Colkirk Remembered


If you have any photos that you would like to see here, please let me know.

 I can collect them, copy and have them back to you very quickly. 

 If any photographs are damaged, I may even be able to produce restored copies for you.

We really need photos and your own memories of these and any other things that make Colkirk special.

If you can help, or you know someone that can, 

 please email Geoff on


Most of the links below will forward you to Google Photo Albums displaying all the photos in that album with any associated text

 Event Photos

 Hollywood Night 2013

 Forties Night 2012  

 Italian Night 2011     

 Gala Day 2007 

 Carnival 1948



 Misc. Photos                                           

 Sports Teams  

 School Groups



 Stables to Bar/Lounge 1986                                         

 Then and Now  

 Written Articles

 Family Photos


Birds of a Feather

The Cranes and The Sparrows

Many residents of Colkirk knew Eileen Bailey of Starre Corner - but few will know that she was the fourth generation of her family to live in the village.

Eileen's maternal great grandparents were William Sparrow & Ann Sparrow (nee Emms) and George Bartaby & Mary Bartaby (nee Russell ).   Eileen's maternal grandparents were Henry Sparrow and Ann Sparrow ( nee Bartaby ) who died in 1915 and 1920 respectively. Henry was a wheelwright in Colkirk and Ann was the housekeeper to the Curate of Colkirk. She later ran the village Post Office in School Road. All are buried in Colkirk churchyard.

Henry and Ann Sparrow’s daughter Alice and her husband John Crane were Eileen’s parents.

John Crane was the son of James Crane and Mary Crane (nee Pettit).



James and Mary Crane (nee Pettit)


John Crane was born at Ashwicken, nr Kings Lynn, in 1871.  He moved to Colkirk when his father James took over the stewardship of Manor Farm at Common End. John married Alice Sparrow, born 1875 in Colkirk, at St Mary's, Colkirk in 1912. They lived for a spell in Dereham Road, Colkirk before moving to the cottages adjoining Manor Farm where John worked as a team-man and gamekeeper before the farm merged with Hazelwood Farm. John then became Farm Steward in 1919 and later Farm Bailiff. He and his family lived in the farmhouse. John died in 1951 at Colkirk. His parents, James and Mary, (Eileen’s paternal grandparents) had died in 1938 and 1932 respectively.



These photos show John Crane and his wedding to Alice Sparrow (Eileen Bailey’s parents)


Eileen was born at White Cottage, Dereham Road in 1917. She and her family moved to Hazelwood Farm, Common End where she married Stanley Bailey in 1940 at St Mary's, Colkirk . Stanley Bailey was born at Common End, Colkirk in 1910 and spent all his working life as a mole catcher, firstly for his father, then in partnership with his brother Percy.

Eileen’s mother Alice died in 1954 at Colkirk

Eileen died in 2017, shortly after her 100th birthday



Photos of Manor Farm



The Greefs of Oxwick


Mary Ann Greef outside Oxwick Church


Mary Ann Greef ( formerly Cooke ) was born about 1844 in Castle Acre.

She married John Greef from Gooderstone and they had about 11 children whilst living in Caldecote, Swaffham.

They moved to The Green, Oxwick and were living there in the 1891 and 1901 Censuses.

Their son Reginald is mentioned on the Colkirk War Memorial.



Reginald and Eliza Greef


John and Mary Greef with their family


John Sumpter – A 19th Century Colkirk Resident



John Sumpter, a carpenter, was born in Ringland, Norfolk in 1812.

In 1838 he married Diana Harper, a Colkirk girl, born in 1815.

By 1851 they were living in Colkirk with their four children, Maria (12), Dinah (8), Elizabeth (5) and Martha (3), who were all born in Colkirk. 

By the time of the 1861 Census they were living in the pictured cottage in Fakenham Road (now Crown Road) which was converted from a barn or stables about 1854.

They now had an additional son, John (7). 

John (senior) died at the age of 57 in 1870 and was buried on 5th September in Colkirk.  

In the 1871 census Diana was still living in the same cottage with her son John, now working in the building trade like his father, but as a bricklayer. 

Diana died in 1912 aged 101 and was buried on 28th February in Colkirk. 

John, her son, lived in the cottage until he died at the age of 87 in 1940.

He was buried in Colkirk on the 18th September. 

The cottage, having changed very little from the photo, still exists in Crown Road.  


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