New book recalls village history

VANISHED views and changed landscapes, departed characters and a way of life now gone, are captured in a new book celebrating two villages.While the limited edition looks back at the past and rich history of the communities, proceeds from its sale are for the future – to help modernise its much-loved Methodist chapel.

VANISHED views and changed landscapes, departed characters and a way of life now gone, are captured in a new book celebrating two villages.

While the limited edition looks back at the past and rich history of the communities, proceeds from its sale are for the future – to help modernise its much-loved Methodist chapel.

Kirton and Falkenham From Old Photographs has been compiled by Les Leggett, Len Lanigan and Helen Harrison, and already more than half the 700 copies have been sold.

Mr Lanigan, Kirton history recorder, had collected images of the village for many years, as had Mr Leggett, and between the three authors they had a sizeable collection of old photographs.

But an appeal for villagers to search their attics and drawers yielded 100 pictures they had never seen before.

"In the end we had as many as 300 photos but we could only choose 125 for the book," said Mr Lanigan.

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"It was very difficult to choose which ones would go in and which ones would miss out. They are all old photos and we have not used modern ones – all black and white originals.

"I think people will be delighted with some of the ones they see, although we have already been told off for not including photos of some people, even though we didn't have pictures of them!

"It is important that people keep old photos and I am always delighted to receive them to ensure they are kept safe for the future. I always ask that people record on the back where and when they were taken, and details of what they show."

Mr Leggett said: "I have lived in the village for 74 years and I have always wanted to do something like this and I am really pleased with the book."

The initial part of the book gives a tour of the village with some unexpected views – including one of the parish church with fields in front of it – and then looks at village events, its agricultural background, and some of its characters.

The book was launched at the Kirton Methodist Church, which will receive profits from the sales.

The money is to be put towards a £30,000 project to create a new kitchen, indoor toilets, and enlarge the meeting room, removing the pews and replacing them with chairs, so it can be used even more by the community.

The book costs £5 and is available from Kirton Post Office and Stores, Magpie Books in Felixstowe, and other outlets, and also direct from the authors on 01394 448568.

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