Search

Mystery plaque popping up all over

PUBLISHED: 14:08 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:18 11 May 2010

The stone plaque at Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton.

The stone plaque at Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton.

WE thought the mystery of the missing plaque featured in last week's Mercury had been solved - but it's just become more confusing!

Reader Penny Stannard, of Palgrave Road, Great Yarmouth bought a plaque at an auction at St Mary's Church in Southtown Road a year ago - she thinks she paid around £10 for it.

What a find: Reader Penny Stannard with the plaque she bought at an auction a year ago.

WE thought the mystery of the missing plaque featured in last week's Mercury had been solved - but it's just become more confusing!

Reader Penny Stannard, of Palgrave Road, Great Yarmouth bought a plaque at an auction at St Mary's Church in Southtown Road a year ago - she thinks she paid around £10 for it. It matches the picture of the plaque we appealed for help with tracing in last week's Mercury, which went missing from Shrublands some years ago.

Penny said: “The man who sold it said it was off the Wellington Pier and that's what I've told everyone who's seen it.”

Mum of five Penny had mounted the cast iron plaque on her front wall, but after reading our appeal, she took it down and has it stored safely inside her home.

“At some time it was painted and had colour on it,” she explained, “and I bought it because I really liked it.”

Meantime, local historian Colin Tooke has also been in touch.

He said: “Although I do not know the origin of this plaque, despite much research, I found a stone plaque with the same design in the base of a fountain inside Potters Leisure Resort at Hopton.”

We emailed Colin the picture of Penny's plaque and he replied: “This is interesting because the plaque you have is not the one from the Shrublands. Their's had a repair to the top right corner. There must be several of the plaques including the stone one at Hopton, but what is their origin?

And then we have had an anonymous letter - which we don't normally print. However, this letter is signed “For fear of thieves I sign myself….Bloater.”

The writer says: “I live next door to my sister and we each have a cast iron version of the town plaque shown in the Mercury. Her's is still in its original black, but mine (many years ago) was painted in authentic heraldic colours by the chap whose job it was then to do the inn signs for Lacons public houses.

“The story I have is when the present town hall was built, each office had its own coal fire and hence its own coalbox. Each coalbox had on its lid a coat of arms like the one pictured - and by the way each is just over eight inches square. My grandfather had the job of taking out the coalboxes when the central heating was installed, and being careful about such things, he prevented a brace of these plaques from going to whatever the tip was in those days. These are now family heirlooms, as you can imagine. I can remember when a sad plaster cast of one was “discovered” at Brundish's funeral parlour, a long time ago. It made the front page of the Mercury as a rarity even then.”

Can anyone else help? Who else has one of these plaques? Write to Letters at the Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Great Yarmouth Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury