Plans for Kett’s Rebellion to be re-enacted in Wymondham

Wymondham's Bridewell Museum. photo - Denise Bradley

Wymondham's Bridewell Museum. photo - Denise Bradley - Credit: EDP, Archant

Famous events from Wymondham's past, including Kett's Rebellion, will be brought back to life in a series of re-enactments.

Bruce Blackney, from Wymondham, has just taken over as chairman of the Wymondham Heritage Society (W

Bruce Blackney, from Wymondham, has just taken over as chairman of the Wymondham Heritage Society (WHS). Picture: via BRUCE BLACKNEY - Credit: Archant

Bruce Blackney, who has just taken over as chairman of the Wymondham Heritage Society (WHS), said staging the events would be an excellent way of boosting visitor numbers to the town and spurring interest in local history.

Mr Blackney, 81, who is also chairman of the Visit Wymondham group, said: 'During my tenure as chairman I intend to capitalise on Wymondham's fascinating and unique heritage.

'I believe that we can organise historical events in the town which attract large visitor numbers.

'I intend to lead the WHS and Visit Wymondham to re-enact events in the town's history. Clearly the story of Robert Kett and his rebellion against the king will be foremost.

'Wymondham's past will live again.'

Mr Blackney said the goal was to host the re-enactments in 2018. He said: 'At this stage the task is costing a major project so that we can submit our proposals to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant.'

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Kett's Rebellion was a peasant revolt in 1549, which was sparked by the enclosure of land by wealthy landowners.

Yeoman farmer Robert Kett led 16,000 on a march to Norwich, where they took over the city before eventually being overthrown by government troops.

Mr Blackney said the volunteers at the WHS and the Wymondham Heritage Museum were its most valued resource.

He said: 'They give up their time willingly to operate Wymondham's museum and I want them to feel a part of the Wymondham heritage family.

'I intend to encourage them to participate in the continual improvement of the museum and its displays.'

In his earlier days, Mr Blackney trained as an apprentice at the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, went to sea as a ship's engineer for three years with P&O. He then served 25 years in RAF.

Throughout his life, Mr Blackney has been a keen mountaineer, and led an RAF mission to the mountains of Iran in 1974. He later wrote a memoir about the experience called A Trek to Solomon's Throne and the Valley of the Assassins.

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