Working Lives

Three times lucky. Life in and around Limpenhoe (1936-2022)

Location: Norwich

Denis has lived in and around Limpenhoe all his life. He shares his memories of his father’s and grandfather’s working lives on farms, on the marshes, and for the owners of the Cantley sugar factory. Denis, who was an apprentice at Laurence Scott electrical manufacturers, tells stories of his early life at Limpenhoe Mill, including surviving a bomb blast in 1943 and recovering from two bouts of TB. He passes on his experiences of the excellent care he received at Kelling Hospital and the West Norwich Hospital from the newly-formed National Health Service.

 Early days in Limpenhoe

I was born in Limpenhoe in October 1936 in a two-up two-down type farm cottage with very few facilities. My father was a farm worker, but he also worked at the Limpenhoe mill. My grandad used to man the mill, and my father used to relieve him at times. Obviously they couldn’t work 24/7, but there were times when he had to put in long hours to keep the mill running.

Limpenhoe Mill

Limpenhoe Mill was a drainage mill. I honestly don’t know when it was first built. At that time I presume it had replaced a windmill. It was a turbine, powered by a huge diesel engine with a massive flywheel. This engine had to be started on compressed air, which was generated by a small petrol engine I presume, to build up the pressure. Then it would just pump away until it wasn’t needed any more, to keep the water levels on the marsh at the level that they wanted them to be.

It won’t be diesel now. If it’s still working, it would be electric, I would think, now. I honestly don’t know if it still exists in operation.

Limpenhoe drainage mill ca 1919


Limpenhoe drainage mill 2021 (Image Norfolk Mills)

Two mill stories: an old shotgun….

I know one or two stories to do with the mill, two, anyway.

It was a pretty boring job sitting there hour after hour with nothing to do. I mean, you didn’t have to attend to the engines at all. Perhaps they had to check the bearings and lubrication and so on. My grandad’s oldest son was in the navy and he came home on leave. Because his father wasn’t at home he went down to the mill just to see him.

To break the boredom, I think, my grandad used to have an old shotgun in the mill to deal with any pheasants or anything that turned up on the river bank. But it wasn’t a cartridge thing, it was what I call, like a muzzle-loader where you had to load the cartridge in the barrel.

And anyway, this oldest boy went down. He saw the gun standing there, and he was mad on guns, so he said, ‘Can I have a shot, Dad?’

Well, he said, ‘If you can see anything!’

So he went off. Nothing came by except, in the end, a seagull sort of floated past. Of course, his son Arthur, he got the gun and pulled the trigger. And because this gun had been loaded for some time, in a damp shed, it didn’t go off straight away. And the story goes that Grandfather was doing a dance up and down telling Arthur to hold the gun, not to bring it down, because he, Grandad, knew that eventually it would go off.

And as it happened it did, it went off. I think by this time the seagull was a dot on the horizon! And this cloud of smoke! I can understand Grandad’s apprehension when he saw the gun didn’t go off because, well, it could be disastrous if he pointed it somewhere and thought, ‘What’s the matter with this?’

Anyway, that was one story.

….and a wagon gets stuck in flood water

The other story is on my memory, in 1943 I’ve checked back, it was in ’43 when the river flooded. And they needed to get fuel, diesel fuel, down to this pump. Now why they didn’t take it by river I don’t know. Presumably if it was flooded they couldn’t see where the river was and where the river wall was, I don’t know.

But I do well remember seeing a horse-drawn cart, a four-wheeled wagon, going down what we called the marsh wall that rolled down to the mill, through the floods. And the wagon was, ooh, well up over half its wheels in the water. And the horse, all its legs were in the water, it was just the body of the horse outside.

The point was, whoever drove it down there had to know the wall, had to know the road, because it wasn’t a straight road. And I thought that was absolutely marvellous that they were able to get this wagon with the barrels of fuel on the back down to the mill to keep it running because it was essential that they got the floods pumped back into the river.

Working life at Limpenhoe Mill

From Hill Farm to the mill I would think it’s over a quarter of a mile, somewhere between a quarter and a half a mile away. That was quite a way across the marshes. My grandad walked to the mill every day when the mill was needed. I mean, the mill didn’t run every day. It only ran when the water levels in the marshes got too high, you see. It was a drainage mill. But he walked all the time, as far as I know, my grandad never rode a bike!

