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Plaque dedicated to prison visitor

PUBLISHED: 16:41 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:12 03 July 2010

THE dedication of a plaque to the memory of inspirational prison visitor, Sarah Martin (1791-1843), was the culmination of four years determined effort by the members of the Inner Wheel Club of Great Yarmouth.

THE dedication of a plaque to the memory of inspirational prison visitor, Sarah Martin (1791-1843), was the culmination of four years determined effort by the members of the Inner Wheel Club of Great Yarmouth.

Following an enthusiastic talk by Mrs Jackie Clover about Great Yarmouth's own “Elizabeth Fry”, the club determined to honour Sarah's name in some lasting way.

Sarah Martin had balanced sermons with practical advice, teaching the prisoners to read and write, and encouraging them to work and be productive with their time, making items like books, hats and spoons. She then sold their goods, using the money to buy clothes for the prisoners and aid on their release. A memorial window to her memory was put in St Nicholas' Church, Great Yarmouth, in 1858 but was destroyed during the second world war and the town had since failed to rectify the matter.

The topic recurred at club meetings during the next four years until it was decided to aim for a plaque to be placed in the same church. In members' naivety, theye assumed it would be easy but it has taken many hours of negotiation to achieve the permission and wording they sought.

Inspired by Sarah's own determination, members did not lose heart and it was with pride and pleasure they at last witnessed the dedication by Canon Michael Woods at the end of last month.

The plaque reads: “This plaque was presented by the Inner Wheel Club of Great Yarmouth 2008 in recognition of the work and teaching of prison visitor Sarah Martin 1791-1843 among the poor and less fortunate of this parish.”

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