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VIDEO: R34 celebrations put village on the map




Unbelievable, packed, joyous, emotional, collaborative, fascinating.

These are the words of used by those behind the the R34 airship centenary celebrations in Pulham St Mary.

At the weekend, the village marked 100 years since the giant R34 completed the first ever double crossing flight of the Atlantic, landing at Pulham St Mary on its return.

It wasn’t meant to – and still no-one is quite sure why – but as a result, the small Norfolk village won a place in aviation history.

In tomorrow's Diss Express we have a full picture round up of celebrations in the village, and also neighbouring Diss.We also take a first look at the new Pulham St Mary village sign, featuring the air ship, which was created by local artists and townsfolk, and the Parish Council.

Lily Mathieson and Freddie Gent, great-great grandson of William Gent, who was flight sergeant of the R34, Pictured at the Pennoyer Centre. Photo by Mark Bullimore Photography
Lily Mathieson and Freddie Gent, great-great grandson of William Gent, who was flight sergeant of the R34, Pictured at the Pennoyer Centre. Photo by Mark Bullimore Photography

Chair of the council, Clayton Hudson, said: "The Parish Counciland Pennoyer Centre wanted everyone, young and old, to celebrate the centenary of the arrival of the R34 in Pulham after crossing the Atlantic in July 1919.

"Over 750 visitors came to Pulham St Mary over the weekend to see the airship exhibition, listen to expert speakers and join in the celebrations as the new village sign was unveiled.

"What a great way to re-live a major event in the history of Pulham St Mary."

There were also celebrations in Diss.

Zargowski dancers celebrated in Diss
Zargowski dancers celebrated in Diss

Museum manager Basil Abbot, said: "We had ten times as many visitors to the museum as on a normal Saturday, with about 200 at the musical show and another 50 at the church service.

"The stalls did a roaring trade, with the R34 beer disappearing quickly.

"It was a great weekend and worth the seven years' work that went into the project. Severalfamilies of members of the crew came and were delighted with it all.

"The family of Engineer Norman Scull loaned several items for the weekend. These included one of the silver mounted propelling pencils presented to the crew by the New York Fire Department.

"This was their only reward, while the Officers received medals.


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