Grandfather worked on the farm, Hill Farm, when he wasn’t operating the pump, and my dad worked there ever since he left school. I can’t remember when my dad was born. In 1943, when I’m talking about, he must have been in his early forties, I would think, late thirties. He worked on the farm. But he spent a fair bit of time on the marshes.

Slubbing dykes

One of the jobs they had to do down there was what they call slubbing dykes, cleaning the dykes out. They had a special knife to cut the edges of the dyke, and a crome to pull out all the weed and the mud. And that used to be stacked up alongside the dyke, much as they do now with a digger.

That was an essential part of the drainage of the marshes, to keep the dykes clear. Of course, the cattle used to go and drink in the dykes, and they tended to push all the soil back, all the marsh back into the dyke, you see.

Great escapes part 1: rescued from the ice

I left that part of Limpenhoe in 1943. But I remember, going back to that flood, another story I had was when it actually froze over. There was acres and acres of lovely frozen ice, frozen water. And a lad who lived down the road from me, slightly older than me, came round mine and said, ‘Shall we go sliding on the ice?’

Well, that was, you know, a good thought! He must have been seven or eight, nine, maybe, and I was six. And we went off running across the ice and sliding and enjoying ourselves. Then all of a sudden we heard this ping which you get when the ice cracks.

He shouted to me, ‘Don’t go there, don’t go there!’ by which time I couldn’t stop, you can’t stop yourself when you’re running on ice.

And I ran there and I went through the ice. How deep I went in, I don’t know, but by some good fortune he was able to get to the edge and pull me out. Now, they always say that if you go through the ice nobody can pull you out, they can’t get to the edge. But he did. And so I had some distance to walk home, frozen, and presented myself dripping wet to my mum!

I don’t think she told me off. I mean, that’s what you do when you’re children. She was aware where we were going, as far as I know.

But I mean, to all intents and purposes the ice was alright, there was just this one area where we think there was a stream from the land running down, so that water was a little bit warmer. Therefore the ice didn’t set so thick. So that’s our theory anyway.

Great escapes part 2: surviving the bomb

When I was six, my family had to move away from Limpenhoe. This is where the story of the bomb comes in.

(See the article in the Eastern Daily Press, March 1943, at the end of the story. Note that no mention is made of the location in order to avoid giving help to the enemy.)

My father, for whatever reason, had dug an air raid shelter in the back of our garden, at some time earlier in the war. Just dug a big hole about six foot square and six foot deep, something like that. Put railway sleepers across the top of the hole and then put the soil back on top, and that was our air raid shelter. How many other people dug air raid shelters, I don’t know. Anyway, so it was there.

And on this particular night, on the 28th of February 1943, he came home from the Home Guard training, as they did. It was a Sunday night. I think he was in the process of getting into bed; no, that was when he got home, he said the whole area was lit up by flares like daylight. Incendiary bombs.

And he knew from being in the Home Guard, I suppose, that those bombs were dropped as a marker for the bombers. So he knew there was a good likelihood there would be a bomb coming our way. And he says he actually saw the bomb coming down on parachutes, it was a huge thing. My older sister actually saw it as well, she says it was like a tree trunk on two parachutes.

So he saw this bomb coming down. He rushed upstairs because we were all in bed and said, ‘Mum,’ to my mum, you know, ‘you’d best get in the shelter.’

So, on our way, he shouted to our neighbour to take shelter. We virtually just got into the shelter, and all I remember is he just pushed my head into an old pram that was in there with his potatoes, he used it as potato storage.

And there was this almighty, that wasn’t a bang, it was a huge whoosh. He described it like a typhoon. It lasted seconds, it seemed like seconds, this horrible whoosh, and then an awful dead silence, you know. I don’t know if other people experience that when you get a loud noise, but there was just a dead silence.

And then, I don’t know how much later, we heard our neighbour, screaming. So Dad must have gone out, and he rescued her from her house, her and her daughter, actually. But what had happened, this bomb had lit virtually on our front doorstep. And as luck would have it, it was on the far side of the house to where the shelter was.

This bomb was designed not to dig into the ground and explode. It was designed, because it came down on parachutes, to explode just before it hit the ground, so the blast was spread as far as it could possibly be.

The power of the blast

It completely destroyed our house. I mean, the paper report says ‘to a pile of rubble’, but that wasn’t a pile of rubble. There was a very slight indent in the area where the house was, but because our neighbour’s house was slightly lower than ours, it took her house off at table height. And she had sheltered in the pantry, of all places. Under a table in the pantry, which was obviously about table height. This blast had cleaned her house off at table height, and she and her daughter were under this table in the pantry.

