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Pre 1900 History Pre 1900 Memories

Pre 1900 Photo Gallery

Poling The Marsh Hay

Continuing with the collection of photographs taken by Peter Henry Emerson

“Poling The Marsh Hay”

Quanting The Marsh Hay

“Quanting The Marsh Hay”

A Reedcutter At Work A Suffolk Dike

“A Reedcutter At Work”

“A Suffolk Dike”

An Eel Catcher’s Home

“An Eel Catcher’s Home”

Taking Up The Eel-Net

“Taking Up The Eel-Net”

The Fowler’s Return

“The Fowler’s Return”

Snipe Shooting

“Snipe Shooting”

A Norfolk Boatyard

“A Norfolk Boatyard”

Fishing, Wroxham Broad

“Fishing, Wroxham Broad”

Gathering Water-Lilies

We finish with another of Emerson’s most iconic photographs of Broadland - “Gathering Water-Lilies”


A small set of photographs from the Broadland Memories archives which were taken at the very end of the 19th century, a few of which are dated to 1898. An interesting collection, particularly the wherry photos which were taken at Reedham.

Horning Ferry Inn 1898 Horning Ferry Inn 1898

This was taken in the garden of the Ferry Inn at Horning, presumably around the same time as the photograph above. It’s an interesting one as the two chaps on this side of the table, to the right, look as though they are probably yacht or wherry crew. They are certainly dressed very differently to the rest of the party. Part of a racing crew, or from a holiday hire perhaps. Impossible to say, and there do seem to be far too many people seated around the table to have been a single boating party, even on the largest of pleasure wherries. Along with paying a fee for the skipper and attendants, yachting parties were also expected to provide the food for the crew. This was often cooked on board by the attendants and shared, but I guess there is no reason why they couldn’t have been treated to a meal at a local hostelry. We will probably never know!

Wroxham Broad 1898

Beautiful photograph, captioned as having been taken at Wroxham Broad in 1898. Such an idyllic scene.

Norfolk Broads yachting party c1898

Yachting party on the Norfolk Broads c1898. Judging by the luggage sitting on the cabin roof and the bedding lying on the riverbank, the group were either preparing to set off, or had just returned from their holiday. I’ve not been able to identify the location yet but this was included with the Reedham photos which follow, so may well be southern rivers. Does the cottage seen on the opposite bank still exist and could that provide the location?

Wherry at Reedham c1898 Wherry at Reedham c1898

Another trading wherry, pictured on the River Yare at Reedham c1898. Sadly, there is just not enough of the name board visible to be able to identify her. This view is looking upstream towards the boat sheds of Daniel Hall - now Sanderson’s.

The same wherry pictured in the previous photograph. Note the “bonnet” at the bottom of the sail, added to increase the sail area and catch as much wind as possible.

Wherry at Reedham c1898

Trading wherry at Reedham - note the original swing bridge in the background. The first swing bridge was opened here in 1847 by Sir Samuel Morton Peto on behalf of the Lowestoft Railway and Harbour Company. This line branched off of the main Norwich to Yarmouth line, crossed the Yare at Reedham, running alongside the Haddiscoe New Cut before crossing the Waveney at Somerleyton and heading into Lowestoft. The original Reedham and Somerleyton swing bridges were built at the same time and are thought to have been almost identical although I have yet to find a photograph of the old Somerleyton bridge. The Reedham swing bridge had a cast iron deck with timber piles, was single track and was operated by a hand winch. A wire was attached to the bridge framework just below the deck, this ran from the winch to the central pier where it looped around a pulley and then came back to the winch. When the Great Eastern Railway took over the line in 1904, they began a series of modernisation and improvements which included the replacement of the bridges at Reedham and Somerleyton. The line became double track, the new bridge at Reedham being built alongside the old one before the main line was finally realigned to connect with it.

The Ferry Inn at Horning, photographed in 1898. In his 19th edition of The Handbook to the Rivers and Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk, George Christopher Davies had the following to say about the inn: “The public-house at the ferry is a comfortable one, with a nice sitting-room and garden in front, and it is a capital place to make one’s head-quarters.

Evening light at Wroxham Bridge 1898 Picnic on the River Ant 1898

Captioned on the reverse as “Evening light at Wroxham Bridge 1898” with Johm Loynes yard immediately to the right.

Another photograph from 1898, captioned as “Picnic on the Ant”. Some of the group presumably arrived on the steam launch which can be seen in the background.

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