The Wherryman’s Way is in the Broads – Britain’s largest protected wetland. This installation is one of a number along this 35-mile recreational route following the course of the River Yare between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. The route takes its name from the wherry – a large cargo-carrying barge whose elegant black sails were a once common sight on these waters.
Last week I was in Norfolk again. My usual accommodation was not available (sister had the decorators in) so I booked a B&B just outside Norwich and was delighted when I arrived to find my very own “Hobbit hole” – The Buttery.
I hope you will enjoy this post reblogged from Echoes of the Past. The beautiful Nativity windows are in the parish church of Holt in Norfolk (my home county). Christmas Greetings to you all and thank you for visiting here throughout the past year.
I found this beautiful Nativity stained glass window today, Christmas Eve 2016, in St Andrews Church in Holt, Norfolk. We had a lovely day, and I’m not sure where everyone was, as the roads were quite empty and we just visited some of our favourite small towns and villages in Norfolk. I got to visit two churches, one working water mill and we had lunch in a converted mill, so quite a good day really, although I still have a cold, it was not going to beat me……well only a little.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone, and I hope your day is truly blessed 🙂
“BeWILDerwood is a wild and imaginative adventure park with magical tree houses and a hint of intriguing characters, bringing a curious difference to the Norfolk Broads. The setting for the book, ‘A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’ by local children’s author Tom Blofeld, is a wonderful, mystical land of brave, adventurous creatures who you may never see anywhere else in our world. Parents are encouraged to play alongside their children, which makes for a fabulous and brilliantly exciting day out for the whole family!”
If only Bewilderwood had existed when I was 7 years old and living in Norfolk. I wouldn’t have been that bothered about the stories but I would have loved making up my own adventures to fit in with the setting. Ever since I first heard about it a few years ago I’ve been intrigued to visit. Today my wish came true and I accompanied two other adults and five children – all my great nieces and great nephews – to an adventure park with a difference.
This week I’m visiting family in Norfolk but I decided to book my own place for the week and now find myself in the geographical centre of the county staying in Mattishall.
Mostly I’ve been driving into Norwich to visit family and take my mother out for ‘days’. But today I stayed around Mattishall and took two walks around the village and local lanes. The first on my own and later with my schoolfriend and her husband, daughter and Phoebe their spaniel.
This weekend was our nephew’s wedding in Norfolk and as this was a family and friends occasion I never expected to conjure up a blog post about it. But, since we got home I couldn’t resist showing you the magnificent venue where the reception was held.
After a few days of seasonally summer weather at last, Saturday dawned wet and cloudy and the rain continued, on and off, throughout the day. It was a shame but it didn’t dull any of our festivities: it just meant that we were inside for rather more time than we had expected to be.
The wedding itself took place in St Margaret’s Church, Hempnall (above) and had a lovely relaxed country wedding atmosphere. From there a convoy of cars travelled along the quiet country lanes of Norfolk and Suffolk and across the huge Hales Green Common to reach Hales Hall Barn for the reception.
About Hales Hall
The Great Barn at Hales Hall and the Hall itself were built in 1478 and the present Hall is the surviving wing of an even larger house built by Sir James Hobart, the Attorney General to Henry VII. There have been buildings on the site since Roman times.
The 178ft Great Barn is the largest surviving brick-built medieval barn in Britain and features a superb example of a ‘queen-post’ roof.
The Hall and Great Barn had fallen into agricultural use by 1971 when it was purchased by the Read family. It has been lovingly restored and owners Peter Sheppard and Keith Day plan to continue the restoration in the future.
Hales Hall is set on the edge of Hales Green, one of only a few ‘commons’ still grazed by cattle in the summer and is a haven for wildlife. At the heart of the Waveney Valley, Hales is surrounded by market towns and is close to the historic city of Norwich and within easy reach of the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.” [from the Hales Barn]
Remaining Buildings of Hales Hall
According to local information the Hall itself was demolished around 1700 leaving only the gatehouse and adjoining domestic building.
One of the most commented upon posts here is the one about my great uncle Marshall. The most recent comment was from Rosemary Braby on 11 May this year.