The blast then finished off, just about half destroyed another house about 30, 40 yards down the road. It did a lot of damage to my grandparents’ house which was another 20, 30 yards down the road. According, again, to the paper report of the time, lots of houses around that little group suffered broken windows and doors and what-not.

Because our house was right on the edge of the Yare valley, the land behind our house sloped upwards onto the farmland. And this blast had obviously hit this rise in the land and shot everything up in the air, and the story goes that people found our clothes hung up in trees in Reedham, on the road to Reedham, the next day.

So that sort of gives you some idea of the power of that bomb.

The whole story is that all five of us weren’t touched at all, except I think my father’s old sawing stool came down the shelter and just damaged his elbow a bit. This neighbour, Mrs Jermy, had multiple cuts, obviously, with the crockery in the pantry, and Shirley, her daughter, had minor cuts. So everybody survived virtually unharmed. I mean there was no permanent damage to her or Shirley or any of us.

Eventually, when we came out of this shelter, again, I think it was a result of shock, I remember feeling I was, oh, I was walking on cotton wool. Everything was so soft. That’s how it felt to me.

The aftermath of the bomb: help from neighbours, and a second bomb

It must have been some time after the bomb when people from the main village of Limpenhoe came across the footpath. Most of the young men came over. I mean, bear in mind we had got nothing on apart from our nightclothes, and this was February. They piggy-backed us, well, four children, across to the main part, what we called Limpenhoe Common, and a good lady and her husband put us up for the night, Mr and Mrs Gunn. It was quite a cold journey, but nevertheless we were thankful.

And the next day, of course, they had to go out around the village and get clothes for us, because we couldn’t go anywhere! I don’t know how they had got on, but my father eventually went back to the house, or where the house was, the next morning to see what had happened. Obviously you couldn’t have torches and what-not around at that time. How he felt, I just don’t know. Must have been quite a shock.

That’s the only bomb we saw, but the same night another bomb was dropped on the road from Limpenhoe to Freethorpe. It fell right in the road. Mr Preston, who was the, sort of, dedicated bomb informer, if you like, was driving his car to see what would happen with our particular bomb. Because it’s wartime and they had pretty poor headlights anyway, the story says he’s turned his headlights out and he drove into the crater on this one on the Freethorpe Road! There were other incendiaries about, but I mean the main attack was this one big bomb.

What was the real target?

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether the bomb was targeted for something, or whether it was dropped at random. I mean, where we lived was about perhaps half a mile from the Cantley sugar factory. So that’s the only theory that we could have, that it was aimed at the sugar factory. But I mean they were half a mile out! Their aiming wasn’t that good, thankfully.

The impact on the family: rehousing in Limpenhoe, then Cantley

My family lost everything. I’ve got, well, not a cut-glass fruit bowl, but a moulded glass fruit bowl that’s got chips on the side. And that’s the only thing we recovered from the rubble. That was just absolutely devastated.

My father kept on working. He worked on a mixed farm. There were cattle sheds in the farm, up the hill, as we used to call it. They had horses, of course, and several acres of land. How soon he went back to work, I don’t know, but he went back to work there. He worked there another five years, anyway, somewhere about that.

I honestly don’t remember how the Jermys got on. Of course the next problem for us, after the bomb, we’ve got nowhere to live. I mean, there were plans afoot, obviously, in those days for people who were bombed out, for that eventuality. I don’t know how many days later, probably less than a week, we were allocated part of a farmhouse near Limpenhoe Church. It was called Cantley View Farm.

This wasn’t an old, olde-worlde farmhouse. It was three bedrooms, a lounge and a living-room and what we called a scullery, which was like a kitchen, really, and glass conservatories on north and south sides for some reason.

Anyway, we were allocated, not all of this house, just two-thirds of it. The owner was an industrialist from the Midlands. He used to come down for shoots and breaks from the wartime duties, so we had to leave him the front bedroom and the front room, and the bathroom.

So our family occupied the two bedrooms and the living room and the scullery. And we lived there from 1943 ’til 1948 in those situations. Of course, all this time my two sisters and myself had to sleep in two single beds pushed together. And by the time we left I remember my sister was 14, so it’s not an ideal situation.

We were eventually allocated a council house in Cantley. We were then able to live what we call a normal life, because living in a borrowed house all the time, we couldn’t do much. Father couldn’t do any gardening or anything like that, we just had to, virtually, exist. But he still cycled to Hill House, Hill Farm in Limpenhoe, it’s about a mile away, I suppose, for that time.

