From our archives: More memories of our fascinating past

Keswick Mill - an old window frame becomes a natural picture frame for this study of the mill.  pic taken 16th july 1965  c13101  pic to be used in edp dml 7th june 2014
Occupier Geoffrey Charles Brock strimming the undergrowith Keswick Mill - an old window frame becomes a natural picture frame for this study of the mill. pic taken 16th july 1965 c13101 pic to be used in edp dml 7th june 2014 Occupier Geoffrey Charles Brock strimming the undergrowith

Sunday, July 27, 2014
1:54 PM

This week I review some pictures from my series so far with additional information supplied by readers. My thanks, as usual, go to all who contributed.

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To get a copy of one of our old photographs, visit or telephone Diane Townsend Mon-Fri on 01603 772449. The photos will be available on the website from Monday afternoon.

1. In my feature on piers (From Our Archives, May 3) I used a photo of a pier at Lowestoft. I’m grateful to those who emailed to put me right: this is the South Pier, not the Claremont as I stated. Stuart Jones emailed also to point out in the background the Palace cinema (destroyed by fire in 1966) and the Royal Hotel, top left (demolished 1973). Yvonne Almond and others identified Children’s Corner on the left of the picture. The picture was probably taken from the Observation Tower of the new pavilion which was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, so it’s likely the picture records that great day.

Mutford lock - Oulton Broad  pic taken 1st feb 1960  c13094  pic to be used edp dml 9th may 2014
Fred Newson pays the lock fee on his work boat. He had a boatyard in Oulton broad and a yard on Lake Lothing.Mutford lock - Oulton Broad pic taken 1st feb 1960 c13094 pic to be used edp dml 9th may 2014 Fred Newson pays the lock fee on his work boat. He had a boatyard in Oulton broad and a yard on Lake Lothing.

2. My Down Memory Lane subject on May 9 was the imposition of lock fees at Mutford in 1960. The man being photographed paying his fee to navigate the stretch between Oulton Broad and Lake Lothing has been identified by David Skitterall as Fred Newson, who had a boatyard in Oulton Broad and a yard on Lake Lothing. Mr Skitterall commented that when the Docks Board took over the management of the lock it was opened on an irregular basis by appointment, whereas it used to be open all day.

3. The well shaft at Covehithe (Down Memory Lane, May 21) was one of three wartime remains from that location which is known as Eastern Wood Covehithe, writes Paul Durbidge. A fourth well shaft found more recently is of medieval date. Mr Durbidge conducted rescue archaeology at the site, unearthing many medieval treasures which are now on display in Lowestoft Museum. Val Hunter recalls coming across the well shaft while night fishing on the beach, but found, on a subsequent visit, that the well had collapsed.

4. My picture of boatbuilders Percival, Simpson & Co of King’s Lynn (From Our Archives, May 24) prompted Ken Hill to email me about the three men seen building dinghies in 1957. On the left is Vic Pratt, centre is George Walker and on the right is Johnny Drew. Vic originally worked for Wolfork Bros boatyard and was made foreman when it became part of Percival Simpson. He now provides valuable help to the Worfolk Boat Trust at Lynn, who are restoring Walter Worfolk’s first boat, the Baden Powell cockler.

5. On the same feature, Ian Wilson emailed to identify his uncle Ray Cooper on the port side of the furthermost boat in my picture of Graham Bunn’s boatyard at Wroxham in 1954. His workmate facing him on the starboard side is Owen “Bob” Cannel. Mr Cooper went on to spend a lifetime building boats and still lives in Hoveton.

6. Still on the same feature, Keith Wilby (nickname “Root”), pointed out David Colk (foreground) and Alan Cory (with beard) in my photo of Porter & Haylett’s yard at Wroxham in 1968. Paula Colk (daughter of David) also emailed to identify her father in the picture; he worked as a carpenter until retiring recently.

7. My picture of Kenninghall Mill (Down Memory Lane, June 4) brought forth a letter from John B Thirtle of Drayton. He identified the figure in the foreground of the picture from 1957 as Mr Goulder, the owner. Mr Thirtle recalled conversations with Graham Dunn, resulting in a visit to the mill in about 1954 and a photograph taken by Mr Thirtle, a copy of which he kindly sent to me at the EDP. Coincidentally, I also received a phone call from Mr Dunn who provided a wealth of information about Mr Goulder and the mill. Mr Goulder managed to get the mill turning in the 1940s. He kept cats in the mill at one point and reared turkeys which he supplied to a London hotel. The crenellated building on the left was his office.

8. The photo of Keswick Mill in 1965 (Down Memory Lane, June 7) resulted in an email from John Brock, who identified the strimming figure in the foreground as his father, Geoffrey Charles Brock. Mr Brock started work in the mill in 1935 as a temporary measure and ended up staying until 1976. John’s great-grandfather Henry Benjamin Brock moved from Sprowston Mill to Keswick in 1908. Two of his sons took over in 1920, with John’s great-uncle William moving to the mill at Stoke Holy Cross in 1936. John’s mother still lives in the Mill Cottage.

9. Christine Grey-Wilson and John Richardson contacted me about my 1953 photo of Stalham Staithe granary (Down Memory Lane, June 13). According to our cuttings, it was the home of Mr Burton, but, in fact, he lived further along the staithe, the granary being in the hands of Christine and her family for over 40 years. Mr Richardson’s father was a boatbuilder in the 1940s and used the granary for storage at that period; it later became a summer residence.

10. I received a number of interesting messages about my 1961 picture of the church lectern at Stalham (Down Memory Lane, June 20). Nigel Wright wrote to say that it had been commissioned by his mother, Sybil Wright, of Church Farm, Stalham, in memory of his father Granville Ivan Wright, who died in 1948. He adds that the lectern, of high craftsmanship, was not universally approved as it was considered a little bright for such an old building. Michael J Duffin emailed with his warm memories of serving an apprenticeship under Geoffrey Canham (right of picture) at Peter Taylor’s family firm at Cringleford. They specialised in church work and Mr Duffin’s first job with Mr Canham was helping him to hang the entrance doors to St Peter Mancroft in Norwich. Mr Canham used to ride in to work every day from Suton, near Wymondham, on his Lambretta. Graham Cannell contributed some fascinating memories of his time at Taylor’s of Cringleford. He recalled Mr Upcher, the church furniture designer, who did the fine carving, arriving on his bicycle with his carefully sharpened tools in a bag, a master of his trade. A few of my correspondents wondered what had become of the lectern: can any readers help?



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