Did Pat Butcher open the greengrocers? Book reveals village’s secrets

Nigel Holmes, with his new book about Mundesley. Picture: Supplied by Nigel Holmes

Nigel Holmes, with his new book about Mundesley. Picture: Supplied by Nigel Holmes - Credit: Archant

Quirky episodes from a north Norfolk village’s past are mixed in with tall tales in a new book.

Author and scriptwriter Nigel Holmes has published ‘Mundesley – The almost nearly-true possibly made-up version of The Village History’ to give people an insight into what has happened there over the years, combined with fictional anecdotes. Mr Holmes, a former photographer, said he set out to embellish each story with “hearsay, rumours and lies”.

He said: “It seemed to me that a lot of history books just follow what has been written before.

“So I set out to find the stories behind the iconic buildings and interesting people of the village.

“I set out to entertain rather than write a scholarly book of boring facts.

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“They are true incidents and things that have happened in the village, but exaggerated and pushed to extremes.”

One story recounts how King George VI took a “comfort break” in Mundesley on his way to a horse race in Great Yarmouth.

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The toilet seat used by the royal was later removed and hangs, to this day, on a wall inside a house in the village.

Mr Holmes also reveals how Mundesley’s Gold Park nearly became a housing estate, what happened to the local railway station and why a water wheel at the end of the River Mun turned backwards.

He added: “Did the Gala Café ever exist? Was Hypenna Sladshaw really a witch who was banished to Trunch in 1807?

“Does the Great Stone of Delian, which sits in the centre of the village, really have magical powers?

“Did Eastenders Pat Butcher actually cut the ribbon to open the village greengrocers?”

Mr Holmes has written about 15 books in the past, mostly about photography, and this is his first effort at local history.

He said: “There are a couple of history books about the area that I’ve found mistakes in so I decided to create a book that had many more mistakes, untruths, lies, rumours and so on.”

The 100-page book is illustrated with Mr Holmes’ cartoons, and is for sale on Amazon for £12.

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