Let’s Fight for Fakenham appeal launched after devastating blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:44 27 May 2014

A view of the damage to the former Aldiss department store from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A view of the damage to the former Aldiss department store from the tower of Fakenham Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

“Let’s help the stricken victims of the Fakenham inferno” – that is our rallying call today as the EDP launches its Let’s Fight for Fakenham appeal.

In the wake of the town’s most devastating fire in living memory, we are urging readers to support those who have lost their homes after the flames tore a hole through the town’s heritage heart.

But despite the scenes of destruction in the Market Place, defiant town leaders are determined to rebuild a positive future from the ashes of the burned-out buildings.

• Worst destruction since wartime bombings

• Man’s devastation after flat is destroyed by Fakenham fire

• Fakenham will bounce back

• Photo gallery: Fakenham’s devastation is highlighted on camera

Six households were left homeless after the blaze ripped through the former Aldiss department store, causing untold damaged to the Original Factory Shop.

Scores of people flocked to the town to see the shell of what had been one of the most recognisable buildings in the town – one which still bears the name of Aldiss.

A fire investigation into the cause of the blaze will get under way today.

And the EDP has kick-started its Let’s Fight for Fakenham Appeal, which is supported by the Norfolk Community Foundation, with a £1,000 donation.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: ‘This has been an utterly devastating event in one of Norfolk’s loveliest market towns. Some people have lost everything and many will want to help people and businesses to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“Meetings with key community figures will take place this week but we are already live with our account and helping hands are surrounding Fakenham.”

Graham Tuttle, Community Foundation Norfolk chief executive, said: “It is a pleasure for Norfolk Community Foundation to be partnering and supporting the EDP appeal. We were totally astonished by the support of people across Norfolk to the flood appeal and we have all seen the good that this has done for those so badly affected.

“I hope and believe that this generosity will extend to those people whose lives have so dramatically changed as a result of the fire and by launching this new appeal we hope to be able to help people get their lives back on track as soon as possible”

The Original Factory Shop and the vacant former Currys building took the brunt of the fire, but six flats above the buildings were also affected.

North Norfolk District Council’s housing department found accommodation for two of the households on Sunday night, was assisting the relocation of another person yesterday and is in communication with the other three.

Some 14 fire crews tackled the blaze on Sunday.

People had to leave nearby buildings, including the 14th century parish church, but were able to re-enter the properties later.

• Fakenham Parish Church is raising funds for the Fakenham Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. 
It has also offered support to any of the people and businesses affected.

Have you been affected? Email


  • @London in Norfolk - the town isn't dead, it's struggling like many others. Aldiss still have a large presence in Fakenham. Lots of people work hard to improve things but are maddened when they hear negative comments made by sad losers - armchair critics who'd rather just carp instead of actually doing anything. Remember that Fakenham offers lots of local people a living. Try supporting them and being positive for a change. @oo_arrr - it's in the EDP. You can take a donation into any Archant office - there's one in Norwich Street, Fakenham. @samphirelover - They do have money, but actually support the town enormously too, so don't begrudge their success too much!

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • OK great, but what will the money be spent on and how do people donate? Am I just being blind, is this information in the article somewhere?

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • very sorry to still a beautiful building destroyed, but lets get real what does Fakenham offer, Aldisss got out of the building as the town is dead, and The factory shop is not exactly quality shopping is it, probably was worse due to the high content of Nylon !!! Thing about how to rebuild and make it worth visiting, dont rebuild a supermarket !!!!

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    London in Norfolk

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • While it's true that insurance may cover these things it often takes months and months to get anything from an insurance company. The people who have lost their homes and possessions may need support in the coming weeks and months to get back on their feet and if people want to donate money to help them do this then what's the harm? I'm sure if this happened to you and somebody offered money to help you out, you wouldn't turn it down. It's not about helping to replace the buildings necessarily, it's about helping those most affected by this horrible fire. Nobody is forcing you to donate but you can't stop others from doing so if they wish to.

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • I didn't realise until I just heard it on the radio that the building still belongs to the Aldiss family. No shortage of cash there!

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Sounds like self-fulfilling philanthropy to me.

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • a noble gesture by the edp but with all the misery in the world I am sure an appeal to help "buildings" will not be as supported as much as say flood or earthquake victims......????

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • DaveG .... Just what I thought when I read this. I didn't want to be the first to say it though.

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • This is what insurance is for, everyone who lost everything should be covered and will get it replaced. Any personal things of sentimental value cannot be replaced with all the money in the world and that is the big shame for these people.

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    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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