100-year-old free town guide launches biggest edition yet

North Walsham shops carry on under lockdown. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske

North Walsham' town centre. Picture: Casey Cooper-Fiske - Credit: Archant

A town guide which has been running for over 100 years has launched its biggest ever edition.

The Official Guide to North Walsham 2021-2022, put together by Wayne Beauchamp at the North Walsham and District Community Archive alongside North Walsham Town Council, features 160 pages despite Covid restrictions making advertising sales and promotion "almost impossible".

The free guide, which hit letterboxes this week, aims to be an asset to the town economy and community as well as providing a guide for visitors urging them to use local businesses and facilities, with around 10,000 copies produced.

The Official Guide to North Walsham 2021-2022.

The Official Guide to North Walsham 2021-2022. - Credit: Wayne Beauchamp

Despite being involved in every edition of the town guide since 1991, the latest edition was the first which Mr Beauchamp was entirely responsible for producing including advertising, finance, production and distribution.

He said: "This is the difficult second album after the amazing success of the town guide's reboot in 2019, which was bigger than any previous copy of the guide in it's more than 100 year life.

"The new edition had to be equally impressive, it nearly didn't happen, the difficulties anticipated with the restrictions of the recent covid-19 pandemic seemed enough to make advertising sales and production almost impossible.

"After much deliberation it was decided to give it a go anyway, after all, even if the guide was half the size of the previous edition it would still be a worthwhile town publication. 

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"So the project started in early January, it was hard work but the result was more than worth it."

The guide features three new aerial photos of the town from 1928, 1975 and 2020, a timeline of North Walsham history, new photos by local photographer Jessica Grace and four prints of local artist Barry Holden's Lost North Walsham paintings.

Wayne Beauchamp. Picture: PJBAYFIELD

Guide producer Wayne Beauchamp. - Credit: PAUL JOHN BAYFIELD

Mr Beauchamp added: "The new guide is even bigger than its predecessor and packed with more useful and historical information and photos than before.

"To say I'm proud that we managed to buck the trend of the difficult year we've all been through is an understatement.

"I would like to think this new guide is seen as a companion to the previous edition rather than a replacement."

The edition is dedicated to former archive chairman Mike Ling, who died this year.