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Hethersett, Sri Lanka
A number of people have contacted us after visiting the Hethersett tea plantation and Hotel in Sri Lanka.
Former Hethersett resident and parish councillor Nick Jarvis visited the factory in his words "only for a cup of tea." Nick takes up the story: "We took with is a pamphlet - Hethersett Two Hundred Years of Change - containing pictures of old Hethersett and the management were fascinated.
"On a wall was a map of old Hethersett containing line drawings of some of the older buildings and we were able to show the staff the modern photos of these buildings from our pamphlet."
Now Nick and Maggie Jarvis' daughter Rebecca is getting married and will be spending a couple of nights of her honeymoon at the hotel and is hoping to send the management their own copy of the pamphlet.
Jill Seaman also wrote to us, having just returned from a two night stay at the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel on the Hethersett tea plantation near Nuwara Eliya. Pictures from Jill's visit are below. Just click to enlarge them.
"Coming from Norwich originally and having two aunts that live in Hethersett (one on Malthouse Road and one on St David's Road) I was astounded to discover that the Hethersett in Sri Lanka was named after the Hethersett in Norfolk.
"It's a fantastic place in a fantastic setting and I would encourage all your parishioners to go and visit especially as the owner is offering a very generous 20% off the bill!!" Jill said.
Finally we were contacted by George Baker from Liverpool who also informed us that the Heritance Tea Factory had been converted into a "unique hotel."
"The estate was founded by a native of your village who called it the Hethersett Estate in memory of his home village. The hotel is housed in the old tea processing factory with lots of the old equipment still on show," George told us.
You can read more about how the plantation came into being in previous articles below.
Previous Pieces on the Plantation
Villagers in Hethersett, Norfolk, England, are being invited to take a cut price holiday break in Sri Lanka - at the tropical Hethersett tea plantation, 5,500 miles from home.
The invitation comes after villagers discovered a tea factory founded by their ancestors hundreds of years ago had been converted into a luxury hotel.
The hotel is set in the heart of Hethersett estate and even boasts a Hethersett bar.
Colin Wilson, at the time chairman of Hethersett Jubilee Youth Club, stumbled across the hidden link when he received a letter telling him about the hotel.
The abandoned factory was discovered by hotel director Gaurin Wickremasinghe, who converted it into a hotel two years ago. He is now hoping to meet up with villagers from Hethersett in Norfolk.
He discovered that the plantation was founded by William Flowerdew, a former, Hethersett resident, who left Norfolk around 1879.
He is reputed to have set up the plantation and named it after his home village, but then returned to England by 1881.
He has offered anyone with a Hethersett address a 20 per cent discount on accommodation at the Tea Factory Hotel.
Facts about the Hethersett Factory in Sri Lanka
The following article appeared in the Eastern Daily Press Newspaper in April 2006:
It was almost a case of home from home for a former Norfolk man on holiday in
the "elephant island" of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean.
There is a co-incidence in this article as not only did I previously work for the same organisation (Eastern Counties Newspapers) as Rob, but I also came across him on a number of occasions when we both worked as journalists in the Midlands in 1978!
We have also come across a Presbyterian Ladies college in Melbourne, Australia, which apparently is named after our Hethersett. To read about this
Follow this link