Norfolk Marshes

Changing times at Cox’s boatyard (1970s to present)

Eric Bishop talks about his life with boats and the history of Cox’s boatyard on Barton Broad, Norfolk In my early life my father was a great sailor. He used to sail a lot of the little dinghies around the Broads with his brother and then he taught me how to sail in the good […]

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Changing times in farming (1930s to today)

The early days: farmers move from Scotland to Norfolk How it started was predominantly my predecessors came to Norfolk and parts of Suffolk from 1900 onwards. The biggest move was from about 1925 to the Second World War in the agricultural depression period in East Anglia. What commonly happened was that various members of the […]

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Cows for company

My name is Tony Clarke, and I’ve been involved with the Norfolk marshes nearly all my life and have had some really good times. We used to try and beat Reedham Ferry across the River Yare at swimming, which normally we did. This was because the ferry used to drift down the river on the […]

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Engineering – a vocation not just a job

I was born in Chingford, Essex, my father was a commissioned officer in the army and my mother was a comptometer operator until she had me. My father unfortunately was a fatality in the closing months of the war, in the Ardennes. As a young war widow my mother moved with her parents to Lowestoft […]

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Farmer, marshman – always animals

Marshman Paul was born on a marsh farm, where he and his twin brother were involved with the work from a very early age. He still works on the marshes. On the farm as a boy When I was boy, seven or eight years old, I used to go and help harrowing the seeds in […]

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Float my boat. 1954-2004

I was born at home in North Walsham in 1939.  I don’t recall a lot about the early days during wartime, except there were always explosions, planes flying over at night-time and during the day there were many soldiers in military vehicles. I also remember there was a water storage tank, about 100ft in diameter, on […]

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Following the cow’s tale (1960 to date)

John was the herd manager at Billockby Farms and still works for the farm in a part-time capacity on Martham Island (Heigham Holmes) I was born in Wisbech in 1944. Father was a grocery shop manager; we lived on the edge of town, so we were town people as such. Then in 1951 father moved […]

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Four generations of marshmen and reedcutters

Generations of marshmen My family has lived on the marshes for generations. My grandfather Reginald Mace was a marshman on the Reedham level and he had a fairly large family. There were eight children: four brothers, four sisters. So times were tight and during the war he used to go out shooting. They used to […]

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From the Royal Navy to Norfolk Broads River Inspector

Gerry’s early working life in the Royal Navy and his second career as a river inspector were bridged by his post as master of Carrow Bridge in Norwich. In 1981 Gerry was awarded the British Empire medal by Her Majesty the Queen. I was brought up in Norwich and went to the City of Norwich […]

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