A portrait of an esteemed engineer has found its new home with the Dereham Heritage Trust.

Liz Harmer and Frances Willis, granddaughters of engineer Walter F Crane known affectionately as 'Pop' among family and 'The Guvnor' to his workforce, donated a framed portrait of their grandfather to the trust.

Mr Crane was the founder of a trailer industry based in Dereham and a consequential figure in the town's history.

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The donated portrait, painted in 1960, was originally displayed in the South Green boardroom beside the works adjacent to the Railway Tavern, and it is noted for its intriguing feature that Crane's eyes seemingly observed everyone in the room.

Dr Peter Wade-Martins, chairman of Dereham Heritage Trust said: "This painting is a most welcome addition to the town archive and will be on display alongside an already extensive collection of other Crane items once Dereham has a heritage centre."

The South Green factory created by Mr Crane in 1913 substantially contributed to the swift development of the road transport industry through its trailer design and production.

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During the world wars, the factory swiftly expanded production from cart wheels to aircraft timber and tank transporters, eventually increasing its workforce from 20 to 200 by 1960.

Under Mr Crane's direction, the local company evolved into a world leader in its field.

Throughout 1918-1935 Cranes, which became Cranes (Dereham) Limited in 1920, manufactured a variety of products ranging from car-spraying equipment to road signs and of course, trailers of every conceivable type, size, and specialty.

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The archive already contains many photographs of horse-drawn wagons, carts, and specialised trailers made on the site.

Cranes evolved to become Crane Fruehauf and later Fruehauf before its gates finally closed early this century.

The portrait will now feature alongside this archive.