'The Gateway to the Broads', Beccles is a thriving market town in Suffolk that has been central to local communications for two millennia, prospering as a hub of trade and industry, while still retaining its cohesiveness and welcoming atmosphere. The historian Granville Baker wrote of his adopted town, `Beccles is as a city that is at unity in itself.' While never wishing to be extensive, the town's substantial church, two marketplaces and stately Georgian buildings testify amply to its historical importance.
Beccles Through Time features images depicting much of its significant architecture, from the eleventh century onwards, as well as documenting some of the smaller but no less fascinating alterations in the town's appearance. The changing role of the river, which gave Beccles the Saxon name for `the pasture by the stream', is illustrated, and scenes of celebration and recreation are also shown.
After a career in education, beginning as a teacher of English and including ten years as a headteacher, followed by work as an educational researcher, consultant and university tutor, Dr Barry Darch has indulged his life-long passion for local and family history. He is a keen supporter of Beccles U3A (University of the Third Age) and led a group which researched the history of Beccles Public Hall, publishing its findings in 2017. He is joint convenor of the Beccles U3A Family History Group and has been excited to discover some Suffolk ancestors from the Middle Ages, in spite of his immediate forebears for several hundred years all coming from the Westcountry.