Valerie O’Dwyer has contacted the Oxborough Voice to provide some history of Oxborough from the time when she lived in the village.
In 1998 fundraising started to refurbish the church which needed serious repairs to the roof of the Chancel and Bedingfeld Chapel, as well as refurbishment of the organ which had not worked properly for a considerable number of years. The very rare glass of the altar windows had been repaired a few years before.
In 2007 the Chapel was closed by Breckland Council as being unsafe as some of the beams had rotted and also one of the decorative angels and shields had fallen. This was largely due to the inadequate emergency repairs carried out in 1948 after the spire fell. It was then necessary to fundraise much harder in order to completely replace the roof and the oak beams (these came from Euston Hall as being the nearest oak available) dry rot in the church, carpets and finish refurbishing the organ and Victorian organ stool. The organ has an award for its quality of sound. The beams were treated with an experimental treatments. Several organisations came to see the restoration and methods used.
In total fundraising took 10 years with great support from many churchgoers, non-churchgoers and people from far away. Fundraising included 1/2 marathons, a drumathon, dinners in the church and in the private apartments of Oxburgh Hall by kind permission of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, open gardens, annual art exhibitions, concerts in Oxborough, Stoke Ferry and Swaffham.
Appeals were made to many, many organisations and donations and grants were received. We were put forward for an award for the work but were not winners sadly. Over the 10 years a total of £434,000 was raised for various repairs and restoration.
It might be of interest that the land on which the Village hall stands was donated by Ian Monson’s mother. There was a plaque in the Hall as she opened the Hall.