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Father and son Celebrate Gorleston with book

PUBLISHED: 06:30 30 December 2011

Richard and Tom Harrison who have written a book called Celebrate Gorleston.


Picture: James Bass

Richard and Tom Harrison who have written a book called Celebrate Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A proud Gorleston father and son team, who want to share the successes of their town with people across the country, have written their first book together.

Richard Harrison, a teacher at Norwich City College, and his father Tom penned Celebrate Gorleston after learning of a grand pageant which had united the town more than a century ago.

Tom, 67, had been involved in the Millennium Manuscript project at the turn of the year 2000 which saw the district’s schoolchildren write poems on what they love about Gorleston, the town’s heritage and how they imagined it would be in the future.

He saw many similarities between the project and the Gorleston Pageant of 1908 which had brought people together, and it inspired the Harrisons to write Celebrate Gorleston.

“We worked on it seriously off and on since the beginning of this year,” said Tom, who is a member of Gorleston-on-Sea Heritage Group (Gosh).

“I hadn’t heard of the pageant and it didn’t seem to be featured in anything I had seen, so I did some more research helped by my son.

“It was a case of writing it when Richard was here for long weekends.”

He had first seen the 1908 pageant mentioned in the writing of Rev Forbes-Phillips and it spurred him on to find out more. The church-organised festival encouraged youngsters to pick up good habits in preparing for the big day, and was a revival of a type of event that had largely died out towards the end of the 1800s.

“It was a community event and the Millennium Manuscript was another,” said Tom, who lives in Victoria Road.

“There were links in that we had a group of people at the centre who encouraged local people to get involved.

“There was a connection over 100 years and that was the focus for the book.”

He said he enjoyed working with his son Richard, 35, and the pair are delighted with how the finished book looks.

“It’s brilliant,” said Tom. “Writing it was like planning the pageant and the manu-script as you think it might be like this or like that but it changes as it goes along.”

The book, which features many previously unpublished images, is on sale at £10. It is more than 100 pages and in full colour.

To buy Celebrate Gorleston, call 01493 601742 or email gorleston1976@gmail.com

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