Bungay's history to be celebrated

Emily DennisKey features of Bungay's rich history are to be highlighted around the town in words and pictures in the latest imaginative initiative to attract visitors.Emily Dennis

Key features of Bungay's rich history are to be highlighted around the town in words and pictures in the latest imaginative initiative to attract visitors.

The 'Broadsheets', so called because they resemble a page of the old broadsheet newspapers, each feature a brief cameo of place such as the Market Place and the Fisher Theatre, or dramas such as the great fire of 1688 and the appearance of the Black Dog in 1577, illustrated with a sketch by Bungay-based professional cartoonist Alan Irvine.

It is an idea conceived by town councillor Deirdre Shepherd, Bungay historian Chris Reeve, who has provided the words, and Mr Irvine, and the results will be going up around the town over the next few weeks, once planning permission for them is finalised.

Each of the 15 broadsheets has been sponsored by a local person to help cover the cost of the project of around �1,000.

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Mrs Shepherd said at the launch of the broadsheets at the Fisher Theatre that the idea was conceived when she, Mr Reeve and Mr Irvine were discussing over a cup of coffee the number of people who came to the town and asked questions about aspects of Bungay and why they were there.

'We thought we needed a series of broadsheets - when printing first came in broadsheets were the first newspapers - to tell the story of Bungay,' she said. 'Bungay has a rich tapestry of wonderful incidents and these broadsheets will be like a town trail so people can follow it and learn something, a soupcon of writing illustrated with pictures.'

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The broadsheets, laminated and weatherproof, and in sepia style, have been made by EPS Transfers of Halesworth.

Mrs Shepherd said Mr Irvine had visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and other places to research each subject and his drawings were 'wonderful interpretations' of them.

'It has been a labour of love. The more you dig into Bungay's history the more wonderful stories that come up,' she said.

Future ideas include reproducing the broadsheets as banners, greetings cards and postcards to generate income.

Featured on the broadsheets are The Good Island (the interpretation of Bungay's name), Bungay Druids, the Borough Well, the Town Reeve, the Black Dog, the Butter Cross, Bungay's Leather Trade, Bungay Staithe, the Great Fire, the Fisher Theatre, Earsham Street House, Dick Turpin comes to Bungay, Smuggling in Bungay, the Smoke House and Market Day.

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