Lovely old pictures show Swaffham & Watton over the years
PUBLISHED: 18:30 03 November 2017
Take a trip down memory lane with our wonderful photographic celebration of East Anglian life through the decades. Today we take a nostalgic look back at market towns Swaffham and Watton.
For so many centuries, Swaffham’s large market place has been the focus of town life. The wonderful Buttercross was built in 1783 and topped with a statue of Ceres - the Roman goddess of farming and fertility - which seems as apt today as it did back then.
Today this Breckland town has a well-deserved reputation as a food destination, with everything from a community cafe to a boutique award winning hotel, alongside some fantastic local food and drink suppliers.
From its heyday in the 18th century as a high society hub, when it hosted dances, theatre and even horse racing, to its transformation into a modern market town, it has always had plenty of community spirit, with great oppertunites for the people of the town to come together for celebrations adn events.
Nearby, the small market town of Watton has a colourful history - even playing a key role in military operations around the world.
The now closed RAF station at Watton was opened in January 1939 as the station of 2 Group, Bomber Command. By 1944, the airfield was being shared by the American 25th Bomber Group reconnaissance arm and the 3rd Strategic Air Depot, providing engineering support to the many crippled aircraft that were landing on the airfield. The Secret Service also ran missions from Watton to support resistance organisations in Europe.
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