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Mulbarton is a village located south of Norwich in the English county of Norfolk. The population at the 2001 census was 2,827. It covers an area of 53400 km2 with an an Adnams' public house, The World's End, a social club, two convenience stores, a church, a fish-and-chip shop, and a chinese takeaway. There is a regular bus service to Norwich, and a pond where many ducks live.
Mulbarton is famous for having more association football teams than any other village in Norfolk by a factor of two. Its churchyard is famous for having a large population of bats, some of which are famous for having the largest wingspans in British recorded natural history.
In 2009 the first vineyard was planted at Paddock Farm on a south-facing, well-drained slope. The first wine was produced in 2011.
Both the First and Second World Wars had a profound effect on Mulbarton, affecting not only those who lost their lives in the wars, but the generation of children who missed out on their education in order to do agricultural work during the First World War.
During this time a cow shed in Mulbarton was bombed by Zeppelins aborting a raid on Cambridge, and 65 cows were killed in the explosion. An American air base close to Mulbarton is still remembered fondly by the people who played tricks on the Americans, and those who as children went to parties hosted by American forces.
A Roll of Honour in the Church porch lists all the Mulbarton men who served in the 1914-18 war. The 16 who died are highlighted in gold. A total of 90 men went to war, which must have been a high proportion of the men of the village, as it was 19% of the total population (481 in the national census of 1911).
edit Mulbarton Wanderers and Belles FC
In 1989, Mulbarton United Youth Formed and five years later Harford Belles formed playing at the South Harford School, Norwich. Four years later Mulbarton Youth FC split and formed Mulbarton Wanderers Youth FC.
In 2000, Harford Belles were awarded the Umbro club of the year title. In 2001, the Belles moved to Mulbarton and joined the Wanderers. They became the Mulbarton Belles and formed one of the largest football clubs in Norfolk.
The Mulbarton Wanderers and Belles were awarded the FA National Football Grass Roots award, presented in Mulbarton by Kevin Keegan. This was later shown on national ITV. The Belles formed their first Ladies senior team.
In 2002, Mulbarton Wanderers and Belles became the first club in Norfolk to be awarded the FA Charter Standard Development award. The Wanderers formed their first Men’s senior team.
In 2004, both senior teams achieved the FA Charter Standard Adult Club award. The club was granted the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award.
In 2005, Mulbarton became the Charter Standard Community Club of the Year for Norfolk.
In 2007, Mulbarton Wanderers and Belles were recognised as the FA Charter Standard Community Club 2007. The Senior Men were recognised as Charter Standard Adult Club of the year.
Mulbarton was originally the home to world famous footballers such as Rivaldo, Diego Maradona and Frank Sinclair. Sinclair and Rivaldo were both in the under 12 team and scored 83 goals in 19 games between them, 74 of them being netted directly from corners. More recently, David Ginola has been seen playing hockey with Iker Casillas at the Mulbarton Common. There has also been talk of of multi-billionaire Roman Abramovich buying the club and setting up a 65,000 seater stadium. This however, has yet to be confirmed.In 2011 a new coach was appointed for the under 8 team and he his tipped to become the new England coach after Euro 2012.
Mulbarton's sides also cater for disabled players, teams fielding 'special' players are seen on a regular basis in both 1st and reserve teams
For centuries the church has been at the hub of village life, not just as a religious institution, but as a provider of housing for villagers, administering charity, and overseeing the work of the school. Both the church and the Methodist chapel have traditionally been at the centre of village celebrations such as coronations, social events and social clubs, and village entertainments.
Today, the common is a recreation area for the rapidly increasing number of people in the village. Its football pitches are used by all ages.
Mulbarton common is famous for being one of the possible locations of King John's lost caravan of gold. Many attempts to locate the hoard, which is thought to have sunk into boggy ground, have been thwarted by the now hard-packed ground and thick undergrowth.
Even in the 19th century, there were day-trips from Norwich to Mulbarton for games on the common and liquid refreshment at the World's End. A move to enclose the common aroused great opposition in 1865, and modern development on the perimeter has been resisted with partial success.
Mulbarton had two pubs: the Tradesman's Arms and the World's End. Both had bowls and other sporting clubs. They also hosted a number of clubs and societies, including an Oddfellows Lodge.
Today there is just one pub - the World's End, which offers food as well as beverages. But there is also a licensed social club in the Village Hall. This is the modern successor to the old Parish Hall (often called the Wingfield Hall) that was very near the World's End. For over 60 years, it was the venue for many village activities. Many of these continued when the old school became the Village Hall, and their present home is the modern Village Hall and Social Club near the common.
Today, Mulbarton has two thriving schools: Mulbarton Infant School and Mulbarton Junior School, both of which give local pupils an excellent education. The predecessor to the modern buildings housing these school stands across the common - now a dental surgery, and before that the Village Hall. It was opened in 1865 as a 'National School' (i.e. run by the Church of England).
Today, Mulbarton has a Co-op, a small supermarket including a post office, a farm shop at Paddock Farm including a small butchers, bakers, and a chemist shop next to the dental surgery (both in the old school). There is a 24-hour Tesco only 3 miles away, but in the past, the village was well served with shops. Villagers remember that in the past all the shops sold everything, from sugar to paraffin and even crack cocaine, available directly off the shelf. It also has a very good fish and chip shop just behind the chemist and dentist. They will face stiff competition from the Chinese takeaway, a newcomer in Mulbarton which brings a much-needed multicultural experience to the otherwise right-wing demographic.