Bill retires after 20 years as Hethersett archivist

Pictured left to right are - Fred Watkins, chairman of Hethersett Parish Council, Bill Reekie, retir

Pictured left to right are - Fred Watkins, chairman of Hethersett Parish Council, Bill Reekie, retiring archivist, and Gary Wyatt, the new Hethersett archivist. - Credit: Archant

An archivist who has kept records on the history of Hethersett for more than 20 years has retired.

Bill Reekie was the first person to take on the role of collecting and looking after Hethersett's historic documents back in 1994.

Since then he has helped to build up a collection of more than 5,000 photos, press cuttings and original documents going back to the 18th century.

He is handing over the role to well-known Hethersett environmentalist Gary Wyatt, a former parish councillor for the area.

'Bill has helped to ensure that through the archives we have a social history of the village,' said Hethersett Parish Council chairman Fred Watkins.

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'Bill can be very proud of what he has achieved as very few, if any, Norfolk villages have anything comparable.'

The original idea of setting up an archive for the village came from Hethersett Parish Council, which was looking for a way of marking the national centenary of parish councils.

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As the collection began to build up following appeals, Mr Reekie obtained a lottery grant to have the collection professionally catalogued and for a website to be set up.

Today much of the collection - which is currently kept in Hethersett Village Hall - comprises copies of documents, the originals of which are now being kept in Norwich.

Mr Reekie rates a parchment from the 1700s showing that the Queen's Head Public House was at the time owned by the parish as the most interesting item in the archive.

Mr Wyatt said he hopes to add to to the collection and also mount public displays of material.

Do you have a community news story for Hethersett? Contact EDP reporter Andrew Papworth on 01379 651153 or email

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