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Great Yarmouth

Local History and



I hope you will find this latest edition of the Journal both interesting and informative, as once
again we have an excellent range of articles and my thanks go to all those who have contributed.

Last year, 2013, saw events leading up to the celebration of the 200th birthday (in January 2014)
of Sir James Paget and this edition contains a brief but very interesting article about this
celebrated gentleman, who once resided in the town. Also during 2013, a considerable amount of
archaeological activity took place in King Street, and comprehensive articles about two of the
buildings there provide much information about this historic part of the town. The year also saw
further activity in the number of blue plaques placed at points of interest in Great Yarmouth by the
Society and, as in last year’s issue, most of the recent plaque presentations are covered within
these pages. The town has been home to many interesting residents in the past and the Society
plaques are a permanent legacy of their efforts and achievements.

We again have a good selection of historical articles, all well researched by our contributors, and
also summaries of the Society’s outings and lectures, which took place last year.

For future editions of the Journal, I will of course be pleased to hear from members at any time
during the year who have articles ready for publication. I will also be pleased to hear from anyone
who is considering writing a piece, but may need some guidance as to preparing their work and
the format in which text and images should be submitted.

Back issues of many of the Journals published since 1993 are still available, so if you are missing
any from your collection, please contact me and I will supply if I am able to do so.

John Smail


Telephone: 01493-300999

Address: 36 Yallop Avenue, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth. NR31 6HD

Great Yarmouth
Local History and

No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of Great
Yarmouth and District Local History and Archaeological Society and the author(s) concerned.
Apply in the first instance to the editor.

The responsibility for obtaining any necessary permission to copy or reproduce other people’s
material, or to copy or reproduce material from other publications for use within Yarmouth Local
History and Archaeology lays with the author(s) and not the Editor or the Society. Upon receipt of
articles from contributors, the Editor will assume that all the necessary authorisation has been
obtained and he will not be held liable in the case of subsequent query.

The responsibility for accuracy of facts within any article lays with the author(s) of that article and
not with the Editor or the Society.

Any opinions expressed within an article are those of the author(s) of that article, and not
necessarily those of the Editor or the Society.


Registered Charity No. 277272


President: Andrew Fakes

Chairman: Paul Davies
Treasurer: Derek Leak
Secretary and Vice-Chairman: Margaret Gooch
77 High Road, Gorleston, NR31 0PB
Tel: 01493-661270

Committee: Carl Boult

Patricia Day
Ann Dunning
Alan Hunt

Peter Jones
David McDermott
John Smail
James Steward
Michael Wadsworth
Patricia Wills-Jones

Honorary Members: Norman Fryer

Shirley Harris
John McBride
Alec McEwen
Paul Rutledge
Russell Smith
Colin Tooke

Three Committee Members retire each year according to a three year rota.
Officers are elected annually, and Honorary Members remain so for life.
Yarmouth Archaeology & Local History
Table of Contents

12 Sir James Paget : A Great Yarmouth Man Hugh Sturzaker

16 133 King Street, Great Yarmouth (late Skippings) Paul P. Davies

31 135 King Street, Great Yarmouth (Howkins, Jewellers) Paul P. Davies

49 Archaeological Discovery in Great Yarmouth Paul P. Davies

49 The Third Christmas Tree and Crib Festival in Great Yarmouth Minster Paul P. Davies

50 The Outing of the Society to Fakenham Gas Works and Houghton Hall Derek Leak
on 20th July 2013

52 The Society’s Visit to Fransham Forge, East Dereham Derek Leak

on 9th November 2013

54 Tour of the Churchyard and the Old Cemetery on 27th July 2013 Paul P. Davies

65 Mid-Norfolk Church Crawl on 2nd August 2013 Paul P. Davies

73 Apotropaic Symbols Paul P. Davies

74 The Plaque Commemorating Arthur Eric Rowton Gill (1882 - 1940) Paul P. Davies
Sculptor, Typeface Designer, Stone Cutter and Printmaker

82 The Halvergate Tower Corn Windmill Peter Allard

85 The Blue Plaque Commemorating the Royal Naval Hospital, Paul P. Davies
Great Yarmouth

93 The Plaque Commemorating the Inauguration of Crimestoppers Paul P. Davies

94 Air Commodore Sir Egbert Cadbury, DSC., DFC (1893 - 1967) Margaret Gooch

97 Postscript to the Erection of the Plaque to Sir Egbert Cadbury, DSC., Paul P. Davies

98 The Blue Plaque Commemorating the Site of the Angel Hotel Colin Tooke

100 The Plaque Commemorating the First Moving Pictures Shown to the Colin Tooke
Public in Great Yarmouth

Table of Contents (continued)

102 The Yarmouth Almanack of 1863 Peter Jones

108 Henry Keymer of Gorleston, Marine Engineer Peter Allard

112 Joseph James Hall (1879 - 1961), Designer, Illustrator and Heraldic Paul P. Davies

123 The Plaque Commemorating John William Cockrill, M. Inst. C.E., Paul P. Davies
A.R.I.B.A., Borough Surveyor 1882 to 1924

124 The Plaque Commemorating Cornelius Harvey Christmas, Wine Paul P. Davies
Merchant and Philanthropist

126 James Bloomfield (1868 - 1922), Marine Engineer and Entrepreneur Chris Unsworth

128 Mary Sewell (1797 - 1884) Ann Dunning

130 The Lost Castle of Darrow Wood Michael Wadsworth

132 Herring Fishing : the Address given at the Annual Blessing of the Margaret Gooch
Nets at Great Yarmouth Minster on 6th October 2013

136 Birds Eye Foods Andrew Fakes

138 The Trafalgar Road Board School Michael Wadsworth

141 East Anglian School for Deaf and Blind Children John Smail

144 Heritage Open Days : 12th - 15th September 2013 - Herring Fishery Paul P. Davies

144 The Exhibition Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the 1953 Paul P. Davies


18th January A Mixed Bag : four short talks by Society members

15th February Aviation Archaeology in East Anglia

Robert Collis - Aviation Historian

15th March Fragments of History; Recent Metal Detector Finds from Norfolk
Adrian Marsden - Numismatist

19th April Approaches to Local History in the Digital Age

Peter Stibbons - Writer and Historian

17th May AGM, followed by “The History of Great Yarmouth for Tourists”
Margaret Gooch and Andrew Fakes, Committee Members, GYLH&AS

20th September The Archaeology of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St. Edmunds

William Bowden - Associate Professor in Roman Archaeology

18th October There is No Such Thing as a Good Tax

Sarah Doig - Genealogist and Local Historian

15th November The Archaeological Dig at Sedgeford

Garry Rossin - Project Archaeologist

20th December Christmas Social Evening, including “What Does a Conservator Do?”
Lorraine Finch - Conservationist

Lecture Summaries 2013

January 2013
Our first meeting of 2013 was held on 18th January, and comprised four 15 minute presentations
by Society members.

Martin Webber began by showing a video, with musical accompaniment, of how Great Yarmouth
seafront had altered over the past few years following work in changing the road system and
updating the street furniture.

Andrew Fakes spoke on changes in sea and river levels around Great Yarmouth since the last ice
age. His first picture was the famous Hutch Map of Great Yarmouth, drawn in Elizabethan times,
showing how the town was thought to have looked in 1000 A.D. It shows the site now occupied
by the town as a sandbank in the middle of a great sea inlet in the coast of Norfolk, fed by the
rivers Bure, Waveney and Yare. He considered how true a picture this was, and began by
pointing out that Great Yarmouth and the Flegg area was last an island when, on the 12th
February 1938, the North Sea broke through at Horsey to the River Thurne, leaving this area
entirely surrounded by water. The gap was sealed by May 1938. He then showed pictures and
maps illustrating coastal gain, loss and flooding up to 2009. However, his main contention was
that much of the medieval and early evidence of high water levels was based on extreme events
and attempts to write down the value of land, so that it would not attract taxation.

David McDermott spoke of Philip Musgrave-Gray, who had a mixed career as a window dresser
in London and Norwich, before being employed by Palmer’s Department Store in Great
Yarmouth. It was agreed that he would be able to keep the proceeds of any prizes that his
window displays might win. His technique of window dressing was not pile it high and sell it
cheap, but was for minimalist and artistic tableaux, concentrating on one product. His displays
earned him a great number of national prizes, including cash, cars and silverware.
Dr. Paul Davies showed some of his large collection of comic postcards dating back to Edwardian
times, pointing out the vast number that were sent before the days of the telephone and the
internet. Changing social morés were highlighted, including attitudes to various matters that
would be considered not politically correct or in good taste today. Cards featuring fat ladies and
gentlemen, lecherous young men, and young women who were no better than they ought to be.
The cards were heavy with double entendres, but Donald McGill, the originator of many of the
cards, claimed they were innocent and it was only the dirty minds of the would-be censors of the
cards that were to blame. However, he was persuaded to plead guilty to obscenity and paid a
fine, which added to his reputation.

The evening ended with Martin Webber showing a further video collage of some the famous
people who had died during 2012.

February 2013
There was a full house for the February meeting to hear Bob Collis’ and Simon Baker’s
presentation: Aviation Archaeology in East Anglia.

Mr. Collis’ contention was that the vast efforts to defeat the Third Reich over the years from 1939
to 1945 gave rise to much aerial activity over East Anglia in that period and, when the United
States Army Air Force began its bombing campaign in Europe, it reached enormous proportions.
There were 72 airfields operating in Norfolk and Suffolk alone.

Many aircraft were lost over Europe, but there were also considerable losses in and around
Britain as a result of accidents and damaged planes, which struggled back home but failed to
make safe landings. Mr. Collis stated that, although vast numbers of aircraft were produced, only
a few were now preserved in a near complete state. He used the example of the Short Stirling,
which crashed off Hemsby beach in 1943 and was investigated, but most of it was sent to the
scrap heap in 1970. Of over 11,000 Vickers Wellingtons built, there are only three left so Mr.
Collis was pleased to investigate one that had crashed at West Caister. This had hit the ground
so hard that it came to rest in thick clay. Although the aircraft was almost destroyed, many
artifacts were dug up.

Young and inexperienced crews, as well as skilled airmen, were lost by the Americans over this
area through bad luck and foul weather, resulting in many more wreck sites in need of
investigation. However, the Ministry of Defence now operates strict rules on digging up old
planes, not least because they may contain live munitions. Mr. Collis said that thankfully there
were few human remains found on crash sites, as these were usually cleared at the time. He
recounted the sad fate of the Stirling that was brought down by ‘friendly fire’ off Great Yarmouth
during an enemy air raid in 1943. The plane had not identified itself correctly, so it was shot down
and all its crew were lost. Parts of this plane were recovered in 2005.

Mr. Collis said that the motivation of aviation archaeologists was not a ghoulish desire to revel in
terrible events, or to enjoy the excitement of past conflicts, but to remember the brave men who
put their lives at risk in a great struggle to defeat an evil regime that had oppressed much of
Europe. He also felt that the great skill and technical ability of those who built the aircraft was
also well worth remembering.

March 2013

The March lecture was given by Dr. Adrian Marsden of Norfolk Landscape Archaeological Unit
based at the Shirehall in Norwich. The illustrated talk was called: Fragments of History; Recent
Metal Detector Finds from Norfolk.

Dr. Marsden described himself a numismatist, which is one who studies coinage. He told us that
Norfolk is particularly fruitful for finding lost or discarded coins from as long ago as before the
Roman invasion. East Anglia’s agricultural production made it perhaps the richest area of Britain
until the Industrial Revolution, leaving vast areas of open fields, where discarded artifacts and
occasionally treasure had been lost but, fortunately, still continue to come to light. Dr Marsden’s
illustrated lecture showed many of the metal objects that have recently been found, including
coins that had originated from Eastern Mediterranean countries, with finds from the Roman, Anglo
-Saxon, Danish and medieval periods being also represented. The responsible metal detector
user will also report finding such items as flint axes, early tiles and ceramics. Random finds, not
originating from archaeological digs, can prove a very useful and interesting window on the past.
Dr. Marsden ended by saying his team could supply experts to demonstrate techniques of field
walking, metal detecting and final identification, should volunteers or sites become available.

April 2013

Around 80 people attended the April meeting to hear Mr. Peter Stibbons’ illustrated lecture on
Approaches to Local History in the Digital Age.

Mr. Stibbons explained that, when he was teacher in Lowestoft, he regularly attended Society
meetings and, in 1982, the BBC introduced their computer to schools, which he used extensively.
He then moved to working for Anglia Television and, at a meeting of the Education Department of
ITV, it was asked if anyone had experience of computing. Mr. Stibbons put his hand up and this
began a roller-coaster of events, when a business plan for educational programmes was
prepared in 1990, and programmes for schools were made and sent out all over the world. He
continued by saying that the quality, ease of use and affordability of audio and video equipment
has allowed the general public to produce items that could only be made by professional
broadcasters about 20 years ago. He gave some advice on how to make videos and recordings.
He strongly advocated that a consent form should be signed, as it was clearly necessary not to
libel anybody or to hurt people’s feelings. He described how old pictures and photographs could
be used to illustrate shows.

Our speaker then talked about how printing and publishing have been altered by the digital
revolution. Until about 30 years ago, letterpress was common among sign writers, differing little
from the time of William Caxton. Offset lithopress could produce quality books, but needed a long
run to make them economic. Digital printing allowed the production of small runs of books and
often the quality of pictures was better than litho print. As Mr. Stibbons now runs Poppyland
Publishing, he has regrets as less books are sold, but electronic copies are available. He showed
some excerpts from films he had produced about Overstrand and Cromer, footage of the late
Richard Davis talking about fishing, and Colin Tooke describing Great Yarmouth and its rows. He
then went on to talk about electronic search and processing of information. When these records
are catalogued it is possible to call up files by key word search and gain access to vast amounts
of data that may only have been available from distant libraries in the past. He also said that it is
now easy to analyse from such sources as census records by name, profession and town or
village of domicile. Histograms and pie charts can be produced at the click of a mouse. He felt
that census takers of old would have greatly appreciated a computer to aid their work.

In thanking Mr. Stibbons for his overview of how the writing of history has changed, our President,
Andrew Fakes, pointed out that the United States census was not properly analysed before
another census was taken. Herman Hollerith invented a system of placing data on punched
cards that could be probed by needles, with information being correlated much more quickly. This
became the basis of computer technology in electronic form. Mr. Fakes said he did not regret the
money he had spent on books, but hoped his Luddite tendency could be overcome so he would
be able to take advantage of the electronic revolution, to follow his hobby as a local historian.

May 2013

After the Society’s Annual General Meeting, an audience of about 80 lively and knowledgeable
members enjoyed an illustrated talk entitled: The History of Great Yarmouth for Tourists and
Residents, presented by Margaret Gooch and Andrew Fakes. Margaret began by saying that the
genesis of the talk was when she was approached last autumn by a historical society from
Lancashire, which was having one of its annual excursions in Great Yarmouth and they wanted to
know about the history of the town. She was able to organize a brief slide show and Andrew
brought some more pictures of Great Yarmouth. The slide show was intended to give a concise
impression of the history of the town and its attractions, hopefully relating current parts of the area
to the history of England in general, but it was currently work in progress and further suggestions
and comments would be welcomed.

Those present took great pleasure in pointing out that some of the pictures were incorrectly
labelled and that even Cobholm was misspelled, however the audience provided various
suggestions for inclusion in the show relevant to the history of Great Yarmouth. Regrettably the
Time and Tide Museum and the Pleasure Beach were omitted from the presentation, but it was
promised to include these in any future lectures.

The audience made a considerable contribution to the show and former Chairman and President
Norman Fryer recounted how the Mayor of Great Yarmouth at the time of the opening of the
Haven Bridge in 1930 was given to dropping his ‘Hs’. He said that he was now going to ask ‘is
Majesty to open the ‘Aven bridge’, to which the future Edward VIII said: it gives me great pleasure
to declare the Avon Bridge open! The Prince may have got the impression that there were two
River Avons in England. Mr. James Holt of Caister recounted that his father told him that, after
the Prince of Wales had opened the bridge, he went down to the fish wharf and took part in a
kipper eating competition with the men working there. Mr Norman Balls, also of Caister, said his
father acted as the Royal Chauffeur on that day.

Members present said that they enjoyed the show and felt it would be helpful to holidaymakers in
suggesting places to visit in Great Yarmouth and its environs. It was also hoped it would be
helpful to Kate Argyle of English Heritage, who was currently working on a project to promote the
study of local history in Great Yarmouth schools.

September 2013

80 people enjoyed a lecture about the site of the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St.
Edmunds, given by Dr. William Bowden, who is overseeing the archaeology and interpretation of
the site on behalf of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust. Venta Icenorum translated from the Latin
means market place of the Iceni and, by employing up to date methods of investigation, Dr.
Bowden’s team hopes to obtain a better idea of what went on at the site over the years.

The walls were known for many years and were first mentioned by William Camden in the 16th
century. During the dry summer of 1928, aerial photographs revealed a regular street plan and
buildings in the crop marks. A fund was collected to pay for an investigative dig, which was
carried out by a Dr. Brooke and a group of workmen, who were paid by results. It is now felt that
this led to poor research and, on occasion, direct fraud. Finds from elsewhere were probably
discovered for cash payments. The dig suggested that Venta Icenorum was a well-planned
Roman town run by a benevolent power, possibly on the site of an earlier British town.
Subsequent research, using more sophisticated dating and archaeological techniques, have led
to the site being reassessed. Evidence of pre-Roman activity has been found, but no substantial
building from that period has come to light. The town may have been a marching camp
immediately after the Boudiccan revolt, but the first substantial Roman building dates from about
50 years later. The town expanded and contracted over the years and there is evidence of a
disastrous fire. Also, large piles of manure indicate that the site was not urban during the Roman
period. However, town building began on a large scale in the late fourth century suggesting that
the area was being defended against a Saxon invasion, and that it may have been similar to the
Roman forts at Burgh Castle and Brancaster. However, it seems to have been abandoned
relatively quickly, with only sparse post-Roman occupation.

Dr. Bowden summed up his lecture by saying he felt that, if the areas around the site could be
further investigated, then extensive evidence of Saxon activity might well be discovered. He also
felt that the site declined as the river in the area became unusable for large boats, which may
have caused the capital of the county to move to Norwich.

October 2013

Sarah Doig gave the Society’s October lecture with the title: There is No Such Thing as a Good
Tax. This was a quotation from Winston Churchill to The Free Trade League, Free Trade Hall,
Manchester on 19th February 1904 and he went on to say: We contend that for a nation to try to
tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the

Taxation has never been popular with those who have to pay it, but remaining revenue records
can be most useful to the historian. In England, we have one of the most comprehensive records
of tax returns from the Middle Ages, now referred to as the Domesday Book. William the
Conqueror was worried that a Danish invasion might occur in 1085 and it was decided to list all
the resources that he had available to repel it. This was the first occasion that many of the
villages and towns in England were recorded in a comprehensive document.

Taxation, though it may not always have been fair, was obviously best collected from those able
to pay it. It was, therefore, not worth troubling the poor overmuch. But wars were an enormous
drain on the exchequer and when the Hundred Years War was not going well during Richard II’s
reign, it was decided to introduce a poll tax, which is a tax of the same amount on every person in
the country, irrespective of ability to pay. This gave rise to the famous Peasants’ Revolt in 1381.

In pre-revolutionary France, the aristocracy paid no tax and the burden fell upon the lower classes
and peasantry, but this system was brought to an end somewhat spectacularly in the years after

Taxation on wealth and property were tried over the years on such things as windows, chimneys,
sheep, carriages, servants and hair powder. These were enforced by the constables and
magistrates and were not purchase tax. As usual with these charges, they were avoided where
possible and had unintended consequences, such as the bricking up of windows, the fashion for
shorter hair, and less wigs were worn.

Sarah Doig’s conclusion that the great benefit of taxation records was that they subsequently
became a very useful source of information and interest to both the historian and the genealogist,
in order to see the status of ancestors and the general population.

November 2013

The November talk on the Sedgeford Historical & Archaeological Rescue Project (SHARP) was
given by Garry Rossin.

He began by saying that the project came about when Professor Bernard Campbell, the land
owner of Sedgeford in North Norfolk, and Dr. Neil Faulkner met by chance in Naples. Professor
Campbell said that various things had been discovered on his land and he wondered what a
systematic archaeological dig might find. Dr. Faulkner arranged for a dig to be conducted on the
fields in July and August, after the fields had been harvested. This was privately financed by
donation, and much of the labour would be voluntary in exchange for being taught archaeological

Mr. Rossin told us that his original career was in magazine publishing, during which he spent an
enjoyable holiday as a volunteer at Sedgeford. When Neil Falkner wanted to leave the project
and no-one else wanted the job, he volunteered to leave publishing and become a full time

The Sedgeford site is near Hunstanton on the Heacham River, which in fact is a fairly modest
stream for most of the year. Archaeologically, it has yielded artifacts from several periods of
human occupation on the site.
A bronze age women’s crouch grave was probably the earliest human item found, but evidence of
a Roman villa is still under investigation.

In 2013, a large bread oven or grain drying kiln dating back to the Saxon occupation of the site
was discovered, which suggests a sophisticated and well-run society was there after the Romans
left. There are still extant buildings of the First World War aerodrome at Sedgeford from where
Captain W.E. Johns flew. He of course went on to write the famous Biggles books about the
early aviator and the righter of wrongs.

