Stanhoe Pit



Parish Meeting

Speeding tops discussion at the Parish Council’s annual presentation.


Bibby birthday

Rev. Paul Bibby celebrates his 90th birthday.


The naked truth

Life model Ruth Smith amuses the WI.


Eating well

Nutrition tips have the WI fired up for a busy summer.


Parish Council Minutes

Parish Council Minutes for the 9th March 2017.


Glorious food

A globetrotting chef entertains the WI.


Gillian Beckett

New obituary highights Gillian’s botanical fame.


Tide times

Hunstanton 29 May
04:13 low (0.89m)
09:26 high (7.46m)
16:41 low (0.69m)
22:02 high (7.30m)

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Hard times in Victorian Stanhoe: the Williman family

Herbert Fenton WillimanHerbert Fenton Williman (photo, left) was born in Stanhoe in 1855. In this transcript of a 1983 BBC Radio 4 programme, published by Williman family historian , Herbert remembers the Docking Riots and the almost unbelievable hardships of 19th-century rural life, from which he escaped by becoming a Methodist preacher.

Stanhoe historian Gillian Beckett writes:

The Willimans were not an old Stanhoe family; the first we seem to have was a John Williment of Sedgeford, who appears in Stanhoe in the 1851 census and had seven children.

The eldest, Henry Farindon Williman, was born in 1848 in Titchwell, married a Stanhoe girl and stayed here. The family lived in Baker’s Yard and had nine surviving children in eleven years, all bar one christened at the Methodist Chapel in Docking. The eldest girl, born in 1881, was called Alberta.

Henry Farindon Williman and three of the children were still in Stanhoe in 1901, but none of them seem to have been buried here. The war memorial shows that an “H. Williman” served in the First World War and survived. We have no other reference to the family after that date.

After Henry Farindon Williman came the first Herbert Fenton Williman, who was born here in 1854 and died a month later. Herbert Fenton Williman the second, the most adventurous of the children, was born in 1855 and moved to Watford for work by 1891. He worked for a while as an insurance clerk and then emigrated to Canada.

Nigel Seamarks adds that John Williment’s forebears used the surname Willamon, and that the family seems to have come originally from Germany.

Front cover of Herbert Williman bookHerbert Williman’s grandson Rev. David Lawrence has edited and published Herbert’s memoirs as a 54-page book in A5 format.

Copies are available for £4 each from:

David Lawrence
38 Creance Road
Norwich NR7 8JW

It’s an amazing story of rural poverty in Stanhoe, exciting adventures in Canada and elsewhere, and unshakeable religious faith.