Category Archives: History

Working and life on the Norfolk Broads in the late 19th Century

My pal Malcolm Woods has just found a new online collection of Victorian photographer Peter Henry Emerson’s atmospheric shots depicting the Norfolk Broads.

They’re stunning – though I can’t help that despite the dreamy tranquility they do seem to depict a hard and narrow-looking sort of life. There would be work and the struggle of getting by all week and on Saturday, of course – and then on Sunday there would other duties for many, often listening to fiery sermons in the chapel.

When novelist LP Hartley wrote: ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there,’ he could so easily have been writing about these folks.

A lovely memorial to Lella, Oare

Wandering in the sunshine around the chruchyard of the charming little parish church at Oare, I noticed this particularly lovely headstone. My pal Ian Carter later filled in with some information he found on the World Wide Web – it seems Lella was a sailor and journalist named Helen Jenkins, and two links concerning her memorial and how her life was cut short can be found here and here.

The memorial tells us that ‘She gave boundlessly…stood for what is right, and was loved beyond measure.’

Here’s the view of Oare Creek from her resting place.  It seems very fitting. 

Thanks for the information, Ian!

Erecting Whitby’s Penny Hedge

We in the UK live in a strange country – one that is more exotic than we may all realise. In Whitby Harbour there’s an ancient tradition of building a short piece of fencing each year – the Penny Hedge, and this YouTube filmed by Doc Rowe with help from Jill Pidd shows it being built last year.

Just for the record, it’s a tradition that goes back nearly nine centuries