Mr. Rossin spoke of a test pit, which became deeper and deeper. The quality of the plough soil,
and the number of artefacts found, represented a thriving community living on the site constantly
for about 3,000 years. The location turned out to be a river valley, which had filled with soil over
the years and was perhaps the most interesting area on the site. When asked if it was possible to
see the site, we were told that it would be possible to book a visit during August 2014. It was also
possible to volunteer to work on the site during the summer.

In thanking Mr. Rossin for his talk, the President enquired if he thought there was a similar site in
the Great Yarmouth area. The reply was almost certainly. The former Chairman of our Society,
Mr. Russell Smith, felt that a likely site would have been around Fritton Lake as the Lothingland
area was on a virtual island with high grade agricultural land surrounding a large quantity of fresh
water suitable for fishing and drinking.

December 2013

The Society’s Christmas meeting, held on 20th December, began with a lecture entitled: What
does a Conservator do? by Lorraine Finch. Lorraine was born locally and has a studio in Great
Yarmouth. She explained her training in the conservation of mostly paper-based archive material,
including the cleaning and repair of items that had decayed over the years.

She said, surprisingly, that modern paper would not last as long as much of the paper produced
many years ago, as the excess acid in the paper led to the written word becoming unreadable.
She said it was sometimes necessary to submerge documents in water, but this could make the
ink run, so great care was needed when this is contemplated. Cleaning could be carried out with
rubber erasers, but this required a higher quality product than most of those obtained from high
street stationers, and cleaning brushes also needed to be sourced from natural hair and bristle.

Lorraine continued by talking about the kind of document required after it had been conserved. It
was possible to produce an item that was almost as good as when it was first written, but she felt
that this was not always appropriate and rust marks and pin holes were part of a document’s
history, showing that it been displayed. She also said that candle wax on a document was also
part of its history.

Conserving documents is a skilled art form and it is almost impossible to lay down a few hard and
fast rules because so much depends on the original paper and ink used, but records are best
preserved away from bright lights and insect infestation. Clean and relatively dry conditions,
without excessive alkali or acid in the environment, are the most favourable conditions.

After answering several interesting questions from members, a buffet prepared by Mrs. Jean
Smith was enjoyed by all, during which time Lorraine continued to answer individual questions.
Finally, towards the close of the meeting, Mr. Martin Webber entertained members with a brief
animated film he had made using his granddaughter’s toys and dolls.

Erratum—it has been pointed out to the Editor that the caption to the photograph of Percy Trett
on page 15 of the 2013 edition of the Journal incorrectly states: with son Markus on 16th
February 1969. It is in fact his son, Simon.

Sir James Paget : A Great Yarmouth Man
Hugh Sturzaker

James Paget was born on 11th January 1814 at

59 South Quay, which was a mansion built by his
father the previous year. James Paget went on to
become the leading surgeon of his day and
respected throughout the world. From the age of
20 he lived in London, but always had a strong
affection for Great Yarmouth and he made regular
visits to the town of his birth. His achievements
are immense and it is right that we should
celebrate the life of this remarkable man.

James’s father, Samuel, had risen from humble

origins to become a successful business man.
He worked for a man who supplied the Royal
Navy with food, drink and other provisions. His
employer died when Samuel was 17 years old
and, with the support of his mother, he went to
the Admiralty in London and secured the contract
to continue supplying the Navy. He was so
successful that he bought a local brewery with 54
public houses, became a partner in the Gurney
Bank, which was run by Dawson Turner, and built
and ran a fleet of ships. In 1817, he was Mayor
of Great Yarmouth. Portrait of Sir James painted by John Millais.
(Copyright of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital).
At the beginning of the 19th century, Great Started in 1871 and completed in 1873.
Yarmouth was a prosperous Georgian town with a A copy of this by an unknown artist hangs in the
thriving port. James was one of 17 children, James Paget University Hospital.
although several died in infancy. Nine reached
adulthood, although three brothers died in their late twenties and early thirties. In his youth he
would have seen the wealth of the merchant houses along South Quay and the poverty in the

He had a happy childhood and learnt drawing and painting from the artists, father and son Crome.
In addition he noted how his mother collected many shells, corals, old china and glass as well as
other items and was very particular in how they were arranged. This was of great benefit to him
later in cataloguing all the specimens
in the museums at St. Bartholomew’s
Hospital in London and at the Royal
College of Surgeons.

James went to the local school in

Queen’s Road, just off South Quay,
which was run by a Mr. Bowles, who
had been an actor and became a
Minister of the Unitarian Chapel. At
the age of 13 years, James should
have followed his older brothers to
Charterhouse School in London, but
by this time his father’s businesses
were failing so he continued his
education with Mr. Bowles. In his last
59 South Quay, Great Yarmouth year he was head boy of the school.

At the age of 15, James considered joining the Royal Navy but, at the last moment, changed his
mind and was apprenticed to the family doctor, Dr. Costerton, when he was 16 years old. The
work involved dispensing pills and liquid medicines, putting leeches in their boxes, bandaging
ulcerated legs and carrying out minor operations. He assisted at more major operations, such as
amputations, and attended lessons given by Mr. Randall, a young surgeon from Acle, who gave
his talks at the Angel Inn in the Market Place, Great Yarmouth.

During his apprenticeship he studied the plants and animals in and around Great Yarmouth with
his brother Charles and the results of these were published in a book in 1834, when James was
20 years old. Charles wrote about insects, while most of the rest of the work and the introduction
to the book was done by James. In later years, James wrote that the writing of this book was the
greatest influence on his future life. It introduced him into the society of studious and observant
men; it gave him an ambition for success, it encouraged the habit of observing, of really looking at
things and learning the value of exact descriptions; it educated me in the habits of orderly
arrangement. He sums up this period in his life by saying; The knowledge (of the facts of the
study) was useless: the discipline of acquiring it was beyond price.

He entered the medical school at St. Bartholomew’s at the age of 20 and, within a few months,
noted what appeared to be small grains of sand in the muscles of a man he was dissecting.
These had been noted by others, but no one had studied them further. He examined these more
closely with his hand lens and noticed that these were tiny cysts with a coiled up worm in each.
He examined these further with a microscope at the British Museum and two days later reported
his findings to the Abernethian Society at the Medical School. The worm was called trichina
He won almost all the prizes in his two
years as a medical student and, in his final
surgical examination, one of his examiners
was Sir Astley Cooper, President of the
Royal College of Surgeons, who lived in
Great Yarmouth as a teenager as his
father was the vicar of St. Nicholas’
To become a surgeon he would have had
to pay out £500 - £1,000, but he did not
have the money. Instead, he earned some
money by writing articles for a number of
medical journals and from tutoring some
students. In spite of his poor financial
state, often he would not eat on Fridays,
he and his brother, George, pledged to
pay off their father’s debts. It took them
until 1862 to finish the task.

In 1837, he was appointed to the lowly

position of Curator of the Museum at St.
Bartholomew’s Hospital and soon he
began cataloguing all the specimens; the
results of which were published in 1846.
He spent much of his time dissecting in the
mortuary and teaching the medical
students. He was promoted to a
Demonstrator in Morbid Anatomy (1839)
and a Lecturer of Physiology (1843). One Paget’s original drawing of the cyst and worm
of his students, William Kirke, produced Trichina spiralis
(courtesy of the Royal College of Surgeons of England)
with him a Handbook of Physiology in
He was appointed to catalogue all the specimens in the Museum of the Royal College of
Surgeons in 1842 and this task was eventually completed in 1849. In 1847, he was elected to
give the Arris and Gale Lectures for the College of Surgeons over a two week period. So
successful were they that he was re-elected to the position for the following five years and the
lectures were the foundation of Lectures in Surgical Pathology in 1853, which was published in
two volumes.

Meanwhile, the Medical School at St. Bartholomew’s was doing poorly as, apart from Paget, very
few of the staff were interested in teaching. It was suggested that a college similar to those in
Oxford and Cambridge would be beneficial and he was appointed the first warden of the college
in 1843. The college provided him with accommodation and good food and his job was to mentor
the students. As a result, the college students had far better results than those not in college.
The same year he was one of 300 foundation fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of
England and the youngest one, yet he had little practical knowledge of surgery. The following
year he married Lydia North, to whom he had been engaged for eight years. They could afford
only one day’s honeymoon, which was spent in Oxford.

By this time his fame was spreading and he was appointed Assistant Surgeon to St.
Bartholomew’s in 1847. It must have been a worrying time for him as he had had no formal
training in surgery. However, the previous year ether had been used for the first anaesthetics and
chloroform was soon introduced, which enabled slower and more detailed dissection.

His great knowledge of pathology and physiology enabled him to become one of the most
respected clinicians of his time and the introduction of the railways enabled him to give
consultations all over the country and often in Europe. He was fluent in French, German, Italian
and Dutch, which enabled him to converse with the top scientists and doctors in Europe and to
read about the latest advances in science and medicine. Repeatedly he stressed the importance
of bringing science into the art of medicine.

He was appointed Examiner to the East India Company and, along with his co-examiners, was
appalled at the poor standards of the candidates. They failed most of them, which led to a
shortage of surgeons in the colonial service, but it resulted in big improvements in the teaching
and examining in the medical schools and colleges. In 1858, he was appointed Surgeon
Extraordinary to Queen Victoria at the young age of 44 years and, in 1861, was appointed Full
Surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s.

Throughout his life he had at least five attacks of pneumonia and, in 1871, he developed a severe
septicaemia, an infection in the blood, after carrying out a postmortem examination. He nearly
died and as a result decided to resign from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Queen Victoria appointed
him a baronet and he continued with his private practice.

In 1875, he was elected the President of the Royal College of Surgeons and of the Royal Medico-
Chirurgical Society. In 1877, he gave the Hunterian Oration of the College, which was attended
by the Prince of Wales, Gladstone and all the leading surgeons and physicians of the day. He
served on the General Medical Council for many years, was Vice Chancellor of London University
and the President of the Seventh International Medical Congress. Honours were bestowed upon
him from universities and institutions throughout the world.

He wrote 200 books and scientific papers, and is probably best known for his description of
rawness of the nipple associated with cancer of the breast and of osteitis deformans, which he
thought was a chronic inflammation of bones. However, he described eight other conditions that
had not been appreciated before.

In his later years he made several trips to Great Yarmouth. On 20th September 1888, he opened
the new Great Yarmouth General Hospital, which replaced the original one built in 1840.
Afterwards, at a luncheon for 300 people in the town hall he said: Yarmouth, fifty years ago, was
one of the first places in the land for medical teaching and that the present medical men had a
Great Yarmouth General
Hospital on the day of its
opening on
20th September 1888

compared with a
photograph taken in 1981

reputation to maintain. In August 1891, on another visit to the town, he was saddened at how the
town’s social and commercial aspects had deteriorated. He noted that hardly any of the great
houses on South Quay were still private houses, there were no large ships and the shipbuilding
yards had gone. However he felt that St. Nicholas’ Church was still beautiful and conducted fine
services. He returned in October with his brother George, who died three months later at the age
of 83 years.

His last visit to Great Yarmouth was in April 1895. He noted that most of the fine houses had
been turned into shops yet he remarked on the unfailing beauty of some of the scenery, such as
that about the harbour, the rivers, the marsh-lands and Breydon Water. He also visited Burgh
Castle. He compared the deterioration of the buildings of Great Yarmouth to the decline of his
own health.

He died on 30th December 1899 and his funeral service was conducted in Westminster Abbey on
4th January 1900 by his son, the Dean of Oxford and soon to be appointed Bishop of Oxford.

James Paget’s life is a wonderful example of how determination, ability and hard work can
overcome many hurdles. When he was 13 years old his family suffered severe poverty yet, by his
own efforts, he was able to rise to the pinnacle of his profession, to be respected by everyone and
to receive countless honours. In spite of this he showed great humility and frequently went out of
his way to help the destitute and poor. He was deeply religious and showed great care and
compassion for his patients. It is very appropriate that his motto was work itself is a pleasure.
133 King Street, Great Yarmouth (Late Skippings)
Paul P. Davies

In 2012, this building, 133 King Street, was

purchased by the Great Yarmouth Preservation
Trust as a purchaser of last resort before the
building fell into terminal decline.

The building was rapidly falling into disrepair.

With grant aid the premises was restored and
converted into an art gallery, a one-bedded
residential unit and three artists' studios. It
opened in April 2014. Jeremy Stacey was the
appointed architect and the contractor was
Wellington Construction Ltd. The project was
also used as a training initiative to help tackle
the acute skills shortages within the town, with 133 King Street in 2013
support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

According to the deeds the original house on this site was

demolished in 1729 by John Dowson, a mariner of Great
Yarmouth, on his marriage to Elizabeth Gibson. The new property
had outhouses, stables, cellars and yards.

The previous house belonged to Henry Wright, who was also a

mariner. He purchased the property in 1709 for £20 from the
herald, historian and antiquarian Peter Le Neve (1661-1729), who
wrote several books on Norfolk. Henry Wright passed it on to his
son, Henry, who in turn passed it on to John Dowson.

Eventually, the new property passed to Henry Gibson Dowson, a

merchant, who died in 1757 and then the property was left to his
son, also Henry Gibson Dowson, and then to Benjamin Dowson
(a merchant and Henry’s brother).

In 1772, the property included

kilns, leaden steeps (for soaking
Thomas Hurry, father of
or infusing) and a malthouse. By
1772, Benjamin Dowson had
died. The property was then sold
to Samuel Hurry on a lease for
£290. It was then abutting upon
the yard of a malthouse and the
ground of Thomas Dowson.
Drainage was granted through the
yard of the malthouse. There was
a spout receiving water from the
roof of the granary chamber,
leading to the rainwater cistern of
the house. There was also a key
for Hurry to unlock the gate of Robert Alderson
Dowson’s yard leading off the row.
Also, there was permission to pass through the yard of the
malthouse to use the bog house, to empty waste and to use the
John Hurry (1724-1782),
well standing in the yard of the malthouse. The malthouse was
the brother of Samuel converted into a dwelling sometime between 1772 and 1801.

The deed between Henry Wright and Peter le Neve dated 1709

Tree showing the Hurry and Alderson family and the early inhabitants (in red of) 133 King Street

According to C. J. Palmer this house, on the south-
east corner of Row 116 at the King Street end, was
occupied by Samuel Hurry, who was born in 1727 in
Great Yarmouth. His father, Thomas Hurry (1696-
1780), was a Great Yarmouth born hemp and iron
merchant. Samuel Hurry was in the Merchant Navy.

Soon after the accession of George III and when the

Seven Year War ended, which raged between 1754
and 1763, Hurry was employed on the coast of
America and France in ships transporting goods. For
this work he received much praise. In 1775, he left
the sea and became a ship owner and a general
merchant. In 1763, he had launched a ship called
the Pitt (named after William Pitt, who had led the
country during the Seven Year War). The Norwich
Gazette wrote that this was the largest vessel
launched in Great Yarmouth for many years. In
1789, Samuel Hurry was presented with a silver cup
for giving aid to the ship-wrecked sailors during the
great gale of 31st October 1789.

Samuel Hurry married Isabella Hall. As Isabella died Sir Edward Hall Alderson in 1847
at a young age, they only had one child. Their Taken from a daguerreotype
daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Alderson (1752-
1833). It seems that the newly married couple moved into this house with Samuel Hurry. Samuel
Hurry died suddenly in 1800 at the age of 74 years and left his large fortune to his grandchildren,
which included his estates at Badingham, Peasenhall and Bedingfield; all in Suffolk.

Robert Alderson continued living in this house. He was persuaded to study law by a relative and
moved to chambers in the Inner Temple in London. After spending some years in London
practising law, Robert Alderson retired to Norfolk. In due course he was the Recorder of Norwich,
Ipswich and Great Yarmouth. It was unprecedented to hold three such judicial posts

Robert Alderson was

born in 1752 and died in
1833 at the age of 81
years, and was buried in
Norwich Cathedral. He
left the law in his middle
age. He had two sons.
The elder, Edward Hall
Alderson, was born at
133 King Street, Great
Yarmouth in 1787. His
mother had died young in
1791 from tuberculosis.
She was buried at the
Unitarian Chapel at Filby.
Edward Hall Alderson
and his brother were
brought up by his
maternal grandfather Mr. Wright’s Southtown Academy c1820. Engraved by J. Lambert
(Samuel Hurry) while
their father lived in
Edward Hall Alderson walked daily to
Mr. Wright’s Academy, a day school in
Southtown, using the ferry to cross the
river in the care of his careful
governess. Here, he learnt the
rudiments of Latin. The academy was
situated at Stone Cottage, near
Ferryside, in High Road, Gorleston. A
friend of his grandfather then gave
Edward Alderson private tuition, during
which he developed a clear and
systematic mind. Later he was sent to
a boarding school at Scarning, near
Dereham. In 1800, he was educated
at Charterhouse School, then in
London, by courtesy of his
grandfather’s will. However the smoke The school room at Mr. Wright’s Southtown Academy c1820
Engraved by J. Lambert
and fog in London made him ill and he
transferred to the Grammar School at
Bury St. Edmunds, where he became friendly with Charles Blomefield, who later became the
Bishop of London.

The summer of 1804 saw the end of Robert Alderson’s school career. For the next 15 months he
received private tuition from Edward Maltby in Buckden, Huntingdonshire. Maltby later became
the Bishop of Durham and the Preacher at the Inns of Court between 1817 and 1835. This tuition
had a great effect on the remainder of Alderson’s life. Maltby later wrote: During this time, he
conducted himself so uniformly well as to make it a pleasure for me to have him for an inmate.
Respecting application to his studies, I have often remarked that I never saw anyone so eager for
information, and so ready to profit by it, in whatever shape it was supplied. To this feature of his
character, which, so far as my experience goes, he
possessed in a degree superior to what I have ever
observed, I attribute in a great measure the success
which attended him in every stage of his subsequent

In October 1805, Edward Hall Alderson entered Caius

College, Cambridge. Here he excelled at both
mathematics and classics.

His son, Charles, wrote in 1858: Edward Hall

Alderson’s life at college was regular and studious, and
yet in some respects characteristic. Despite college
requirements, he could never bring himself to be a
regular attendee at morning chapel, being by habit a
late riser. In another particular he displayed a
remarkable self-denial. Although a frequent host and
guest, he laid down a rule, which he rigidly observed,
whilst at Cambridge during the three years of his
undergraduate life, to abstain from wine: fearing lest its
effect, even taken in moderation, might be injurious to
evening work. In other respects, study was too natural
a taste to entail much effort. A rule which he laid down Sir Edward Hall Alderson
for himself at the outset, of reading a certain number of
hours each day, not only rendered any excess of application, as the time of examination
approached, unnecessary but was also found to allow a sufficient margin for fully participating in
the social enjoyments of college life. Under any circumstances, the rapidity and ease with which
he worked, and the intellectual vigour with which he grappled with each difficult subject, would
have gone far to make his career at college not only successful, but to be reckoned as amongst
the most agreeable periods of his life.

In his second year he won the Sir Thomas Browne’s Medal for the best epigram (a short, witty
poem or saying) written in Greek and Latin. At this time, his eldest sister, Isabella, of whom he
was very fond, died of tuberculosis. In 1809, he was declared the Senior Wrangler, which is
awarded for the best undergraduate in mathematics at the university; a great intellectual
achievement. He was also the Smith’s Prize Winner and the First Chancellor’s Medallist for
attainment in the Classics. As a result he was immediately elected a Fellow of his college. This
list of honours won by an undergraduate was unequalled at Cambridge University.

In 1809, Edward Alderson became a pupil of Joseph Chitty, the eminent lawyer and a writer on
legal matters and, in 1811, he was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple. He then joined the
Northern Circuit. From 1817 to 1822, he was also a co-editor of reports from the King's Bench

An early indication of his legal

abilities came in 1825, when he was
instructed by the opponents of the
proposed Liverpool and Manchester
Railway, who were principally the
directors of the Bridgewater and
Leeds and Liverpool Canals. This
railway required a private bill.
Parliamentary work was a major part
of Alderson’s practice. Alderson
cross-examined George
Stephenson on his designs for the
railway and the surveys on which
they were based. Alderson proved
an able advocate and Stephenson a
poor witness. Stephenson later
confessed: I was not long in the
witness box before I began to wish
for a hole to creep out of. Largely,
owing to Alderson's devastating
closing speech, the bill was lost; the
railway was delayed for several
years and Stephenson’s early
reputation badly damaged. 133 King Street in c1865

In 1828, Alderson was appointed a Common Law Commissioner.

In 1830, he was appointed a judge in the Court of Common Pleas for which he received a
knighthood. This court was a common law court in the English legal system that covered actions
between subject and subject, which did not concern the king.

In 1834, Alderson moved to the Court of Exchequer Chamber until his death. This was a court
which might be asked to determine a point of law and was a very important position.

In 1841, at the age of 54 years, Alderson also became a judge in the Court of Chancery.

