News in Harleston

Harleston News


Harleston History

In many old guide books Harleston is described as being a town of Georgian and Victorian houses. Whilst the centre of the town looks like this is the case, in reality the buildings are far older - but hidden!  What we see here is just a facade, beneath which the Harleston of the 1300's to 1600's remains!  It just has to be discovered.  There are over 160 very old buildings in the town, many with some of the original features still visible.  We will be publishing regular articles about individual buildings to create a list of some of the architectural masterpeices inside Harleston.  Keep a look out for new entries, then come to Harleston and see for youselves. Read more >


Harleston Sends Peace Message to United Nations

Simultaneously with the ringing of the United Nations’ Peace Bell in New York (9.00 - 9.30am USA time), bells will peal at St John’s Church in Harleston between 2.00 and 2.30pm (BST) on Friday 15 September as a forerunner to the UN's International Day of Peace (21 September).

The chimes will bid Robin Twigge from Harleston and District Rotary Club 'bon voyage' as he carries wingtips clipped from each of the 1,000 origami crane peace messages on display in the church to the Peace Bell outside the United Nations building in New York. He will then take them on to 'Ground Zero' - the memorial at the site of the “Twin Towers” – before returning the wing tips to Harleston for a ceremonry to mark Peace Day on 21 September.

'Taking the wing tips to such symbolic places in New York is a small but powerful way to unite our community’s hopes and wishes for local harmony and international peace with peoples across the globe', said Mrs Pat Webb, President of Harlestonand District Rotary Club.

The Peace Bell, cast from coins sent by children from all over the world, was donated by Japan to the United Nations in 1954.

The wing tips, clipped from peace messages contributed by o schoolchildren, the elderly, and all ages in between, will be carried in a single white paper origami crane. It’s “flight” to New York will be the first stage of a long journey (ultimate destination the Memorial Peace Park at Hiroshima, Japan) for the wingtips of the 1,000 cranes which have been on display in the nave of St John’s throughout the summer holidays and has been a community-wide project.


1000 Origami Cranes for Peace 'given wings'

Following Harleston’s Future’s New Year Resolution to promote making 1000 Japanese origami cranes for peace, Oscar Simmonds, a year 10 student and one of a group of Peace Advocates at Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS), Harleston, South Norfolk, Joined Mrs Pat Webb, Peace Officer, Rotary District 1080 – East Anglia and Vice-President of the Rotary Club of Harleston and District, to ‘give wings’ to the resolution. The Project will also combine making the origami cranes, with the town’s well-known swifts initiative. 

Mrs Webb and Oscar, were joined by Cllr Barry Woods, Chair of Redenhall with Harleston Town Council and Rob Connelly, Deputy Head-teacher at ASHS.

Some 900 Students and pupils in the Harleston Cluster of schools  (ASHS and Harleston Alburgh and Denton and Pulham Primaries) will be invited to write a message for peace on multi-coloured sheets of paper decorated with small swifts.  The sheets will then be folded into traditional origami cranes and turned into a large display in St John’s Church, Harleston for the summer.

The Resolution was inspired by the young terminally ill Japanese girl affected by radiation poisoning who sought to make 1000 cranes, following a Japanese tradition, and by our swifts, which like cranes, know no boundaries, flying as they do over continents and countries, town and villages on their epic migrations; our ‘free-spirited emblems for people and wildlife’.


Swifts: They’re back and we are ready

After their epic non-stop journeys to over-winter in Africa, Harleston's swifts are arriving back at their traditional nesting sites in the town.  While they have been away, Harleston’s Future Swift Action Group have been busy increasing the number of potential nesting sites on buildings in the town.  About 120 new swift nest boxes have been erected to provide plenty of extra residences for young or displaced swifts looking for a new home. 

To mark the swifts return in the first week of May,  a special welcome flag was raised in the edge of the market place in Harleston town centre, when the first birds were spotted. 

Swifts numbers have been declining sharply, in part through loss of their traditional nest sites when roofs are renewed and old buildings demolished or converted.  Their plight has caught the imagination of communities throughout Britain, and Harleston is no exception.

'It's simply staggering that they have been flying ever since they left last year and will only land again as they return to their nest sites', said Norman Hart, Chairman of Harleston's Future. They are very loyal to their exact nesting location, that's why we need to protect existing sites and to create more to help to improve their fortunes and to keep the summer skies above Harleston alive.

Harleston 2040

Volunteer, Ian Carstairs, represented Harleton’s Future at the Business Forum’s event, Harleston 2040? - to speculate on what the future might hold. Among other things he predicted the reincarnation of a cricket club and increasing popularity of social picnicking on the Rec. Will the predictions come true, soon?



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