Nora Bullen: Cooked for Dad’s Army cast and provided a home for young journalists

Nora Bullen

Nora Bullen - Credit: Archant

A woman who cooked breakfasts for the cast of Dad's Army as well as nurturing the fledgling careers of many EDP reporters has died aged 90.

Nora Bullen of The Hurn, West Runton, passed away peacefully at the Royal British Legion Home Halsey House in Cromer.

Her husband Jim died at the same home two years earlier.

Nora Nicholls was born in 1924 at Hockham. Her father was a railway trade union official from whom she inherited the cheery knack of treating everyone she met as an equal.

During the war she moved to London doing factory war work .


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On her return to Hockham she met and married Jim Bullen, a formidable local sportsman who played football for Thetford Town for 10 years and village club cricket for much longer.

Nora and Jim were stewards at Thetford Golf Club for a time before buying a large semi-detached house in Vicarage Road which they ran as a guesthouse - which became a home from home for many EDP trainee reporters while on attachment in Thetford.

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Mrs Bullen enjoyed having an end of the day chat with the reporters about their assignments.

In the days before computers and mobile phones, she would also help the newsgathering operation by putting parcels of news on to public transport, and dash to the pub to alert a reporter that the head office newsdesk was after them.

She often supplied news stories too. Her contacts as early morning chef at the Bell Hotel were impressive. She was on first name terms with the cast of Dad's Army when they stayed at the Bell while filming in the Stanford Battle Area - and full of anecdotes about the cast's stay in Thetford.

In the 1980s Nora and Jim moved to Cromer where they kept a guesthouse on the seafront before finally retiring to a cottage in West Runton where they delighted in entertaining their ever growing number of grandchildren.

Mrs Bullen, an only child,is survived by her son Raymond and daughter Margaret, six grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Her eldest son Michael pre-deceased her.

The funeral will take place at West Runton Holy Trinity Church on Monday March 16 at 1pm.

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