Out and about: four summer days out, 2012


You know that we hold lots of interesting meetings, but its not all sitting down and listening in the History Group.  During the last three months, apart from putting on the Jubilee Exhibition, we have managed to put in no fewer than four “out and about” events.  This is what you missed.


In May we went on a

coach trip to Blickling

Hall, one of the National

Trust’s most splendid

historical estates and only

a short drive away from

Martham.  Stand by the entrance gate, look up the imposingly wide drive at the dramatic front of the hall and marvel that this all belongs to you - even more so if you have chosen to be a member of the Trust.  This is where Ann Boleyn was born (although in a previous house) and history oozes from all around.  The guides were welcoming, the lunch was good, the sun shone, the grounds were magnificent and there, gliding across the lawn, was Ann Boleyn herself!  Closer investigation proved her to be Molly Housego in the full Tudor costume she wore on her visit to Martham.


Our two voyages on the Wherry Albion were both fully booked weeks in advance, one in May and one in June.  The rain kept away and twenty three of us were taken back to the Edwardian heyday of The Broads (twenty three because one of us went twice, it was that good).  This “black-sailed trader” is one of only two in existence and the only one on which you can sail.  Not only is it the most peaceful way to travel on the broads but you learn a lot as well.  What is a quant?  Why is the ceiling on the floor and what’s all this about bonnets?  Don’t ask me - I wasn’t there, so I’m looking forward to the next trip.  Find out more from their excellent website.  Here is a shot of the group on board - guess who is at the tiller!


And finally, a couple of weeks ago in July a dozen of us went for an evening walk led by Ann, in the sunshine, of course.  We went to parts of Martham many of us don’t know exist.  Now we know why we can blame Napoleon for Martham losing its Common - it was parcelled out and turned over to arable when his ships blockaded the Channel and cut England off from imported food.  We saw some magnificent farm buildings and also where the poorest of our parish eked out a living along the edge of the Common.  And we met Clifford Cator who farmed at Cess for a great many years and lives in a house whose long history of change is told by the patterns you can read in the bricks themselves.  He also told us to look out for a white fox!  Do we have our very own “Beast of Martham”?

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We meet at the Methodist Church, Martham