Photo gallery: Norwich Heritage Heroes re-enact 19th century trial of eight-year-old William Tuck

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Maya Howe

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Maya Howells, Kira Adams, George Carter, Annabel Carter, Catherine Stigwood and Luc Carter. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A team of young Norwich historians have been bringing the past back to life and recreating the 19th century trial of a little boy named William Tuck.

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Photo: Bi

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

The eight-year-old found himself before the court at Norwich's Guildhall in the 1830s after stealing two bottles from Norwich Market, and on Saturday his story was told once more by a group called the Heritage Heroes.

It was part of a special Kids' Takeover Day which the young people aged seven to 12 had organised at The Guildhall for this year's Heritage Open Days festival coordinated by Norwich HEART (Heritage, Economic and Regeneration Trust).

The day was the culmination of a week of learning in August where the Heritage Heroes had explored the history of the Guildhall, in particular what had happened in the building's Sword Room in the 19th century and also the Council Chamber.

About the trial of William Tuck, eight-year-old Maya Howells, one of the Heritage Heroes, said: 'His [William Tuck's] dad made him steal the bottles for money. It's interesting to find out what happened to him after he got sent to trial. He was sent to the Isle of Wight and was then sent to New Zealand. He got a better life in New Zealand because he owned property and he got married. He never came back to Norwich.'

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Photo: Bi

Heritage Heroes re-enacting the trial of eight-year-old William Tuck at Norwich Guildhall. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant


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William Armstrong, the Sheriff of Norwich, was there to watch over Saturday's court re-enactment, and he said he was really impressed by the Heritage Heroes' enthusiasm for learning about and understanding history.

Also as part of Saturday's Kids' Takeover Day, the Heritage Heroes organised craft activities for visitors to take part in which were inspired by the Guildhall Council Chamber's stained glass windows.

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The Heritage Heroes group included: Kira Adams, 12; Maya Howells, eight; Luc Carter, 12; Annabel Carter, 10; George Carter, seven; and Catherine Stigwood, 11.

Sarah Power, education development officer for Norwich HEART, said: 'They were outstanding. I am very, very proud of them. They worked really hard.'

She said the Heritage Heroes were all working towards an Arts Award Explore qualification.

• Are you involved in a heritage arts event in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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