Edward Alderson spent his holidays in Lowestoft sailing along the coast to Southwold and into the
Norfolk Broads. His biographer mentions Alderson’s frequent visits to Great Yarmouth. He loved
to point out to his children where he first drew breath and where he went to school. He showed
his children the Jetty from where he watched the return of more than one fleet from the Baltic. On
one occasion he was nearly hit by a cannon ball, which had been fired as a salute. Alderson also
attended many public events in Great Yarmouth, such as the re-opening of St. Nicholas’ Church
in 1848 after a major restoration, and the opening of the Priory School in 1853.

Alderson continued to compose classical and English poetry (both in English and Latin)
throughout his life. He maintained a correspondence with his cousin, the novelist Amelia Opie,
until her death in 1853. He was also an enthusiastic and knowledgeable follower of horse racing.
Alderson Road, in the north of Great Yarmouth was named after him.

His last sitting was at the Liverpool Winter Assizes in December 1856, after which he collapsed
on hearing of a serious injury to one of his sons. He died shortly afterwards on 27th January
1857, from a brain disease, at his home at Park Crescent, London. He had been taken ill a few
days previously with sudden giddiness followed by unconsciousness. He rallied for a time, but it
was followed by a lack of interest in his surroundings and stupor, finally lapsing into
unconsciousness and with two gentle sighs he died ten days later. He was buried on 2nd
February 1857 at St. Giles’ Church, Risby, near Bury St. Edmunds, a church which he had
financially supported and of which his brother was the incumbent. He was 70 years old. There is
no trace of his grave in the church or its yard.

In 1823, Edward Alderson married Georgina

Drewe, the daughter of a landed clergyman.
She lived for some time in Great Yarmouth
and died in 1871.

Alderson’s daughter, Georgina Charlotte,

married the British statesman, Robert
Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of
Salisbury, in 1857. He was the Prime
Minister three times. One of their sons,
Charles, was a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford.
Salisbury's father opposed the marriage
owing to Georgina’s lack of wealth and
social standing.

Alderson was popular with barristers and St. Giles’ Church, Risby
with the juries, if not always with his
colleagues, not least because of his relentless jocularity; on the bench and off it. Several of his
speeches to grand juries, in which he discoursed on the issues of the day, were published.

He was said to be a clever, analytical and a forthright judge, with little patience for those of lesser
abilities. He was quick to take a view of a case and exceedingly hard to be talked out of it. The
highlights of his career can be summarised:

As a judge of assize, he was prominent in the attempts to suppress the Luddites in 1831 and the
Chartists in 1842.

Alderson was a great exponent of the flexibility of the common law.

He believed that rehabilitation was the principal goal of sentencing.

He was dubious of the effects of a deterrent and argued for the limitation of capital punishment
and found technical means not to apply it.

As an active churchman of moderate views and a lifelong friend of C. J. Blomfield, Bishop of

London, Alderson was prominent in seeking to reconcile the Church of England to the Gorham
Judgment of 1850. Gorham’s appointment to the incumbency of Bramford Speke in Devon was
blocked by the Bishop of Exeter. Goreham did not believe that infant baptism was effective and
that an adult decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour was necessary. This was
against Article 27 of the 39 Articles of Faith as laid down by the Church of England.
Because of his views the Bishop considered Gorham to be a Calvinist in this matter and hence
was unsuitable for the post. Of course, this was the era of the Oxford Movement, when several
High Church Anglicans defected to the Roman Catholic Church. Gorham appealed to the
Ecclesiastical Court of Arches to compel the bishop to institute him, but the court confirmed the
bishop's decision and awarded costs against Gorham. Gorham then appealed to the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council, which caused great controversy about whether a secular court
should decide on the doctrine of the Church of England. In this judgment, Alderson supported the
view that the Church was subject to secular law. This court reversed the earlier decision and
Gorham spent the rest of his life as the vicar of Bramford Speke, where he was successful in re-
building the church.

Alderson opposed secular education, believing that the mere communication of knowledge
without religious values was of little value. Yet, he was a noted advocate of allowing Quakers,
Jews and others, who felt unable to swear on the Christian Bible, to affirm instead.

Some of Alderson’s landmark decisions are worthy of note:

Winterbottom versus Wright (1824): the four judges at the Court of Exchequer, which included
Alderson, concluded that consumers, who were injured by defective products, had no action
against the defective product’s manufacturer. The judges feared that a large number of actions,
which might follow, would impede industrial development.

Russell versus Cowley (1835): Alderson gave vocal support to would-be patentees of new

Bligh versus Brent (1837): was a major contribution to the legal understanding of company

Wood versus Peel (1844): in a trial to determine the winner of the Derby, Alderson ordered that
the purported winner, Running Rein, be produced in court. The horse could not be found and the
result of the race was overturned.

Wood versus Leadbitter (1845): Alderson upheld the Jockey Club’s effort to free Epsom
Racecourse of those they considered undesirable.

Rex versus Griffin (1853): a Church of England chaplain was called to prove conversations with a
prisoner charged with child-murder whom, he stated, he had visited in a spiritual capacity. The
judge, Sir Edward Alderson, strongly intimated to counsel that he thought such conversations
ought not to be given in evidence, saying that there was an analogy between the necessity for
privilege in the case of an attorney to enable legal evidence to be given and that in the case of the
clergyman to enable spiritual assistance to be given. Alderson added: I do not lay this down as
an absolute rule: but I think such evidence ought not to be given.

Blyth versus Birmingham Waterworks Company (1856): concerns reasonableness in the law of
negligence. It is famous for its classic statement of what negligence is and the standard of care
to be met. In establishing the basis of the case, Judge Alderson made, what has become, a
famous definition of negligence: Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable
man, guided upon those considerations, which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs,
would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. The
defendants might have been liable for negligence, if, unintentionally, they omitted to do that which
a reasonable person would have done, or did that which a person taking reasonable precautions
would not have done.

The next person living at 133 King Street from 1801 was Thomas Hurry, a merchant and ship
owner. He paid £500 for the property. He died from a stroke, while walking, at the age of 78
years, in 1828.

After Thomas Hurry’s death, Joseph Plummer acquired the property in 1828 and used it as a
boarding school, known as the King Street Academy. He borrowed £600 from Thomas Henry
Wallis and John Bruce to purchase the property. Plummer was born in 1808. His school was
listed at 133 King Street by 1836 and continued to 1863, when he died.

In 1841, Joseph Plummer’s school had 17 boarding pupils, all males, two tutors and two servants.
The pupils ranged in age from nine years to 15 years.

By 1851, Joseph Plummer’s school educated 17 boarders with ages ranging from six years to 16
years. All the pupils were boys, mainly from Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Middlesex. There
were three tutors. Interestingly, in 1854, there were as many as 61 schools and academies in
Great Yarmouth.

In 1861, Joseph Plummer,

now aged 50 years, was also
a magistrate. The boarders
had increased to 22, who
mainly came from the London
area and were between the
ages of eight to 17 years.
There was one assistant tutor
and a French master.

Joseph Plummer died in early

1863. He left about £2,000.
After Joseph Plummer’s
death, the Great Yarmouth
Street Directory of 1863 lists
the school as being run by his
son, John, living with his
mother, Ann, at Grove House,
St. Peter’s Road and he was
described as an accountant.
The property remained in
Joseph Plummer’s wife’s
name, Anne, until she died in
1880. All Joseph Plummer’s
properties were sold in 37 lots
in 1881. The sale raised

In 1864, the premises was

taken over by Mrs. Mary Ann
Jaynes and she was running
a school here for young
ladies. This school continued
until 1880. The number of
boarding pupils was small,
being about five to six girls in
their early teens. Mrs.
Jaynes had previously run a
lodgings and a day school at
8 Albion Road, Great
Yarmouth. Her son was the
tutor and her daughter was
the schoolmistress. Mrs.
Schools in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston in 1863 Jaynes died in 1889.
Yarmouth Free Press 19th January 1856 Yarmouth Free Press 23rd March 1856
Note each boy has a separate bed

In 1881, the property was purchased by

William John Bartram, a pawnbroker, for
£971. In order to purchase the premises, he
obtained a loan for £800 from Henry
Carpenter, a gentleman of Great Ormesby.

In 1885, the premises were converted into a

shop and accommodation. In 1886, W. J.
Bartram, now described as a carpet and
furniture warehouseman, was resident here.
He died in 1889.

It appeared that the loan of £800 had not

been repaid and in 1889, the premises was
conveyed to George Carr, a linen draper,
who took over repaying the loan. He had
moved from South London in the mid 1870s.

He also had drapers’ shops at 150 King

Street, 34 Market Row and a baby linen
shop (run by his daughter, Clara) at 123
King Street.

In 1909, at the age of 80 years, he retired

from Great Yarmouth and moved to
England’s Lane in Gorleston, on the corner
of Drudge Road.
George Carr outside his shop at 133 King Street c1909

By now, as he was a widower
and his four children had left
home, the accommodation at
133 King Street was too large
for him.

He then rented 133 King

Street to Ernest Skippings, a
draper, who purchased the
premises in 1919 when
George Carr died.
Yarmouth Independent 19th January 1878

Dr. Johnson’s Directory defaced by a pupil: A crumpled page of lines stating:

“Samuel Johnson is a dirty dog” “Learn to despise idleness for it is the root
of all evil”
It is signed George Gamble 14th September 1829

A writing slate

A text book inscribed with the names:

Josiah Leven June 1828 and William Gamble 1833

Artefacts relating to Plummer’s Academy found in 133 King Street in the 1970s

Proceeds of the
sale of
Joseph G. Plummer’s

Yarmouth Mercury
5th March 1881 George Carr’s Grave

Details of the sale of Joseph G. Plummer’s

property on the death of his wife in 1881.
Yarmouth Mercury 22nd February 1881

The attic

Interior views of 133 King Street in 2013 Row 116 in Edwardian times.
The Row runs to the north of
133 King Street

Warehouse doors

Interior views of
133 King Street
in 2013

Richard and his father Leslie
Ernest Skippings outside the shop
in the 1970s
Left and below: Skippings Shop

The shop then passed through the Skippings family via Leslie
Ernest and Richard until 1998, when Richard Skippings
emigrated to Australia. The property was sold in 2001 for
£90,000, to be converted back to a private house. The
restoration was only partly carried out and ceased. In 2012, the
Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust stepped in and purchased the property. The project was part
of the four million pound Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme; an area-based
conservation-led regeneration scheme for the King Street area, whose centrepiece was the
complete refurbishment of the Grade I listed St George’s Theatre. The THI scheme, led by Great
Yarmouth Borough Council, was funded through a number of sources, including the Heritage
Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

To commemorate the birthplace of the eminent Edward Hall Alderson, a blue plaque was erected
on 133 King Street by the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society in 2013.


Alderson, Charles, Selections from the Charges and other Detached Papers of Baron Alderson,
Parker, London, (1858)
Charles J. Palmer, The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, George Nall, Great Yarmouth, (1875)
Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
Hurry-Houghton, Thomas, Memorials of the Family of Hurry, Tinling, Liverpool, (1926)
Census Returns
Street Directories of Great Yarmouth
Rumble, Mark, A New Pelustration of Great Yarmouth, (1994)
135 King Street (Howkins, Jewellers)
Paul P. Davies

The property was purchased by the Great Yarmouth

Preservation Trust in September 2013 for £100,000. It was
considered that it was in a state of terminal decay and soon
would be beyond repair, unless urgent action was taken.
The building is well-known in Great Yarmouth as the long-
standing business, Howkins, Jewellers.

The property is described as a mid-17th century house,

probably with the shop front rebuilt in 1830. From the
outside, on the property’s north aspect as viewed from Row
113, one can see the development of the property.

At the front facing onto King Street there are remnants of a

17th century building and it was probably occupied by a
merchant with a shop. The earlier flint and brick seen on
the side elevation in the adjoining Row 113 is probably 16th
century. The front and interior were altered in the Georgian
era (c1830). The shop front is Victorian. Inside there is a
beam dated as 1650 and an elegant Georgian staircase.
The sash windows are Georgian. The property provides a
good example of how a building has evolved over many
centuries. The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust will
undertake a full repair and conservation of the property. 135 King Street in 2013

View down Row 113 looking east

The unrestored wall paintings in
135 King Street

The beam dated 1650 in 135 King Street

The beam dated 1550 in the Row cottages

Inside the Row cottages The restored paintings in

St. George’s Church

The front of the building is joined
to two Row cottages which are
dated as 16th century. The gable
end of the cottages can be viewed
from the west of Row 113. This
rear façade has two 17th century
gable projections. The roofs are
separated by a valley. In the
ground floor of the cottages is a
reeded bridging beam dated 1550.

The rear of 135 King Street showing the two

17th century gables

Behind the cottages was a courtyard which is now roofed

over and at the rear of the property is a Victorian

In the front first floor room of 135 King Street plasterboard

has been removed, which revealed Georgian panelling. The
panelling was removed in the search for asbestos revealing
painted walls of a marble character. It appears that there
are two layers of paint. It is thought that the decorative
marbling had been painted in the early part of the 18th
century. In places it has been over-painted. It is similar to

Green foliated wallpaper with dirt

particles. Dated prior to 1830

the unique and expensive marble

decoration seen on the columns in
St. George’s Church (c1715), but is
less sophisticated. It is grey and
pink. The idea to paint the walls in
this room might have come from the
church or, maybe, from a Grand
Tour. Also in this room are pieces
of wallpaper which pre-date 1830.
They were nailed to the wall as
wallpaper was expensive and
nailing allowed it to be moved to
another place. These decorative
effects show that the property was
of high status and vied with the
properties on South Quay in terms
of grandeur. Other finds in the
property are the original closets, still
with their 18th century wooden wig
hooks, mullion windows, old beams,
hidden doorways, staircases,
Cleaned area of the wall painting alcoves and passages.
Top: Map of Great Yarmouth1668

Middle: Map of King Street 1819 showing buildings extending southwards on the east side of King Street
Gaol Street became Middlegate Street

Bottom: Laing’s Map of Great Yarmouth 1855 showing King Street and buildings outside the wall
* Row 113 * 135 King Street

The building was listed as grade II in 1974 and it is on the buildings at risk register. It is described
in the listing as:

Mid C17 house, probably with a shop. Front block rebuilt c1830 in stuccoed brick. Remainder of
brick and flint. Pantiled roofs. Facade is of 3 storeys; 4-window range. Late C20 shop front with
fluted consoles either side of fascia board. 4 recessed 6/6 unhorned sashes to each floor above.
Bracketed eaves cornice. Bell-based gabled roof with one rebuilt gable-end stack to the south.
In Row 113 earlier flint and brick construction is evident and there is a blocked C17 2-light ovolo-
moulded mullioned window with diamond-section sub-mullions. Extension to west with a C18 6-
panelled door and surround. The rear has two C17 2-storey gabled projections. West faces
rendered and each with 2 blocked windows. INTERIOR: ground floor has a reeded C16 bridging
beam, re-used. Stick baluster staircase with ramped and wreathed handrail. First-floor front
room has a sunk quadrant-moulded bridging beam with a jewelled tongue stop.

The interior wall paintings are being expertly

consolidated and preserved by a team from
Estonia, including Merike Kallas, lecturer,
Eva Tammekivi, a Master of Arts student of
the Conservation Department, Estonian
Academy of Arts, and Jean Lambe and Chris
Pickup, Master of Arts students from Crick
Smith, University of Lincoln. On-going
research into the paintings will take many

King Street was probably named following a

visit by King Charles II in 1671, who was
mightily impressed with it. It was one of the
few streets in Great Yarmouth that ran from
north to south. Manship tells us that the
houses in King Street were built flank-wise to
the Town Wall and the open space between
these houses and the wall were used by
ropemakers.17 Until 1678, the east side of
the street was open to the town wall and
formed an area known as the Deneside. This
open space was occupied by ropemakers
135 King Street in 1885 until 1678 when the Corporation ordered that
all the ropemakers’ posts and things there to
be pulled up. The ground was then sold for building purposes.24 McBride states that the first
buildings on the east side of King Street and to the south of the Market Place were erected in
1681. Over the years the street was extended southwards, for example the property, 51 King
Street, to the south and nearly opposite 135 King Street was erected in 1772.18 By 1863, King
Street had become one of the major shopping centres of the town, containing many varied shops.

The occupants of this property from the early days is difficult to ascertain. The adjoining Row
113, which ran from Middlegate Street to King Street, was anciently called Tilson's South Row.
Thomas Tilson was a member of the Corporation in 1626 1, so it can be assumed that he lived in
the property at the King Street end of Row 113. Row 113 was later known as Errington Row and
Ferrier the Surgeon’s Row.

Charles J. Palmer wrote in 1874: at the south-east corner of Row 113 there is a dwelling-house,
which for many years was occupied by George Errington, who was extensively engaged in the
herring fishery, and compiled voluminous statistics relating to the same, which are now in the
Public Library 2 (now deposited in the Norfolk Record Office). This journal, dated 1787-1828,
gives George Errington the younger’s address as King Street, Great Yarmouth and gives details
season by season of grounds fished, catches, prices, numbers and types of vessels engaged,
times of fleets leaving and returning, market
information mainly from London, the Baltic
and the Mediterranean, but one reference to
America, the organisation of the industry
including meetings of the fish merchants to fix
prices and details of a wage agreement in
1821, Government bounties, the success of
the Lowestoft, Cromer, and Southwold
fisheries and the Dutch Fleet, occasional
references to other catches including
pilchards, mackerel and whale, the building of
new curing houses during booms, losses at
sea and the weather and the great gales of
1789, 1807, 1808, 1810, 1820 and 1821, Old Meeting House, Gaol Street
statistics of numbers employed in the East
Anglian fisheries in 1807, and records of
catches and vessels per owner at Yarmouth in

There are frequent references to the success

of one of the Erringtons' own boat, the
Neutral, and a general report of 1798 on the
herring fisheries in Norway, Gothenberg, the
Isle of Man, Ireland, Liverpool, Scotland,
Yarmouth, Dover and Hastings is copied in.
The document is in one hand throughout and
watermarks dated 1821 and 1827 occur. The baptismal record of George Errington the
younger: (Old Meeting House)

The journal contains many items of interest.

For example, George Errington wrote on
24th September 1795: the boats returned
from the north seas (being a long trip for very
few ordinary fish) except one, the Providence
belonging to W. D. and N. Palmer, which was
captured by Le Vanweur, privateer, and
scuttled. This was a good boat, which with
her materials was worth £400 or £500, and
the circumstances spread great alarm
amongst the fish owners. The crew were
treated with great kindness and humanity by
the French captain. They were set ashore a
few days after and returned to Yarmouth.
This privateer also captured two vessels from
Lynn. Errington relates in 1807 that he had
seven ships (three boats, two cobles and two
yawls). By 1809, he had added another yawl
to his complement. His boat he mentions
most is the Neutral, which was skippered by
Mr. Otley.

In 1819, Preston, wrote: under the head of

general improvements, may surely be ranked
the recent establishments of several new fish
-offices, which have been judiciously placed
Errington basic family tree upon the Denes, and some, though not quite
Advertisement from the Norfolk Gazette
Norfolk Chronicle 3rd March 1849 15th July 1797

Advertisement from the Norfolk Chronicle

12th February 1852

Undated newspaper advertisement placing Errington

in Chapel Street (later King Street)
Vlieland was born in Rotterdam in 1796 and died
in Norwich in 1865

Advertisement from the Ipswich Journal

29th March 1788

Advertisement from Norfolk News
27th June 1868
W. B. is Walter Bebee

Advertisement from the Norfolk Chronicle

18th February 1832
George Errington at this time was living in the United
States of America
A Deed of Assignment is a document in which a debtor
appoints a trustee to take charge of property to pay
debts, partly or wholly. It allows one party (the
assignor) to transfer ownership of something they own,
such as a house or endowment policy, to someone
else (the assignee)

Advertisement from the Bury and

Norwich Post
20th February 1811

Advertisement from the Ipswich Journal

7th November 1767
The house to be auctioned is at the north-east corner of
Row 102 running from Middlegate Street to King Street.
Note that it had a sea view looking down what is now
Trafalgar Road

so eligibly situated, have been built in the town and
vicinity, and those of Messrs. Baily, Harrison,
Palmers, Lettis, Errington, Stevenson, Minter,
Green and Larter with several others, have been
erected on an extensive scale, eminently
calculated for curing the herrings in the best

George Errington won a number of awards for his

fishing journal and his contribution to the
improvement of the fishing industry. He is said to
have been responsible for improving the cure of
white herrings after the manner of the Dutch
pickled herring. He employed experienced Dutch
fishermen, who held the secret of their trade. They
A herring buss used the herring buss, a type of sea-going fishing
vessel used by Dutch and Flemish herring
fishermen in the 15th century through to the early
19th century. The buss was first adapted for use as a fishing vessel in the Netherlands, after the
invention of gibbing, which made it possible to preserve herring at sea. 3

Gibbing is the process of preparing salt herring in which the gills and part of the gullet are
removed from the fish, eliminating any bitter taste. The liver and pancreas are left in the fish
during the salt-curing process, because they release enzymes essential for flavour. The fish is
then cured in a barrel with one part salt to 20 herrings. The use of the buss made longer voyages
feasible, and hence enabled Dutch fishermen to follow the herring shoals far from the coasts. The
first herring buss was probably built in Hoorn around 1415. The last one was built in Vlaardingen
in 1841.

George Errington the younger was born into the family home of at least 40 years standing at the
time of his birth on 12th October 1761. It was on the corner of Row 113 in Chapel Street.

