Author and tool collector pledges to carry on writing books in memory of wife

Michael Shingfield has written a book about the Norwich tool making industry. Picture: Matthew Usher

Michael Shingfield has written a book about the Norwich tool making industry. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A man has devoted to finishing books on the history of Norwich industry, as a tribute to his late wife.

Near every fortnight for twelve years, Michael Shingfield, 68, along with his wife Jacqueline, went to the Norwich Heritage Centre to research the tool making industry in Norwich.

Mr Shingfield, who lives near King's Lynn, put the information together and published a book called 'Norwich Tool Makers and Tool Dealers' in 2012.

His wife died in May of brain cancer, aged 61.

Michael said: 'It was a real family effort, my daughter Jennie helped with IT, and my wife came with me regularly to Norwich for the research, and it wasn't something I dragged her to, she loved it as much as I did.

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'We just did the book out of interest, but I believe we have sold over 200 copies at the City Bookshop in Norwich which I am overwhelmed at.

'I have three other books I am looking to complete, in which Jacqueline helped me with, and I am looking to complete them all in the memory of her.'

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Michael's book 'Norwich Tool Makers and Tool Dealers' covers the history of wooden planemakers and dealers from 1803, until the time when the local Griffiths family who had been in the business for over 150 years, closed down.

'I started a collection of Norwich made tools which go back as long as a early John Griffiths moulding plane from 1810 and a pair of scissors which were made in the 1790's.

'After starting my collection I started doing some research on the tool making industry in Norwich and found out there used to be a lot going on.

'The history of the industry is all around us, as it responsible for a lot of the lovely joinery you see as you walk through our beautiful city.'

Mr Shingfield is looking to publish his book about Norwich ironmongers next - a book in which his wife played a key part in the research.

He is also looking to publish books on victorian photographers and gunsmiths.

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