Sell-out success for April’s training area church tour.

A sell-out success. All seats for April’s tour of the Stanford training area and its churches have been sold.

Organiser Scilla Landale said that demand for the visit on April 17 has been tremendous and every place on the 53-seater coach has been sold. There’s a waiting list and it is quite long, she added.

The Norfolk Churches Trust has been running the annual tours, which normally take place during the lambing season when military operations are more limited.

For years, the tours have been arranged with the active support of Lt Col Tony Powell. He retires at the end of March after almost 20 years in post. He and his team have continued the tradition dating back almost half a century of allowing supervised access for thousands of visitors on escorted bus tours to see behind the scenes.

It is to be hoped that his successor will share his enthusiasm and allow further visits in the coming months and years – and given the demand for this latest visit, there’s clear public interest in the training area.

The focus of the visit on April 17 will be the churches in the heart of the 23,000-acre training area, which has effectively been closed to the public since July 1942.

The churches to be visited include Stanford, with its round tower and the smallest church, St Andrew’s Langford, with Norman doorway, and St Andrew, Tottington, with its decorated and perpendicular architecture. The remarkable Victorian transformation of a medieval church, St Mary’s, West Tofts, is a further highlight.

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