Thurlton lies close to the Suffolk border, set in a gentle valley bounded by marshland to the north and a tributary to the River Yare known as the beck to the west. The road that approaches from Thorpe, Church Road, was once the coach road through to Norwich from the sea ports of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and at the junction of Church Road and Beccles Road there were two Public Houses and opposite, a blacksmith’s. One Public House remains while the other and the forge are now residential properties.
The area to the North, Low Thurlton, remains largely agricultural while the main village is largely a residential area. The population is around eight hundred and includes over two hundred children and young people under the age of nineteen.
The local school has recently changed from a first school to a primary school and has a roll of around a hundred pupils. This September the new ‘classroom of the future’ extension was opened, built with consideration of energy conservation and complete with a wind turbine. Thurlton also has a shop and Post Office, village hall, playing field and bowls green.
The village hall was built to serve Thurlton and the neighbouring villages of Norton Subcourse and Thorpe-next-Haddiscoe. It is set on a rise next to the old Goliath Mill adjacent to the playing field. There are many groups that use the village hall on a regular basis such as the Women’s Institute and the Pre-school groups. It is also used for meetings by many of the village organisations, such as the horticultural club and Parish Council, fund raising events and social gatherings.
We share facilities with Norton, such as the day centre held in the Methodist Chapel and the Youth Club, which meets there on Friday evenings. Norton also has a flourishing football club whose membership is drawn from the villages and surrounding hamlets.
The thatched roofed church at Thurlton is part of a group of Churches known as the Raveningham Group. The rector of the group lives in a newly built rectory in the grounds of the old rectory, now a private house. The houses in the village are a mix of older houses and cottages and newer houses built over the last fifty years or so. There are two small estates built on the old ‘links’ to the east of Beccles Road, Links Way and Hampton Avenue and houses infilling between the older properties along Beccles Road, Church Road and Low Road. Small groups of houses have also been built in Low Thurlton amongst the old farm houses and cottages there. In Thurlton and Low Thurlton there are four council built flats, eight bungalows, and thirty-two houses. Of the thirty- two houses only nine remain in council control.
There is some local employment in the agricultural industry and a large waste treatment plant at Crossways Corner that employs seventy or so workers from the area. Thurlton is almost equidistant from Norwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, about fifteen miles from each, so there is easy access to all three for employment. It is about seven miles to the Suffolk town of Beccles and four miles to Loddon.
There is a bus service through the village, giving access to surrounding villages and towns . The nearest train station is Haddiscoe, about four miles, but there is not a bus service to it.
In 2011 Thurlton won the Pride in Norfolk Communities under 1000 Award and the WI forward to the future award. Articles to our December Newsletter relating to this acheivement are as follows:-
EDP Pride in Norfolk Awards 2011
Thurlton Parish Council are pleased to announce that Thurlton has been awarded
WINNER OF THE UNDER 1000 POPULATION CATEGORY
WINNER OF THE WI FORWARD TO THE FUTURE CATEGORY
in the above awards this year.
An amended version of the submission made to put Thurlton forward for the under 1000 population award is listed below
Congratulations to the Parish Council, Playing Field Assn and all other local organisations, businesses, fund raisers and volunteers who have been a part of these achievements.
Thurlton is a thriving, vibrant community that;
Has a conscience and a sense of cohesion
Cares about its environment
Likes to enjoy itself
This year saw the completion of a development of Nine Affordable Homes which has allowed young families to stay in the village. Our Pre-School and Primary School both flourish with positive OFSTED feedback. All Saints Church is part of the Raveningham Group of Churches. Our Youth Club meets on Friday evenings in the Village Hall. This year was the first exchange in an EU Youth in Action Programme, ‘Rural Youth Join Europe’ with six youngsters from our area meeting up with their counterparts from Spain, Slovenia and Latvia,. The meeting took place in Catalonia and in 2012 we will be the UK hosts. We are fortunate that we still have a Post Office and thank Linda, Tina, family and staff for taking over, refurbishing and restocking the Village Shop. This year we also completed a £150,000 renovation of the Village Playing Field which includes a teenage meeting point, toddler and children’s play areas and a multi-sport ball court and roller-skating path
We have two litter wardens, one keeping the playing field clean and checking equipment and, funded by the CPRE, the other carrying out a fortnightly litter-pick of the streets, donating the funding to village charities. Due to success in the Greenest Community Awards we are currently setting up a Community Composting Scheme on the allotments, and have £10,000 for reducing domestic energy consumption for cavity wall and loft insulation, also promoting domestic energy saving. We have revived our focal point for the village, the area opposite the shop, where the Village Sign and PC Notice Board are, now has colourful planters, paving and a bench, using re-claimed materials and local volunteers to install them. The Planters have been planted, with summer and winter bedding, and maintained by members of the Horticultural Club. The Plants have this year been financed by donations from the entry fees to the Oskar Construction Pool tournament in the Pub. We have replaced all the wooden fencing on the Playing Field with re-claimed galvanised fencing and voluntary labour.
Local groups include the WI, Ballroom and Line Dancing, a Rambling Club, Power-walking, a Horticultural Club, an Allotment Association, a thriving Bowls Club, (with county and national finalists many of whom are young players brought through the Club’s Colt scheme). The Playing Field Association revived the Village Fete with a Five-a-Side Football Tournament. Our Village Pub with its slogan of ‘funded by the community for the community’ continues to flourish recently being included in the CAMRA good pub guide. The pub has Darts and Pool teams playing local leagues and hosts local bands, beer festivals, and many of the fund raising activities for the village organisations.