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Fascinating book takes a trip back in time to the era of Poppyland

PUBLISHED: 15:15 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:15 05 December 2017

Echoes of History. Miller Jermy and daughter Louie in Mill House garden, with Sidestrand mill in the background. Picture: Poppyland Publishing

Echoes of History. Miller Jermy and daughter Louie in Mill House garden, with Sidestrand mill in the background. Picture: Poppyland Publishing

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A new book from Cromer-based Poppyland Publishing digs deeper into the 19th century phenomenon that was Poppyland.

Echoes of History. North Lodge, Cromer circa 1870. John Gurney Hoare and family in front of what is today Cromer Town Council's offices.  Pictures: Poppyland Publishing Echoes of History. North Lodge, Cromer circa 1870. John Gurney Hoare and family in front of what is today Cromer Town Council's offices. Pictures: Poppyland Publishing

Writer Clement Scott coined the name ‘Poppyland’ for the area when he visited north Norfolk in the 1880s.

The region takes its name from the poppies which grew in the cornfields, and from the title of Mr Scott’s book, Poppy-Land, published in 1886. In the book Mr Scott tells of his discovery of an unspoilt rural world inhabited by fishermen and farmers.

And there are locations, buildings and names which hark back to the Poppyland story wherever you look across the area today.

Echoes of History Poppyland 1883-1914 by Overstrand author David Thornton delves further into the lives of people already in the area when Mr Scott caught the train to Cromer in 1883.

Echoes of History. A young Clement Scott, the man who coined the term 'Poppyland'.  Pictures: Poppyland Publishing Echoes of History. A young Clement Scott, the man who coined the term 'Poppyland'. Pictures: Poppyland Publishing

He said: “Since the visit of London journalist Clement Scott to north Norfolk in the 1880s, to the coast between Mundesley and Sheringham, and particularly to Overstrand, Sidestrand and Cromer, the name has been used in many ways. It has been written about in several books. Echoes of History takes a broader and deeper look at the story.”

The book presents a picture of the rich and famous who were fascinated by the stories swirling around, following Scott’s articles, many of whom would buy land in the area and build their own homes in the district.

The book also delves deeper into the life of Scott himself, his wives Isabel du Maurier and Margaret Brandon, and the women and men of the theatre whom he championed.

At the centre of the story is Louie Jermy, daughter of the miller at Sidestrand. Since her death in the 1930s, after living for years with memories of the fame and fascination of her youthful years, she continues to intrigue anyone with an interest in the story of the area and the book about her, The Maid of the Mill.

The book is in stock in East Anglian bookshops and also available direct from www.poppyland.co.uk. It can also be ordered through good bookshops throughout the UK. Paperback RRP £11.95.

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