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Pre 1900 History Pre 1900 Memories

Pre 1900 Photo Gallery

Prev Top Brading 1895 album title page Brading Family Norfolk Broads 1895 Collins boatyard Wroxham 1895 The River Bure at Wroxham 1895

Wroxham looking north” - a slightly blurry photo, but I’ve include it as it illustrates how undeveloped the riverside was at this time. This shows the view looking up towards Wroxham Bridge (round the corner), the bank opposite being where the Barnes Brinkcraft boatyard currently stands. Despite its rural setting, Wroxham was a busy and important yachting centre of the day. In “A Month on the Norfolk Broads,” published in 1887, Walter Rye described the difficulty he found in finding a mooring spot during a cruise; “for there were over 80 yachts and sailing boats within hail of the bridge.” He went on to say; “Wroxham Village, which is really Hoveton St. John, is in early morning in the yachting season rather a stirring sight, everyone trying to be first for the limited supply of milk, and the improvident persons who have not arranged for provisions being busy foraging for bacon and bread.”

The Mayflower at Horning Ferry Inn 1895 The Mayflower at Horning Ferry Inn 1895 Horning Ferry 1895 Barton Staithe 1895 Mayflower at Barton Staithe 1895 The Mayflower with trading wherry at Baerton Staithe 1895 Fishing at Barton Staithe 1895 Barton Staithe 1895 Trading wherry at Barton Turf 1895 Barton Turf 1895 Barton Turf 1895 Potter Heigham 1895 The Ruby at Potter Heigham 1895 Cruising on the River Bure 1895

Moving on a few years from the previous collection, the following set of photographs came as a complete album, dated to August and September of 1895. The album covers the cruise of “The Mayflower” from Wroxham to Oulton Broad and were taken by a D.W. Brading during a family holiday. Once again, I have no background information regarding the family seen, or the photographer, but it is another wonderful collection showing the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads in the late Victorian era.

The title page from the photograph album of “The Cruise of the Mayflower.” I have included any written captions for the photographs as they appeared in the album.

A formal shot of some of the Brading Family which was included within the album. Taken at an unknown location, some of the faces here were those who were amongst the boating party, including the two children seen at the front, on the left and centre.

Wroxham returning from an early morning row” - two of the ladies in the party are seen alongside the boat sheds belonging to Robert Collins and sons at Wroxham. In the background you can see some of the large, mock Tudor houses along Beech Road which must have been reasonably newly built. This was the starting point for the holiday with “Mayflower” being part of the Collins fleet.

Horning Ferry” - “The Mayflower” with some of the holiday party and the two crew aboard. Mayflower was a 39ft cutter-rigged yacht for five to seven persons. There was a forward cabin which contained a double and a single berth with a wash basin, divided from the main saloon/cabin by a companionway with W.C. The saloon was fitted with lockers and sideboards and had two double berths. The crew slept in the focs’l where there were two berths and a cooking stove.

Horning Ferry The ‘Mayflower’ homeward bound” - taken on the same day as the previous photograph. In “The Best Cruise on the Broads,” published in 1885, John Bickerdyke described the inn as being; “a somewhat picturesque little thatched house, separated from the river by a garden, in which a row of old pollards stand sentry-like. This is one of the places where a supply of drinking water should be laid in. The present owner has a great name for making people comfortable; and as the natural result, numbers of yachts may be seen moored there in the summer time.

A heavily laden cart, its horses unhitched, crossing the River Bure via Horning Ferry.

Barton Staithe returning with provisions from Stalham” - Most of the guide boks were in agreement that Stalham was by far the best place to take in supplies when reaching Barton Broad. The town had three butchers, three grocers and two bakers amongst its shops. You can see the stern of a trading wherry on the right.


Barton Staithe a lazy morning” - The crew and holiday party aboard the Mayflower. John Bickerdyke described Barton Broad  as being; “an open breezy place, flat country stretching away to the the right or east side, and slightly rising land, here and there wooded to the west. Barton Broad will take up quite a day of the cruise, and several days may be pleasantly spent on this fine piece of water.

A Norfolk Wherry & Mayflower - A Norfolk wherry with the owners of ‘The Artful Boats’ on board” - Also taken on Barton Broad, sadly, there is no visible name to identify the wherry. I suspect that the wherrymen may have earned a shilling or two for posing for the photographer. A wonderful image.

Fishing at Barton Staithe” - Another interesting image as you can see the decaying remains of what looks like another wherry in the background. In the 7th edition of “Land of the Broads,” Ernest Suffling urged visitors to “devote a day to angling on Barton Broad, as you are almost certain to get a good basket. During the first three months of 1895 some very fine pike were taken from the Broad, one of which weighed 21 lb.

Barton Staithe Off home ‘no bites’” -  I don’t whether the ‘no bites’ refers to a lack of success with the fishing or the blood-sucking midges which are rife on the Broads during the summer months. You can see the remains of the wherry wreck on the right.


The ladies pose with the crew on the trading wherry at Barton Broad. You can just about see the remains of the white “eye” on the bow of the wherry wreck behind it.

Shooting The Moon S with apologies to Mr M” - Another photograph taken at Barton Broad. The Victorians seem to have had an enormous appetite for shooting and stuffing anything that moved. Guns could be brought along, but the guide book authors attempted to discourage such practices. In The Handbook to the Rivers and Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk, George Christopher Davies appealed; “Let me earnestly entreat visitors not to fire off guns either at birds or bottles above Acle Bridge. The sport to the visitors is nil, while the annoyance to the riparian owners is extreme.

