I’ve spent 3 or 4 months slogging my guts out to produce a new North Walsham Official Town Guide which, I’m pleased to say, is now with the printers. Today I was loaned the oldest North Walsham Town Guide I have ever seen. This one (on the left) is from 1911 and we have others from every decade from the 30’s to 2013 in our North Walsham archive. It really is a town institution and a real privilege to be charged with producing the latest edition on behalf of North Walsham Town Council which is 144 full colour pages crammed with loads of new stuff. The biggest edition ever produced.
I have worked on the North Walsham Town Guide since 1991 in a design and artwork capacity when I was employed by Express Pprinting of North Walsham and continued to be involved after I became self-employed many years later. This edition has been much more involved as this is the first edition I have been completely responsible for in every aspect; advertising, management, finance, copy, artwork, etc. This included contacting every business I could identify in the area (about 600) and asking them to take advertising in the guide which ultimately funds the whole project. I ended up with 92 advertisers which is the most the guide has ever had. This enabled me to create a much larger guide than ever before, boosting the guide from the usual 64 internal pages to 144, full colour pages. Also I have been able to up the print run from the previous 3,000 copies to a massive 10,000 copies and organise delivery of a copy to every home in North Walsham.
I have been working closely with Fi at North Walsham Town Council who provided all the current information required in the guide including contact, legal and general local information. A large part of this guide is made up of historical information about the town which I have been lucky enough to exploit my position as chairman of the North Walsham & District Community Archive and acquire information and stacks of historical photos of the town. This also gave me access to the Archive’s Facebook Group, which I started and have ran for over 5 years now, to draw on the combined knowledge and experience of, potentially, over 6,000 group members to gather and verify information. I also run a successful hobby website for North Walsham; northwalshamguide.co.uk which has given me a platform to advertise the project and circulate information to help find groups and organisations, businesses and advertisers. And, of course, a lifetime of living, working and being educated in North Walsham, and the network of contacts and friends this has given me, helped enormously too.
Printing of the North Walsham Official Town Guide for 2019/2020 is being handled by Barnwell Print in Aylsham. Although Barnwell Print are based outside North Walsham I was more than happy for them handle the print as I trust them impeccably after the many years we have worked together and they have never let me down and I know they have the equipment and capacity to handle a job of this size and standard and in the time available. The business is still quite local and they have a history with North Walsham as they took over Rounce & Wortley Printers in Hall Lane, North Walsham several years ago (originally Amiss Printers in Market Street) which I am happy allows me to proudly say the job is a 100% local production.
I have also been very lucky enough to have had several very helpful local people such as Julie Cameron providing me with some great photographs of North Walsham. Diana Velhagen, Rosalie Gibb and Chris & Alex Alexander proof reading. Nick Stone & Pete Appleton with historical information. Richard Crossley with graphics. The North Walsham & District Community Archive committee for information. This really has been a great community project by North Walsham for North Walsham.