Reepham, Norfolk

Reepham, Norfolk

Reepham is a small town in Norfolk, England, and has had market town status since 1277; a sign to mark this has recently been erected. The town has undergone significant development throughout its life, with the housing in the area showing a mix of vintages, styles and purposes. As of the 2001 Census it has a population of 2,455 residents and occupies an area of 19.09 km². Recent housing developments have mostly been on 'brown sites' so have not significantly expanded the perimeter of the town.

The town has both a primary and secondary school. Commercially, several notable regionally known shops reside in Reepham. The most well-known is 'Kerry's Farmhouse Pine', a restoration of the old Reepham Station site, which sells pine furniture and offers a cafe too.

Reepham has a large selection of shops for a town its size. These include an HSBC bank, a newsagent and Post Office which is a member of the IDEAL chain, a butcher, greengrocer and wholefoods store. The small SPAR supermarket is open extended hours seven days a week, which makes it a popular spot for socialising teenagers, particularly on Friday evenings when the youth club is hosted in St. Michael's church.

Reepham has three churches on the same site and is one of only two places in Europe to do so. Reepham's church of St. Mary is joined by its choir vestry to St. Michael’s and the third church belonged to Hackford. However, this third church burned down in 1543 and now only a fragment of the tower wall remains on the left of the path as you go towards the market place.

The Reepham Society [ [ The Reepham Society] ] is a registered charity, set up to stimulate public interest in Reepham, Hackford, Kerdiston, Salle, and Whitwell in 1976.

Notable Residents

Keith Simpson – Local Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk.

Reepham High School

Reepham High School, which has 'Technology College' status, serves over 800 pupils, the majority of whom live in outlying villages. Mr. Christopher Hassell is the current head teacher taking over from Dr Donald 'Ferret' Ainsworth.

Recent fame has hit the school in the form of a new £1,000,000 science block development and its ongoing league table success. RHS has been included in the in The Sunday Times “Best Schools Guide” for achieving the 23rd highest GCSE pass rate at A*-C as a percentage of examination entry in Britain's state schools [ [] ,] . Then Education Secretary, Charles Clarke; Martin Bell, OBE; and local businessman Bernard Matthews have all visited the establishment to commemorate the opening of other developments. The school is also renowned for its place at the heart of the community, offering pioneering adult education courses, many free of charge. On a more academic front, the school takes much pride in the AS level courses it runs in Maths and Electronics, having produced students with A grades two years earlier than the usual sitting age for AS exams. The school has also been used as a case study by Education giant LJGroup [ [ LJGroup] (PDF)] .

Ofsted inspected the school on the 7th and 8th of December 2005, awarding the school the highest overall grade possible – 'Outstanding' [This report is available for on line viewing [ here] ] . In the Summer of 2006, the school underwent a new painting project, visually refurbishing the aging school.

After many complaints of the school's website [ [ school's website] ] being indefinitely under construction, a new refurbished site has been made for the 2006/2007 year.

The School's Art Exhibition, displaying the final pieces of the School's GCSE Art students, is a highlight of the school's Summer calendar.

On the 10th of October, letters were sent home to pupils of RHS to announce that the school is very close to getting approved for sixth form status. For several years now the school has been unsuccessfully applying, being rejected due to size limitations yet now there is speculation they may receive a £2 million grant to expand the school's facilities.

It was announced on the year 11 Awards Evening, 18th Nov '06, that because that particular year had been statistically the best performing the school had ever had, they were in fact the main reason funding and approval was able to be secured for both a second specialism and sixth form.

The sixth form is expected to be operating by 2008.

In the early 2006-2007 school year, rumours were circulating that the school's authorities were attempting to apply for an 'Arts College' specialism to add to their belt. Many critics of the school's sudden development fear that the rapid expansion will destroy the school's sense of community which it has so strongly relied on for success, and cripple student's liberties, forcing many to take subjects under the rules of school specialism that they have no desire to. Ultimately, there is a fear the school will burn out.

On the 18 November 06, Mr. Hassell revealed that the specialism would in fact be 'vocationalism'. Details of the change have yet to be released.

Notable Alumni

Matthew Fletcher

26 September 1990 – 23 November 2006

Sufferer of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, which took his life on the 23 November 2006 [ [ EDP24 - Tributes to courageous Norfolk teen ] ] at age 16. Born 26 September 1990, Matthew lived all his life in Cawston, UK.

First diagnosed in November 2005, Fletcher achieved fame for his constant struggle against the illness while studying at Reepham High School, Norfolk, UK. He is credited for doing much to raise awareness for Leukaemia suffers, particularly through his work with the Anthony Nolan Trust [ [] , Eastern Daily Press, 17 November 2006] . His work and life earned him considerable attention in the local newspaper, the Eastern Daily Press, often to the size of double-page-inside spreads.

Matthew recorded an audio diary for BBC Radio Norfolk. Extracts from this audio diary were played on the BBC Radio 4 programme "Pick of the Week" presented by Robin Lustig

The week before his death Matthew was given the “Community Student of the Year” award from Reepham High School and a recorded video message from him was played to the school.

Andrew Stringer"'

12 December 1992 - 12 November 2006

Acquired a rare supra tentorial primitive neuro-ectodermal brain tumour that affects only one in a million children. He died on November 12 2006 after a 15-month battle. Like Fletcher, Stringer inspired much charity work, including several 'sponsored silences' [ [] ,] .


Whitwell Station

Although called Whitwell Station, nowadays the site is closer to the town of Reepham than Whitwell and as such, is considered 'home turf' by the people of Reepham, as well as being a notable stop on Marriott's Way. Although the old buildings still stand, the site has been derelict since passenger closure in February 1959.

The station has recently been purchased by a new owner who intends to restore the buildings, lay some track and create a small museum and visitor centre.

Marriott's Way and Reepham

Reepham is a significant stop on the Marriott's Way cycle and footpath. Travelling on the Marriott's Way in a westerly direction from Reepham station you will encounter the infamous Themelthorpe Loop, the sharpest bend in the whole of the British Rail Network when tracks were in place. When travelling from Lenwade to Reepham station via the Marriott's Way a large short-cut can be taken by leaving the path at Whitwell Station and travelling by road to Reepham station instead of journeying around the Themelthorpe Loop.


External links

* [ Reepham Benefice Community Blog]
* [ Web Cam looking out over Reepham Market Place]
* [ Reepham High School]
* [ The Reepham Society]
* [ A profile of Reepham] - by the Eastern Daily Press's Ian Clarke
* [ Reepham Rotary Club]
* [ Reepham's Police Station]
* [ Reepham's Church] at
* [ Visit Aylsham] Guide to Aylsham and the local area including Reepham

there is also a school in Reepham a high school and a primary school.

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