Dereham figure in the spotlight: Q&A with heritage trust chair Trevor Ogden

Dereham Heritage Trust chairman Trevor Ogden

Dereham Heritage Trust chairman Trevor Ogden - Credit: Trevor Ogden

Trevor Ogden, chair of Dereham Heritage Trust, reveals his favourite things about the town and surrounding area in our Q&A.

Trevor Ogden is 79. His first job was in Australia, working with a unit trying to make rain by seeding clouds.

There, he married Ann. Back in this country he worked for the coal industry and the Health and Safety Executive, on the behaviour and control of airborne dusts that cause disease.

After retirement, he did a lot of work in the same field for professional and other organisations.

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?


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I am chair of Dereham Heritage Trust (DHT), and before that I chaired Wellspring Family Church trustees. DHT and Wellspring are still my main activities in Dereham.

How long have you lived in the Dereham area?

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Only eight years, so I’m still a new boy! We moved here to be close to family.

What would you do if you were mayor of Dereham for a day?

A day’s not long enough, is it? I’d encourage the councillors about the good they can do for people, and I’d tell them (again) how Dereham Heritage Trust can contribute.

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how Dereham town centre could be improved, so in the hours that that were left I’d throw my weight behind that.

What is your favourite landmark in the Dereham area?

I’ve got to say Bishop Bonner’s Cottage, haven’t I? Backed by the church and bell tower. And the windmill is a good place to stroll to on a summer evening.

Bishop Bonners Cottage Museum in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Bishop Bonners Cottage Museum in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

What is your favourite pub in the Dereham area?

We don’t go to pubs much while we’re at home. I liked the George, and I hope it soon reopens.

The George Hotel on Swaffham Road in Dereham. Photo: Denise Bradley

The George Hotel on Swaffham Road in Dereham. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

Which shops do you rely on in the Dereham area?

Harris Hardware, Myhill’s, Wilco’s. You can tell the sort of shopping I do. I still miss Eastern Office Equipment. Does the library count as a shop?

Eastern Office Equipment in Dereham will soon close following its owner's decision to retire. Pictur

Eastern Office Equipment, pictured before its closure - Credit: Archant

What is your favourite place to go and eat in the Dereham area?

That’s hard. Most places are good if the company is, but Dereham is short of places to eat in the evening, apart from pubs and Indian food. I liked the George when it was open, and Smile is friendly for a cup of coffee, and quiet too.

Neatherd Moor in Dereham. Picture: Archant.

Neatherd Moor in Dereham. Picture: Archant. - Credit: Matthew Usher

What is a perfect day in the Dereham area for you?

My wife and I have had more walks together during lockdown than in the rest of our marriage, so a walk with her on the Neatherd must figure. And I like Norfolk Wildlife Trust walks led by experts. Round it off with a good meal.

Blickling Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Blickling Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Which places in the Dereham area would you recommend to visitors?

I’m not sure what you count as the Dereham area, but Blickling Hall and estate are outstanding – my favourite big house in Britain.

I like water, so would pick the river at Gressenhall and Beetley, and Sparham Pools.

Who is your hero, associated with the Dereham area?

I thought about this, and have to go for William Hyde Wollaston, who was born in the vicarage in 1766.

He became one of the country’s outstanding scientists at a time when Britain had many world leaders, and came up with practical advances that remained in use until the 20th century.

His story is on the DHT website (derehamhistory.com), but otherwise he’s got no memorial here.

William Hyde Wollaston.

William Hyde Wollaston. - Credit: Wellcome Library

What do you most love about the Dereham area?

Hard to say. A good size of place, good shopping for its size.

We’ve made a lot of friends here. It’s easy to pop on the bus to Norwich if we fancy somewhere bigger. We plan to stay!

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