Showing posts with label Norfolk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norfolk. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Horsey Windpump

This is Horsey Windpump,
a wind powered drainage pump, now a National Trust property,
by Horsey Mere on the Norfolk Broads.
Right by where we moored up for the night.

I haven't been to many windpumps
but with memories of Camberwick Green and Windy Miller,
I naively assumed that all mills milled flour.

However I should have put two and two together,
we saw a lot of water
and not much wheat.

To explain what this windpump did,
once powered by wind, now powered by diesel,
"an often easily understood analogy
is that of the pump pumping water off a bathroom floor up into the bath
and out through the plug hole into the sea."
Here's the thing,
many rivers of the Norfolk Broads are higher than the surrounding land.

Easily understood analogy or not,
the work of the windpump was vital.

Horsey Windpump was a wind powered drainage pump
until it was put out of action by a lightning strike in 1943.
This was during the Second World War
and it was left unrepaired due to a shortage of timber.

They would have needed Scandinavian Pine for the vertical shaft,

 and Hornbeam for any wooden teeth on the cogwheels.

The broads and rivers take this water out to sea,
providing holiday makers over the years with fabulous places to play

and to moor up for the night.

 As with all good National Trust properties, there's the obligatory tea shop. 

The smallest National Trust tea shop that I've ever been to,
with the kindest proprietor.
Moored up with no bread for our lunch,
she picked me up a loaf from the co-op, on her way to work.

Whilst you're there,
a less-than-a-mile walk to takes you to the coast.
Where you may/will (depending on the time of year)
be rewarded with seals.

For more information and some photos of the windpump with sails still attached,

If Camberwick Green means nothing to you?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Museum of the Broads: Holidaying

Back to the Museum of the Broads, Norfolk.

In a previous post, click here, I looked at crafts.
That was me making a connection with the Norfolk Broads,
having admitted that boats are not really 'my thing'.

But you can't blog about the Museum of the Broads
without mentioning boats and holidays.
Blakes Holiday Map 1960s

The rivers and lakes of the Norfolk Broads were formed thousands of years ago,
the result of digging up peat, when peat was used as fuel.

People have been coming to the Norfolk Broads for years, since 1800BC.
The visitors book is testament to this,
newcomers recorded on the museum's timeline.

First the Celts, Romans and then the Danes.

Then much later, the likes of us, the 'holiday visitor',
beginning their invasions around 160 years ago.

 Our invasion only lasted a week,
aboard a cruiser,
with all mod cons.

Gas hob, shower and toilet on board.

Toilets designed especially for boats,

with clear and considerate instructions for their use.

With the help of the museum phrase book,
we learnt a few words in the local language.

Not sure if it'll catch on.
Will my kids tell me I'm 'biggoty'?
Whilst I reply, 'that's a load of 'squit!'
Actually, I like the sound of that.

We checked out the local wildlife.

(On another day, we saw three huge Cranes at Horsey Mere.)

We felt a little sorry for this mole,

as 640 of his friends were used to make this mole skin coat.
 Blame Queen Alexandra,
who in the early twentieth century made wearing mole fur popular.
However, it provided jobs,
mole catchers were paid 3d a day plus the skins.

More appropriated wildlife.
Porcupine quills to make fishing floats.
We were intrigued as to where these porcupine quills came from
as they are not a native species, to either the Norfolk Broads or the UK.

As with every holiday, there are always the opportunities to collect mementos.

Like brochures,

boat flags.


and photos.

At this point, I have to give a huge shout out to the Museum of the Broads.
From what I saw, nearly every object in their collection, had been saved, collected, preserved, built, conserved, restored and donated by volunteers and local families.
Local history treasured and preserved.

Over 40 volunteers staff and maintain the museum.
As a volunteer, if you're really lucky, you get to pilot their steam launch, the Falcon,
which runs on the hour between 11am and 3pm on the River Ant.
Details on their website here.

This was a summer family holiday on the Norfolk Broads.
Imagine coming in winter and getting to use an 'ice yacht'?

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Norfolk Broads, it's not all about boats.

We have just come back from an extended family holiday on the Norfolk Broads.
Here are some of my family, the ones who love sailing,
including the teenagers in their own tiny dinghy (on the right).
You sail, sleep & eat on those boats,
a bit like caravanning on water.

To ensure we had enough crew for three yatchs and a dinghy,
combined with my slightly irrational fear of sailing,
we hired a cruiser.
A beautiful vintage wooden 1950s cruiser.

I don't love sailing (too much leaning) but I do love museums.
So we had to,
we went,

 I really did try and get a thing for the boats.

As impressive as they are
they are just not my thing,
either in water or on dry land.

Boats might not be my thing
but I do love textiles and a bit of 'crafts'.
 And as I discovered there's a lot more to the Norfolk Broads.

Many traditional crafts.

Such as Rushwork

It is beautiful.
East Anglia's oldest recorded industry dating back to Anglo Saxon times.

This was all made by Dorothy Baker.

To help preserve the art of rushwork,
Dorothy Baker travelled around Norfolk in the late 1930s
demonstating how to work with rushes.
It requires working with 3ply or 9ply braids, using a sail makers needle.
Not for delicate hands. 

Dorothy Baker was obviously very proficient.
The Women's Institute awarded her an A grade,
95 out of 100,
in July 1938.

More crafts,
(of a sort)

Knots with names,
for different uses.

You could have a go for yourself.
As someone not impartial to working with yarn,
I did.

Knotting is a skill.

Up high in one of the old boat sheds,
I spotted these cross-stitch pictures.

I asked a volunteer about them.
"They're done by one of our old boys,
he's had both hips replaced."
said a volunteer who had just turned eighty the Saturday before.

The beautiful craftsmanship of an eighty-four year old.
Shame he can't join the Women's Institute,
he deserves a certificate for proficiency in 'Home Crafts'.

As for me,
I did manage a spot of sailing
in a very gentle wind,
then straight back to the crochet and rum.

Here's our cruiser, Judith 5
with a nephew,
moored at Horsey.

 And just prove I was really there...
That's me driving!

Stalham Staithe, Norfolk.
Details on their website.

I might not have taken to sailing
but the Broads have surely captured my heart.
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