The full length of this street was called King Street, but by many it was called Chapel Street from
the south side of St. George’s Church. He was the son of George Errington the elder (1720-
1795) and Elizabeth Colby (died 1801), who were married on 9th November 1758.

George Errington the elder’s father, Samuel Errington the elder, married Elizabeth, daughter of
Joseph Baker, who was a fish owner and fishing merchant and who lived in a large house at the
north-east corner of Row 102 (Packet Office Row) running from Middlegate Street to King Street.
By 1874 it had been divided
into two. After Samuel
Errington the elder’s death
the house was possessed by
Rev’d. Francis Turner.
Samuel Errington the elder
inherited a considerable
number of fishing properties
from his father-in-law,
Joseph Baker, who died in
1732. 4 Samuel and
Elizabeth had four sons:
Benjamin, Samuel the
younger, Joseph and
George Errington the elder.
Samuel the elder died in
1766. Row 102 King Street

There is a deed dated 3rd March 1753 for the sale of a tar house, goods in trade, and
assignments of debt in trade between Samuel Errington the elder to George Errington the elder.
The site was purchased for £200. There was a tar house and a shed, belonging to the spinning
ground on the Denes, abutting against the east mount wall. The tar house, standing on the
Denes, was built by Henry Brown and bought and purchased by Samuel Errington from Nathaniel
Symonds and Henry Gibson together with the tar, copper etc.

At some point, after his father’s death in 1766, George Errington the elder moved to 135 King
Street. How much of Joseph Baker’s fortune passed on to George the elder and his brothers we
do not know, but from records of the time we know that he and his family were land-owners, who
were well respected and owned boats, curing-houses and rope-works in Great Yarmouth. We
also know from church records that the family were, for many years, non-conformist and
worshipped at the Old Meeting House in Goal Street, which was built in 1733 and demolished in
1869. It would seem that the Erringtons had more than one string to their bow. Herring and
mackerel fishing were seasonal, as was herring curing. They also ran a prosperous rope-works
and after ropewalks were banned from within the town walls, they moved them outside the walls.
Ropewalks were in abundance near to his home and on the dunes. In the 1754 Poll Book for
Great Yarmouth, Samuel and his son George are listed as ropemakers. Another son, Joseph is
listed as a salesman. The Poll Book for Great Yarmouth for 1777 shows George Errington the
elder as a ropemaker and a Samuel Errington as a mariner.

A title deed of 1803 mentions: the hemp house and ground, then late fish house of George
Errington, ropemaker of the east part.

George Errington the younger is listed in Pigot’s directory of 1830 as a ship owner, curer and
ropemaker. Previously, in 1826, he is listed as a merchant. In the Poll Book of 1790 both George
Errington, the elder and the younger, are listed as living in Great Yarmouth and working as
ropemakers. In 1796, George Errington the younger is a ropemaker in the Poll Book, as he is in
1807. By 1812, he is listed as a merchant.

In the Yarmouth Mercury of 1927, George Mayman, the last of the ropemakers east of the river,
reminiscences: just over 100 years ago (c1827) there were over 100 ropemakers and twine
spinners voting as Freeman of Great Yarmouth.

George Errington the younger was to marry twice. He married his first wife, Hannah Mowes, in
Great Yarmouth on 21st April 1789 13 and they produced at least three children, two of whom died
very young. A daughter, Emily born in 1798, was the only child to survive. When Hannah died,
George Errington the younger married again, this time to Harriet Notcutt of Ipswich in
Suffolk. From this marriage two sons and five daughters were born between 1812 and 1822. 3

Harriet Notcutt’s maternal grandfather was William Notcutt of Ipswich, whose business was
extensive. He was said to have been so afraid of a horse that he walked to London from Ipswich,
a distance of some 70 miles, twice a year, until he was 60 years old. When returning on his last
trip, having walked 53 miles and being tired, he was persuaded to get into a chaise with a friend
to ride the remainder of the way. The horse bolted and he was thrown out and killed. 7

Emily Errington (by George’s first marriage) married Richard Cowling Taylor (1789-1851) in 1820,
who was an English surveyor and geologist. In the early part of his career, Taylor was engaged
on the Ordnance Survey of England. Subsequently, he was occupied in reporting on mining
properties, including that of the British Iron Company in South Wales, his plaster model of which
received the Isis Medal of the Society of Art. In July 1830, he travelled to the United States of
America and, after surveying the Blossburg coal region in Pennsylvania, he spent three years in
the exploration of the coal and iron veins of the Dauphin and Susquehanna Coal Company in
Dauphin County in the same state. He published an elaborate report with maps. He also made
surveys of mining lands in Cuba and the British provinces. His knowledge of theoretical geology
led him to refer the old red sandstone that underlies the Pennsylvania coalfields to its true place,
corresponding with its location in the series of European rocks. He was elected a Fellow of the
The sale of Mr. Pettingill’s property after his bankruptcy.
Pettingill was George Errington the younger’s partner
Norfolk Chronicle 17th July 1824

Geological Society of London. He had four daughters and he died at Philadelphia on 26th
October 1851. He devoted much time to archaeology, and published Index Monasticus, or the
Abbeys and other Monasteries, Alien Priories, Friaries, Colleges, Collegiate Churches and
Hospitals with their dependencies formerly established in the Diocese of Norwich and the Ancient
Kingdom of East Anglia in 1821. His other principal works were: On the Geology of East Norfolk,
1827; Statistics, History, and Description of Fossil Fuel, 2nd edition 1841; Statistics of Coal,
Philadelphia, 1848; 2nd edition revised, 1854; and the Coalfields of Great Britain, with Notices of
Coalfields in other parts of the World, 1861. Taylor compiled the index to the new edition of
William Dugdale’s Monasticon, 1860, which took him two years. He also contributed fourteen
papers to the archives of the United Friars of Norwich, and many articles to the Magazine of
Natural History.6

Benjamin, Samuel Errington the elder’s brother’s

gravestone miraculously survived the bombing of St.
Nicholas’ Church, Great Yarmouth and the
subsequent fire during the Second World War. The
stone can be seen in the north aisle of the church.
Benjamin Errington is listed in the Poll Book for Great
Yarmouth in 1714. He died in 1748, aged 62, leaving
Elizabeth his widow, who died in 1766, aged 79.

Samuel Errington the younger is listed in the

Yarmouth Poll Book of 1756 as living in Great
Yarmouth and his occupation is stated as a
ropemaker. He is also listed in the Poll Book for 1768
as a freeholder in Great Yarmouth

On 8th November 1783, the Norfolk Chronicle

reported that: on Wednesday at night, as Mr.
Errington, the tide-officer of Yarmouth, was going on
board a ship in that harbour, he unfortunately fell from
a plank that was laid from the Quay to the ship, and
was drowned. This was Samuel, the brother of
George Errington the elder.

George Errington the younger was a direct The gravestone of Benjamin Errington in St.
descendent of an English soldier, who was killed at Nicholas’ Church
the Battle of Culloden in 1746, fighting for the Stuarts.7
The next in line was Benjamin Errington, who was
born in Northumberland and a wealthy merchant. He died at the age of 77 years. He was
followed by Samuel Errington the elder. Following him in the ancestral line was George Errington
the elder, who was also a wealthy merchant. He had two daughters and one son. He died in
1795 in his seventies. To his son, George the younger, he left an annual income of £800.
George Errington the younger carried out a large merchandising business and was an extensive
ship owner. Pigot’s Directory Of Norfolk of 1822 lists Errington and Pettingill of the Denes as
ropemakers. In 1824, George Errington the younger’s partner, Pettingill, was made bankrupt.
During the French Revolution (1789-99), George Errington the younger was the President of the
Revolutionary Club, where his views were radically expressed. He received a warning from the
British Government that unless he kept quiet he would be arrested and imprisoned for high

Norfolk Chronicle 27th March 1824

(A chapman is a trader/peddler)
treason. He and his wife belonged to the Unitarian Church at Great Yarmouth. George Errington
the younger took part in the Great Festival at Yarmouth on the Quay in April 1814. The festival
was held to celebrate Napoleon’s downfall. George Errington the younger subscribed £5 for the
event, which was higher than the average amount subscribed. He emigrated (probably in 1830)
to the United States of America, with his family joining him later in 1832. The family travelled on
the ship the James and Henry Cumming. According to the Norwich Mercury of 24th April 1830:
the James and Henry Cummings, a fine new fast sailing ship, burthen 550 tons, has excellent
accommodation for cabin and steerage passengers, having a spacious and lofty 'tween decks of
seven feet. Steerage Passage travelling to New York for adults, £5 and for all children under 14
years of age, half price.

George Errington the younger died in 1839 at the age of 78 years in New York.14 His wife,
Harriet, died in 1859 at the age of 78 years at Clifton, Staten Island, New York. They had eight
children of whom the following survived into maturity: Harriet, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Georgina,
George and Frank. His American descendants state that George Errington the younger met with
some business reverses when he was about 65 years old. Although he enjoyed comfort he did
not recover his wealth.3

There is a title deed dated 1838 concerning John Danby Palmer to own a shed on the Denes
near Chapel Mount (directly to the east of St. George’s Church), a spinning ground extending to
St. Peter’s Church (built 1831-33) and a rope-walk extending to Chapel Road (St. George’s
Road), part of a property including a
tar-house, tar-copper, capstan etc.
and a shed and rope-making
equipment. This area was conveyed
in 1753 by Samuel Errington to his
son, George the elder. It was sold in
1832 to Palmer by George Errington
the younger, late of Great Yarmouth
and now of the United States of
America. It was later sold by John
Danby Palmer to James Hurry
Palmer in 1838, when it was stated
that the rope-walk was 76 feet long.20
It can be said that the Errington rope
-walk was directly outside his house
at 135 King Street on what is now * The Ferrier grave at Hemsby Church

After the Erringtons left Great Yarmouth the property was in the possession of William Smith
Ferrier, surgeon and the Coroner for the Borough from 1836 to 1848; being the first appointed to
that office after the passing of the Municipal Corporation Act. Previously two coroners were
annually elected by the Inquest of the Corporation.1 William Smith Ferrier was born in 1804 in
Norfolk. He was a surgeon to Great Yarmouth Hospital and had qualified in 1826. After a period
practising in London he returned to Great Yarmouth in 1827. Ferrier came from a distinguished
family. Three of his ancestors had been the Mayor of
Norwich in the 15th and 16th centuries, one was a Bailiff of
Great Yarmouth in the 17th century, and two had been the
Mayor of Great Yarmouth in the 18th century. One of these
had been the Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth in
the early 18th century. William Smith Ferrier married
Charlotte Pymer of Beccles. He died in 1848 and is buried in
the family vault in Hemsby churchyard. On Ferrier’s death,
Samuel Less(e)y token C. H. Chamberlain was elected coroner. He defeated Dr. F.
grocer and tea dealer N. Palmer, a surgeon, for the post by 21 votes to nine. At the
meeting, the vote for the office of coroner was deferred, as a
mark of respect as Ferrier had not yet been interred.8
In the 1841 Great Yarmouth census, William Ferrier and his wife, Charlotte, his ten month old
daughter, and four servants aged between 15 and 16 years, are listed at 135 King Street.

In 1851, the property was in the hands of Samuel Lessey, a grocer. He was living there with his
wife, his niece, his apprentice and a house servant. Later, Samuel Lessey moved to 18 King
Street. He died in October 1866 and left £600.

By 1861, the property had changed hands. It was now a boot and shoemaker’s run by Charles
Green. He lived with his wife, three children and five lodgers. On 13th November 1861, the
Green family left Plymouth for Brisbane, Australia on board the Wansfell.

In 1863, John McMurray, a travelling draper is listed as living here. In the Ipswich Journal of 27th
December 1862, there is an advertisement for the sale of clocks, watches and furniture; the stock
of the bankrupt, Lawrence Brown; applications to be made to J. McMurray,135 King Street, Great
Yarmouth; Messrs. Brewster and Co., 13 Walbrook, London or Mr. J. M. Pollard, solicitor and
auctioneer, Ipswich.

In 1874, Charles Palmer stated that: the present possessor of the property on the south side of
Row 113, near the east end is C. B. Dashwood. This house at one time evidently was of some
importance. There is also an old tenement over-hanging the row. Near the west end of this Row
there was a public house called the Bee, a sign sometimes accompanied by the following verse:

Within this hive, we're all alive,

Good liquor makes us funny ;
If you are dry, step in and try,
The flavour of our honey. 1

In 1830, Charles Burton Dashwood was practising as a surgeon in Gentleman’s Walk in Beccles
before moving to Great Yarmouth. He practised from various places in the town; at Regent Street
in 1839, 5 St. George’s Terrace (Road) in 1851 and in 1867 at 2 King Street. By 1864, he had
moved to 135 King Street. Dashwood was born in 1812, the son of a clergyman at Caistor St.
Edmund, and had qualified in 1834. He became a surgeon at the General Hospital and a Medical
Officer to various insurance societies. Dashwood practised in Great Yarmouth from 1835 to
1872. He was the Coroner for the Borough in the 1870s. In 1838, he was presented with a
handsome piece of plate, simple but ornamental, by a discerning and enlightened public to
reward his skilful exertions. It was a butler’s tray engraved in the centre with his name and
profession. It was made in Birmingham and weighed 40 ounces. 8

The census return for 1871 states that the widower, Charles Dashwood, was living here with his
daughter and two servants. Charles Dashwood died on 5th May 1880 at 5 Prince of Wales’ Road
in Norwich and left c£7,000. His wife, Emily Louisa died on 10th August 1870 at Great Yarmouth.
She was 57 years of age.

In 1878, Thomas Walter Bebee is resident at 135 King Street as a fancy bread and biscuit baker
and confectioner. 9 In the 1881 census return, he is living here and trading as a baker. Also in
the property is his wife, his four children, his mother, an apprentice and two servants. He had
married his wife, Harriet Cauler, at Wisbech in 1871 11 and he moved to Great Yarmouth in 1876.
By 1891, The bakery was in the hands of Thomas Walter Bebee’s son, Walter James, who had
married Martha Salmon Low in Cambridge in 1882. The Bebees also had a shop at 22 Regent
Street in the centre of Great Yarmouth. 10 By 1892, Thomas Walter Bebee had retired to Belle
Vue, Cliff Hill, Gorleston in his mid-fifties. He lived there in 1891 with his wife, a daughter, two
boarders and two servants. He died in 1912 at the age of 78 years and left £3,677. At probate
he was described as a boarding house proprietor. In his retirement he was a churchwarden at
Gorleston Parish Church and for many years he was a member of the Board of Guardians to the
Poor. At his funeral, the Vicar of Gorleston, Rev’d. Forbes Phillips said: Thomas Bebee was a
man of the strictest integrity, a good friend to the poor and he helped them in a real way without
advertising what he did.
Walter Bebee’s shop at 135 King Street dated c1912.
Note the Prince of Wales’ feathers over the door which suggests that Edward, Prince of Wales, patronised
this shop on his many visits to Great Yarmouth.
Courtesy of Great Yarmouth Library

Walter James Bebee was a regular subscriber to the Eastern Counties’ Asylum for Idiots,
Colchester. For example, he donated £2 12s 6d in 1886, five guineas in 1885 and 1884, and ten
shillings and sixpence in 1883. Great Yarmouth housed their severely mentally disabled
residents in this asylum. 12

The Bebee family were to remain at 135 King Street for over 30 years with the business passing
down the generations to Rupert Bebee. In 1911, Walter James Bebee was living with his son,
Rupert, at 89 Hamilton Road, Great Yarmouth. Both were bakers and confectioners and were still
operating from 135 King Street. Rupert was an employer and Walter was a worker and, thus now
employed. In 1917, Walter James Bebee died in Epsom and left £452 to his son, Rupert. Rupert
was called-up into the Army Service Corps in 1917 during the First World War. At that time he
was living at 62 Alderson Road in Great Yarmouth. By now he was employed as a baker at 135
King Street and at 8a St. Nicholas Road, Great Yarmouth by Harry Andrews, who had previously
successfully applied for Rupert to be exempt from war service, as he was the only man left to
bake bread in his business. His army record tells us that he was five feet three and a quarter
inches tall and weighed just over seven and a half stone. He was medically graded as B1 on
account of his poor physique. He served in Egypt and by the end of the war he had been
promoted to a sergeant and was a chief clerk in an army bakery. He was demobilised with a
good reference in April 1920 and was awarded the Victory Medal. He died in 1962 in the Diss
area of Norfolk at the age of 78 years.

In 1913, the Bebee family had left the shop and it was in the hands of Alfred Duffell, a
confectioner. Alfred Duffell died in 1928 and left £286. His obituary states: his name was an
honoured one of an old Great Yarmouth family, which he worthily represented. For many years
he carried out a large confectioner’s and
fruiterer’s business with integrity that won
respect. His interests outside his business
were largely centred on St. Peter’s Church,
where he was an active church worker, a
member of the church council and a
member of St. Peter’s Church Debating
Society, taking part with much ability in its

He was buried in St. Nicholas’ Churchyard.

The Duffell family occupied the property
until at least 1934.16 Presumably, Alfred
Duffell’s son took it over.
Alfred Duffell’s grave in St. Nicholas’ Churchyard
Great Yarmouth

135 King Street in 1979 - Courtesy of Great Yarmouth Library

From 1948 until 2012, the property was in the hands of the Howkins’ family, trading as furniture
dealers and selling jewellery, binoculars, a large stock of antiques, guns, etc.

The majority of the adjacent Row 113 has been demolished and is now terminated by Townshend
Close, which was built after the Second World War. All that is left is part of the north side of 135
King Street, the adjoining two Row cottages, a yard and a Victorian warehouse. It is difficult to
ascertain who was living in the adjacent Row 113 cottages at the rear of 135 King Street.
Although Row 113 is relatively short, according to the census returns, it contained between
eleven and 17 families in the years following 1841. No clue is given in the census at which end of
the Row the enumerator started from. In 1841, there were 83 people from 17 families living in the
Row. However, in 1891, the Census Enumerator states that he commences at the south-east
corner of Row 113 on the south side. Therefore, the cottages adjoining 135 King Street are
numbers 14 and 14a. In number 14, there lived 60 year-old Joseph Parnell, a shoemaker and a
lodger, who was a smacksmen. The cottage had two rooms. At number 14a, Selina Chapman
was the head of the household. She was a dressmaker and lived with three lodgers, who were a
ropemaker, a shipwright and a stationer’s assistant. Also living in the Row were a sailmaker, two
lamplighters, two fishermen, a mariner, a general carter and an army pensioner of the 9th

In the 1871 Census Return, number 12 Row 113 is adjacent to 135 King Street and is occupied
by Eliza Fulcher, a fishing net maker, and her daughter. The next dwelling is labelled as the
Yard. In this lives James Temple, who was a mariner, his wife and five children. The rest of the
Row is made up of a mariner, a cabman, a labourer, three fishermen and a ransacker.

In 1886, Row 113 contained 23 families, including a painter, two carpenters, a mariner, a
lamplighter, a labourer, two coopers, a blockmaker, a foundryman, a carter, a sailmaker, a
smacksman and a porter.

By 1911, Row 113 is home to a gas fitter, a commission agent, a coachman to a doctor, an oilskin
dresser, a stationary engine driver at the gas company, a blacksmith’s apprentice, two council
labourers, an apprentice house painter, a fish hawker, a kinomatograph apprentice, a fisherman,
a dock labourer, a fish worker, an errand boy, a nursemaid, a potato dealer and a tripe shop

Further research is being carried out to further develop the history of the buildings and the dating
of the wall paintings and the conservation of them. The wall paintings are an important find for
the history of Great Yarmouth, as they appear to be unique in a town house. It also further
demonstrates how the rich citizens of the town with their opulent houses lived cheek by jowl with
the poor.

Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth Vol. II pp 315-316, (1874), Nall, Yarmouth.
Norfolk Record Office: Catalogue Ref: BR137/1
Blog of Jerome Nicholas Vlieland:
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth Vol. II p 152 (1874), Nall, Yarmouth.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Calhoun County, Michigan, 1891, Chapman, Chicago
Davies, Paul P., History of Medicine in Great Yarmouth, (2003)
Norfolk Record Office: Catalogue Ref: BR137/1
Steer’s Directory of Great Yarmouth
Kelly’s Directory of Norfolk, (1892)
Cambridge Chronicle and Journal, (6th May 1871)
Bury and Norwich Post
Ipswich Journal, (2nd May 1789)
Bury and Norwich Post, (8th May 1839)
Cook’s Directory of Great Yarmouth, (1886)
Kelly’s Directory of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, (1934)
Manship, Henry, The History of Great Yarmouth (1619),edited by C J Palmer, Meall, Great
Yarmouth (1853)
McBride, John, A Diary of Great Yarmouth, (1998)
Preston, J., The Picture of Yarmouth, (1819), Sloman, Great Yarmouth
Norfolk Record Office: Catalogue Ref: Y/D 16/375-392
Yarmouth Mercury (August 1912)
Yarmouth Mercury (August 1928)
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth Vol. II p 174, (1874), Nall, Yarmouth
Palmer, C. J., The Perlustration of Great Yarmouth Vol. I p 90, (1874), Nall, Yarmouth
Rumble, Mark, The New Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, (1994)
Archaeological Discovery at Great Yarmouth

There is a tradition that soon after the erection of the fortifications at the south end of the town,
near where then stood the Blackfriar’s Priory and adjoining one of the towers, was the garden of a
convent of nuns; that the Lady Abbess, while walking in this garden, overheard four of the monks
talking, and one of them boasting of the familiarity he had had with her. Fearing that her
reputation would be destroyed, she determined to get rid of such a dangerous witness; she
therefore poisoned the wine they were drinking. They were seated at a table in the rooms of the
tower, which is still standing; they all perished; and the tradition proceeds to state that they fell
from their seats in the form of a cross, thus +, and as they fell, so they were buried. The tower
belongs to Mr. George Danby Palmer, who has hitherto been decidedly opposed to any search
being made. But, a few weeks since, when in company with some gentleman, the conversation
turning on the subject of antiquities, Mr. Jay of Market Row mentioned the above tradition and Mr.
Palmer gave Mr. J. H. Harrison, who rents the part of the premises, and Mr. Blithe, a conditional
leave to examine the tower. Mr. Harrison proceeded to remove the soil from the lower chamber
or cell of the tower and, very shortly, came to the top of a coffin lying in a direction north and
south; the foot of another was soon uncovered, lying in the direction south to north; while the foot
of another was discovered at right angles; evidently proving that there were four coffins lying foot
to foot in the form of a cross. The tops or lids are of Purbeck, with a double foliate cross and
pediment of three steps.

