As time moves on these books looking at the way we lived in Norfolk become more important than ever…they are a window on different times.

And what makes them so special is that they give the people themselves the opportunity to tell us what life was really like in our towns and villages and share their photographs with us.

The author we have to thank for more than a dozen glorious books is Sheila Hutchinson, who grew up in Berney Arms, and has taken us on a journey around the county, featuring different places and introducing us to the residents.

The young and the old, the rich and the poor, all tell their stories and open their photograph albums while Sheila investigates the long and compelling history of their surroundings.

They are quickly snapped up. Many have been re-printed and this week two more are back in the shops – Freethorpe Past & Present and The Island (The Haddiscoe Island) Past & Present.

The Haddiscoe book was first published in 2002 and the Freethorpe one followed in 2011. Both sold out some time ago but people kept asking for them.

Eastern Daily Press: Spectators at a cricket match on the field opposite the Methodist Church in Freethorpe

It was Paul Ryan at Yare Books in Great Yarmouth who suggested the books should be back on the shelves…and now they are.

The updated one on the unique and wonderful Haddiscoe Island is a rare treat as we read memories from the many people who have lived, worked and played on and around this very special part of our county.

And that includes Sheila…many of the people were members of her family or close friends and what stories they have to tell.

The Island is an area of marshland of almost 2,000 acres, surrounded by the river Waveney, and the New Cut.

Travelling by boat around the island, along the New Cut is about 2.3 miles long and access by road is via the A143, which crosses the Waveney at St Olaves bridge and crosses the New Cut at the Haddiscoe Bridge.

The book introduces us to the residents over the years. The likes of marshman Robert Mace, known as Bob or Robbie. His father Reggie was the marshman at Seven Mile Reedham  and his great grandfather was marshman “King Billy” Hewitt.

Eastern Daily Press: The legendary marshman of Haddiscoe Island. A job he did for more than 50 years. The late Bob Mace

He was awarded a British Empire Medal in 1978 after he had helped to show that the marsh grass had a copper deficiency in mid-summer. He continued to work on the marshes until he died in 2017.

And then we head off to Freethorpe in the new edition of the book dedicated to Sheila’s grandchildren James Callum Black and Keira Marie Black, and to all the children of Freethorpe to let them know how their ancestors once lived.

It is packed with rare photographs and vivid memories of life in this farming community…and how it has changed over the years.

Eastern Daily Press: The Freethorpe Past & Present book by Sheila Hutchinson

In the 1881 census we see that out of a total population of 400, there were 130 children, aged under 14, while 78 people were listed in jobs working on the land and there were builders, thatchers, butchers, shoemakers, brickmakers, blacksmiths, tailors, shops and public houses.Eastern Daily Press: The young ladies of Freethorpe in 1968. L-R, standing: Tracy Brown, Anita Goodson. Lying: Christine

The first motor car to be owned by a local in the village belonged to Benjamin Sutton of Manor Farms…in 1922.

*The Island (The Haddiscoe Island) Past & Present and Freethorpe Past & Present are on sale at Yare Books, Great Yarmouth, City Books, Norwich, and  Beccles Books at £10 each.

Eastern Daily Press: Back in the shops - the new edition of The Island (The Haddiscoe Island) Past & Present by SheilaEastern Daily Press: Freethorpe Methodist Church outing in the 1930s