The History Group has been busy
during the past month.
A coach trip to Oxburgh Hall, then
the first of our evening exploratory walks and now we’ve
even set up a website! We have proved our lack of
skill at weather forecasting by selecting a rainy day
for both trip and walk, carefully chosen from a
succession of glorious summer days.
The trip to Oxburgh Hall was our
first ever and was a resounding success. The coach
was full and there was a small waiting list -
unfortunately not enough to allow us to hire the larger
coach available. A full report by one of the party
is on our website (below), and here are some extracts.
We stopped in the lovely market town
of Swaffham for coffee and a little retail
therapy. Lots of stalls - cheese stalls, plant
stalls, and you can get Cromer crabs, too. Chris
suggested that we take a look at the church where we
could also have coffee.
Like all large houses Oxburgh is
steeped in history and has something of interest for
everyone: furniture, porcelain, books, and for those
brave and slim enough, the priest’s secret hiding
hole. And there are dressing-up clothes for the
children, too. Outside, the Victorian parterre,
kitchen garden and woodland walks are worth a visit
- if it isn’t raining,
but by this time it was, which was such a pity as
I could have sat there in the sun for hours.
This trip was subsidised by the Great
Yarmouth Borough Council Participatory Scheme, supported
by Martham Parish Council. As a result of the good
turnout we are now able to provide Free Entry to our
Annual General Meeting on September 25th, when, in
addition to a small amount of business, there will be a
talk by popular local historian Bob Warnes entitled The
Tollhouse at Great Yarmouth.
Our first evening walk was around
some of the oldest parts of Martham - not so well
supported, but seven people braved the uncertain and
rainy weather. In a way the damp, misty
environment helped to paint a picture of the Martham of
two hundred to five hundred years ago. We saw many
of the old buildings including some that have stood
since the first Queen Elizabeth was on the throne.
There were barns from three hundred years ago and the
homes of the prosperous yeoman farmers of the day.
Of the ordinary people there is nothing - their poor
cottages have melted into the mist that sometimes
surrounded us. We stopped at the old rectory