(from The Ipswich Journal 16th August 1851)

It is not certain which tower is referred to (Blackfriars, Palmers, or the South-East) in the
newspaper cutting. If the plan progresses to fit up the towers as self-catering units, perhaps
some investigative work may be carried out.

Paul P. Davies

The Third Christmas Tree and Crib Festival in Great Yarmouth Minster
December 2013
Paul P. Davies

The Society’s exhibit in this year’s festival was

a crib with Alan Hunt erecting one of the
Society’s blue plaques onto the Bethlehem

On the Sunday morning Radio Norfolk’s popular

programme, Treasure Quest, visited the festival
and the presenter, Sophie Little, found the second
clue lodged in the society’s exhibit.

The Outing of the Society to Fakenham Gas Works and Houghton Hall
20th July 2013
Derek Leak

An Ambassador coach set off from

Gorleston at 8.15am and picked up
members at all points north and west
until it reached Acle, by which time it
was full to bursting with eager
members and their friends heading off
for an eclectic day of exploration and

Our first call was at Fakenham.

Morning coffee had been pre-arranged
at a hotel and, after this reviver, our
party crossed the road to inspect the
former Fakenham Town Gas Works.
At its peak, the coal gas industry had
over 1,600 gasworks, employed
Fakenham Gas Works Museum
125,000 people and supplied eleven Photograph: Michael Wadsworth
million customers. Since the 1970s,
when natural gas arrived from the
North Sea, all have disappeared, except the one at Fakenham. This was saved in 1987, through
the intervention of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, when it opened as a museum.

Our group was split into three and each had its own volunteer
guide, who explained the industrial process and showed us
around the site. Most arresting was the retort house, which had
two furnaces powering 14 retorts. These extracted coal gas by
heating coal in airless conditions at temperatures of 800 degrees
centigrade. It was physically demanding work carried out in hot,
dangerous and dirty conditions. Outside was a tar pit (tar was a
by-product of the gas extraction), where people could come to
buy a bucket of tar, by turning a tap which came up from the
bowels of the earth. We also saw condensers and washers,
which took out impurities from the gas and finally the gas holder,
which held gas ready for supply to consumers. The coke left in
the retorts, when the process was completed, was sold on as a
clean and efficient fuel.

It only took
half an hour to
The retort house reach our
Photograph: Derek Leak second stop;
Houghton Hall.
This magnificent house was built by Sir Robert
Walpole (1676-1745) as the setting for an art
collection, which he had accumulated following
a stratospheric political career. Only 34 years
after his death, the family had fallen on hard
times and the pictures were sold to Catherine
the Great, perhaps the greatest and most
insatiable art collector of her time. She took
almost everything to grace the walls of her
Hermitage in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg. Fakenham Gas Works Museum
Photograph: Michael Wadsworth
In the spring of 1779, the frigate Natalia
departed for St. Petersburg with an
assemblage, which included works by every
European School of Art. There were paintings
by Poussin, Rubens, Van Dyke, Rembrandt,
Murillo and Velazquez. Now, in 2013, for the
first time in over 230 years, the paintings have
been lent to Houghton Hall for a season and
hung in their original positions in the house.
The effect is quite spectacular. Not only do
the canvasses look magnificent, but they fit
exactly with the decorative design of
Houghton Hall.
Houghton Hall
Photograph: Michael Wadsworth William Kent designed the interior of the hall
and James Gibb added the domes. There are
also carvings by Grinling Gibbons. Wealth and power is displayed here, but it must be said that it
was all put together with exquisite taste.

Ann Dunning’s impeccable organisation of an outing full of interest and diversity deserves our
sincere thanks. Some of the pictures on display are shown below.

Two Women, a Cupid and a

Soldier (1550s) by Paris Bordone

The Immaculate Conception Pope Clement IX (1669)

(1678) by Murillo by Maratta

Sir Thomas Wharton (1639)

by van Dyck

The Society’s Visit to Fransham Forge, East Dereham
9th November 2013
Derek Leak

On 9th November 2013, a group of

15 members and friends of the Great
Yarmouth Local History and
Archaeological Society visited Nigel
Barnett at Fransham Forge near East
Dereham in Norfolk.

The invitation came after Nigel

Barnett had been contracted by the
Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust
to restore railings surrounding the
Mills’ Family Memorial in the Old

This is the most expensive memorial

in the Great Yarmouth cemeteries
and churchyard. It had been erected
by a grieving widowed mother for her
son, Charles S. T. Mills, who had Nigel Barnett at the forge.
died on 19th December 1875, aged Courtesy of Derek Leak
29 years.

It had always been realised that the memorial, consisting of

three immense blocks of polished grey Aberdeen granite, 20
feet in height and more than 20 tons in weight, from the
quarry of Messrs. McDonald, Field and Company in
Edinburgh, was exceptional. The memorial is surmounted
by a seven foot figure of Truth carved in Carrara Marble.
However, the railings, which surrounded it, were hidden by
brambles and were not
recognised for the
masterpiece they are. The
memorial stands near the
gate separating the old
cemetery and the
churchyard. The railings
would have been painted
originally in green for the
f oliage with f lowers
depicted in different
Nigel Barnett working the metal.
Courtesy of Derek Leak W hen Nigel Barnett
happened upon them while
working in the cemetery,
he immediately saw the quality of the work and very soon
identified it as being made by the Victorian master craftsman,
Francis Skidmore (1817 to 1896). He was a British metalworker
best known for high-profile commissions, including the glass and
metal roof of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
(1859), the Hereford Cathedral choir screen (1862) and the The Mills’ memorial.
Albert Memorial (1866–1873) in London. Courtesy of Paul Davies

Skidmore was heavily influenced
by the Gothic Revival style, a
movement characterised by its use
of medieval designs and styles.
He was a member of both the
Oxford Architectural Society and
the Ecclesiological Society, two
organisations that endorsed the
Gothic Revival style. Skidmore
also worked closely with architect
Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Nigel Barnett was commissioned

to restore the railings and invited
the society to a conducted tour of
his forge. He describes himself as
an artist blacksmith and this is an
accurate description. To begin, he
showed us his gallery, which was The Mills’ memorial railings under restoration.
full of original artwork made by Above: Courtesy of Paul Davies.
traditional hand-forging. This Below: Courtesy of Derek Leak
artwork is on display on his
website at www.artist- My favourite
piece was a length of railway line,
which had been twisted, then cut
obliquely and polished. It looked
like a swift in flight.

We were taken into the forge.

One of Nigel Barnett's assistants
and a trainee were also working
that morning, so the forge was full
of activity. We were able to see a
leaf and an acorn made. We next
examined the Mills’ railings and
Nigel Barnett explained the finer
points of the workmanship that
had gone into their construction. It
is hoped that these railings will be
listed by English Heritage.
He finished by making a replica
ammonite from a mould. A lump of
iron was heated to beyond red heat
in a furnace. It was then hammered
into shape. A mould was placed
under the metal and both were put
under a giant pneumatic hammer,
and it was made. It took quite a
while to cool down.

Plainly it was a Victorian master

who made the railings. We are
lucky to have a modern master to
Society members listening to Nigel Barnett. restore them. It was a fascinating
Courtesy of Paul Davies morning watching a craftsman at
Tour of the Churchyard and the Old Cemetery 27th July 2013
Paul P. Davies

About 30 society members spent two hours participating in a tour of a few of the many graves on
the site. Paul Davies gave a short talk at each grave detailing the life of the person buried there.

We started at one of the many so-called pebble graves, which had

been recently unearthed by the restoration project team. These
pebble graves may be unique to Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.
Further investigation is required to discover their distribution around
the country. Perhaps they are seen in other seaside communities.

The following graves were visited:

Robert Thomas Sayers was drowned in Great Yarmouth Haven on

28th June 1861. His is one of the many gravestones in the cemetery,
which informs us of the many inhabitants of the town who drowned.
He was 15 years old and was apprenticed to Mr. Powell, a shipbuilder.
His mother was a widow. Robert Sayers had been expertly sculling a
boat about the haven and he was last seen on a raft in the river near
the shipbuilding yard. His body was recovered five days later near the
spot where he was last seen.
Pebble grave
Arthur Frederick William Harvey, aged 27 years, was the son of
Robert Butcher Harvey. Arthur Harvey was accidently killed by the premature explosion of a gun
while firing a Royal Salute on board HMS Opal at Sydney on 21st June 1886 and was buried with
full military honours at Haslem’s Creek near Sydney. He was followed to his grave by Captain
Brooks and the officers and crew of the Opal, by whom he was much respected.

The Johnson family grave. Captain James Appleton

Johnson died in 1873 at 48 years of age. He had been the
master of the boats Laurel and William Henny. One of his
sons, Charles James Haines Johnson, died in December 1900
at 37 years of age. He had worked in several public houses
including the Old King’s Head, 282 Euston Road, London and
a public house in
Seven Sisters Road in
Islington. Another son,
James John Steel
Johnson, also died in
June 1900. He was 26
years of age and died
from yellow fever in
Para, Brazil. He was
the assistant manager
at the Gas Works at
Para. He had taken up The Johnson monument before and
the position in 1898 after restoration
having worked at the
Great Yarmouth Gas
Works. In his memory a copper plaque on an oak board with the Greek letters for alpha and
omega was placed on the south wall in St. Peter’s Church, Great Yarmouth.

This monument has recently been cleared and restored. The pieces of the broken cross were
found in the undergrowth and restored to the monument’s base. One of the inscription reads:
Thou art the sailor’s God.

The Mills’ Memorial is the most expensive memorial in the
cemetery. It consists of three large blocks of granite. It is 20
feet in height and over 20 tons in weight. The granite came
from the quarry of McDonald, Field and Company in Scotland.
The corniced pedestal is surmounted by a seven feet high
figure of Truth in Carrara marble. It was carved by an Italian
artist. A Bible is held in Truth’s right hand and the left hand
supports her drapery. A coiled serpent is placed at the base
of the sculpture. The monument is surrounded by floral
ironwork. The design represents roses and lilies in full bloom
with budding flowers and leaves. The standards at the four
corners are intertwined with ivy leaves. On the front rail are
two wreaths of roses, camellias and lilies. The south side of
the monument is damaged following an air raid, when the
cemetery was strafed by a German fighter.

A recent visit to the Old Cemetery by conservationists

confirmed that the monument is of high quality. The stone
masonry firm of McDonald, Field & Co. was one of the most
important and reputable companies in Victorian England.
Likewise, the iron-work was deemed to be forged by Francis The Mills’ memorial
Alfred Skidmore (1817-1896). He was a British metalworker
best known for high profile commissions, including the glass and metal roof of the Oxford
University Museum of Natural History (1859), the Hereford Cathedral choir screen (1862) and the
Albert Memorial (1866-1873) in London. Skidmore was heavily influenced by Gothic Revival
style, a movement characterised by its use of medieval designs and styles. He was a member of
both the Oxford Architectural Society and the Ecclesiological Society; two organisations which
endorsed the Gothic Revival style. Skidmore also worked closely with the architect Sir George
Gilbert Scott. His metalwork around the Mills’ monument was painted with colours. The ironwork
has been removed for renovation. English Heritage has decided to list the monument.

William Jacob George Barber and Benjamin Cook were lost in the Great Gale of 30th January
1877. On that date, a gale and heavy sea, with an exceptional high tide, hit the coast of Norfolk.
Several parts of Great Yarmouth were inundated. It was generally agreed that the violence of the
gale exceeded that of the terrible gale of 1860. The gale hit the fishing fleet suddenly, while most
of the smacks were under sail, with their fishing gear down. As an immediate result, many of the
smacks were dismasted. During the gale the waves swept everything from the decks and filled
the cabins of the vessels with water.

Eighteen Great Yarmouth fishing smacks and

over 100 men were lost at sea. Fifty-eight
widows, 108 children and 17 aged parents were
left destitute in Great Yarmouth. A relief fund for
the relatives of those drowned was announced
and £2,540 was raised in Great Yarmouth and
£6,800 in London.

William Jacob Barber was a single man, who was

drowned along with Robert George, W. Gallant,
Joshua Challis, Henry George and an unknown
boy from the smack I’ll Try. William Jacob
Barber was the son of William (a fisherman) and
Elizabeth Barber of Stanley Road, Great Barber’s headstone showing his drifter.
Yarmouth. Many of the fishermen who drowned have an
engraving of their boat on their headstones
Benjamin Cook was on board the Lowestoft in the cemetery
vessel, Protector, which was lost at sea. Seven
smacks were lost from Lowestoft. Benjamin Cook was the son of a fisherman of 17 Row 113,
Great Yarmouth.

William Rudd. In June 1916, the inhabitants of Great Yarmouth were shocked by the sad news
of the loss of the Corton Lightship, stationed off Lowestoft, and five of her crew. The lightship
was sunk by the explosion of a mine. Two crew members, George Jackman of Row 108 and
Alfred Morris of Gorleston, survived the explosion.

George Jackman, although severely shocked and bruised related to the Yarmouth Independent:
we were all on deck and were heaving up the chain. After we had got in about 20 fathoms the
master told us to stow it away. We were all on the starboard side when the master noticed a
mine over the bows of the ship. It at once exploded and blew the bows to bits. I felt the glass,
from the lantern on the mast, come showering over me, just like rain. I and Morris made a rush
for our little lifeboat. We unlocked her tackle, let her go and tried to jump in just as the lightship
went down bow first. I felt the winch hit my head and was thrown against the boat and then found
myself under the water. I felt myself against the chain rigging of the lightship’s mizzen mast. I
climbed up it and saw the lightship’s light and knew I was getting to the surface. As soon as I got
my head above water I made for the lifeboat, which was upturned. I felt for her gunwale and
climbed on top of the boat. On looking round I saw Morris clinging onto a couple of oars. I
shouted to him to try to get onto the lifeboat, but he said he could not. He got hold of a piece of
floating wreckage, which kept him afloat until a patrol boat arrived and picked him up. The patrol
boat took us both on board. We had been in the sea for about ten minutes. A motor boat later
took us into Great Yarmouth Harbour. We were bleeding in several places. The lightship had
been blown into pieces like a box of matches and there was no piece of her bigger than a chest of
drawers. There was no time to put a life belt on. It all happened in an instant. Only a week ago
we had rescued three men from another boat which had sunk. It was a great mercy that I was
saved and I am only sorry for my shipmates who were killed. I cannot forget it, nor get it out of
my mind.

George Jackman, on landing at South Quay, Great Yarmouth was placed in a police ambulance
and taken to his home. He had a son serving on the St. Nicholas’ Lightship from which the
sinking of the Corton Lightship must have been seen.

The five crew members who were killed were:

William Rudd, the master, of Ordnance Road, Great Yarmouth

George Wilson, lamplighter, of Havelock Road, Great Yarmouth
George Stone, seaman, of Gorleston
William Chase, extra man, of Row 100, Great Yarmouth
John Sadler, extra man, of Louise Road, Great Yarmouth.

Recently William Rudd’s war medals were offered for sale on eBay. They did not reach the
reserve of £50.

James David Harman and his son Frederick

Samuel Harman. This stone is unusual as it has a
likeness of both men on the headstone. James
Harman of 47 Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth died
in 1920 after a long and painful illness following an
operation performed by Donald Day of Norwich. He
was 49 years of age. James Harman was a
prominent and successful builder and contractor.
Among the buildings he erected were Arnold’s
Department Store (later destroyed by fire), Great
Yarmouth Grammar School, Caister Schools, the
Gem and Empire Theatres, Gorleston Children’s
The Harman gravestone. Father and son
Homes, Electric Car Station and Offices and a variety of smaller buildings and houses. He built
Frederick Road off Northgate Street and named it after his son, who had died during the First
World War. In 1906, he represented St. Nicholas’ Ward on the Town Council. He retired from the
council shortly afterwards, because of the pressures of his business.

Private Frederick Samuel Harman of the Cavalry Machine Gun Corps died of dysentery in the El
Arish Red Cross Hospital in Egypt in 1917. He was 22 years of age and lived with his parents at
47 Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth. He was an old Priory schoolboy and a student at the
School of Science on South Quay. He was assisting his father in his building business when he
joined the Norfolk Yeomanry. He was later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and proceeded
to France, where he was blown up by a shell and invalided home to the Norfolk War Hospital
suffering from shell shock. After staying in England for a few months, he was drafted to Egypt
and placed back in the Cavalry Machine Gun Corps. There he was with the advancing British
troops and nearly reached Jerusalem, when he contracted dysentery. Two of his siblings were
serving their country; one in Egypt and the other in the Flying Corps.

Charles Liffen and Emmanuel Liffen. Charles died in 1937, seven years after his brother,
Emmanuel. Charles Liffen was 81 years of age and lived at 13 Row 2, Great Yarmouth. He had
been in failing health for some years, particular suffering with eye problems, which he bore with
his characteristic cheerfulness. The Liffen brothers were well-known for their skilful handling of
their shrimp boat. They sailed their boat in many regattas, when racing by shrimp boats was one
of the chief events. With their boat, the Two Brothers, which was a smart, well-kept boat and the
pride of the shrimping community, they won many prizes. Charles Liffen retired at the age of 72
years. On frequent occasions, while mending his nets in his boat at the quayside, he saved many
people, who had fallen in the river.

The brothers were well remembered for the brave part they took in the
Men who were
rescue of some of the crew of the Caister yawl, Zephyr, during the night of
21st July 1885. The yawl was used as a lifeboat at Caister. On the night of
James Haylett the disaster, as usual, two beachmen were watching out to sea, when they
Isaiah Haylett
saw a schooner apparently aground on the Lower Barber Sands. They
George Haylett
Robert Plummer raised the alarm and soon 15 beachmen were launching the Zephyr. When
Aaron Haylett the Zephyr was sailing to the schooner it struck a submerged wreck, just
John George after midnight, about a mile out to sea. The yawl split into two parts. Most of
Harry Russell the crew were thrown into the sea. The site of the wreck had been well-
known, as a boat laden with stone had sunk only eight years previously and
the crew had clung to the rigging all night before they were rescued. The
stump of its mast could usually be seen at low water. The Zephyr struck the wreck with its port
bow. The coxswain had ordered a look-out to be kept for the wreck, just before it was hit. The
beachmen immediately threw overboard about 30 bags of ballast, which were lying in the bottom
of the yawl. Within two minutes of the collision the Zephyr
sank and the crew found themselves in the sea trying to Men who drowned:
cling to any debris with some of them swimming for the John Burton: married: no children
shore. Charles and Emmanuel Liffen, who were fishing in Joseph Haylett: married: five children
the vicinity, heard the cries of the Zephyr’s crew. The Joseph Sutton: married: four children
Liffens cut away their nets and quickly went to the scene of John Riches: married: three children
the disaster. In the dark, Charles Liffen was able to sail his George Hodds: married: ten children
boat between the two halves of the Zephyr and rescue James King: married: seven children
Frederick Haylett: married: one child
seven men out of the crew of fifteen.
William Knowles: widower
Seven women were widowed and 30 children were made
fatherless by the disaster. The body of John Burton was found off the Norfolk Pillar, Great
Yarmouth, the next day. Two days after the disaster, no further bodies were found and a handbill
was printed for distribution around the coast offering a reward of £5 for any body found.

An inquest was held at the King’s Arms, Caister. The jury quickly returned a verdict of accidental
death on all the victims. The jury added that: no one was to blame for the accident and that the
affair had been a pure accident. After the inquest, James Haylett, the coxswain of the Zephyr,
expressed his gratitude to the Liffen brothers and requested that their efforts should not go
unnoticed and unrewarded. Later, to mark the gallant rescue, the brothers were presented with
two silver cups.

The Mayor of Great Yarmouth called a public meeting to consider what steps should be taken to
aid the relatives of those who had drowned. An appeal was launched.