Father changes jobs

Then I don’t know what happened but he decided he didn’t want to work for Charlie May who was the farmer at that time. And he got work, because he now lived at Cantley, with the big Dutch company who owned, well, I was going to say thousands of acres locally, called the East Anglian Real Property Company. They were Dutchmen, and because the sugar beet factory had been started up by a Dutchman they came over and bought up most of the land around.

So he got a job with them. Their base was at Cantley, but the problem with that is that they owned farms, ooh, as far as Buckenham, Hassingham, Cantley, obviously, Reedham, Halvergate. I think they owned some at Beighton, yes, they did at Beighton.

So they owned farms and land all the way around there, and they expected their workers to get themselves to and from work. If they had work for them to do in Halvergate, they were expected to get on their bike and go to work at Halvergate. And bike home. And carry their own tools.

Father loses his scythe

The story I remember my father telling me is that they were hedging, trimming hedges and banks, somewhere, Reedham, I think. And, because you don’t want to carry your scythe home every night on your bike, they used to hide the scythes in the hedge. And he lost a scythe that way, somebody found it and he never saw that again. You know, they had to buy their own tools.

Pay wrongly docked: ‘A bitter story’

The other story I remember was a bitter story as far as I’m concerned. My father was put in charge of a group of ladies at Reedham. In those days they used to harvest the spuds, dig the spuds up and put them in what we used to call a hale. Used to pile ’em up on the side of the field, cover them over with straw and then with earth. Then in the springtime they’d open them up and riddle them to sort good from bad. These women used to do that job, and he was put in charge of this group of women.

One morning it had rained all night and then froze, and the roads, well, you’d say that they were really like glass. My father rode where he could, he rode even, he said, on the grass verge to try and get there. And he was late getting there.

Now each of the farms at Cantley and Buckenham and Hassingham and all of them, had their own man, like a foreman, who organised the work in their areas. Later on, the company recruited an ex-military man to be the boss over all of them. But he had a van.

And as I say, by the time my dad got to Reedham, he was there with his van. No problem for him. And he just said to my dad, ‘You know, these women have been standing here, nothing to do. You can go home, and lose half a day’s pay.’ And that has really, like….

Daily life before the bomb: relying on the pulk for water

Before we were bombed out, as I say, we were a two-up, two-down cottage. It was detached, we didn’t have any facilities, not even an inside toilet and all the rest of it. We didn’t have water, we didn’t have electricity.

And the remarkable thing about our water supply was, we had to walk down the road 30, 40 yards, perhaps more, to what we called a pulk.

Not a lot of people have heard of a pulk. What that was, was an open stream coming from the land up above, that ran eventually down onto the marshes. But into this little stream was sunk, like, a brick well, so you could get to drop a bucket in it, to get your water. So it was all open.

And you used to have at least two buckets, the old enamel buckets, I remember, and cart them home. I would think probably we had three, because, if there was any heavy rain, or wind, or anything, this stream picked up all sorts of flotsam and jetsam!

You had to have at least two buckets, so you could take one home and leave it to settle, so that all the solid stuff went to the bottom and all this floating stuff came to the top. You had to scoop that off, and then you’ve got your drinking water, washing water, whatever. And so you’ve got one that had stood for a day, and the next one was standing waiting. I would think probably we had three buckets.

Everyone down that end of the village got their water from, well, not only that pulk. My grandparents, were, as I say, another 30, 40 yards down the road. They had their own pulk, which was just for their house, and their neighbour.

As far as I know you didn’t boil the water before you drank it. It did clear in the end. I mean, as I say, if you leave it long enough the solids will go to the bottom and the floater will come to the top, so what’s in between is yours!

I did have a lot of trouble years back trying to find the definition of a pulk, because everybody I spoke to had never heard of it. And I’ve written down here that it’s defined as a ‘muddy pool’. That’s all the description I got. It was muddy after a rough night, you know, you can imagine what it was like after a heavy storm.

Toilet arrangements, washing facilities, and water from a well

We didn’t have the honeycart turn up, it was more, dig a hole in the garden to empty the bucket there. Then when we moved to this other house up what we called the top of Limpenhoe, we had some sort of toilet where it was never emptied. I think it was more or less like a cess-pool.

