Search

‘We’d bring back tadpoles in jam jars’ - Caroline Flack’s fond memories of growing up in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 14:43 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:09 17 February 2020

Caroline Flack at her book signing in Norwich in 2015. Picture: Denise Bradley

Caroline Flack at her book signing in Norwich in 2015. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Caroline Flack spoke of her fond memories of growing up in Norfolk in her 2015 Autobiography. ABIGAIL NICHOLSON reports...

Caroline Flack attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium.. Picture: Ian West/PA WireCaroline Flack attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium.. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

The 40-year-old, who took her own life and was found in her east London flat on Saturday, named a chapter of her autobiography, Storm in a C Cup, after the Norfolk village she grew up in.

After being born in Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, Miss Flack's family moved to Scotgate Close in Great Hockham after her father received a promotion whilst working for Coca-Cola.

In her book, she said: "It was too far to commute, so for a whole year he left the house on a Monday and came back on the Friday. But that was hard on Mum.

Caroline Flack arriving for the Kerrang Awards, at the Brewery, London in 2008. Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireCaroline Flack arriving for the Kerrang Awards, at the Brewery, London in 2008. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"I have to admit that there was something a bit strange about that part of Norfolk. There was talk among us kids of witched (probably untrue) and abandoned villages (true) filled with ghosts (not sure . . .).

"At night there were no lights anywhere beyond the village, and no sound except owls and neighbours' televisions.

"Great Hockham itself was like a lit-up island in the middle of a flat black sea and I am still scared of the dark and always sleep with the landing light on.

"It was a lovely place to grow up."

Caroline Flack on the catwalk during the Fashion for Relief a charity fashion show hosted by Naomi Campbell for the Ebola crisis in Africa at Somerset House, London.Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireCaroline Flack on the catwalk during the Fashion for Relief a charity fashion show hosted by Naomi Campbell for the Ebola crisis in Africa at Somerset House, London.Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

READ MORE: Norfolk television presenter Caroline Flack dies age 40

The chapter also talks about her struggles with eczema when she was younger.

"Eczema was the reason we didn't have pets, and I still can't eat fruit like apples or nectarines or cherries. All of which bring on an attack," she said.

She later moved to East Wretham, which she described as 'even more remote' than Great Hockham.

The book said: "We spent much more time on our own, most of it singing after we'd written down the words of the songs we liked from the radio."

Caroline Flack attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium. Picture: Ian West/PA WireCaroline Flack attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

READ MORE: School dance group in Norfolk to Love Island fame: Caroline Flack's rise to stardom

Miss Flack and her twin sister Jody were both seasoned performers and members of the East Wretham drama society, where they performed a pantomime every year in the village hall.

She also talks fondly of walking in Thetford Forest with her sister and her father.

When talking about her favourite route she said: "Our favourite was 'No. 83' mainly because it had a pond at the end where you could catch tadpoles, and at the right time of year we'd bring them back in jam jars and transfer them to our own pond."

Miss Flack started Wayland High School in Watton in September 1990.

Caroline Flack. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Ian WestCaroline Flack. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Ian West

She said: "Going to Wayland had been a shock, we had really led a very sheltered life up until then.

"All the cool kids used to hang out after school on 'the Green' which was in the middle of the fifties' council estate just off Watton High Street.

"The Green was where everything happened, where they'd all be smoking and drinking."

READ MORE: 'My heart is broken': Caroline Flack's boyfriend in emotional tribute

Due to living further away from the school than her friends, Miss Flack had to find more creative ways to keep in touch with them.

File photo dated 22/1/2019 of TV presenter Caroline Flack who has died, her family said in a statement. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Matt CrossickFile photo dated 22/1/2019 of TV presenter Caroline Flack who has died, her family said in a statement. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Matt Crossick

"We would call in to Norwich Radio - Broadland FM - Late Night Love," she said.

"Jo and me and all our school friends used to listen when we went to bed because that's the only way we could communicate.

"We had this little portable with an aerial that you pulled out and we'd put it by the window to get reception.

"The DJ would go, 'I've got a request here from Caroline; she's asked for Mariah Carey for Sue, Jackie, Heidi, Sarah, Carla and Jody."

File photo dated 13/5/2018 of Caroline Flack.The TV presenter has died, her family said in a statement. Picture: PA Images/Ian WestFile photo dated 13/5/2018 of Caroline Flack.The TV presenter has died, her family said in a statement. Picture: PA Images/Ian West

"That was the full extent of our social life."

Miss Flack also writes about the Watton teenager Johanna Young in her book.

The-14-year-old was found dead in a flooded clay pit at Christmas 1992. To this date the case still remains unsolved.

She said: "We knew of her, but she wasn't a friend. She lived directly opposite the school and was a year above us.

"Every day the school bus turned into the school gates just past her house, and every day we would all fall silent.

"You could see her Christmas presents piled up in the window and it was so, so sad."

In 1993, Miss Flack's family moved back to Great Hockham before moving into a flat just off Watton High Street.

Miss Flack left home in her final year of college at The Bodywork Dance Studio to move in with her then boyfriend in a village north of Cambridge called Cottenham.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News