John Buck was drowned in the River

Waveney near St. Olave’s in 1877. He was
eel-picking, whilst being towed in a small
boat astern of a wherry. A swerve by the
wherry upset the boat in which Buck was
sitting and he was thrown into the river.
Every effort was made to save him, but
without success. His body was
subsequently recovered and landed at St.
Olave’s, where an inquest was held. A
verdict of accidentally drowned was

John Buck was 21 years of age at his death Buck’s headstone showing a wherry and an
and he had been married for a year. His up-turned boat
gravestone is inscribed: God’s will be done.

William England, a millwright, died in 1927 at the age of 75 years. He was born in Ludham,
Norfolk. When he was five years old his father, also a millwright, died of injuries incurred while he
was at work. His mother then opened a grocery shop in Ludham to support her family. The
England family were millwrights and engineers in Ludham for almost 200 years and built many
windmills in the area including: Ludham High Mill, How Hill Mill, Horse Fen Mill near Potter
Heigham, Coldharbour Mill and Ludham Mill South.
William England was apprenticed to the millwright and founder, Edmund Stolworthy, of 14
Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth. By 1891, he was described as a millwright working from 181
Northgate Street and later, from 134 Northgate Street. He maintained and rebuilt several
Broadland mills and constructed wooden trestle mills at Fritton Warren Marshes and at St.
Olave’s Priory Marshes.

Stephen Barnes. In December 1871 the

Yarmouth Independent wrote: scarcely a
day had passed in the previous week that
news of a shipping disaster had reached
Great Yarmouth. The anxiety felt for the
large fishing fleet was noticeable in the
town. Friends and family had waited with
terrible suspense for news of those at sea
and had earnestly prayed for their

In early December 1871, the sad news

was received that the fine lugger, Norfolk
Hero of Great Yarmouth, had washed
ashore bottom up at Covehithe, near
Lowestoft, and there was no news of the
The headstone of Stephen Barnes
crew. However, the lifeboat and oars
were missing from the wreck, giving hope
that the crew had survived.

The lugger was owned by Mr. Barnes of the North Star Tavern, whose son served on board as
the master. She carried a crew of eleven hands. Mr. Barnes visited the wreck and could find no
signs that she had hit a sand bank and capsized. He concluded that the Norfolk Hero had been
in collision with another vessel.

Later, the body of the master, Stephen Barnes, was washed ashore. The rest of the crew had all

On Stephen Barnes’ gravestone there is a fine carving of the Norfolk Hero with an eye above it.
An eye depicts humility and a watching God. Stephen Barnes was 38 years of age when he
drowned and lived with his wife, Emily, who was a beatster. They lived at 2 Clintock Place, Great

Oliver Fellows Tomkins was born

in 1873 and was martyred on 8th
April 1901 on Coaribari Island in the
Gulf of Papua. The stone cross is
inscribed: Counted Worthy to Suffer.
On the south side of the plinth is
written: the noble army of martyrs
praise thee. On the east side of the
plinth is the couplet:

Enough if while those distant lands

he trod
He led one erring heathen to his

Oliver Tomkins was the son of

Daniel Tomkins, who had been the
principal of a school on South Quay,
Yarmouth. His brother, William Tomkins, was the principal of Duncan House School in
Camperdown, Great Yarmouth. The family were staunch supporters of Great Yarmouth
Congregational Church. In 1899, Oliver Tomkins was ordained at the Princes Street
Congregational Church in Norwich. Oliver Tomkins was over six feet tall, of great mental and
physical prowess, and a devoted and earnest worker. In fact, an ideal worker for Christ. He was
accepted to work as a missionary with the London Missionary Society (established 1795). Early
in 1900, Oliver Tomkins had sailed to the islands of the Torres Straits, New Guinea to work with
Revd. Dr. James Chalmers. Chalmers wrote: you have sent me one of the finest young men I
have ever met. Chalmers was described as the greatest missionary since David Livingstone.

The islands of the Torres Straits were small with a population ranging from 50 to 500 natives.
They were inhabited with a primitive native population. Nearby was the Gulf of Papua into which
flowed the large delta of the mysterious Fly River. It was thought that if one could get beyond the
swamps and the thick mangrove forests an undiscovered people would be found. It was known
that head-hunters and cannibals lived to the west of the Fly River. Chalmers had established 26
preaching stations on the banks of the Fly. Outsiders who visited the islands were mainly pearl
fishers. It was here that Oliver Tomkins planned to work as a missionary. Chalmers had been in
the area since 1866. Due to his efforts small Christian communities had been built up, combating
the degradation of a very poor low form of heathen superstition associated with cruelty.

Before he left for New Guinea, Oliver Tomkins studied carpentry, masonry, house building and
other crafts. He spent several months at sea learning to sail a small boat. At the annual meeting
of the New Guinea missionaries, held in March 1901, it was announced that Chalmers planned a
visit to the district of the Aird River. The Aird River was one of the few places on the coast where
Chalmers’ personality and his name were unknown. It was some 80 miles from the nearest
mission district and 60 miles from his own station on the Fly River. It was one of the gaps in the
chain of stations, which the missionaries were anxious to fill.

Accompanied by Oliver Tomkins and 12 native missionaries, Chalmers arrived at the Aird River
on board the boat, Niué, on Sunday 7th April. The last entry in the diary of one of the younger
missionaries tells an account of the first meeting with the cannibals of this district: in the afternoon
we were having a short service with the crew, when about twenty canoes were seen approaching.
They hesitated as they got nearer to us, till we were able to assure them that we meant peace.
Gradually one or two of the more daring ones came closer, and then alongside, till at last one
ventured on board. Then, in a very few minutes, we were surrounded by canoes and our vessel
was covered with natives. On this, our first visit, we were able to do really nothing more than
establish friendly relations with the people. They stayed on board for about three hours,
examining everything, from the ship’s rigging to our shirt buttons. They tried hard to persuade us
to come ashore in their canoes, but we preferred to spend the night afloat, and promised we
would visit their village in the morning.

In the morning, at daylight, a great crowd of natives arrived and crowded onto the boat. They
refused to leave, and in order to induce them to do so, Chalmers gave them presents. Still they
refused to move. Chalmers decided that he would go ashore with them, and he told Oliver
Tomkins to remain on board. The latter declined, and went ashore with Chalmers, followed by a
large number of canoes.

What really happened was only ascertained a month later, when his Excellency the Lieutenant-
Governor of the Colony (Australia), visited the Aird River with a punitive expedition of 100 men,
and obtained the whole story from a captured prisoner. When the missionary party arrived
ashore, all of them were massacred and decapitated. The boat was smashed up, and their
clothing, etc., distributed. All the bodies were distributed and eaten. Oliver Tomkins was eaten at
the village of Dopima, where they had all been killed. The body of Chalmers was taken to
Turotere to be eaten. His Excellency stated that the fighting chief of Turotere was the man who
killed Chalmers. Although a diligent search was made for the bodies, no remains were found
apart from Chalmers’ hat and pieces of their smashed boat.

Only a week or two before, Chalmers had written to a friend: time shortens, and I have much to
do. How grand it would be to sit down in the midst of work and just hear the Master say, your part
finished, come!

Various reasons for the massacre have been suggested, but most, if not all, are purely
speculative. It has been said that Chalmers was rash in landing as he did, but Chalmers had
done the same thing many times before. If he had succeeded, it would simply have meant
another name added to the list of villages he had visited to preach the Gospel.

It is interesting to look at the history of the area in which Tomkins worked. In 1884, a British
protectorate was proclaimed over the southern coast of New Guinea (the area called Papua) and
its adjacent islands. The protectorate, called British New Guinea, was annexed outright on 4th
September 1888. The possession was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of
Australia in 1902. It was invaded by the Japanese in 1941. Approximately 96% of the population
is now Christian. The churches with the largest number of members are the Roman Catholic
Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Church, and the Seventh Day Adventist
Church. Although the major churches are under indigenous leadership, a large number of
missionaries remain in the country. The bulk of the estimated 2,000 Americans resident in Papua
New Guinea are missionaries and their families. The non-Christian portion of the indigenous
population, as well as a portion of the nominal Christians, practise a wide variety of religions that
are an integral part of traditional culture, mainly animism (spirit worship) and ancestor cults.

Harry Greenacre died in 1953 at his home at 76 Regent

Road. He was 85 years of age. He had had wide and
varied associations with the civic and business life of
Great Yarmouth, but his outstanding service was in the
sphere of education. He had been a member of the
education committee for 41 years, being its chairman for
27 years. He had also been the Chairman of the
Governors of Great Yarmouth Grammar School, the East
Anglian School for the Blind and Deaf in Gorleston and
the Girls’ High School. In 1929, his services to education
were recognised, when the new school on the Barrack
Estate at the south end of Great Yarmouth, was named
after him.

For over 37 years Harry Greenacre was a member of

Great Yarmouth Town Council and became its Senior Harry and Mary Greenacre
Alderman. He was first
elected as a Liberal for
Market Ward in 1914;
however, he was defeated in
1921. In 1922, he was
returned to the Town Council
as the Councillor for St.
Peter’s Ward. He held this
seat until 1930, when he was
elected as an alderman. In
1928, he was elected Mayor
of Great Yarmouth and during
this year he opened Electric
House on Regent Road. He
was again elected the Mayor
in 1936 and one of his first
duties was to proclaim the
death of King George V. In Greenacre’s shop at 158 Nelson Road Central. © Peter Jones
May 1937, he attended the
Coronation of King George VI in Westminster Abbey. Great Yarmouth was one of the few towns
invited to send its mayor to the ceremony. Finance was another of Harry Greenacre’s interests
and he introduced the annual budget for the council. His death left the Town Council without any
Liberal representation. He was also a magistrate.

Harry Greenacre commenced his public career as an Overseer to the Poor and later became a
member of the Board of Guardians to the Poor. He had many interests outside the Town Council.
He was the Chairman of the Great Yarmouth Savings Committee, a member of the board of
management of the East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank, a Past Chairman of the Great Yarmouth
branch of the League of Nations, the President of the Polyglot Club and the President of the Great
Yarmouth and Gorleston Wheelers. For over 20 years he had been a Director of the Great
Yarmouth Waterworks Company. Until nationalisation he was the Vice Chairman of the Great
Yarmouth Gas Company.

Harry Greenacre was born in London and was educated at Coopers’ Company Grammar School
in Stepney. His father was a joiner and a linen draper in Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, London.
Harry Greenacre’s parents moved to Great Yarmouth when he was 15 years of age. For several
years he worked for his grandfather in the Ham and Beef Warehouse in Nelson Road. When his
father died in 1914, Harry Greenacre moved to take over the family business (a restaurant and
ham and beef shop) at 76 Regent Road. He stayed with the business until his retirement in 1928.
In 1891, Harry Greenacre married Mary Ann Staff, a member of a long-standing Great Yarmouth
family. The marriage produced one son (J. H. Greenacre) and two daughters (Mrs. F. H. Baker
and Mrs. E. G. Mills).

After Greenacre’s death, Mrs. Adlington, the Chairman of the Great Yarmouth Education
Committee, paid tribute to the deceased: he took great pride in the knowledge that, in matters of
education, the members of the committee were absolutely non-political. He stressed this at every
annual meeting, as he felt that children should not be the pawns of any political party and always
said that the people of Great Yarmouth should be thankful that this view was held by all the
political parties in Great Yarmouth.

The funeral service took place at Middlegate Congregational Church. He had been a member of
this church since 1898. Six police officers acted as bearers.

Sir Arthur Harbord JP CBE MP and family. Arthur Harbord died at his home, 60 St. Peter’s
Road, Great Yarmouth in February 1941. He was 75
years of age and had been ill for two weeks. In his
early working life he was a dairyman and ran a
restaurant during the summer season at 60 St. Peter’s
Road. His father, Robert Harbord, was a dairyman
living at 53 King Street, Great Yarmouth and he kept
cows on 14 acres of marsh.

Arthur Harbord had represented Great Yarmouth in

Parliament since 1922 with a break of only five years.
He was first elected to Great Yarmouth Town Council in
1898, had been the Mayor of the town three times and
was one of the two senior magistrates. In recognition of
his long service to the town he was presented with the
Freedom of Great Yarmouth Borough in 1935. He was
awarded the CBE in 1935 and was knighted in 1939.

In 1893, Arthur Harbord was elected to the Board of

Guardians to the Poor, representing St. George’s Ward.
He served on the board for 16 years, being its vice-
chairman for five years and chairman for four years. In
Sir Arthur Harbord 1898, at 32 years of age, he was elected to the Town
Council representing Nelson Ward. He represented this ward continuously until 1922, when he
was elected as an alderman. Among the committees he sat on, in some instances being
chairman, were: general purposes, housing, pier, electricity, roller skating, property and markets,
air-raid precautions, civil defence, law and parliamentary, town planning, licensing, war pensions
and the race course.

For many years Arthur Harbord

was one of the three Great
Yarmouth Corporation
members of the Port and
Haven Commissioners. He
was the Chairman of the Great
Yarmouth Municipal Charities.
He was elected Mayor of Great
Yarmouth in 1917, was re-
elected just before the
Armistice in 1918, and again in
1934-35. During his last
mayoralty he led Great
Yarmouth's celebration of the
Silver Jubilee celebrations of
King George V. His task as
mayor, towards the end of the Arthur Harbord (right) with a group of Priory Schoolboys, Great
First World War, was onerous. Yarmouth at the Houses of Parliament in 1935.
He was involved with the war © The McDermott Collection
tribunal (hearing appeals from
those who did not wish to serve in the armed forces), food control, coal control, the war
emergency committee, the Red Cross, comrades of the Great War, the British Legion and giving
advice to recruiting officers. It fell to Arthur Harbord to sheath the civic sword at the end of the
First World War. The civic sword is unsheathed when the country is at war and it had been in that
state for the four and a half years the war had been fought.

In 1922, Arthur Harbord was the first Member of Parliament for Great Yarmouth who had been
born in the town. He represented the Liberal Party. He successfully defended the seat in 1923
but in 1924 he was defeated by Sir Frank Meyer, who regained the seat for the Conservative
Party. In 1929, Arthur Harbord won the seat again with a majority of 1,577. In the general
election of 1931, Arthur Harbord moved to the National Liberal Party and won a record majority of
13,273. In 1931, Sir John Simon formed the National Liberal group in parliament, which gave
support to the National Government of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald. Arthur Harbord
decided to leave the official Liberals led by Herbert Samuel and join the Simonites. Arthur
Harbord held Great Yarmouth as a National Liberal at the 1931 general election and again in
1935. He represented the seat until his death in 1941. In the House of Commons Arthur Harbord
was a doughty supporter of the fishing industry.

Two of Arthur Harbord’s interests were housing and town planning. It was through his efforts that
the town was able to obtain the old army barracks at the south end of Great Yarmouth for
housing. One of the roads (Harbord Crescent) in that estate was named after him. Altogether
382 council houses were built. It was said that: Great Yarmouth Council had never done a finer
piece of practical Christian work than building the estate.

For many years Arthur Harbord was in business as a dairyman at 75 York Road. The Yarmouth
Mercury stated: Arthur Harbord’s rise to a leading position in the town owed nothing to any
advantages of position or education. It was achieved by sheer hard work, ability and personality.
His parents lived in one of the Rows and he attended the British School on Nelson Road.
Schools, in those days, were rough and ready, but he soon showed a remarkable flair for
commercial life and he built up a large milk business, of which he was the head at the time of his
Arthur Harbord’s wife, Charlotte Nellie (nee Belward), also served on the Town Council. She
represented St. Peter’s Ward for 18 years and was appointed a magistrate in 1935. Charlotte
Harbord was born in Melbourne, Australia and was brought to England by her father when she
was six years of age. She died in 1955. Arthur and Nellie Harbord’s only son, Arthur, was killed
on active service. It was a bitter blow from which they never really recovered.

Their son, Trooper Arthur Harbord of the 1st Norfolk Yeomanry, died at Malta in 1915. He was 21
years of age. A few weeks before his death, Trooper Harbord had been posted to Gallipoli in the
Dardanelles. On 28th October 1915, he contracted dysentery and was transferred to the military
hospital at Malta, where he died. He had been a well-known figure at the Winter Garden Roller
Skating Rink.

One of the faces of the Harbord family memorial commemorates Captain Thomas Charles Nichol
Thompson R. N. R. of Nelson Road South, Great Yarmouth. He died in 1925 at the age of 54
years. A month before he died, he had been admitted to Great Yarmouth General Hospital for the
treatment of a serious internal problem. He had recently been promoted to the rank of

Thomas Thompson had served in the Merchant Navy from his boyhood and he rose to command
ships of 10,000 tons. He was proud of the fact that he was the first to volunteer his services in
July 1914, when the First World War was imminent. He was appointed to the Great Yarmouth
Naval Base, where his organisational abilities won him a commendation. He served throughout
the war and, at the close of hostilities in September 1918, he married the daughter of Arthur
Harbord and made his home in Great Yarmouth. The wedding took place in St. Nicholas’ Church.
There was a large attendance at
the service, in which the Royal
Navy, the Army and the Royal Air
Force were represented alongside
many of Great Yarmouth’s leading
townspeople. The bride wore a
grey gabardine costume with a
matching hat of georgette. She
carried a bouquet of pink
carnations. The two bridesmaids
wore dresses of mauve crepe-de-
chine, veiled with georgette and
embroidered with silver. They
wore black georgette hats with
mauve underlining. They carried
pink carnations. Their pearl
necklaces were a gift from the
bridegroom. The reception was
Members of the Society gather at the gate of the Minster held at the Queen’s Hotel, Marine
prior to the tour Parade. Over 100 wedding
presents were received. The bride
gave the groom a gold watch.

Thomas Thompson purchased the milk business of his father-in-law and immediately modernised
it. He became an authority on milk sterilisation and the supplying of it. On his death he left a
widow and two children, the younger of whom was five months old.


Davies, Paul P., Stories Behind the Stones, (2008), Davies

Yarmouth Mercury
Yarmouth Independent

Mid Norfolk Church Crawl on 2nd August 2013
Paul P. Davies

A group of 15 Society members travelled around five churches in cars, dodging the torrential
showers and thunderstorms.

The first to be visited was All Saints Church at

Marsham. This is a little-known church that
contains many treasures.

The font is one of the best of the 29 Seven

Sacrament fonts in East Anglia. Norfolk has 16
of these. Fortunately, it has only been slightly
mutilated by the iconoclasts. However, all the
heads of the priests have been chopped off.
Also mutilated was the bride’s head (sacrament
of marriage), who had been mistaken for a
priest. The pillar of the font features alternating
angels and the Four Evangelists. It is dated A panel from Marsham’s font showing baptism.
circa 1460. The painted rood screen of circa Note the priest’s head has been removed
1500 is one of the better ones surviving in the
county. It has 14 figures of saints, all, of course,
with their faces defaced during the Reformation.

King David and Judas Maccabeus at

Marsham Church
The rood screen at Marsham Church

The nave windows have fragments of medieval and continental

glass. In the south aisle King David and Judas Maccabeus are set
into the windows. They came from Bolwick Hall and were placed
here by the Mercers’ Company. They are two of the Nine
Medieval Worthies. These were: Hector, Alexander the Great,
Julius Caesar (Pagan): Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus
(Jewish): King Arthur, Charlemagne, Godfrey of Bouillon

As a group, the Nine Worthies represent all the facets of the

perfect warrior. All, with the exception of Hector and arguably
Arthur, are conquering heroes. Most came from royal families. All
brought glory and honour to their nations and were noted for their
personal prowess in arms. As individuals, each displayed some
outstanding quality of chivalry, which, in combination with their
historical context, made them exemplars of knighthood.
The roof at Marsham Church

The other stained glass windows were inserted in the
Victorian era. These are by Charles Kempe and James
Powell and Sons (now Whitefriars’ Glass). The First World
War Memorial window features St. George and, more
unusually, Sir Galahad from the legend of King Arthur.

The 14th century hammer beam roof is adorned with

angels. Cross beams were inserted after a gale in the 18th
century, which caused the south wall to move. This wall
still lists alarmingly.
The Royal Coat of Arms at Marsham
The other features of note are three ledger gravestones.
One is engraved around the edge with the word Oblivio (unknown) repeated eight times. The
Latin inscription says: You shall never know my name for I am condemned to oblivion as having
been dead in the heart. Another ledger to Margaret Lyng, who died in 1698, records that: her
worth and goodnesse cannot be expressed within the limits of a gravestone. Another nearby, to
Sarah Bear, who died in 1757, observes that: To die I must, to stay I'd rather, to go I must, I know
not whither. There is also a Royal Coat of Arms for James I, which is rare, with a quotation from
Psalm 72: Give the King thy judgements O God and thy righteousness unto the King’s law: then
shall he judge the people according to righte and defend the poor. The lion and the unicorn seem
to be very manly.

The list of incumbents is also interesting. The Revd. Henry Cavell was the uncle of Edith. The
Revd. Samuel Oates was the father of Titus Oates, who was executed for taking a leading part in
the Popish Plot of 1678. This was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates that gripped
England in anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that there existed an
extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the execution of
at least 15 men and precipitated the Exclusion Bill Crisis. This crisis ran from 1678 to 1681 in the
reign of Charles II of England. The Exclusion Bill sought to exclude the king's brother and heir
presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the throne of England because he was Roman Catholic.
Eventually Oates' intricate web of false accusations fell apart, leading to his arrest and conviction
for perjury. He was later released and was, surprisingly, given a pension.

