Grants for community groups in Harleston

PUBLISHED: 16:48 13 December 2012

Judy Alder and Mervyn Hickford of Harleston Museum with an 18th-century fire engine which once served the town.

Judy Alder and Mervyn Hickford of Harleston Museum with an 18th-century fire engine which once served the town.


Several grants have been approved to help community groups in a Norfolk town, including extra for the historical society after it acquired an old fire engine.

Redenhall with Harleston Town Council approved grants for a number of organisations at Wednesday’s meeting, although some have strings attached.

The town’s historical society asked for £350 – £50 more than last year to help cover the nominal rent they must pay for storage of the 18th-century fire engine which was recently returned to the town.

The society was also provisionally awarded a further £200 – to be considered following another grant application – towards restoration of the hand-pump Bristow engine.

Borderhoppa was given £1,350 towards a printer and running costs; Harleston and Waveney Festival, £750, providing it goes ahead next year; Citizens Advice Bureau, £500, but only if they remain in Harleston; and Harleston Information Plus, up to £5.500, subject to the contents of a Service Level Agreement.

Harleston Museum curator Judy Alder said: “I’m delighted the council has awarded the Historical Society this money, and very grateful for all their support. It will really help towards the restoration this lovely old fire engine for the town.”

She said the conservator had now taken a look to see what restoration work would be required and the money would help to pay for his report. This, in turn, would enable them to apply for other grants, which an officer at South Norfolk Council was helping them with.

“There’s a lot of background work still to be done, but at least we’ve made a start,” she added.

Mrs Alder discovered the engine in Norwich about three years ago and launched an appeal earler this year for a new home for it. Several people came forward with space to store the engine and it was transported from Bressingham Steam Museum to its new temporary home in September to await restoration.

The engine was made by John Bristow in London then transported by water via Great Yarmouth, then Bungay and by road to Harleston in 1765. A resident remembers seeing it in the town in the 1930s.

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