/o Jessica Frank-Keyes, EDP, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

READ MORE: Stars Awards organisers urge people to nominate as deadline gets closer

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