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Special exhibition will honour heroic Beccles inspector

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 January 2017

Jennifer Langeskov, the granddaughter of Charles Arthur Norman, is putting together an exhibition for Beccles Museum on his life and work. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Jennifer Langeskov, the granddaughter of Charles Arthur Norman, is putting together an exhibition for Beccles Museum on his life and work. Picture: Nick Butcher.

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A woman is preparing to hold an exhibition in the spring revealing details of a high-profile bank robbery that took place in Beccles during the 1920s.

Charles Arthur Norman. Charles Arthur Norman.

The event, which made national news, is close to the heart of Jennifer Langeskov as it involved her grandfather Charles Arthur Norman, who was the police inspector and caught the perpetrators despite being shot in the process.

His story, pictures and the full details of the robbery will be unveiled at Beccles Museum during the first exhibition of the season beginning on April 1 - and it will be the first time the tale is told in public for nearly 100 years.

Mrs Langeskov said she had decided to share the information on behalf of her late mother Pearl Buckenham, who was Inspector Norman’s daughter.

She said: “I am doing it for my late mother, who was incredibly proud of her father, and also for other members of the Norman family living elsewhere.

Inspector Charles Arthur Norman with other members of the police team. Inspector Charles Arthur Norman with other members of the police team.

“It was a story that I felt needed telling. It’s been on my conscience to do it for a long time, it’s an incredible story.

“He was, I was told, an imposing figure who commanded a lot of respect. He was also a fine athlete and once rescued a drowning man, stopped a runaway horse in the street and also quelled a riot in Beccles.”

On February 1, 1921, two young men, armed with loaded revolvers, held up Lloyds Bank and made off with a sum of money. Inspector Norman, driven by Special Constable Humphrey Durrant, chased them and despite being shot in the leg he managed to apprehend the thieves and they were brought to trial.

He received the King’s Police Medal for Meritorious Conduct and was awarded £5 for his efforts.

Inspector Norman, who was known as Paddy, served in the county force for 34 years. In 1919 he was posted to Beccles and lived in the old police station in Gaol Lane.

Mrs Langeskov would love to hear from anyone who has information about the robbery or the police station. You can email the details to Jennifer@langeskov.co.uk

Do you have a relative who was involved in a major event? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

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