Local history brought up to date in Beccles and Bungay

Students from the Sir John Leman School are taking part in a research history project with the UEA a

Students from the Sir John Leman School are taking part in a research history project with the UEA about the Crowfoot family in Beccles. Left to right Sam Kenward, Harry Lindow, Lauren Peach and Lucy Howson in the school library. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Sixth form students across Norfolk and Suffolk are taking part in a year-long research project investigating the history and heritage of their towns.

Time Team Your Town is a partnership between the Centre of East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia, four Suffolk high schools and two schools from Norfolk to encourage and develop the relevance of history linked to the areas the pupils live and how the past has meaning today and in the future.

Students from Sir John Leman High School are researching the impact of the Crowfoot family on Beccles over the past 300 years, including mayorships, the development of the hospital and changes in medicine, and how that legacy has been brought into the present.

Sam Kenward, Lauren Peach, Lucy Howson, all 17 and Harry Lindow, 16, are aiming to produce a tourist trail involving the family, in both a film and paper format, which will be held at either Beccles Museum or the tourist information centre.

So far, the group, who are all history A level students, have been researching the life of Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who has both a road and school in Beccles named after her.

Lucy said: “At the moment we are working backwards through history and we have realised how important the family was as a whole and how much they have influenced the town.”

Bungay High School sixth formers are looking at the impact of Clays business on Bungay, including the housing, population, employment and how the industrial revolution of 1878 has become one of a technological revolution in 2014.

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Meanwhile Lowestoft students have chosen to study crime and punishment in the 1880s using old newspapers, with plans to produce a moving exhibition.

All pupils involved get the chance to research records and population census as well as liaise with libraries, employers, tourist offices, councils and heritage organisations. Each group also has a PHD student from the UEA or University Campus Suffolk acting as a peer mentor.

Andrea Titchiner, enterprise and engagement senior administrative assistant at the Centre of East Anglian Studies said: “The project is focusing not only on sourcing information, which ably fits many curricular subjects, as it links STEM subjects with humanities, it also feeds into modern languages as we are hoping that the project can be translated with each towns’ twining European counterparts.

The project will end in July with a celebration workshop for all schools involved at The Forum in Norwich.

Students from Beccles and Bungay would like to hear from anyone who has information about Clays or any member of the Crowfoot family.

Call Allison Copeman at Sir John Leman High School on 01502 713223 or Jan Crowley at Bungay Sixth Form Centre on 01986 892140.