Memory of former Geldeston landlady honoured as Susan Ellis Wood is officially opened

James Hartley, Paul Heiney, Libby Pruves and Jacquie Burgess at the Geldeston Lock event. Picture: J

James Hartley, Paul Heiney, Libby Pruves and Jacquie Burgess at the Geldeston Lock event. Picture: John Trew - Credit: John Trew

A dedicated group of environmental workers have celebrated completing the first phase of an ambitious project to revive one of the Waveney's historic locks - while also paying homage to a significant character in local history.

Personalised bricks laid at Geldeston Lock. Picture: Bernard Watson

Personalised bricks laid at Geldeston Lock. Picture: Bernard Watson - Credit: Bernard Watson

The River Waveney Trust has been fundraising and working tirelessly to bring Geldeston Lock back to its former glory, in a project costing in the region of £15,000.

At the weekend, a celebratory event was held at the site, marking the completion of the first phase of the project - rebuilding a large section of the lock's wall.

The event also saw the grand opening of a wooded area near the lock - bought by the group from the Broads Authority for £1 and renamed in honour of the former landlady of the Geldeston Locks Inn - Susan Ellis.

The site, which is about an acre in size, will now by known as the Sue Ellis Wood, in honour of the former publican, who was born in 1890 and ran the pub during the 1960s.


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The wood was official opened by authors and broadcasters Paul Heiney and Libby Purves, who each spoke at the event along with Broads Authority chairman Jacquie Burgess and James Hartley - who shared memories of the former landlady.

Geoff Doggett, River Waveney Trust founder, said: 'Susan Ellis was a very interesting lady and developed a reputation as a very formidable character, so we are delighted to be able to keep her memory alive.

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'The event was very well received - around 80 people came along and there was very much a celebratory feel.'

The speakers arrived at the site by water, aboard the Big Dog Ferry, before giving their addresses from the riverbank.

With the first phase complete, the Trust is now looking towards fundraising for the next stage of the development, which will see work continuing in the spring.

At the event, personalised bricks bought as part of the fundraising, were unveiled, more of which are available by emailing rwtbricks@gmail.com.

As the Trust continues towards its £15,000 target, Mr Doggett is preparing to take to the skies for his next contribution.

On November 4, he will be taking part in a skydive at Ellough, as he looks to raise £5,000 towards the cause. To date he has raised more than £4,000.

To sponsor him, visit rwt.tidyhq.com

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