They were clearly rather proud of the gun as this is the second of four similar photographs taken at the same location.

Potter Heigham From the Moorings of the Mayflower” - Looking up towards the Bridge Hotel. John Bickerdyke noted that the village was well served with rooms available for let at both the Bridge Hotel and the  Falgate Hotel, along with lodgings at various houses within the village. Mr S. Pollard was the local grocer, there were two butchers who called twice weekly and itinerant bakers visiting daily. “It’s a good plan to have any letters which may be following us about , sent to the care of Mr Applegate, Potter Heigham Bridge, who, in return for his trouble, will be perfectly satisfied if a small stock of bread and groceries is obtained from his shop.

Potter Heigham The ‘Ruby’ with Mrs Rudderforth & Friends” - Was Mrs Rudderforth known to the family, or someone they met during their cruise, I wonder. Looking across the river to the area which is now occupied by Herbert Woods boatyard.

The counter of Mayflower in a fresh breeze on the Bure. S. Is it a chocolate drop or a tale often told ” - One can only speculate, but I’m sure it meant something to the photographer at the time! That looks like the Stracey Arms mill in the background.

Berney Arms Mill 1895 Ashtree Farm Berney Arms 1895 Reedhan from the New Cut 1895

Mill near ‘Breydon Water’ The Yare” - The mill at Berney Arms was originally built to grind clinker for the cement works which once stood alongside it. This photograph shows the remains of the kilns of those works to the right of the mill. The cement works ceased to operate c1880, when it was then under the ownership of the Burgh Castle Cement Company. After 1883 the mill was used solely for drainage.

Homestead on the Yare near Breydon Water 5.A.M.” An early start to catch the tide. This is Ashtree Farm near the Berney Arms Mill. Parts of the building date back to the middle of the 18th century when it was built as a manor house for local land owners, the Berney family.

Reedhan Village from the New Cut” - Avoiding the fixed road bridge at St. Olaves, the crew brought the Mayflower along the Yare to Reedham before turning into the New Cut to reach the River Waveney. Walter Rye had little to say about the village; “There is not much doing at Reedham, except by the owners of the wood-stack and sawmills, which, with a long malt-house and some waterside laundries, seem to command the trade of the place.

Haddiscoe Bridge and New Cut 1895 House at Herringfdleet 1895 Haddiscoe Swing Bridge 1895 Oulton Broads 1895 Oulton Broad 1895 Lowestoft Pier 1895

Haddiscoe Bridge over the New Cut” -  John Bickerdyke wrote: “On the New Cut is a lift bridge, worked by the officials of the railway company, and as we pass through this, we have to be prepared with the fee charged for letting us through - a shilling - collected in a small net.” The bridge remained in situ until the new road bridge was opened in 1961. By the 1930s, the fee had risen to two shillings!

House near Herron Fleet” - I suspect the Norfolk dialect may explain the misspelling of Herringfleet here. This scene is barely recognisable today, the hill being rather densely covered in trees now. The house seen above has been greatly extended in more recent years, but can still just about be seen from the river.

The rail swing bridge which crossed the River Waveney at Herringfleet - referred to variously over the years as either Haddiscoe/St.Olaves or Herringfleet swing bridge This view is looking back towards St. Olaves with the Herringfleet hills to the right. The house pictured previously is just out of shot. The bridge, and it’s twin at Aldeby near Beccles, were part of the East Suffolk Railway and this line opened in June 1859 to connect Great Yarmouth to Beccles. In 1862 it was amalgamated within the Great eastern Railway Company. The line ceased operating passenger trains in 1959 but continued to run freight trains up until the mid 1960s. The remains of the pillars which once supported both bridges still remain in situ inthe River Waveney.

Oulton Broad The Lock in the distance” - It certainly is in the distance in this particular photo which I’ve included to illustrate the lack of development once again at this time. To get your bearings - Mutford Lock is roughly ahead in the centre with the original Wherry Inn to the left of it, juts beside the trees. Poking out from the trees on the right you can see the chimney and escalator which were part of the premises of Everitt & Son who were coal and seed importers, and coal & coke merchants. There was apparently a major fire here c1900 which resulted in the granaries, oil-cake store, mill house, elevator and engine house being destroyed. On the left side of the photo is the corn mill which stood near Bridge Road. This was Harrison’s Mill, also known as Lady Mill, which was seemingly converted for residential use during the early years of the 20th century. A newspaper report indicates that it was demolished in April 1937.

Oulton Broad First lesson Mrs B as coach” - Safely tethered to the Mayflower by the looks of it! A lovely image though. Walter Rye visited Oulton Broad during his month on the Broads in 1887: “We found it nearly full of yachts of all sorts, the further end being packed so closely that we had great difficulty in picking our way through.” Whilst one guide recommended the village as a good source of provisions, Ernest Suffling had the following thoughts on the subject: “Too much reliance must not be placed on the supplies here, for the stock in the little shops is limited. “ He recommended taking a short train journey to Lowestoft where: “everything from York ham to a phial of Dutch Drops (the sea fisherman’s panacea for all ills, internal or external) may be obtained.

Lowestoft Pier ‘Regatta Day’ August 29th” - The Brading family seemingly took Suffling’s advice and headed to the seafront at Lowestoft for a day. The sea looks rather choppy for the regatta! This is the last photograph from the album. If anyone can provide any information about the Brading Family then please do get in contact.