Then of course when we moved to Cantley there was the honeycart. I think early on, though, that was a case of digging a hole in the garden, and having the weekly, or fortnightly, duties.

And the tin bath in front of the fire, yes, and the water was heated in the coal-fired washing copper. The water there in Cantley was from a well, which was used by ten or a dozen houses, if not more, council houses. That was my job when I got old enough, to go and wind the water up!

The freedom of a happy childhood

I would say I had a happy childhood. I was happier when I was in the first house, because I had freedom. The woods on the sloping bit up to the farmland was my playground. Mother tells me I never, well, I know I never wanted to go to school, because I always wanted to know what was happening on the farm.

And the horses, I mean, oh dear. The horses were all working on the farm. I don’t think that any farmer had a tractor. I knew all the horses and what they’d been doing that day and all the rest of it.

A ride on a horse….

A story regarding the horses.

One of my uncles was in charge of the horses. I dunno if he was just in charge that particular time or whether that was his usual job.

Anyway, I walked up to the stable one afternoon when I knew the horses were back. They used to take all their harness off, and they used to release them. They used to run down the slope, quite a long, steep slope, to the marsh wall. They would run down and wait at the gate for whoever was looking after them to come and open the gate. Whichever marsh they were to go on.

They were stripped right down, no harness on at all. And this uncle said to me, ‘Do you want, will you want a ride, boy?’

And, of course, well, I took that up. So he stopped one of the horses as all the others were running down, and he lifted me up onto this horse’s back.

Well, there was nothing to hold onto, it was just pure bare back. And as it went down this slope, obviously I was sliding forwards. I must have nearly strangled this horse, I think. I really gripped. And I was scared out of my life, obviously.

And when this horse got to the gate where they were waiting, as I said, this horse, because it was last, he didn’t walk, he was galloping! And I slid off this horse and slunk off home. I didn’t contact my uncle!

… and keeping the horses awake!

Another story about horses.

They used to, in those days of course they used to thresh the corn from stacks. They didn’t have combine harvesters then. You had the steam engine driving the drum, but in those early days they used to have a horse that used to operate the elevators that took the straw from the back of the drum onto the straw stack.

This poor old horse used to have to go around and round driving these elevators. And, poor old boy, poor old Prince, I well remember his name, he used to get so bored he used to go to sleep!

So, you know, there’s the drum producing straw, and not going up onto that stack. There was a lot of shouting, so they recruited me to go up there and wake up the horse whenever he stopped, when he went to sleep! I remember doing that a few times, yeah. Good old days.

Apprenticeship with Laurence Scott, and falling ill with TB

I started with Laurence Scott as an apprentice when I was 16, in September ’52, I think. Then when I was about 18 I fell ill with TB. And so that stopped my apprenticeship.

At that time most people with lung TB went to Kelling Hospital, that was called a sanatorium. I had to wait at home for 11 weeks before I could get into Kelling, with no nursing care except my mother. I used to have to take some horrible tablets three times a day, oh, dreadful things.

Great escapes part 3: recovering from TB – twice!

So I went to Kelling, and got on really well there, just on drug treatment and bed rest. I was there six or nine months, I should imagine, because you had to do three months bed rest anyway. They gradually used to get us up an hour a day, then two hours a day, and so on.

Then I came home, and I had to have more time at home before I went back to work. Laurence Scott were good enough to let me start part time. So I went back to work and gradually got back onto full time.

I used to go for regular checks at the hospital. I wasn’t back for too long before I was told that I had got TB again.

Denis and his father have TB at the same time – and end up in the same ward!

Kelling was such a rotten place to get to from Cantley. I mean, my parents, when I was there, used to get on a train from Cantley to Yarmouth on a Sunday morning, wait goodness knows how many hours in Yarmouth to get a bus (they used to run a dedicated coach for that purpose) to Kelling, which took I don’t know how long.

They’d be with me for perhaps an hour, back, and they’d get home about six o’clock in the evening, you know, and that’s a dreadful place to get to.

So, the point I’m coming to is that my dad, in the meantime he had got TB.

And I don’t know who decided in the end, but at that time there was another chest clinic at the West Norwich Hospital, and there was a chest ward in the buildings on the other side of the Bowthorpe Road from the main West Norwich hospital. Some single-storey buildings with the men’s section one end, women’s the other and the kitchen, offices in the middle. Old, very old place.

So they found my dad a bed in this ward. He had by this time obviously left work with the farmer.

