‘The friendliest people we’ve met’ - what’s it like moving to Norfolk?
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Those hailing from Nelson's County are usually protective of their roots, but what about people who move to Norfolk from elsewhere?
Earlier this month an anonymous Dereham homeowner said his life had been plagued by crime since swapping east London for Dereham more than a decade ago.
Having moved to the countryside with his wife in search of a better life, the man in his 50s has instead experienced "the total opposite" due to "burglaries, drugs and fighting".
He also bemoaned the lack of community spirit in his area, adding that none of his neighbours looked out for each other.
The story triggered a huge reaction among this paper's readers, many of whom leapt to the defence of Norfolk.
While some said they had been tormented by similar issues, most who responded had entirely positive things to say about moving from outside the county.
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Sarah Webb, Norwich
"We moved from Upminster in Essex to just north of Norwich city centre about five years ago.
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"Yes it was different and difficult to start as we didn't know anyone and it was a strange area, but we have now settled in and love life here and would never move back.
"We feel like we have a real sense of community with everyone looking out for each other. Yes there are some bits that aren't great in the city it depends where you live.
"If anyone wants to move to a different area from London it's a gamble. You should research the area beforehand.
"We love Norwich and Norfolk."
Stan Worrell, 59, CAD designer in oil and gas industry, Bunwell
"My wife, two sons and I moved to Norfolk in 2008.
"My thinking was that my life was basically over and I was trying to give my family a better life - better than living in Croydon. The evening we moved away, there was a fatal stabbing in Croydon!
"We moved to Hempnall which gave me easy access to roads back to the south, where I was working at the time. We found people very friendly will no ill feeling towards us.
"Village life was good but we decided to move a little further west over towards Bunwell to a property where our dogs were away from any main roads and danger. It does have a few pitfalls, e.g. less people, no public transport but again, neighbours are very friendly and no real problems.
"Trouble is I work abroad now and don't get to spend quality time at home with my wife and dogs. When I do get home at least the dogs are happy to see me."
Pauline Perrins, 68, Ashill
"I moved from near Brighton to Ashill in July 2017.
"I still read the Argus newspaper emails from that area each day and life down there is worse than ever. Gangs are prevalent and whereas I would walk alone in parts of London at night, I certainly wouldn't in Brighton.
"Generally in Norfolk I have been welcomed in the shops, hotels and restaurants. People generally seem nicer.
"Around Christmas we had cash taken from our cars overnight around Christmas but no damage was done and our three four-legged burglar alarms failed to hear anything. A number of roads in our village were targeted but, as far as I know, no damage was caused and the alleged culprits have been apprehended.
"I expect Dereham has some areas nicer than others, which is the same for most places, but personally I am very glad we made the move - even though I knew only one person in the county."
Charlies Dalgity, 72, retired, Holme-next-the-Sea
"We're a pair of retired Scots living up near Hunstanton - we've only been in Norfolk about three months. We've spent the last seven years living in Nice, France, and before that we lived in West Yorkshire for 20 years.
"For us, the most startling thing about Norfolk is the friendliness and helpfulness of the local people we meet every day.
"We have both travelled extensively in Europe and North America, and Norfolk people are by far the nicest, friendliest, bunch we have met. Delighted to be among you!"