“Such an interesting and moving story, Barbara. I am assistant priest at Trowse Church, where Marshall’s memorial is in the churchyard. We are planning a weekend at the end of June, commemorating the outbreak of World War One, and especially honouring those whose names appear on our war memorial and others with local connections. We would be very grateful if you would allow us to use your information about Marshall in the display that we’re putting together. We have been trying to trace living relatives of those named on our war memorial, unfortunately without much success. Marshall’s memorial is somewhat unusual, looking more like a normal gravestone. It’s good to know that his great-niece still cares about him.”
What a stroke of luck that I just happened to be in Norwich from Tuesday until Saturday (28 June) morning and was able to go with my mum, who lives very near the Trowse parish church, to visit the exhibition before leaving for Felixstowe.
Trowse St Andrew’s Church, Norwich
I assembled the information from the blog and a few other bits and pieces and made it up into a booklet and sent Rosemary a copy for the display.
On the Saturday we made our way down to Trowse and enjoyed lovely home made cake and cups of tea and chat with other visitors and met Rosemary, Janice (the priest) and Rosemary’s husband Jim who had put together a powerpoint presentation of pictures and statistics about the War.
The Honours Board
Trowse-by-Norwich was mostly a purpose-built village built to house the workers at Colman’s Mustard Factory nearby. Although now part of Unilever there is still a popular Mustard Shop in the lovely Royal Arcade in the city centre and the archivist was able to help Rosemary to track down details of many of the men named on the Honours Board in the church. There were photos of many of them too but sadly I haven’t yet found one of Marshall.
The Mustard Shop in Norwich
The Altar Display
Medals (the two boxed medals are those of Harry Lyon invalided out of the RFC in 1917 and who worked as chauffeur at Colmans for 40 years)
Communion set used in the trenches
Field Glasses and Pocket Watch
Display Board with many photos
I was very touched to see that flowers had been placed by Marshall’s memorial
The wording from ‘Abide with me’ has now been revealed
During the course of further correspondence Rosemary told me this :
“We managed to decipher a little more of the inscription – a line from the hymn “Abide with me”: “Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies“.”
I have memories of Gran telling me about her beloved brother Marshall and her pride in the memorials to him in both Norfolk and Worcestershire. I also remember that she loved the hymn ‘Abide With Me’.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte, 1847
Earlier that week I had visited the Earlham cemetery where there are two War Cemeteries. The Old Cemetery which is mainly First World War burials and a further newer Commonwealth War Graves cemetery mainly Second World War. There are other CWGC graves scattered throughout the cemetery itself.
The Wonder of Birds exhibition is currently showing at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. I’ve written about a gallery visit here before. One Thursday a couple of weeks ago when I was in Norwich for a few days visiting family I thought I’d see what all the fuss about birds was all about. Well, it was about quite a lot of amazing stuff, actually.
When I first heard that The Wonder of Birds was to be next up I wasn’t too keen. Then I read this article in the Guardian and saw the accompanying pictures and changed my mind. Many of the artefacts and pictures came from the Museum’s own collections.
‘The Wonder of Birds’ explores the cultural impact of birds upon mankind. Eliciting a wide range of emotions from awe to fear, from pleasure to cruelty – birds have intrigued humanity since the earliest of times. The exhibition will span the centuries, informed by local and national collections, to include the arts, natural history, archaeology, fashion and social history. Works by major artists and illustrators, historical and contemporary, will be included and the exhibition will examine local, national and international issues.
Spring Cuckoo by Harriet Mead, 2009
‘The Wonder of Birds’ comprises six sections, each highlighting a different aspect of birds, their meanings and our relationships with them. It begins by introducing the visitor to the breadth of this fascinating subject: what is a bird; what do they mean to us; how have we studied, portrayed, preserved, endangered and used them?
Adult Male Paradise Parrot : Frederick Strange, taxidermist, 1851
Section 2, ‘Predators and Prey’ … Section 3, ‘Birds & Landscape’, primarily examines birds in East Anglia, … Section 4, ‘Migrants and Ocean Travellers’, will examine the seasonal behaviour which may take migrating birds from Norfolk to the Arctic, Africa or South America …Section 5 is titled ‘Introducing the Exotic’. Exotic birds have always been coveted for their brilliant plumage, combined with their sheer rarity value, both as high status pets and for their feathers.
