John Wilson kindly sent his family
photographs to the Martham Local History Group.
They are copyright (c) John Wilson and collected by his
Aunt and cousin. There is a strong link to the
Strawberry Fruit Box story [see The
Strawberry Fruit Box]. You may
recognise some of the names in his letter, and
the faces in these pictures. If you do,
please let us know and we can contact John. This
is his letter:
I'm not an internet addict, so have
only recently found your website. I thought you
and your group might like to see some photos
relating to one or two holidays I enjoyed in
Martham as a young boy. I'm an only child, born in
Sheffield in 1944, but living with Mum and Dad in
Worksop, Nottinghamshire 1946-52.
We would travel by train to Great
Yarmouth and catch what we called the 'Paddy'
train (perhaps 'cos most navvies were Irish) to
Martham. In 1952 my cousin, Pauline, came with us
and she and Mum can be seen at Martham
Another photo shows me on the
station with pet dog Nettle, ready for the sands at
Great Yarmouth (2).
We always stayed with Dad's Aunt
Hannah and Uncle Herbert Wilson, who lived just
down from the station at 12 Rollesby Road. Their
sister, Mary, married a man surnamed, Tubby, a local
name I believe. Hannah and Herbert were sister
and brother. Herbert's wife died during the 1918
'flu epidemic. They did however have a daughter,
Edith, who married Fred Duffield and lived quite
near St. Mary's Church. They had two boys, Ernest
and Arthur - see family photo (3).
We were so desperate to play
cricket one day that we played in the stubble
field opposite 12 Rollesby Road. The photo shows
Ernest batting, Arthur wicketkeeper and me leg
slip (4). It was a struggle playing on the stubble.
I attach photos of Hannah as a
young woman, c.1925 (5) and older at Rollesby
Road, 1952 (6) also Herbert standing (7)
and horse-mounted at work near Martham, c.1925
(8). Herbert was a P.O.W. in WW1 - don't know where -
and came home to be a market gardener, in or near
Martham, with his stepfather, James Hewitt.
James Hewitt married Phoebe, after
her husband died at Upper Fulwood Farm, Hope,
Derbyshire. He cared for my Granddad, George, Herbert,
Hannah and Mary as if they were his own.
James and his parents, who
came from Woodbastwick, Norfolk, farmed Edale End
Farm, next to Upper Fulwood. These 2 farms combined in
1974 to become the National Trust's Dark Peak Estate
Office and farm, managing that area of the Peak
The family moved to farm near Ewden
village c. 1900 and James became gamekeeper at
Broomhead Hall (now demolished), where he met Lord
Somerleyton during the grouse shoots. Lord Somerleyton
said the family would be better off running his Home
Farm, but initially they settled at Church Farm,
Bradwell, c.1911; then on to Somerleyton during WW1
when the position became vacant. My Granddad, George
did not go to Norfolk - he settled in Sheffield to get
work and hence Dad and I were born there.
James was a man of many talents,
supervising the joiners and carpenters during the
building of Sheffield Town Hall, 1895, but I think
working the soil was in his blood. Photos
include Home Farm, Somerleyton (9)
and Sutfield House, Martham (10), from where the market
garden venture, from 1922 was managed. I'm not sure
why they moved from Somerleyton or even why the
Hewitts moved to Edale End from Woodbastwick.
In their twilight years, James
and Phoebe, lived in a converted railway cottage,
near to Hannah and Herbert. I still have James's
brass inlaid pendulum wall clock and a picture he
drew for me of Santa Claus wishing us 'A Happy
Christmas'. My two sons may appreciate them in
As you can guess, all my relatives
respected and adored James for rescuing Phoebe
and family from virtual poverty. They were a
lovely couple and Aunt Hannah in particular
inherited their Christian nature: somewhat shy
and innocent, but a well respected little lady by
the Martham villagers.
Martham seemed to be
permeated by the wonderful aroma box hedges can
give. Every time I encounter box hedges
and get a whiff of that aroma, all the happy
holiday memories come flooding back. Most of
this information and our family tree were
painstakingly gathered by Dad's sister, my Auntie May,
and I hope it will add to your interest in
Martham's local history.
John E. Wilson