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Acle Community Archive Group
Chairman - Brian Grint
Vice Chairman - Robert Jermy
Secretary - Kathy Stacey
Treasurer - Jayne Greenacre
Fundraising, Display and Event Organiser - Jackie Clover
Other Committee Members
Basil Tibbenham - Parish Councillor
Lynn Kerslake - JPP Leisure Management
Pikey Bunn and the Acle stocks One can only imagine what was going through Pikey Bunn's mind as he was thrust into the Broadland's village stocks and watched people prepare to pelt him with rotten vegetables. And there are no words to describe the horror as highwaymen were taken to a bridge in Acle to be trussed up, hung until dead and then displayed as a warning to other criminals. But now some of mysteries of Acle's dark past have been bought back to life after revealing historical documents were donated to the village's community archive group. The papers belong to Dot Read who about 50 years ago interviewed residents on what they knew about Acle's history.
One of the most illuminating claims from the papers is that the last man to be put in the Acle's stocks on the long vanished Jearys Corner was Pikey Bunn. Unfortunately the documents do not give much more information on Pikey Bunn's crime or the date of when it happened except to say that it may have been connected with rustling or smuggling on the marshes.
On a more gruesome slant the documents reveal how condemned killers were treated as they were hung at Acle Stone Bridge in the 17th and 18th century. Highwaymen, “sneak thieves” and murderers were taken to the bridge's parapet, tied up and then had their feet pulled from under them causing them to twist violently as they vainly fought for their lives. The Dot Read papers reveal for the first time that some bodies were then taken to a gibbet in Pyebush Lane as a deterrent to other ne'er-do-wells. Also included in the oral history is a reference to a “cage” where prisoners where kept before going to Norwich Castle. It is claimed the last man to put in irons was a Mr Hunn for beating his wife, who was daughter of Commander Drake RN.
Other interesting facts include a previously unheard of fire in 1853 which destroyed three shops and how the landlord of the Queen's Head coaching inn set up a beer garden, known as Harrison's Folly, in the village centre for coach passengers. Brian Grint, from the Acle Community Archive Group, said that so far research had found that at least 75pc of all the information in the donated papers was correct. He said: “We have found some very surprising things and a lot of it is totally new to us. “It is a very important historical resource and it gives us something to base future research on. Donations to the Group
The Group would always welcome old photographs, film clips, or the like, taken of the local area. As there are onsite facilities to scan/copy any photograph, the Group would not need to keep the originals. Presently there are over 300 photographs on the system with about the same number still to be entered. If you are considering donating or lending material to the Group, please contact the Chairman. Please remember to include the year the photograph was taken, include any facts about the event, names of people in the photograph etc as this will help with cross-referencing on the system. Please, we would be most grateful of any donations, particulary this year as its the 50th anniversay of Acle High School - any photographs welcome. Fundraising
If your group or organisation is seeking a Guest Speaker for a function, perhaps Brian Grint or Jackie Clover could assist. They are well knowledged in local history of the area, across a variety of topics, and can bring along a wealth of supporting photographs. Genealogy
Searching for your family or seeking further information on Acle? Perhaps the Group can help you in your quest. Group Activities
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