Exotic feathered hat from the 1960s
‘The Realms of the Spirit’, the final section, will illustrate how songbirds and their relatives have symbolised the immortal soul, been seen as heralds of the seasons, messengers from heaven, or magical beings moving between the worlds.” [Museum website]
Bird related postcards in the Museum Shop
I discovered that birds may not need humans but humans certainly do need birds. They appear in our decorative arts, religion, symbolism, folklore, heraldry, fashion, literature and language.
The 147 million year old Archaeopteryx fossil cast is the earliest known bird. The Natural History Museum cares for the first skeleton specimen ever found and this spectacular fossil helped prove that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs. It was the first example providing support for Darwin’s theory of evolution. It is the most valuable fossil in the NHM’s collection.
… and a pincushion made by Sylvia Pankhurst whilst she was incarcerated in Holloway Prison and a copy of the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner’s Bestiary ‘Historiae animalium’ which must have been seen by Mary, Queen of Scots. A group of her embroideries The Oxburgh Hangings feature animals and birds from this book.
Bird detail from the Oxburgh Hangings [Source – V&A]
Maggi Hambling’s Heron
The section on birds in the landscape featured Maggi Hambling’s Heron in the shallows of the Thames bearing its environmental message. The bird has a mouthful of sewage.
Then in the afternoon I saw birds in their true East Anglian landscape. I drove out to the Norfolk Broads to meet up with an old schoolfriend and we walked around Hickling Broad stopping to look at a variety of birds including a goldfinch, a plump of geese * and many different species from a hide along our path.
* The collective noun for a group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; when in flight, they are called a skein, a team or a wedge; when flying close together, they are called a plump. [source]
Hickling Broad from the Hide
The Plump of Geese from the Hide
Typical Broads View
I must have been interested in birds once upon a time – my well-loved book!
There is a marvellous exhibition currently showing at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
“A new exhibition, Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia is opening at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in September, in celebration of the rich and unique artistic heritage of the local region. Approximately 250 objects will be on show, from across the visual arts, ranging from the prehistoric period to the present day. Drawn from more than 60 major public and private collections, the exhibition will showcase the array of masterworks that East Anglia has inspired, produced and collected, and demonstrate the region’s importance in both a national and international context.
The oldest exhibit, the Happisburgh flint handaxe, crafted at least 700,000 years ago, will sit beside works by John Sell Cotman, John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough and Olive Edis. Sculptures by Barbara Hepworth will be dispersed throughout the SCVA’s newly-refurbished galleries and the iconic Lotus 72 sports car will take up pole position in the West End.
Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia will be the first show on display in the SCVA’s newly-refurbished galleries. The exhibition coincides with the University’s 50th Anniversary and will help to mark the significant contribution that UEA has made to the region.” [Source]
I was lucky enough to catch this show when I was down in Norwich a few weeks ago visiting family. The Exhibition comprises part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the University of East Anglia, in Norwich. Oh dear, I can remember when it opened in one of my favourite parks (Earlham Park) and some of its offices occupied Earlham Hall (the childhood home of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry) …
My Norwich OS map and Elizabeth Fry on the five pound note
… and the neo-brutalist buildings were seen as an insult to our ‘Fine City’
But I digress and return to the excellent exhibition which has the best opening times, ever. Although closed on Mondays and between 22nd December this year and 2nd January 2014 it’s open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 8pm and on Sundays from 10am until 5pm. We made our visit on a Saturday at 5.30pm. We were able to park right outside and had the whole gallery to ourselves. With our Art Fund cards we paid half price for entry.
No photography is allowed in the main lower gallery but four large exhibits are displayed alongside the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts permanent collection. A Lotus racing car is displayed in the restaurant but that was closed and too dark to photograph.