When I fell ill again, personally I would have preferred to have gone back to Kelling, but I couldn’t expect my family to visit two of us in different places, so I went into Ward Four, in Norwich. I laid in the next bed to my father, by which time he had had surgery at Kelling, and then come back there for his bed rest.

Father’s time on the ward

And so he was back there. They used to laugh at him because, when I first went back, I was on what they call ‘bed one’ which was bed all day. You’re allowed up once to go to the washroom and toilet. They used to laugh at me because I had to even do that in a wheelchair and because my dad used to push me in this wheelchair, and I was 20! I always used to pull his leg, saying, ‘That’s a year or two ago when you had to do that!’

When he finished with his bed rest and rest at home he couldn’t go back to farming, so he actually got a job at the Cantley sugar factory. He worked there for the rest of his time ’til he was 65. I don’t think he was too sad about leaving the farming industry.

Treated fairly by Laurence Scott

Then I had to go for surgery and then come back to Ward Four at Norwich, and eventually, got back to Laurence Scott. As I say, they were good enough to extend my apprenticeship, to say that, if I went anywhere else, I could say I was apprenticed the whole term.

Excellent care from the new National Health Service

This was the early days of the NHS. My treatment, and my father’s, was under the NHS. It was really, really excellent. Part of the treatment was good food, and fresh air. Which is what you got at Kelling, believe me.

They wheeled the beds outside, and you laid outside in the fresh air. I was in a wooden ward, but they used to have these huts, we used to call them chickens’ huts, because that’s really what they were like. They were on wheels, so they could turn them round to suit whichever way the wind was so you didn’t get the wind in the door, you know.

We were in the main block, as I said. They used to come in in the morning for the toilets and what-not. They often used to laugh that the flannels were like a block of ice, you know, just frozen stiff, because we used to get worse winters in those days than we do now.

The care was excellent, really excellent. You weren’t rushed around, you know. You didn’t ever feel that they wanted to get rid of you like they do now, they get you out of hospital as soon as possible, which is fair enough.

Entertaining patients at Kelling

For me as a young man that was better at Kelling, because as you got more time up, there were, sort of, recreational facilities. Nothing much, only a snooker table and a piano in what we called the recreation room. But there was lots of camaraderie there, that there wasn’t so much at Ward Four.

There was, I think, ten or a dozen of us in the men’s side. And the great thing about those days was, there was an organisation called the Friends of Kelling, started up by a former patient.

They used to provide entertainment for us, sometimes once a week. All sorts of entertainment. They were wonderful people. When I was in Ward Four they used to put all the men’s and the women’s beds in one ward so they could entertain us all at one time. So that’s my memories there.

Thoughts on Limpenhoe Mill as it might be now

I often thought I should go down and find out what happened to Limpenhoe Mill. Obviously it wouldn’t be diesel-operated now. If anything it would certainly be electrified. I should imagine they redesigned the layout with the marshes, so they may have bypassed that one altogether, I don’t know. I wish I’d gone down to see.

Limpenhoe drainage mill – floor beams (2010)  Evelyn Simak CC BY-SA 2.0


Limpenhoe drainage mill  – the scoop wheel (2010) Evelyn Simak  CC BY-SA 2.0

Many changes at Limpenhoe: ‘The village seems to have revived’

I often go down to where we used to live, and see, you know, just to bring back memories.

Strangely enough, this part of Limpenhoe, Limpenhoe Hill, is like half way between the main part of Limpenhoe, although that’s even a small village, and Reedham. And so there was like this little group of houses around the farm. Some of them were almost on the marsh. And they were I think empty for a long time.

The last time we went down there they’d all been refurbished. They were right posh houses, in a terrace. And so, you know, that little part of the village seems to have survived, revived. Even the main village. They’re different people now. I wouldn’t think they’re holiday homes, not in Limpenhoe. But as I say, those remote villages went out of fashion because you had no facilities really.

Limpenhoe marshes Helen Steed  (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Final reflections on a life well lived

I’ve had a good life, and a happy life. Good family. And a good wife, of course. A big part of that.

I’ve carried on working and living in Norfolk. Never moved out of Norfolk. I’m in Lingwood now, which is miles away from Limpenhoe! Well, only about four miles away, isn’t it! I’ve had three great escapes, the going through the ice one, I regard that as an escape. And the bomb, and then TB. And who knows how many I’ve gone through without knowing since. I’m well blessed.

Denis Carter (b.1936) talking to WISEArchive in Lingwood on January 22nd 2022.

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