A planning application to turn the former Wicklewood workhouse into a boarding school for boys whose fathers were serving abroad in the Armed Forces, was received by South Norfolk DC in 1977 and later approved.
The possible closure of the hospital sparked a huge furore in the EDP and the local weekly newspaper, and many people opposed the idea.
Nevertheless, it did close, in 1974, whereupon 29 elderly lady patients were moved to Dereham Hospital in a convoy of ambulances.
The oldest to be moved was a lady of 98. Some time later it was reported that the RSPCA had trapped 15 'wild cats' evidently living in and around the hospital grounds. Some people, however, disputed the figures.
They estimated the village's entire cat population at no more than a dozen, with four of those living at the Cherry Tree pub.