Tunstead’s Barrel Man . . Origins

Brenda MarlerBrenda Marler remembers . . .

The Women’s Institute was formed in 1915, and celebrated its 50th Golden Jubilee in 1965. The Tunstead branch of the Woman’s Institute (WI) held regular meetings in the Village Hall (long-since demolished to make way for more homes in Granary Way), and it was decided to celebrate the Jubilee by donating a sign, which now stands at the entrance of the village, on the corner of Market Street and Ashmanaugh Road.


Unveiling Tunstead Village Sign

The village sign is unveiled. Present are: Brenda Marler (left of sign) and her twins; (right) the Hon. Pamela Walpole, Lady Grace Barry, Rev. Whyntie and his family

Harry Carter was commissioned to design Tunstead’s sign. Mr Carter, an art and woodwork teacher of the 1960s at Hamond’s Grammar School in Swaffham, was responsible for a great number of the carved village signs that are now found in many of Norfolk’s towns and villages. Playing on the old English word ‘tun’ – meaning a barrel and a pot-bellied man – the Tunstead sign was created.


Mrs Brenda Marler, still resident in the village, was President of the Tunstead WI in 1965. She records meeting Harry Carter on a number of occasions, usually at the home of the Hon. Pamela Walpole to discuss the design and construction. Lady Grace Barry, the County Chairman of the Federation, unveiled the sign.

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