Norfolk Marshes

Sailor, farmer, river inspector (1939-1980s)

My father worked as a clerk for a firm in the London Stock Exchange and when I was about 13, he asked me if I’d like to work with him. I said no; I wanted to go farming. The last thing I wanted to do was to work in an office, anywhere, because where we […]

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Seven years a trapper – the coypu story

When I left school I wanted to be a gamekeeper, but unfortunately gamekeeper positions were few and far between. I applied for quite a few. I even applied for one on the Duke of Buccleugh’s estate in Scotland, but none of these applications led to a job. It didn’t help that I was very young. […]

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Ships great and small (1870s to 1950s)

My grandfather William Henry Hall, a lively lad, his working life My grandfather was called William Henry Hall and he was born in Reedham in Norfolk in 1877. He was the great grandson of James Hall, a man who had moved to Reedham from Norwich in the early part of the nineteenth century and started […]

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Story of an Irstead boy (1930s to present)

Life in the cottage I had grandmother, aunts and uncles, and we all lived together in a cottage in Irstead. We didn’t have electricity or running water, but we had a lovely coal fire all year round. Let me explain the cottage. You went through the back door into what we called the kitchen. On […]

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Studying the coypu (1970s)

I came to Norfolk from Wales. I swapped the hills and valleys of Wales for flat lands of Norfolk and the big sky and that would be in 1972. I started at the Coypu Research Laboratory when the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries & Food was looking for people. It was in Jupiter Road in […]

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Swans in the kitchen (2017)

John Crohill tells of life on the Norfolk marshes – characters, wildlife and wildfowling. Life on the Marshes I moved from Cambridge to Brundall in about 1950. I lived in a little house which was next to the Lackford Run which is the stream that runs through from the River Yare and goes up through Braydeston. […]

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Teaching sailing 1960s (Hunter’s Yard)

Jean Gee combined her skills as a school teacher and sailing instructor, at Filby and Hunter’s Yard, for some years in the 1960’s I learnt to sail with the Sea Rangers in Norwich and at Whitlingham, at Norwich Amateur Rowing Club, in dinghies, mainly, various types of dinghies. In 1964 I was at Keswick Hall […]

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The eight-year saga of Catfield Fen 2008-2016

I met my wife Geli when we were both 17 and we’re now approaching 70, having been married for 48 years. My early years were in Norfolk and I was then brought up in Lincolnshire so I’m a country boy although I’ve made my money or worked in the City and abroad in America and […]

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The making of Strumpshaw Fen (1960s to 2000s)

I was born in Chester in 1944 and most of my formative years were spent in a marvellous market town called Oswestry on the Welsh border. I have always been interested in wildlife from an early age, keeping caterpillars, and bird nesting. In the days before it was illegal I had an egg collection which […]

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