Revealing the lost lives of Norfolk’s Marshmen

We’re in the news! The Eastern Daily Press published an interview by Daniel Bardsley with WISEArchive on Saturday 20th January 2018. We had the opportunity to talk about our Water, Mills & Marshes plans and our other projects. You can find the article at

By the way, we’d love to hear stories from more “marshwomen” to add to our collection.

Living and Working in the Marshes

WISEArchive is participating in the Water, Mills & Marshes project coordinated by the Broads Landscape Partnership Scheme which was launched in the Norwich Cathedral Hostry on 17th January 2018. We are recording stories from people who have worked in or around the marshes in Norfolk including the Broads and rivers. We would also like to hear from people who grew up in and around the marshes.

For more about the project:




Ponds Shoes, Norwich

During the Heritage Open Days we were invited to talk to people visiting the old Ponds shoeshop and factory on Castle Meadow, Norwich. (Now The Missing Kind.) Visitors were given a tour of the cellars containing Elizabethan houses and tunnel entrances leading to Norwich Castle. We met members of the Pond families and others with memories of the shoe trade in Norwich. If you worked for Ponds, let us know all about it.

Working lives of former Colman employees

lotteryUnder our Heritage Lottery Funded  project – Rbook coverecording the stories of former Colman employees we collected many interesting stories about this internationally known Norwich business – now owned by Unilever – the earliest being the tale of a young teenager who worked there in 1935.  The stories have been posted in the Colman’s section and the book entitled Colman’s of Norwich: Stories of Former Employees 1935-1995 is available in local bookshops or directly from us.


Heritage Open Days 

We met lots of people at the successful Heritage Open Day at Gressenhall Museum of Rural Life on Sunday 10th September 2017. Their stories are being put up on the website.

Norfolk County Pensioners

We participated again at the annual Norfolk County Pension Fund forum held at the Airport Holiday Inn Hotel, Norwich and at Great Yarmouth Racecourse. We heard fascinating tales from many pensioners we met there, and many of them are on the website. It was gratifying for us that several people who have already contributed to the archive came up to chat.

Norfolk Crafts

Have a look in the Norfolk Crafts archive to learn about people whose lives have been enriched by their interest in crafts such as weaving and spinning. Find out what to do when someone offers you a fleece, and how an interest can become a business.

Doughty’s Hospital

Find the stories of residents of Doughty’s Hospital in Norwich in the archive under Doughty’s. Residents have told us about their working lives in nursing, alternative therapies, shoe factories, shops and many more. Thanks are due to Comic Relief for funding this project.

Corton House

Residents of Corton House in Norwich told us their stories. You will find them in the Corton House section. Thanks are due to Comic Relief and the Norfolk Community Foundation for their support to the project.

Young people’s project at Magdalen Gates school, Norwich

Our project with the Norfolk County Council Youth Social Action Fund to help young people from Magdalen Gates school interview older people in the community about their working lives was highly successful. Go to the Archive to see photos from the project.