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© Broadland Memories 2015
A set of four photographs dating from the 1930s/1940s from the Andrew Day Collection
This looks to have been a day trip taken by a group of mostly ladies on one of the Broads Tours passenger launches from Wroxham c1930s/1940s.
A picnic lunch for the ladies at Ranworth.
Ferry Reach at Horning with the converted mill seen in the centre of the photograph.
Another view of the converted mill near Horning Ferry Inn c1930s/40s.
The view from the top of the Berney Arms mill, looking towards Breydon Water. It’s astonishing to see ice floes like this here. Two coasters are moored alongside one another on the left. Whilst not as cold as the winter of 1963, there was certainly a lot more snow in 1947, and the East of England was particularly hard hit as the nation remained frozen for seven weeks. The first part of January had been fairly mild, but towards the end of the month the snow showers began, continuing throughout February and into early March. Parts of North Norfolk became cut off from the outside world as both major, and minor roads were completely blocked by the heavy snowfall – the RAF were called in to drop food supplies to stranded villagers and their animals.
The River Yare and wing bridge at Reedham. Knowing how fast the tide runs here, it’s quite something to see so much ice. As blizzards raged all over the UK, the main routes between the north and south of England were cut off, power stations began to run out of fuel supplies as the coal lorries and trains struggled to try and get through. The nation was still in recovery after the end of WW2, and rationing of food and fuel was still in force, a situation which worsened during the bad weather as fishing fleets found themselves unable to leave harbour, root crops were frozen in the ground and trains, along with road transport, ground to a halt. The population, who were already fed up with certain foodstuffs still being rationed, now had to face further rationing on items such potatoes as the farm workers were unable to work in the fields. The lack of fuel supplies reached crisis level and the government brought in nationwide measures to reduce consumption with enforced power cuts of five hours every day, along with the rationing of coal supplies to heat people’s houses. One abiding comment which seems to be common throughout the country, was that the rationing and shortages faced during this winter were far more severe than anything the population had endured throughout the war. Another common memory I have heard from those who remember the winter of 1947 is that, all around them, the birds were just dropping from the trees in the freezing conditions.
John tells me that the next three photographs were taken on the main road that runs through the village (Mill Road?). The road had obviously been cleared here, the snow piled up to form icy cliffs alongside.-
Less road clearing seems to have gone on here. Sadly, there are no names attached to the photograph as to who is seen here. The following reports were from the Beccles & Bungay Times of 1947 and, although related to that area, I think they illustrate what was happening around Broadland rather well:
1st February: Heavy snowfall. 14 cars stranded on the Beccles to Norwich road. They were dug out assisted by an AA man.
8th February: Snow. It costs £200 a day to clear the snow in East Suffolk. By Monday they had 300 Prisoners of War at work, 250 from the Ministry of Transport, 20 from contractors, 10 from Catchment Board, 70 boys from Shotley Naval School and 530 County Council men.
15th February: Heavy snow continues. Electricity ordered to be cut – a certain amount of minimum lighting was allowed in some of the shops. In the Post Offices candles were in use. Demand for oil in stoves and paraffin, but at the all-
22nd February: Weather – Most of the Waveney frozen. Hoped to skate from Beccles to Oulton Broad for the first time since 1894/95. At the cut in Beccles the ice is 12 inches thick. Mr H. Gilding of Rookwood, London Road is a prominent local skater, he said an attempt would be made on Friday – because Clowes is closed for the weekend due to the fuel shortage.
22nd February: Electricity shortage. The streets are blackened out. There are only three lights in Beccles one in Exchange Square, one at the Churchyard steps in Puddingmoor, and a red light at the Quay.
Mill Road, looking up towards the council houses along the Freethorpe Road at the northern end of the village. Finally, around the middle of March, the thaw began, but with it came widespread flooding as the large volume of snow which had fallen began to melt. This flooding was made worse as heavy rainfall, accompanied by severe gales, swept across Britain. East Anglia, and especially Fenland, experienced some of the worse flooding in the UK and the army were called in to assist as vast swathes of the countryside lay under water.
Following on from John Richardson’s photographs of winter 1947, here are a selection of images from the Broadland Memories Archives showing winters past around the Norfolk Broads over the years starting with a few more from 1947.
Somerton Road at Martham, looking towards St Mary’s Church, showing the snow piled at the side of the road during winter 1947.
I mentioned the flooding which occurred when the thaw came in March 1947. This shows the flood water at Martham, although I’m not sure of the location of this property in the village.
Ice yachting at Hickling, dated to February 27th 1947. This was a Belgian press photograph and came with the following caption: “There is no need to go to Switzerland for winter sports. The lakes of Norfolk are covered with a thick layer of ice upon which skaters indulge in their favourite games. They even practice racing sleds with sails which is always spectacular. Here is one of the leading competitors training for an upcoming competition.”
This is actually an old postcard, but I thought it would fit in here quite nicely as it is a wonderful photograph showing a tram in the snow in Magdalen Street in Norwich, captioned as being Boxing Day 1906. The Phoenix Shoe Works seen on the right occupied the site of the former Phoenix Brewery. The building was demolished in the 1960s as part of the Anglia Square development.
Salhouse village pictured under snow c1915-
Another view of Salhouse taken at the same time as the pervious photograph. The Bell public house can be seen on the left.
The ferry which crossed the River Yare at Gorleston pictured in the ice during the winter of 1928.
Another view of an iced up River Yare at Gorleston in 1928. Note the trading wherry moored alongside the fishing vessel.
More form the Broadland Memories Archives with a selection of photographs featuring wherries.
Trading wherries pictured at Norwich c1905 with Bishops Bridge seen in the background. At the time, this was the site of the city’s rubbish tip, cartloads of which would be tipped down a chute onto wherries which would transport it away. You can see one of those chutes beside the river in the background, complete with pulley wheels to enable the contraption to tip backwards and forwards.
Trading wherry on the River Bure at Coltishall c1910.
Unidentified pleasure wherry with Coltishall Hall seen in the background c1910. Note the ‘bonnet’ laced onto the bottom of the sail, added to assist passage in light winds.
Holiday party and crew pictured with the pleasure wherry Leisure Hour opposite the Swan Inn at Horning c1905. I think this may have been taken by the Norwich photographer Charles Aldous.
A beautiful photograph of a trading wherry passing Horning Ferry Inn c1910, part of a collection of images belonging to Trevor Curson.
The Colman family’s pleasure wherry “Hathor” pictured c1915.
The trading wherry “Leveret” on the River Waveney at Somerleyton c1900 with Billy Royall at the helm and his nephew Christopher Royall as mate. Leveret was owned by the Norwich coal merchant William England. From the Royall’s boatyard blog: “Leveret’s colour scheme was somewhat picturesque for a vessel carrying forty tons of coal from Yarmouth to the Norwich gas works at Palace Plain. Her hull was tarred black, her waterline green as were her standing right ups and mast head, as you will see she had the normal white shifting right ups topped by red hatches.”
Unidentified trader at Wayford Bridge c1930s.