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School is converting old war hospital into on-site museum

PUBLISHED: 13:11 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:46 10 February 2020

Dan Browning (Headteacher) and John Mewse (Chair of the Old Wymondhmains) with mock ups of the Heritage Centre outside the College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham College

Dan Browning (Headteacher) and John Mewse (Chair of the Old Wymondhmains) with mock ups of the Heritage Centre outside the College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham College

Archant

A school celebrating its 70th birthday will mark the occasion by transforming a World War Two hut into a museum, revealing the school site’s centuries-old history.

Mock ups of the Heritage Centre at the Wymondham College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham CollegeMock ups of the Heritage Centre at the Wymondham College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham College

Founded in 1951, Wymondham College was built on the site of a former-USA military hospital, used to treat injured soldiers during the Second World War.

The site, on Golf Links Road in Wymondham, was once home to 80 steel Nissen Huts, used as barracks, hospital wards and operating theatres for Second World War servicemen.

Of the original huts, only one remains on the campus, and currently houses the college chapel.

Now, the school is on a mission to showcase its fascinating history, by converting the hut into a heritage centre in time for its 70th birthday.

Dan Browning (Headteacher) and John Mewse (Chair of the Old Wymondhmains) with mock ups of the Heritage Centre outside the College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham CollegeDan Browning (Headteacher) and John Mewse (Chair of the Old Wymondhmains) with mock ups of the Heritage Centre outside the College Chapel. Photo: Wymondham College

Dan Browning, head teacher, said the heritage centre would not only be a fantastic way for current students to learn about the site's history, but also to engage the wider community.

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He said: "We are hugely proud of our heritage and teach students from year seven about the rich history of the campus. We are passionate about preserving the past as it represents where the college has come from. We have students from across Norfolk, East Anglia, Britain, and the world, and their sense of belonging to the heritage here brings us together as a community."

As well as playing a crucial role in the Second World War, the land was occupied by settlers for more than four centuries.

Metal detector enthusiasts have been unearthing hoards of Roman coins since 2012, dating back as far as 154BC.

The college hopes the heritage centre will be an ideal way to showcase these discoveries and stand as a tribute to the vital role the 231st USAAF hospital played in the Second World War.

Mr Browning said the school must raise £100,000 to create the centre, and is offering different rewards packages to donors.

So far £500 has been raised for the cause.

The school is hoping to collect artifacts and photographs for the project and asked anyone interested in donating to contact John Mewse, chair of the Old Wymondhamians, on johncmewse@gmail.com.

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