His­tory is all around us in East Anglia and writer Peter Sar­gent peels back some of its lay­ers to dis­cover a wealth of sto­ries for his new book.

Let's Talk - - CONTENTS -

Win a copy of the fas­ci­nat­ing A Place in His­tory by Peter Sar­gent

Look around you. Just about ev­ery­where in our re­gion is steeped in his­tory. You never know, you are prob­a­bly cre­at­ing a place in his­tory your­self.

So says the au­thor of a fas­ci­nat­ing new book, whose name will be fa­mil­iar to many read­ers of Let’s Talk. Peter Sar­gent was pro­duc­tion editor of this mag­a­zine from 2010 to 2016, and this is his sec­ond book re­veal­ing some of the won­der­ful sto­ries of the peo­ple and places who form part of our re­gion’s in­ter­est­ing his­tory and her­itage.

In ‘A Place in His­tory’ - pub­lished by Paul Dick­son in Oc­to­ber - Peter shares 50 sto­ries bring­ing East Anglian his­tory to life. “So many peo­ple have their place in his­tory,” says Nor­wich­based Peter, 53. “For some it is a large and well-known slot, fa­mil­iar to mil­lions of peo­ple in the present day. Oth­ers have a far more hum­ble lo­ca­tion, and are not so well­known. They all find their place in

this book.”

Peter’s in­ter­est in his­tory was sparked dur­ing the 1980s when he stud­ied the sub­ject at the Uni­ver­sity of East Anglia, Nor­wich, and last year he ful­filled his longterm am­bi­tion to write about our past with his pop­u­lar book A Mo­ment in Time.

This time the fo­cus is as much on places as it is on peo­ple and events. His new book has tales of an Iron Age fort in north Nor­folk, a Ro­man road seem­ingly lead­ing to nowhere, the lo­ca­tions vis­ited by Chris­tian saints among the An­glo-Sax­ons, and the cas­tles and churches built dur­ing the me­dieval pe­riod.

Peter also looks at some leg­endary fig­ures, such as marsh­land gi­ant Tom Hickathrift, and asks if the An­glo-Saxon saga Be­owulf was ac­tu­ally writ­ten in Suf­folk.

There are me­dieval mys­tery plays, a Nor­folk sailor who helped sway the course of the Hun­dred Years War, and the north Nor­folk knight who un­leashed Henry V’s archers at Agin­court. There is an abbey in the Lin­colnshire fens be­sieged by Oliver Cromwell; a dogged Roy­al­ist gen­eral from Nor­folk; a ded­i­cated Pu­ri­tan icon­o­clast from Suf­folk – and the un­re­pen­tant Great Yar­mouth Par­lia­men­tar­ian who was de­ter­mined to cut off the king’s head.

The Suf­folk land­scape around Sud­bury, im­mor­talised by artist Thomas Gains­bor­ough, is fea­tured along with The Maids Head ho­tel in Nor­wich, where the revo­lu­tion was toasted by ide­al­ists in 1791.

Peter ex­plains where the rail­ways came and how they trans­formed peo­ple’s lives - and how con­trac­tor Sa­muel Morton Peto con­quered lo­gis­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties and lo­cal op­po­si­tion to make it hap­pen. And he con­sid­ers the im­pact of evac­u­a­tion of fam­i­lies from city to coun­try at the start on the Sec­ond World War in 1939.

In this col­lec­tion of sto­ries - some of which first saw life in the pages of the Eastern Daily Press news­pa­per - Peter brings us a var­ied cast list of saints and sin­ners, schol­ars and sports­men, rogues and writ­ers, sol­diers and sailors, queens and com­mon­ers, rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies and re­ac­tionar­ies who all have their place in his­tory.

A Place in His­tory by Peter Sar­gent (pub­lished by Paul Dick­son), is priced £12. It is widely avail­able at bookshops in Nor­folk and Suf­folk, as well as via Ama­zon.

Peter Sar­gent, with copies of his new book, which two lucky Let’s Talk read­ers can win. IN­SET: A blue plaque marks the site of the White Swan, Nor­wich, where Vic­to­rian boxer Jem Mace was the land­lord.

Sa­muel Morton Peto helped bring the rail­ways to the east.

Wartime evac­uees Lau­rie, Mar­jorie and Ivy Skeats in Nor­folk, 1939. The story of these chil­dren who were orig­i­nally from east Lon­don is told in A Place in His­tory.

Til­ney All Saints vil­lage sign de­picts the leg­endary Tom Hickathrift.

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