New audio tours give insight into seven market towns in the Waveney Valley

Audio tours that reveal the stories and history behind the Waveney Valley's seven market towns have been launched.

The free audio walks have been developed by the Waveney Valley Towns Group to give an insight into Loddon, Bungay, Beccles, Halesworth, Harleston, Diss and Eye.

The hope is that the walks can increase the tourist appeal of all of the towns.

The group, who received funding from the Waveney Valley Local Area Group, approached radio producer Neil Jenkins to create the audio walks, and he interviewed around 150 people as he tried to combine history, memories and gossip to capture the atmosphere of each town.

He said: 'The concept was to devise interesting walks that takes you around parts of the towns you perhaps would not have gone to, with various items to interest you rather than bombard you with historical figures.'

For each town historical experts, councillors and long-standing residents were involved to provide this different level of interest in the walks that last for an hour.

One of those interviewed was David Woodward, of Beccles.

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He said: 'I never dreamed I would be involved in such a marvellous set of walks around these towns.

'I am so grateful for having the chance to talk about the area that I love so much.

'The Waveney does not divide Norfolk and Suffolk, it is what brings them together.'

Also speaking at the launch in Homersfield, was Pat Holtom, chair of the Waveney Valley Local Area Group, who said that the �42,500 invested in the programme comprised �10,000 from the Awards for All scheme and �32,500 from the Rural Development Programme for England.

This in turn came from a total pot of �3.3 million that the group has to spend across the region between 2010 and 2013.

Other projects that have benefitted from the funding include Clinks Care Farm, in Toft Monks near Beccles.

Norman Hart, chairman of the Waveney Valley Market Towns Group, added that the aim of the groups is to encourage the towns, which cover south Norfolk, Waveney and mid Suffolk areas, to work together.

'It is fantastic to have seven market towns, many that have been quite rivalled, all working together,' he said.

The walks can be downloaded in sections as mp3s and mobile phone apps, borrowed on an mp3 player or picked up in a leaflet from each town's information centre.

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