In the Conservatory Cafe is a 2013 stained glass window designed for Norwich Cathedral by John McLean
In the East End Gallery is ‘The Longest Journey’ made by Ana Maria Pacheco in 1994 of polychromed wood
More ‘Longest Journey’ pictures
East End Gallery, shop and ‘The Longest Journey’
Here is an example from the displays. The Marchioness of Cholmondeley’s gown [photo source] made by Jean-Charles Worth stands next to her portrait painted by John Singer Sargent and wearing the gown borrowed from Houghton Hall.
Sargent’s portrait of the Marchioness of Cholmondeley [source]
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?
After last year’s “Remembrance” post about the life and death of and memorials to Norfolk heroine Nurse Edith Cavell I decided to carry out some research of my own. I chose to follow the life to death of a young man born in Norfolk who died on the battlefield far away on the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula. I managed to visit several of his Memorials in England and maybe one day will visit Gallipoli itself. 2015 will be a big year for visitors to the area to pay their respects. The significance of the Gallipoli Campaign is felt strongly in both New Zealand and Australia. ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day (25 April) is commemorated annually by both countries.
Private Howman in a letter home :
[… we get a lot of prisoners & rioting sometimes there are hundreds of Australians & New Zealanders wounded here from The Dardanelles. its a terrible sight to see them maimed for life you would not think it possible how some of them could live …]
Marshall Howman was born in June 1887 in Whitlingham, just south of Norwich. He was the eldest child of Mark and Celia. Mark was a herdsman and Celia was in service at ‘the big house’ wherever they moved to and the family did move around the country. By 1901 Marshall and his parents were living at Stenigot in Lincolnshire with additional sisters and brother : Lena (born in 1891), Hilda (in 1894), Maxwell (in 1895) and Kathleen (Kit or Kitty) who was born in Cheadle [Staffs] in January 1900. Later, in a letter home Marshall tells his family that he ‘came across an old pal I went to Cheadle School with he is in the 6th Manchesters back from the Dardenelles.’
By 1911 when Marshall was 24 he had three further siblings, born at Strensham in Worcestershire where his family had been living for several years : Ruth (born in 1903), Mabel (in 1906) and Norman (in 1910). By this time, although Marshall was still living at home (and adored certainly by his little sister Kit then aged 11), Lena (aged 20) was already making her own way and living in London as a domestic servant in the Mumford Family home in Westbourne Park Crescent, Paddington.
Next year will see the Centenary of The First World War; the, so-called, “war to end all wars”. When Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 Marshall (then 27) and his parents and most of the rest of his siblings were living in Corner Cottage, Strensham in Worcestershire. At some point very soon after; Marshall volunteered to join the Worcestershire Yeomanry The Queen’s Own Worcestershire Hussars. He was assigned to No. 2 Troop, D Squadron.
The 1st Worcestershire Yeomanry was mobilised in Worcester on August 4, 1914 as part of the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade. On August 11 the regiment moved to Warwick, with the rest of the brigade and on August 14 the brigade proceeded to Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. The brigade moved to Newbury, Berkshire, on August 30, where it joined the 2nd Mounted Division. On November 17 the regiment and the rest of the division moved to Barningham, Norfolk, then on to Kings Lynn. Mention here of King’s Lynn and Norfolk reminds me of :
The 1999 BBC film “All the King’s Men” tells the story of the men of the Sandringham Estate who signed up in 1914 and fought in the Gallipoli Campaign
On the reverse of a picture postcard of Bristol dated 9 April 1915 Marshall tells his family that he’s due to sail at midnight from Avonmouth :
In fact the records state that it was on April 11, 1915 that the regiment sailed for Egypt from Avonmouth, Gloucestershire, on H.M. Transport Saturnia, arriving in Alexandria on April 24.
After disembarking the regiment went into camp at Chatby, near Alexandria. Here is a letter dated 6 June from Kom el Dik Fort and another dated 13 June (his birthday was in June) from Chatby Camp, Alexandria. In civilian life Marshall had been an assistant herdsman and he seems happy to have charge of horses at the Camp.
His letters home show that he had neat, clear handwriting and a very nice turn of phrase reflecting a reasonably good standard of education for an assistant herdsman a century ago. He was a loving and caring brother and son.
