A piece of Fakenham’s biggest fire has a new home in an American garden

Fire in Fakenham town centre.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Fire in Fakenham town centre.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The story of Fakenham's biggest fire in living memory and the destruction of one of its most recognisable buildings is enshrined in the town's history.

Pictured in Manassas, Virginia with part of the Aldiss building are, from left: Richard Redfearn, Na

Pictured in Manassas, Virginia with part of the Aldiss building are, from left: Richard Redfearn, Nancy Redfearn, Joan Jarvis and Bernard Jarvis. - Credit: Archant

Now a piece of that history has, quite literally, been taken to America.

The story of the fire, on May 25 this year, attracted the interest of Nancy Redfearn, 71, who grew up in Norfolk but has lived in America since she was 19.

Her aunt, Rosie Applegate, had worked for the Aldiss family, whose Market Place building was destroyed.

She and her sister Joan often visited her there when shopping with their mother.


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Joan, 66, and her husband Bernard Jarvis, 68, who live in Stibbard, near Fakenham, took part of the destroyed Aldiss building with them to Mrs Redfearn's home in Manassas, Virginia, during their annual holiday there.

Mrs Jarvis said: 'The destruction of that building in the fire this year is an historic event for Fakenham and my sister and I have a close connection to the building as we spent a lot of time there as children.

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'During a conversation with my sister on the telephone she said it would be nice to have a piece of the facade as a keepsake.

'My husband Richard overheard the conversation and took up the challenge.'

After telephone calls and emails, contact was made with Fakenham town clerk Linda Jennings, who obtained permission from the directors of Aldiss for pieces of the building to be building to be given to the Jarvis family.

They have kept one piece and delivered two to Mrs Redfearn in America where it now stand proudly as part of a garden feature.

Mrs Jarvis said: 'We want to express our sincere thanks to everyone who has made this possible.'

Do you have a story about the Fakenham fire? Email adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

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