We moved on to St. Margaret’s Church at Stratton

Strawless. This church contains three monuments of
merit and medieval stained glass. The two monuments
to the Marsham family were constructed either side of
the Reformation and the change of thought and belief is
demonstrated by them. Firstly, crammed in the south
aisle are Henry and Anne Marsham and their family.
Henry is dressed in a full wig. Anne, his wife, has a
pearl necklace and a plain cap. Their twelve-year-old
son, Henry, kneels between them, wearing a long
buttoned coat with buttoned pockets.
Henry Marsham and family at
On the right is another child, a baby: upright in swaddling Stratton Strawless Church
clothes. He shares an inscription with his mother, who
died in childbirth:

Here lie a vertuous son and mother Dyes too to keep her companie.
who dy'd in kindness to each other: This thou'lt think unhappie fate
Death seaz'd him first, when she him freed But twas not: for they did forgoe
By yielding up her self in's stead, A state for life; 'n reversion too
Which was no sooner done, but hee to gaine possession of a fee
To two such heires of fayre estate In rich and Blessed Aeternitie.

Because of the lack of space in the south aisle, the whole ensemble gives them an appearance of
kneeling on a mantel-piece.

At the east end of the south aisle lies the monument to Thomas Marsham, who died in 1638. He
lies on a cushion in his shroud, which he is removing and raising his head in response to the last
trump being sounded above his head. Beneath him is a charnel cage filled with bones and
sexton’s implements.

The monument of Thomas Marsham at

Stratton Strawless Church

John Donne, the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and a poet, began

the fashion of dressing the effigy on a monument in a shroud. He
died in 1631, seven years before Thomas Marsham. His
monument became famous at the time. This fashion was to last
several years and allowed the sculptor to carve movement into
their monuments. Shroud tombs show death or sleep and
awakening or resurrection. Grieving relatives liked these
resurrection monuments, as they gave hope of something beyond

The Marsham monuments were restored by English Heritage a

few years ago. The iron rods supporting them internally were
rusting and forcing the blocks of masonry apart.

The Black Abbess

Tucked away in a corner of the

north aisle is the so-called Black
Abbess. She is dated 1290 and
is carved out of alabaster and is
painted black. Who she is,
nobody knows. She certainly
was not an abbess, as she was
married and holds her husband’s
heart in her hand. This suggests
that he died overseas, perhaps in
Sts. Mark, Matthew, Luke and John at Stratton Strawless Church a crusade.
Also of interest in Stratton Strawless Church is
the magnificent collection of medieval stained
glass. In the top lights of the north aisle is a
series of glass that survived the iconoclasts. To
the east are the Four Evangelists (Sts. Mathew,
Mark, Luke and John) with their attributes. St.
Mark has a particularly cuddly lion at his feet.
Here St. Luke is depicted as a painter. It is said
that he painted the very first icon of the Virgin
Mary. To the west of the Evangelists are the
Annunciation and the Coronation of the Virgin
Mary. These two pairings show Mary with the
angel Gabriel, and then with her son crowning
her the Queen of Heaven. These are followed
by two female martyr saints, St. Margaret and
St. Catherine. The 15th century angel head at
Stratton Strawless Church
Stratton Strawless's single most famous medieval stained
glass is the head of an angel. She has appeared in many
books, as a fine example of 15th century Norwich School
glass, and has been recently restored. About ten years ago,
it formed the centrepiece of an exhibition at the University of
East Anglia.

According to Duffy, in medieval time Stratton Strawless

Church held a Shrine to St. Petronella. She died in Rome
at the end of the first century and was venerated as a virgin
martyr. These late medieval shrines tended to be a painting
or a statue of the saint and not a relic.

The third church we visited was All Saints at Horstead. This

again held a medieval shrine, this time to St. Margaret of
Horstead and also to Our Lady of Pity. We came here to
see the excellent array of stained glass. This church has
one of the finest collections of late 19th and early 20th
century glass in north-east Norfolk. In the south aisle is a
window, which was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, for
the William Morris workshop.

William Morris (1834-1896) was an English textile designer,

artist, writer and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement.
Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the
tradition of stained glass art in England. In 1861, the
decorative arts firm of Morris and Company was founded
with Morris, Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown
as partners. The firm undertook carving, stained glass, The Burne-Jones window at Horstead
metal-work, paper-hangings, chintzes (printed fabrics) and Church
carpets;, especially for churches during the Gothic revival.

In 1877, Morris founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. The Burne-Jones
window depicts Courage and Humility, who are two of the favourite Victorian virtues. Courage
appears as a St. Michael-like character with his shield protecting him from crossbow bolts.
Humility is feminine, with echoes of St. Mary Magdalene, a favourite subject of Burne-Jones.
Other Victorian virtues included: Godliness, Manliness, Good Learning, Respectability, Self-help,
Discipline, Cleanliness, Obedience and Orderliness.

The excellent east window is designed by Kempe and
depicts two local figures. Firstly, Herbert de Losinga
holds Norwich Cathedral in his hands, which he
founded. He also founded St. Nicholas’ Church in
Great Yarmouth, St. Margaret’s Church in King’s Lynn,
North Elmham Cathedral and St. Leonard’s Priory in
Norwich. Secondly, the mystic Julian of Norwich
stands with the church in which she was an anchoress.
At the age of 30 years, Julian was severely ill and
believed she was on her deathbed. She had a series
of intense visions of Jesus Christ. She recorded these
visions soon afterwards, and then again 20 years later.
The first version, called The Short Text, is more of a
narration of her visions. The Long Text was written
twenty years after the visions, and contains more
theological commentary on the meaning of the visions.
These visions are the source of her major work, called
the Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love (circa 1393).
This is believed to be the first book written by a woman
in the English language.

Julian became well-known throughout England as a

spiritual authority: Between de Losinga and Julian are

The Kempe east window at Horstead


the Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas. The latter

is with three little boys in a pickling tub,
whom he miraculously restored to life. Below
Christ, at the top of the window, are Adam
and Eve, who committed the original sin by
eating the apple.

Kempe always put a small wheat sheaf in

his windows as his trademark. After his
Kempe’s wheatsheafs death, his company persisted with the wheat
sheaf, but added a black tower to it.
The return to imagery
in churches came back
with the Oxf ord
Mo vem ent , which
started in about 1830,
when there was
pressure to return the
Anglican Church to the
ritual and ceremonial
of the Roman Catholic
Church (i.e. pre-
Reformation). Some
churches adopted the
Oxford Movement, but
others did not. Thus The Jesse window at Horstead
the Church of England Church
is now divided into
those of a high and those of a low church leaning. Another
Kempe window depicts St. George and St. Cecilia.

By the east window is a window made by the Hardman

Workshop, depicting the ancestry of Christ in the form of a
Jesse Tree. The Hardman Workshop was founded in 1838. It began manufacturing stained
glass in 1844. It became one of the world's leading manufacturers of stained glass and
ecclesiastical fittings. Hardman worked for Pugin.

Typically, the Jesse Tree shows the figure of Jesse,

often larger than all the rest, reclining or sleeping
(perhaps an analogy to Adam, when his rib was
taken) at the foot of the pictorial space. From his
side or his navel springs the trunk of a tree or vine
which ascends, branching to either side. On the
branches, usually surrounded by formally scrolling
tendrils of foliage, are figures representing the
ancestors of Christ. The trunk generally ascends
vertically to Mary and then to Christ at the top. The
number of figures depicted varies greatly, depending
on the amount of room available for the design. As a
maximum, if the longer ancestry from St. Luke’s
The Green Man at Scottow Church

Gospel is used, there are 43 generations

between Jesse and Jesus. The identity of
the figures also varies, and may not be
specified, but Solomon and David are usually
included, and often all the figures wear
crowns. Most Jesse Trees include Mary
immediately beneath the figure of Jesus.
Saint Joseph is rarely shown. The Jesse
Tree was the only prophecy in the Old
Testament to be so literally and frequently
illustrated and also came to stand for the
Prophets, and their foretelling of Christ.

After an ample lunch at the Recruiting

St. Christopher’s feet at Scottow Church Sergeant Public House at Horstead we
moved onto All Saints Church at Scottow.
The panels on the organ case at Scottow Church
showing Eros and Bacchus

The church is delightfully situated amongst lime

trees in a peaceful hamlet. This church,
unfortunately, has a bat problem. All the furnishings
have to be covered to protect them from the
The lectern at Scottow Church corrosive urine of the bats. In the vault of the porch
is a Green Man; a face surrounded by foliage. The
meaning of a green man has become obscure.
Some think that it is a fertility symbol and originates in the cross-over period between pagan and
Christian worship. Backing both horses, so-to-speak.

By the porch, so that it could be seen by passers-by, is a figure of St. Christopher; the patron
saint of travellers. The saint's head and the Christ child are gone, but the bottom half of the
painting remains with fish circling Christopher’s feet with a sea monster gobbling them up.

The lectern is double-sided and is of the 17th century. It is made of

oak, is carved and swivels. It is said to be a present from Horatio
Nelson, who found the Durrants (the local gentry), jovial. The vicar
here from 1857-1872 was Nelson’s nephew.

The organ case has carved Jacobean panels with a date of 1641.
The carving probably came from the continent, as Sir Henry Durrant
was a great traveller. Part of the engraving shows Bacchus and
also Eros riding on a horse, which has a dragon’s tail.

In the sanctuary is an obelisk monument to Davey Durrant, who died

in 1757. His crest shows a boar with a broken lance with a motto: In
God alone is salvation. There are ten hatchments to the Durrant
family hanging on the walls; some of which are in need of

Unusually there are two royal coats of arms. One is the arms of
William and Mary and the other is of Elizabeth II. The arms of the
present queen are very rarely seen in churches. This one was Ironwork on the door at
painted in 1953 by the brewery sign-writer from Steward and Tunstead Church
The rood screen at Tunstead Church

The last stop of the day was St. Mary’s Church, Tunstead.
This is a large church built and paid for out of the profits
from the wool trade. It is 140 feet long. The south side is
unusual as the clerestory contains no windows, but it is a band of blank arcading in flush-work.
Clerestories were built to add light to the interior of a church.

The door handle is exceptional 14th century ironwork. The ring is at the centre of a 4 ft cross with
curly tendrils and leaves.

Stone seats run the full length of each side of the nave. Hence the saying: the weakest go to the
wall. Congregations used to stand in medieval times.

The rood screen is dated as 1470 and still retains some of its original colour. The rood platform
or floor is still in place, as is the rood beam. There are 16 painted figures on the screen; eleven
apostles with St. Matthew and the four Latin Doctors. The Latin doctors are St. Ambrose, St.
Jerome, St. Augustine of Hippo and Pope St. Gregory the Great. These four were brought to
prominence in the medieval period as being important in their contribution to theology or doctrine
to the Christian faith.

There is a platform running the width of the sanctuary above a room, behind the high altar. It is lit
by an iron grating on its top. On one side are steps and on the other side is a door, which leads
to a barrel chamber. The use of this room and platform is a mystery. Perhaps it was a strong-
room for plate and vestments and relics or a stage for the performance of Mystery Plays.

In the north aisle there are four ledger slabs from the ruined Sco Ruston Church in the
neighbouring parish. They are four inches thick and look hugely heavy. One wonders at the
great effort required to lay such slabs.

By the south door is a poor box of 1537.

Those who participated in the tour enjoyed the day and look forward to the Society’s Third Church
Crawl next year.


Pevsner, N., North East Norfolk and Norwich, (1962), Penguin

Mortlock, D. P., and Roberts, C. V., The Guide to Norfolk Churches, (2007), Lutterworth Press
Various church guides
Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars, (1992), Yale University Press
Apotropaic Symbols
Paul P. Davies

People believed that evil spirits could enter the house through any aperture, such as fireplaces,
windows and doors and so they made markings and concealed objects to ward off the evil eye.
Other the years many objects were used, such as the phallus in Ancient Greece and, indeed,
horseshoes today. Three such objects, recently found in Great Yarmouth, are listed below.

A shoe inscribed on a lead roof found at Brett’s

Shop in Market Row (now the Benjamin
Foundation) in 2009 with the name S. Watson Aug
10 1879. Shoes are a well recognised symbol of
magical protection and are found as inscriptions on
lead and as objects concealed in buildings to bring
good luck or to ward off evil. The practice appears
to have originated in Europe, specifically in Britain.

A hexafoil (daisy wheel) with inscribed crosses was found inside a chimney piece from a row
cottage behind the sandwich bar on Greyfriars Way. The chimney was built in the 17th century.
However, the daisy wheel could have been put there anytime after that, but it is most likely a 17th
century inscription. Daisy wheel patterns are very common;
petal shaped patterns formed within a circle by drawing arcs
from equidistant points on the circumference. Daisy wheels
are found in churches and other old buildings and frequently
in the timbers of 16th and 17th century houses, particularly
around door frames and fire places. At the moment we don’t
fully understand the motivations for this type of graffiti. The
commonly held view is that daisy wheels are apotropaic
symbols (marks to ward off evil spirits), particularly when found
in 16th and 17th century contexts and even into the 20th
century. The presence of so many different types of circle
marks in churches requires us to consider other explanations
and the potential for their practical and ritual applications to change across time. A range of
theories have been put forward to date, some of which are hard to sustain as more survey
evidence is gathered.

A Bellarmine, or witch’s bottle, fragment was found under the hearth

of the row cottage behind the building that used to be Brett’s. It
contained an incised bone and a rusty nail. These bottles were
used to prevent evil spirits entering the house. The builders
working on the property were warned that they should pay special
attention when working around the chimney, because charms were
often placed there, especially as the building was early 17th
century. However, they still managed to smash the bottle. There
was a rust stain on the inside where a metal pin or iron had
corroded, which would have been part of the charm, as was a piece
of bone inscribed with either letters or symbols. Bellarmines were
occasionally used for a sinister purpose in the latter part of the 17th
century. This was the period when witchcraft was much practised
in country districts. Due, perhaps, to the demoniacal expression of Bellarmine bottle
and (inset) a piece of bone
the mask, which was sufficiently suggestive of the Devil, Bellarmine
pots were favoured for use as witch bottles. It was believed that the
witch bottle could counter the evil designs of a witch. The victim of a supposed spell would
prepare a concoction of his urine, fingernail parings and hair clippings and together with iron nails
and pins would boil the mixture up on a fire. By a process of magic, this was supposed to boil up
the blood and water of the witch. The bottle and its unpleasant contents would then be buried
under the victim's own hearth or threshold.
The Plaque Commemorating Arthur Eric Rowton Gill (1882-1940)
Sculptor, Typeface Designer, Stone Cutter and Printmaker
placed on St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church,
Lowestoft Road, Gorleston
Paul P. Davies

The plaque was unveiled on 7th January 2013 by Bill

Howell. The church was the only ecclesiastical building
designed by Gill.

In 1889, a malthouse in Church Lane, Gorleston was

converted into the town’s first Roman Catholic Church
since the Reformation. In 1906, Ambrose Page, a local
grocer, was married in the church.

When Ambrose Page died he left a legacy to the parish.

This had been put in trust and, after negotiations, some 30
years later, between the parish and the Diocese of
Northampton, it was agreed to use the legacy to build a
new Roman Catholic church. The site had been
purchased some 25 years earlier by Father Henry Stanley.

Father Thomas Walker, the

parish priest in the late
1930s, had previously served at High Wycombe, where he had
developed a friendship with Eric Gill. It was agreed that Gill would
design the church for Gorleston with the aid of a High Wycombe
architect, Edmund Farrell.

Gill detested that churches had become larger and larger and the
altars more elaborate and splendid. He felt that these developments
separated the people from God. He insisted that the altar should be
placed in the centre of a church with the congregation on all four
sides, so that they would be more intimately involved with the
celebration of the Mass. Likewise, he stated that the choir, the
organ, the stained glass windows, the paintings and the statues all
Eric Gill. had no place in a church. Therefore, at Gorleston he designed a
Courtesy of the
cruciform church with simple furnishings and a central altar. The
National Portrait Gallery
only windows in the church at the east and west end and at the ends
of the transepts would be glazed with plain glass.

Gill produced a revolutionary design with the

altar placed centrally beneath the tower. The
tower was supported on crossing arches.
Arches are used throughout the church, with no
lintels spanning doors or windows. Also, the
arcades and the porch are arches springing
directly from the sub-floor, not supported on
pillars, as is usual in churches. Gill also
designed the sculpture over the porch. The
holy water stoops, piscina, altar (with its
lettering around the base) and font were made
in Gills’ High Wycombe workshop. The
foundation stone demonstrates the high class
work of Gill’s lettering. St. Peter’s Church under construction

Work commenced on the
church in 1938, and was
completed before the
outbreak of the Second
World War. It was built in
brick. Gill visited the
project dressed in his
monk’s tunic. He insisted
that local workmen and
artisans (H. R. Middleton
and Company) were used
on the project.

As Gill was terminally ill,

the tower fresco, which Gill Joseph Nutgens
had designed, inside the (1892 -1982)
church was completed by Designed the east window
in 1963
his son-in-law, Denis
Tegetmeier. In 1963, the
stained glass east window was inserted. This was
designed by another High Wycombe artist, Joseph
Nuttgens. This window was contrary to Gill’s wishes, as
First Station of the Cross he had specified plain glass throughout the church. A
Westminster Cathedral further stained glass window was installed in 1994 in the
Walsingham Chapel in the south chancel.

This church is seen by some as Gill’s most important work of his

later years. The church guide quotes Fiona MacCarthy's biography
of Gill: he seized on the project as a long-awaited opportunity to put
into practice a multitude of related ideas about building, preaching,
singing, church history, world politics, all burgeoning out from the
elementary question: What is a church?

Eric Gill was born in 1882 in

Brighton, Sussex. He was a
controversial figure, with his
well-known religious views
and his subject matter being
seen as at odds with his
Denis Tegetmeier sexual behaviour and his
(1895-1997) erotic art.

One of the Wind Sculptures : the South Wind Gill designed the lettering and
London Electric Railway background for postage stamps

St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Gorleston

Fresco and
crucifix painted by
Gill’s son-in-law,
to Gill’s design

The only pillar in the church

Looking east with the central altar The arches are designed to show the letter ‘M’
commemorating the Virgin Mary
The woodwork in the tower

St. Peter the Apostle over the porch

Sculpture highlighted

The central altar

Gill’s original drawing for the church

Note the porch was moved to the north side

Looking west from the east end showing the

central altar

One of the Stations of the Cross

painted by Gill’s
Gill’s lettering on the base of the altar son-in-law,Tegetmeier
Gill was associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement and was named Royal Designer for
Industry by the Royal Society of Arts. He also became a founder member of the newly
established Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry.

He studied at Chichester Technical and Art

School, but in 1900, he moved to London
to train as an architect in the practice of W.
D. Caroe, which specialised in
ecclesiastical architecture. As he was
unhappy with his training, he took evening
classes in stonemasonry at the
Westminster Technical Institute and in
calligraphy at the Central School of Arts
and Crafts. At the Central School of Arts
and Crafts he came under the influence of
Edward Johnston, who created the London
Underground typeface. In 1903, Gill Gill working on Prospero and Ariel
at Broadcasting House
relinquished his architectural training to
become a calligrapher, letter-cutter and
monumental mason.
His first public success
was Mother and Child in
1912. He converted to
Roman Catholicism in
1913 and the following
year was awarded the
commission for sculpting
the Stations of the Cross
in Westminster Cathedral.
Later he was to become a
Dominican tertiary.
Following the First World
War, Gill, with others,
founded the Guild of St
Joseph and St. Dominic at
Ditchling, Sussex. This
was an art colony and an
experiment in communal

Gill was commissioned to

produce a war memorial
for Leeds University. Gill
controversially produced a
frieze depicting Jesus
driving the money-
changers from the temple,
Prospero and Ariel at Broadcasting House showing contemporary
Broadcasting House. Leeds merchants as the
money-changers. Gill
believed that financiers
were partly responsible for
the war.
In 1924, Gill moved to Capel-y-ffin in Wales. Here, he set up a new workshop and was soon
followed by his disciples. By 1928, he had set up a printing press and lettering workshop near
High Wycombe, at Piggots, Speen, Buckinghamshire.
In 1928 to 1929, Gill carved three
of the eight relief sculptures on
the theme of winds for the
headquarters of the London
Electric Railway at 55 Broadway.
He also carved a statue of the
Virgin and Child for the west door
of the chapel at Marlborough

In 1932, Gill produced a group of

sculptures, Prospero and Ariel,
and others for Broadcasting
House, London. He was also
commissioned to produce seven
bas-relief panels for the facade of
the People's Palace at the
University of London, opened in Engraving by Gill
1936. In 1937, he designed the
Eric Gill in his monk’s background of the first George VI
robe and strange hat stamp series for the Post Office.

In 1938, Gill produced The Creation of Adam, three bas-

reliefs in stone for the Palace of Nations at the League of
Nations in Geneva.

The Midland Hotel in Morecambe, an Art Deco building, was built in 1932-33. Gill sculptured two
seahorses for the entrance, a round plaster relief on the ceiling of the staircase (the Neptune and
Triton Medallion), a wall map of the north-west of England and a large stone relief of Odysseus
being welcomed from the sea by Nausicaa.

