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Sep 2016

Wymondham Sign

Two return tickets to 'Wye-Mond-Ham' please...
Erm, 'Wye-Men-Dum?'...
It's all right,
I've got this... 'Wimmen-Dum?'

Well, that's saved you a few bob because the driver's just kicked you off his bus. Three strikes and you're out in this part of South Norfolk. It's pronounced 'win-dum' as in 'Wind? Mmm, hope it doesn't rain later' although you won't mind if it does in Dereham.

That's the only reason you're here since they wouldn't let you in, their big car park full and the signage back to the  A47 quite frankly, substandard.

There's parking just off Market Street under an arch into what's believed to be called a courtyard.

It's home to some some small shops where you can have a haircut, pick up a pair of shoes before buying a new home and a gun. Now, doesn't that sound like a housewarming party?

The Courtyard Coffee Shop has some seating outside, which is good for an eavesdrop, and the friendly staff are happy to chat. As is one elderly chap, just out of the barbers, and yes sir, that is a nice haircut.

Meanwhile, back on Market Street, do you remember the Great Fire of London?

Well, they had their own, earlier one here in 1615 and the Market Cross was rebuilt just a couple of years later. It still sits on stilts to protect the contents from rats and floods, grain and valuable documents, they say.

Good job, it's now the  Tourist Information and you wouldn't want them leaflets for Wymondham Abbey getting wet now, would you?

Oh! Wymondham has an abbey has it? Not just any old abbey, the original, very-early, 12th-century Norman church has been extended to lay claim to the title of 'One of the grandest religious buildings in East Anglia.'

These might be  Wymondham Abbey's own words but how this was inexplicably overlooked, despite being visible from Norwich, probably, can only be put down to that diversion from Dereham.

Oh well, you can't 'win-dum' all.

Despite the sizeable population, the centre's pretty compact and Becket's Chapel marks the western end of Market Street.

It dates from the early 15th century and following stints as a prison, a library and a school, it's now the  Wymondham Arts Centre. In the area displaying their 'street art' collection, they're not so much praising the saints, more, spraying the paints.

Yes, apologies for that but although Wymondham does deliver on the picturesque-enough Norfolk market town front, there's not a great deal else here apart from the abbey.

Has it been mentioned there's an abbey?

Extend your stay by heading down Fairland Street to the train station just south of the centre. it's home to the heritage  Mid-Norfolk Railway with the occasional choo-choo chuff-chuffing it through.

There's no obsession with these things being claimed, there's honestly not, you'll find they just follow you around although one individual is keener than they'd like to admit, maybe.

The station's main building is now the  Station Bistro and the period detail will have you wanting to go all steaming, but static, in the room with restored carriage seating.

Some sources[1] also claim the station acted as Walmington-on-Sea in Dad's Army although that appears to be a steaming pile of chuff, happen that'll be  Weybourne, 20-odd miles to the north.

That is a shame because it could have been said if you were making a reservation by phone for one of their evening specials and they ask... Don't tell them your name!

[1] Wikipedia™, obviously.