Exhibition to reveal Halesworth high street’s history

An exhibition exploring the history of shops and shopkeepers in Halesworth is being held in the town tomorrow.

High Street History In Halesworth day is the culmination of a research project carried out by the Centre for East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia, Suffolk Records Office, Suffolk County Council Archaeological Services and volunteers.

The one-day event will see people turning back the clocks on some of the stores they use every day, with an exhibition of documents, records and pictures of shops and shopkeepers throughout the market town's history.

Director of the Centre for East Anglian Studies, Lucy Marten, will also be giving a talk about the project's findings on the day, and will be joined by Jo Caruth, a Suffolk County Council archeologist.

Dr Marten said: 'Traditional shopping in small towns is facing an unprecedented challenge from the supermarkets.

'Unlike many market towns, Halesworth still has a full range of independent shops.

'There are only a few towns like Halesworth left and they deserve to be held up as national treasures.'

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Archeologists will also be digging test pits in back yards and gardens around the town centre, with help from student volunteers.

Dr Marten added: 'Many of the shop premises in Halesworth's Thoroughfare and Marketplace go back as far medieval times and so have been at the centre of life in the town for hundreds of years.

'Our research has uncovered some exciting secrets long hidden behind the town's facades.'

The project began on November 24 last year and was inspired by the BBC TV series Turn Back Time and High Street History.

The free event starts at 10am and will be held at the Cut Arts Centre on New Cut in Halesworth.

All the finds will be examined by experts at the centre from 3.30pm until 5pm and the talk at the centre's auditorium will take place at 7pm.

donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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