Race is on to keep historic documents in Norfolk

Ron Fiske, pictured at Morningthorpe Manor

Ron Fiske, pictured at Morningthorpe Manor - Credit: Archant

An appeal has gone out to raise £17,000 for the Norfolk Record Office to buy historic documents going under the hammer

Morningthorpe Manor

Morningthorpe Manor - Credit: Archant

The race is on to raise £17,000 in less than a week to buy historic documents relating to Norfolk.

The sale of the contents of Morningthorpe Manor starts next week which constitutes the lifetime work of historian Ron Fiske. But the Norfolk Record Office at County Hall wants to buy £30,000 worth of archives - and has until next Thursday to raise the remaining funds needed.

Items the record office wants includes land ownership records from the 15th century, diaries, business records and documents relating to the care of the poor in the 18th and 19th centuries. County archivist Gary Tuson said: 'We are a record office and the records should be held here. I don't know how much money I will have - but we have raised nearly £10,000 from public donations already together with £7,000 from organisations - so I will be bidding for as many of the 100 items we would like on Thursday.' Items the record office wishes to purchase ranges in price from between £500-£1500 to as little as £50.

Mr Fiske amassed the collection over his adult lifetime at Morningthorpe Manor but he decided to sell the property last year and in downsizing to smaller accommodation, took the difficult decision to sell almost half of his entire collection. It has taken archivists handling the week-long sale until now to catalogue and photograph each item in what Roy Murphy, from fine art auctioneers Keys in Aylsham, described as 'one of the biggest country house sales in years.'

Historic documents in the sale

Historic documents in the sale - Credit: Archant

Not only are historic documents on sale but items of furniture, paintings and china with the first lots going under the hammer on Monday. The contents from Mr Fiske's extensive library, including the historic documents, will go on sale on Thursday and Friday.

If you would like to help go to the record office website norah-df.org.uk or you can send a cheque payable to the Norfolk Record Office, the Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DQ.

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For more info on the sale, see www.keysauctions.co.uk