Life & Childhood on the marshes

A family in thatching. A hard but enjoyable life. (1970s-2019)

Stephen has worked as a thatcher since the 1970s.  He talks about his working life and the work he did, along with his brother, on cottages, churches, boat sheds, bus stops and even a village sign. I was born in 1954 at my grandparents’ house, Crome’s Farm, How Hill. In those days young mothers would […]

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A life’s trickle with the water (1953-2019)

Kim was born in Potter Heigham and has grown up on the Broads. Many generations of his family going back to the 1700s have lived and worked on the Broads. He has worked on wherries with his father, picked fruit with his grandmother and transported the Caen stone on the wherry Albion into Norwich during […]

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A Man of the Marshes (1947 – 2018)

Wally tells his story as the ‘King’ of the marshes. He is the last hand reedcutter and is leaving his legacy of knowledge to his sons.  I was born in Rockland St Mary, in the old Post Office row, in 1947. I had two sisters and one brother.  I just got one sister left now. […]

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A Neatishead farm boy (1950s -2018)

John’s mother ran the village shop in Neatishead for over forty years, it was a meeting place for all the locals and farm workers. John was born in the room above the shop. Growing up above the shop My childhood was spent in Neatishead where my mother ran the village shop and my father had […]

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A Rednall from Reedham. A life on the marshes (1950s-2017)

Archie was born in London and his family moved to Norfolk when he was a child. He talks about his childhood and later life on the Norfolk marshes. I was born in London, but my dad moved to Reedham in 1947. He bought Brick Kiln, which was the old Reedham brickyard, although it was redundant […]

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A Wheatfen childhood (1953-2017)

Suzie provides a fascinating insight into her experiences growing up on Wheatfen Broad as a child of the well-known Ted and Phyllis Ellis, and her family’s continued connection with the Wheatfen nature reserve. I’m the youngest of five children, born at Wheatfen Broad near Surlingham in November 1953. Russell Sewell also lived here, as did […]

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An unspoiled childhood by the River Yare (1940s – 2018)

Julia describes her post-war childhood and family life down Griffin Lane, by the River Yare, in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. Life on a houseboat Mum and Dad got married at Thorpe St Andrew’s church and their first home was on a houseboat. I remember Mum saying she steered the motorboat, towing the houseboat behind. My […]

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From the Old House (1930-2019)

Mrs Jacquetta Cator of the Old House in Ranworth tells of her children growing up by and on the Broads, legends and stories about the house, which has a very special atmosphere, and her role as a magistrate. My father was Member of Parliament for Sunderland, his family came from there. Then he went to […]

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