Dereham figure in the spotlight: Q&A with Ashley Bunn

UEA joins forces with Dereham Town Football Club. Ashley Bunn (Dereham FC chairman) Pictures: BRITT

Ashley Bunn, Dereham Town FC chairman. Picture: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

A local lad done good in the Premier League, its array of pubs and the fantastic heritage sites from windmills to railways.

Those highlights are the best of Dereham according to Ashley Bunn, chairman of Dereham Town FC.

The 37-year-old shared his favourite things about the town in our latest Q&A.

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?

I am chairman at Dereham Town Football Club and have been for just over 18 months.

It is a role which I am incredibly proud and honoured to hold. Within the role I have overall responsibility for leading the strategic direction of the football club.

We are the third highest placed football club in the county behind Norwich City and King's Lynn Town and enter both the FA Cup and FA Trophy each year.

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We are also the home to our full-time academy, DESA (Dereham Education and Soccer Academy).

I passionately believe that football offers so much more than just 90 minutes on a Saturday - it is where people come together and can help create communities and togetherness.

The DESA football eductaion programme at Dereham Town FC has been going for a year, and is progressi

DESA student Joe Goreham, pictured in 2014. - Credit: Matthew Usher

How long have you lived in the Dereham area?

I have always lived within Norfolk, other than my time away at university. I grew up within North Norfolk and currently live in Reepham. 

What would you do if you were mayor of Dereham for a day?

I would ban social media and get everybody out in the fresh air exercising - doing simple things with family and friends, making the most of what our wonderful area has to offer. I would also make everybody lifelong Dereham Town FC fans!

What is your favourite landmark in the Dereham area?

Dereham Windmill. 

Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Bunn said his favourite Dereham landmark was its iconic windmill. - Credit: Ian Burt

What is your favourite pub in the Dereham area?

I don't often use a pub within Dereham but I would have to say The Railway Tavern with its reputation for showing live football.

Which shops do you rely on in the Dereham area?

Living only a few miles away from Dereham in a smaller town, we often drive in to use the supermarkets.

What is your favourite place to go and eat in the Dereham area?

I wouldn't say we have a favourite. As a family we like to enjoy the incredible range of local pubs in and around the area. We like to explore and visit new ones when we can.

What is a perfect day in the Dereham area for you?

I would have to say a trip to Aldiss Park to watch the Magpies win.

Dereham Town beat FC Clacton 5-0 to be made Thurlow Nunn Premier League Champions - Dereham celebrat

Dereham Town celebrate after defeating Clacton FC 5-0, winning them the Thurlow Nunn Premier League Championship, in 2013. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Which places in the Dereham area would you recommend to visitors?

Gressenhall Farm, the Mid Norfolk Railway, Dereham Windmill, Aldiss Park - we are blessed with so many great things to do. 

Who is your hero, associated with the Dereham area?

Keeping with the football theme, I would have to say Todd Cantwell. For a local lad to play for Dereham Youth and then go on and achieve what he has done playing in the Premier League is incredible and something for all young footballers to aspire to. 

Todd Cantwell played a key role in Fortuna Sittard's promotion to the Dutch top flight. Picture: Nic

Todd Cantwell, pictured in 2018. - Credit: Nick Butcher

What do you most love about the Dereham area?

I love its togetherness and community feel. There are so many incredible people that really do put the good of the town first.

During recent times, the Dereham Cares project stands out for me - hundreds of people coming together to look after those in need during the pandemic.