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Piece of village's history being taken down for first time in 200 years

PUBLISHED: 16:04 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:04 21 January 2020

Nigel Boldero, chair of Haveringland parish meeting at the village stocks which have been taken down to be restored. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Nigel Boldero, chair of Haveringland parish meeting at the village stocks which have been taken down to be restored. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Archant

For 200 years, they have been an unmistakable presence in a village green - once an instrument of torture and then a nod to the traditions of yesteryear.

Cllr. Stuart Beadle (Reepham), Haveringland parish meeting chair, Nigel Boldero and local carpenter Jack Wheeler as the village stocks in Haveringland are taken down to be restored. Picture: Neil DidsburyCllr. Stuart Beadle (Reepham), Haveringland parish meeting chair, Nigel Boldero and local carpenter Jack Wheeler as the village stocks in Haveringland are taken down to be restored. Picture: Neil Didsbury

But now, for the first time in centuries, the stocks on Haveringland village green are gone, leaving an empty space where they once proudly stood.

However, their departure is not due to be a permanent one, with the former punishment device set to be returned with a new lease of life following renovation work.

On Tuesday, the imposing piece of Haveringland history was dismantled and taken away for much-needed renovation work, having been weathered by the elements over time.

The £4,000 project, which has been co-funded by Broadland Council and Haveringland Parish Meeting, will see the oak structure repaired and restored to its former glory by North Walsham-based carpenter Jack Wheeler.

The stocks in Haveringland have been taken away to be restored, but should return within the month. Picture: Neil DidsburyThe stocks in Haveringland have been taken away to be restored, but should return within the month. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Mr Wheeler is tasked with replacing the pyramid-shaped finials on top of the two posts, cutting in new bases and adding new supports.

Nigel Boldero, chairman of the parish meeting, said: "It is great that we now have planning permission and can see the work begin. The Parish Meeting was unanimous in their wish to see this important part of our local heritage repaired and protected for the future.

"We will save whatever we can from the original structure, but some pieces will be replaced and others held together with new braces.

"The parish has also agreed to ongoing funding to give the stocks an annual protective coating to keep the worst of the weather off."

Local carpenter Jack Wheeler has removed the village stocks in Haveringland and will restore them over the coming weeks. Picture: Neil DidsburyLocal carpenter Jack Wheeler has removed the village stocks in Haveringland and will restore them over the coming weeks. Picture: Neil Didsbury

While the exact history of the stocks is unclear, it is thought they were first erected in 1804 and are listed as a structure of historical interest. It is not clear when they were last used for their original purpose.

It is hoped that once they have been fully renovated they will eventually feature as part of a heritage trail linking up churches and places of interest in the area.

Mr Boldero added that the stocks had become a popular attraction on the town's village green, particularly providing photo opportunities for couples who have married at the village church.

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