However, when the regiment was notified that it would be going on active service on August 10 its horses would be left behind. This must have been a blow for Marshall. On August 14 the regiment – 366 men strong – embarked for Gallipoli on H.M. Transport Ascania. On August 17 the transport arrived at the Greek island of Lemnos, and there the men transferred to the H.M.S. Doris. The following day (August 18), the regiment landed at “A” Beach, Suvla, under shellfire.
Here is what happened on 21st August 1915 :
“The 29th Division assaults 112 Metre Hill and Scimitar Hill, and 11th (Northern) Division assaults Green Hill and the “W” Hills in the Suvla sector, with the 2nd Mounted Division and the 10th (Irish) Division in reserve, out of sight of the Turks. The intention is to capture Scimitar Hill and to proceed on, if possible, and ultimately is to capture these positions, and thus protect the units scattered across the Suvla Plain from Turkish shellfire. At 3:30 p.m., after the failure of the 29th and 11th Divisions to take their objectives (due to strong Turkish defences, lack of adequate artillery support, lack of proper orders and lack of rest) the Worcestershire Yeomanry, along with the rest of the 2nd Mounted Division and the 10th (Irish) Division, is detailed to proceed against the original objectives. The assault is organized in five waves, each wave consisting of one of the five mounted brigades and spaced 200 yards apart. The Worcestershire Yeomanry, along with the rest of the division, moves off across the Salt Lake, under fire from Turkish artillery (the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars advancing behind the Worcestershire Yeomanry). Halfway across the Lake orders are given to advance at the double. Due both to Turkish resistance and confusion, the regiment is able to advance only as far as the line held by the 29th Division. The regiment digs in on Green Hill, but at 2 a.m. on August 22, it is ordered to retire to Lala Baba. No ground is gained in the assault.” [Information from The Gallipoli Association]
The regiment reported 26 men killed and wounded in the assault, though only two fatalities were known to have occurred. One of these was Private Marshall HOWMAN, No.2613, aged 28. He was killed in action in the assault on Chocolate Hill, Suvla, on August 21, 1915. His name is commemorated on Panel 19 of the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula.
Marshall listed on the Helles Memorial [Photo kindly supplied by Keith Edmonds of The Gallipoli Association]
The Helles Memorial 2013 [Photo kindly supplied by Keith Edmonds of The Gallipoli Association]
Back home Marshall’s family were devastated. Marshall’s name was eventually listed on the wall-mounted Honours Board in St George’s Chapel at Worcester Cathedral and was inscribed in the Roll of Honour there.
St George’s Chapel, Worcester Cathedral. The Honours Board hangs below the flags.
Marshall’s name on the Honours Board
Marshall listed in the Worcestershire Regimental Roll of Honour Book described below
He is also listed on the Honours Board in St John’s Church, Strensham :
Original War Memorial in Strensham
More recently his name, and those of the others who fell in both World Wars, has been inscribed on the War Memorial in the village of Strensham itself.
Names recently added to the Strensham Memorial including Pt M. Howman
Marshall’s parents soon returned to Norfolk. There had been mention of their going in the letters between Marshall and his mother. Towards the end of the decade they paid for this memorial to him in the churchyard of St Andrew’s, Trowse-by-Norwich.
Trowse churchyard memorial now overgrown, weather-beaten and almost forgotten
[In Loving Memory of MARSHALL the dearly loved son of Celia and Mark Howman. There was more but sadly the rest of the text has disintegrated]
MARSHALL HOWMAN was my Great Uncle and KIT (KATHLEEN) was my Grandmother.
I have memories of Gran telling me about her beloved brother Marshall and her pride in the memorials to him in both Norfolk and Worcestershire. I have a number of Marshall’s original letters but sadly no photograph has materialised.
I’m extremely grateful to the following for information and inspiration. My sister Kathy for her research into the broader Howman family. My friend Ann and her husband who have been to Gallipoli and lent me books and sent me links on researching military records and helped in many other ways. My three contacts at The Gallipoli Association who provided me with material about the Worcestershire Yeomanry’s movements and Marshall’s final days; thank you Stephen, Keith and Mal.
“We have done that which was our duty to do”
[St. Luke XVII.10]