Norfolk Marshes

Reedham Ferry and Cantley Sugar Beet Factory (1958-2016)

Keith moved to Reedham from Freethorpe when he was four years old and lived there for 70 years. He spent his entire school life at Reedham School. In those days you stayed at your primary school, because the secondary moderns didn’t actually open until the year after he finished school. Learning to swim The headmaster […]

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Rural veterinary practice – a life of change (1970s to present)

Mike Bardsley is the senior partner for the Three Rivers Veterinary Group in Beccles. Mike was born in 1951 on a farm in Upwell, Cambridgeshire in the Fens. My father was from Manchester and he’d moved down to Upwell in Cambridgeshire to work in a family business called Harry Wood Ltd. This was primarily a fruit […]

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Sailing into Education (1950s to 1990s Hunter’s Yard)

Les Gee worked in education for much of his life, and for some years was very involved in establishing the Norfolk Schools Sailing Association, and the purchase of Hunter’s Yard for Norfolk Education Committee. I was born in Derby in 1930 and I’m told I cried for my first boat when I was about two. […]

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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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