In 1925, he designed the Perpetua typeface (Typeface), with the uppercase letters based upon
Roman monumental lettering. This was followed by the Gill Sans typeface (Typeface) in 1927 to
1930. This was based on the Sans Serif lettering originally designed for the London Underground
by Johnston. Gill had collaborated with Edward Johnston in the early design of the Underground
typeface, but had dropped out of the project before it was completed. In the period 1930 to 1931
Gill designed the typeface Joanna, which he used to hand-set his book, An Essay on
Typography. Other typefaces followed, notably: Perpetua Greek (1929), Golden Cockerel Press
Type, Solus (1929), Aries (1932), Floriated Capitals (1932), Bunyan (1934), Pilgrim (1953) and
Jubilee (also known as Cunard; 1934).

Jan Tschichold, in his 1947–49 redesign for Penguin

Books, used the typeface Gill Sans for the book titles
and their Pelican imprint. In the 1990s, the British
Broadcasting Company adopted Gill Sans for many of
its on-screen television graphics.

Gill published numerous essays on the relationship

between art and religion. He also produced a number
of erotic engravings. Some of his writings include: An
Essay on Typography, Christianity and Art, 1927, A
Holy Tradition of Working: An Anthology of Writings,
Clothes: An Essay Upon the Nature and Significance of
the Natural and Artificial Integuments Worn by Men and
Women, Art, 1934, The Necessity of Belief, 1936, Work
and Property, 1937, Work and Culture, 1938,
The Neptune and Triton medallion
The Midland Hotel, Morecambe
Autobiography: Quod Ore Sumpsimus and Notes on
Postage Stamps.
In 1904, Eric Gill married Ethel Hester Moore, the daughter of the Chichester Cathedral head
verger. Gill frequently committed adultery, firstly with his maid.

The couple had three girls and a son, who were educated at home and kept apart from the
contemporary world. Gill drew the girls naked in a series of erotic life drawings.

Gill was a deeply religious man, largely following the Roman Catholic faith. However, Gill’s
personal diaries describe his perverted sexual activity. This aspect of Gill's life was little known
until the publication of the 1989 biography by Fiona MacCarthy. As the revelations about Gill's
private life reverberated, there was a reassessment of his personal and artistic achievement. As
his biographer, Fiona MacCarthy, sums up in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: as
Gill's history of sexual behaviour became public knowledge in the late 1980s, the consequent
reassessment of his life and art left his artistic reputation strengthened. Gill emerged as one of
the twentieth century's strangest and most original controversialists, a sometimes infuriating,
always arresting spokesman for man's continuing need of God in an increasingly materialistic
civilization, and for intellectual vigour in an age of encroaching triviality.

Gill was awarded many public honours. In 1935, he was made an Honorary Associate of the
Royal Institute of British Architects; Associate of the Royal Academy in 1937 and he received an
Honorary Doctor of Law from Edinburgh University in 1938.

Eric Gill was perhaps the greatest English artist-craftsman of the twentieth century: a typographer
and letter-cutter of genius and a master in the art of sculpture and wood-engraving. Yet, for all
the profound religious commitment in much of his art, his sculptures and drawings are often also
untamed celebrations of sexuality and the female body.

Gill died of lung cancer in 1940. He was buried in Speen churchyard in the Chilterns,


MacCarthy, Fiona, Eric Gill, Faber & Faber, 1989, ISBN 0571143024
MacCarthy, Fiona, Gill, (Arthur) Eric Rowton (1882–1940), Oxford Dictionary of Biography,
Oxford University Press, 2004.
Norfolk Churches,
Howell, William, The History of our Church,

Further work by Eric Gill

Left: : Nativity

Right :

Gill’s daughter, Petra, St. Andrew casting his nets

Other Works by Eric Gill

Statue of Our Lady & a set of Stations of the

Cross at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Bradford.

War Memorials at Bisham, Soputh Harting,

Ditchling, Briantspuddle, Bisham Abbey, Chirk,
Stanway, Harting & Trumpington.

Lettering at New College, Oxford.

Illustrator for the periodical, The Game.

Mankind, a torso.

Deposition in black marble.

Altar piece for Rossall School Chapel.

Memorial stone in Upton upon Severn Church Engravings for the Golden Cockerel Press.
Lettering by Gill
Gill’s lettering in stone was said to be the noblest Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales.
that had been seen for centuries.
Sculpture; Divine Lovers.

Bas relief of Madonna and Child for Larworth

Parish Church.

Statue of St. John the Baptist and Angels

either side of the Diocesan Coat of Arms for
Guildford Cathedral.

Carving: The Crocodile for the Mond

Laboratory, Cambridge.

The Crucifix over the grave of G. K.

Chesterton at Shepherd’s Lane, Beaconsfield.

Relief of the Parable of the Loaves and Fishes

on Brighthelm Church, Brighton.

The monument to Constance Evelyn Tyser in

Holy Trinity Cemetery, Northwood, Middlesex.

Memorial to Meggie Albanesi in the foyer of St.

Martin’s Theatre, London.
Eve by Gill
Gingerbread Madonna and Child at the
Record Office, West Sussex.
Sculpture entitled Lettering on the Angmering War Memorial,
F***ing by Eric Gill. Memorial to Chaplain Blakeway at Walberton
It represented Gill's Church, Memorial at the National Liberal Club,
younger sister a plaque at North Stoneham, Memorial to the
Gladys and her son of Prime Minster Asquith at Mells Church.
husband Ernest
Laughton, entwined. Memorials to the staff of the British Museum,
It was renamed Memorial to Edgar Ravenhill DSO at
Ectasy when the Canterbury Cathedral, Memorial to the staff of
Tate Gallery
the Victoria and Albert Museum.
acquired it
Mother Earth Sculpture For St. Thomas the Apostle Church
by Gill in Hanwell.

The Halvergate Tower Corn Windmill
Peter Allard

This powerful six-storey windmill was built in 1866 and replaced an earlier post windmill on the
same site. Situated at TG 41600598 on high ground along the west side of Mill Road and to the
south of the village, it now stands derelict. Plans to restore the mill in recent years have
unfortunately come to nothing. It originally had four patent sails, was built of red brick 50 feet high
and drove four pairs of stones. The boat shaped cap had a gallery and the fantail was eight
bladed. On site were two flour mills and the mill house was situated just to the south with
gardens and an office.

A mill was known to be in the village in 1734 and William Faden’s Norfolk map of 1797 shows a
mill on the present site in Mill Road. This was a post mill and was advertised for sale in the
Norfolk Chronicle on 13th and 27th December 1806:

To be Sold by Private Contract and entered into immediately

A Post Windmill situated in the parish of Halvergate in the county of Norfolk, with two pairs of
French stones, one pair 5 feet, the other 4 feet 6 inches and flour mill complete. Also a
roundhouse and granary over the same, with cottage and garden there unto adjoining.
The above premises are freehold and in good repair.
Apply to Robert Bately in the parish of Halvergate aforesaid

It was again advertised for sale in 1817. However, it still awaited a purchaser in March 1819,
when the mill house was described as newly erected. In 1850, when a John Hewitt was in
occupation, the mill was fitted with a new iron windshaft. It was again being offered for sale in
February 1852. By 1858, Jacob Crane had purchased the mill and, in 1865-1866, demolished the
post mill to make way for a new tower windmill. On Monday 30th October 1865, Jacob Crane
purchased four pairs of 4 foot 10 inch stones from Bixley Mill near Norwich and these were almost
certainly incorporated into the new tower windmill.

Jacob Crane became the first miller and he appeared in records until at least 1883. In 1885, it
was put up for sale and, during April, May and June, the mill was being advertised for sale in both
the Norfolk Chronicle and the Norfolk News.

Halvergate and Freethorpe

First Class Trade Premises, viz a substantial Brick Tower Windmill, Bake Office, Dwelling House,
Granaries, Stable with other requisite Buildings and excellent Garden.
A going concern doing a capital trade and in every way worthy the attention of purchasers of a
good Freehold Property.
Free Public House, Freethorpe, the ‘Rampant Horse’.
Clowes and Nash are favoured with instructions from Mr. J. Crane and the executors of the late
Mr. T. Crane to sell by auction in two lots at the Royal Hotel, Norwich on Saturday 13th June
Particulars may shortly be obtained at the ‘Auctioneers’ Office Bank Chambers, Norwich or of I. B.
Coaks and Co., Vendors’ Solicitors, Bank Plain, Norwich.

The purchaser was seemingly Edward Elijah Trett (born Filby, 10th April 1843), owner of the
Stokesby corn mill, although there is reference on 5th October 1885 to Clowes and Nash selling
the outdoor effects for Mr. Jacob Crane who has let the mill. Later millers at Halvergate were
Mrs. Elizabeth Martin (1888), Jacob Thomas Crane (1890-1892), Charles Mutton, also a farmer
and coal merchant (1896-1900), John Woodcock (1904), Benjamin Wright, baker (1908-1916)
and Walter Benjamin Wright (1922-1933). Percy Trett had family documental evidence passed
down to him showing that his great-grandfather, Edward Elijah Trett of Grange Farm, Filby, was
at the auction in 1885 and the auctioneer, Mr. Waters, thought that the selling of the mill, its mill
house and land would be difficult to sell. He asked Edward to start the bidding, which he did at
£200, and much to his surprise had the mill etc. knocked down to him for that price. He let the
mill to its existing tenant and, on Edward’s death, the mill was sold out of the family.
Edward Elijah Trett died on 22nd December 1916, aged 73 years.
One of his eldest sons, also an Edward Elijah (born in 1870), was
the miller at nearby Stokesby Mill until his father’s death. On 6th
June 1917, both Halvergate Mill and Stokesby Mill were auctioned at
the Star Hotel, Great Yarmouth on instructions from the executors of
the late owner, Edward Elijah Trett. The Yarmouth Independent of
19th May 1917 carried the sale as well situated Halvergate Mill with
bake office, dwelling house etc, together with details of the Stokesby
Mill. The purchaser of Halvergate Mill was Walter Benjamin Wright,
who worked the mill until it was tail-winded and burnt out in May

Research in 1977 by the Acle historian Brian Grint provided the

following information from Dick Woodcock, who was born in the mill
house when his father worked at the mill. The fire occurred on King
George’s Silver Jubilee Day and people across the country were
celebrating all day and throughout the evening. Many local people
went to celebrate in Joe Kerry’s barn in Wickhampton. It was a cold
evening with gale force winds. The wind forced the sails backwards Edward Elijah Trett with his
and the brake could not hold the sails from turning, causing much wife, Eleanor, owners of
friction in the brake wheel, which caught fire. Although efforts to Halvergate Mill 1885 to 1917
control the fire were made with buckets of water, the sails soon
caught alight and could be seen from the Jubilee concert to be burning like a giant Catherine
wheel. The fire engine from Acle arrived, a hand pump pulled by horses, but the fire could not be
controlled. All the people who helped received half-a-crown. The following morning, the burnt out
shell stood for all to see.

Although both the Yarmouth Mercury and Yarmouth Independent did not mention the fire, the
Eastern Daily Press carried a photograph of the burnt mill on Thursday 16th May 1935. Its pages
reveal that the mill caught fire during gale force winds late on Tuesday evening, 14th May. King
George’s Silver Jubilee Day was on Monday 6th May, an unusually warm day, with temperatures
in some parts of the country reaching 23 degrees centigrade.
The Eastern Daily Press carried news of Jubilee celebrations
across the county for several days after 6th May, including
that at Kerry’s barn in Wickhampton. Whether further Jubilee
celebrations continued in Wickhampton to the evening of the
fire on 14th May is not known, but certainly the mill was burnt
out on this date. The Eastern Daily Press photograph,
presumably taken on 15th May, shows both the sails and cap
completely destroyed and missing.

Kelly’s Norfolk Directory for 1937 lists Walter Benjamin

Wright as still in occupation at the mill, but not as a miller,
only a corn and flour dealer. This occupation apparently
lasted only a few years. Certainly by 1949, the mill was still
derelict, the mill house then being occupied by Percy and
Jessie Claridge. Percy was a science teacher at the
Alderman Leach School in Gorleston and loved living at the
mill. Until 1976, the first floor was used for storage, but then
strong winds blew the roof off, letting in rain, and it eventually
became unsafe. The ground floor was used as a workshop
until Percy died in 1977. During 1979, a restoration feasibility
study was undertaken, which concluded that restoration
would be too expensive. In 1980, the mill was capped with a
rusty corrugated iron roof. Jessie Claridge continued to live
Halvergate Corn Mill, looking south, in the mill house until her death in 1981, when the property
in the late 1920s
was sold.

Bob Self, a millwright and builder from Ingatestone in
Essex, purchased the mill during the late 1980s with
the intention of restoring it. Scaffolding was soon
erected around the tower and a new cap was built in
the grounds alongside. The mill house had already
been purchased separately, and was lived in by the
Billing family for a few years.

Bob purchased mill machinery from various sources;

much of it came from the Ives Cross Mill at Sutton St.
James in Lincolnshire, which was being dismantled
at this time. From here, Bob purchased the spur
Bob Self, present owner of the mill, wheel, a section of upright shaft and two bearing
at work in July 2004 boxes. The first restoration work planned was to re-
point the brickwork and fit new doors and windows.
This unfortunately has never materialised for various reasons and today the brick tower remains
with the scaffolding still around it and the newly-built cap weathering away at its base. In 2013,
Bob applied to convert the outbuilding at the base of the mill into residential use, but the outcome
of this is unknown to date.

Halvergate Corn Mill was listed in February 1986 by English Heritage (ID 228623) as a Grade 11
building for its historic interest.

Above : Halvergate Mill and Mill House, photographed in

January 2014

Right : Halvergate Corn Mill in the early 1930s,

looking north


Eastern Daily Press, May 1935

Yarmouth Independent, May 1917
Norfolk Chronicle, various editions
Norfolk News, various editions
Norwich Mercury, various editions
Apling, Harry, Norfolk Corn Windmills Volume 1
Seago, Richard, South Walsham millwright, various information

The Blue Plaque Commemorating the Royal Naval Hospital, Great Yarmouth
Paul P. Davies

Until the Royal Navy established general hospitals in the mid-18th century, sick and wounded
seamen were cared for by naval surgeons on hospital ships, in rented houses and public houses
in seaports. They also had access to beds in the London hospitals.

During the Dutch Wars of the mid-17th century it had

proved difficult to house wounded seamen landed on
the coast of England. The need for a naval hospital
became imperative. Plans were drawn up for such a
hospital at Chatham, but these were not implemented,
as there was a shortage of funds. In 1694, several
buildings at the unfinished and disused Royal Palace
at Greenwich, were fitted up as a temporary hospital.

The first permanent hospitals for the Royal Navy were

established abroad (Jamaica: 1704, Lisbon: 1706,
Gibraltar: 1746 and Minorca: 1771). Pressure to build
permanent hospitals built up again during the Spanish
War in the mid-18th century. The Admiralty concluded
that it would be more cost effective to look after their
own sick men rather than contracting them out to other
establishments. Therefore, the Royal Naval Hospital
at Haslar, Gosport was completed in 1761. A year later the naval hospital at Plymouth was built.
From 1763 to 1768 a permanent hospital was built at Greenwich (Dreadnought’s Seamen’s
Hospital). The next naval hospital constructed was at Deal in Kent in the mid-1790s. The fifth
hospital built by the Royal Navy was sited at Great Yarmouth.

The history of the hospital is

complex and it has changed its
use several times over the years.

In June 1808, the Right

Honourable the Lords
Commissioners of the Admiralty
were pleased to order that a Royal
Naval Hospital be erected on the
Denes in Yarmouth capable of
holding 300 patients under the
direction of the Inspector General
of Naval Works. Work started in
1809 and was completed in two
The Royal Naval Hospital years.

During the Napoleonic era, England had been at war with France for many years and it was felt
that such an establishment was needed at Great Yarmouth for the sick and wounded of the North
Sea Fleet. A high number of casualties were expected. The Walcheren Expedition in 1809 had
demonstrated an inadequacy of provision for sick sailors. This expedition was an attempt by the
British to send a Royal Naval fleet and an army up the River Scheldt to capture Antwerp from the
French during the Napoleonic War. The attempt failed and about one third of the force of 40,000
men was temporarily left behind to garrison Walcheren at the mouth of the Scheldt, where many
of them died from malaria.

The Great Yarmouth Royal Naval Hospital cost approximately £120,000 to build. It had a
courtyard plan with a colonnade facing inwards. There were four independent blocks of grey brick

Page one of four of the contract to build the Royal Naval Hospital at Great Yarmouth

connected by lower links at the corners. Each
block was 29 bays long with a projecting
arcade with Tuscan columns on the ground
floor and a three-bay pediment. The complex
was approached from the north by a gatehouse
formed as a tripartite triumphal arch with giant
Tuscan pillars.

The north side contained the kitchen, stores, a

mess room for convalescents, bathroom, staff
accommodation, wards for commissioned and The quadrangle of the Royal Naval Hospital
non-commissioned officers and staff
accommodation. The other three sides
contained the wards on each floor. The wards measured 47 feet by 24 feet. In the centre of the
west aspect was the chapel. The dispensary was in the centre of the east range and the
mortuary was to the south. Officers and men were kept completely separate.

The Royal Naval Hospital / Army Barracks in 1822

By the time the hospital was finished, the war

at sea with France was over, the Royal Navy
was wound down and no wounded naval
personnel were sent there. Therefore, on the
28th July 1814, the Royal Navy relinquished
the hospital to the army and, in 1815, the
hospital opened its doors to the army, when
600 victims from the Battle of Waterloo were
sent and they were very comfortably provided
for. There is a record dated 13th July 1815:
Transported from Ostend, 300 sick and
wounded soldiers removed in keels to the
The Latin transcribes as: their reputation and
achievements are commemorated here
hospital on the Denes. Some of those

Two of the skeletons unearthed in 1979

Waterloo veterans, who died here, were buried in the burial ground in the south-east corner of the
hospital grounds. Some of them were unearthed in 1979, when the Mountbatten Ward was built.

Preston, in 1819, described the hospital as follows: it was fitted up with every attention to the
benevolent purpose, and is surrounded by a colonnade to shelter the convalescents from the
weather, which forms a spacious square, laid out in gravel walks and grass plots, possessing
every convenience to alleviate the tediousness of confinement, and to accelerate the recovery of
health. In the courtyard there are four excellent family houses for officers belonging to the
establishment, handsomely constructed with every requisite for convenience, and suitable for the
comfort of the inhabitants.

Apart from the ending of the Napoleonic War, a writer in 1845 gave another reason for the
change of use. He wrote: St. Nicholas Gatt, by the shoaling of its waters, rendered the entrance
to the Yarmouth Roads unsafe for men of war and the Admiralty consequently ordered the
establishment to be converted into Foot Barracks. St. Nicholas Gatt is the channel between
Scroby and Corton Sands off the coast of Great Yarmouth.

In 1826, John Druery, commented that: the hospital is now commonly unoccupied. When in use it
seldom receives more than a detachment of dismounted horse or a company of foot soldiers.

White’s Directory of Norfolk in 1836 stated that the Royal Barracks were now commonly

In 1841, the Office of Ordnance reported that, the Naval Hospital (at Great Yarmouth) is no longer
used for the purpose for which it was contemplated. Many years ago it was appropriated as a
barracks for eight officers and about 100 men. There were only six inmates in the attached

Table of admissions for general paralysis of the insane in England.

Commissioners for Lunacy report 1914

The hospital cared for those who had become insane while serving in the armed services. The
vast majority of cases were due to syphilis. Syphilis was a major problem and was incurable until
the discovery of penicillin in the 20th century. Its later stages caused general paralysis of the
insane. In 1867, the Royal Naval strength was 51,000 men. Of these, 2,626 suffered with
primary syphilis and 834 were in the final stages of secondary syphilis. Statistics from 1914 show
that the Great Yarmouth Naval Hospital had the highest rate of admissions due to the effects of
syphilis in the country. A Royal Commission reported in 1916 that the army had more than
50,000 reported cases of syphilis and it was estimated that ten per cent of the population in
Britain’s largest cities was infected with syphilis and even more had gonorrhoea.

In 1849, the insane soldiers from the Royal Kilmainham Hospital in Ireland were transferred to the
Great Yarmouth Asylum. Kilmainham Hospital was built for invalid soldiers and was enlarged in
1711 for the reception of insane soldiers, who were quartered in Ireland.

The hospital remained in the army’s hands until the war with Russia (Crimea) in 1854, which
lasted two years. In 1854, the Royal Navy reclaimed the building and it ceased to be used for
treatment of insane army soldiers. On the 20th May 1854, the Admiralty wrote to the War Office:
with reference to the re-transfer of the Great Yarmouth Hospital and buildings to this department
at the earliest possible period, I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to
request that you will cause measures to be taken for vacating the buildings forthwith. The army
lunatics were transferred elsewhere. However, the hospital was not used by the Royal Navy
during the war.

In 1858, the army used the hospital again, as in March, the Admiralty lent the buildings to the War
Office. The hospital was converted into a convalescent home for the reception of the wounded
soldiers from India and for those who had been wounded in the Indian Mutiny. The local press
noted that the hospital had been fitted up in a similar fashion during the Crimea War and was
never used.

Number of in-patients at the hospital 1845-1957

In 1863, as the Admiralty found that cases of insanity in
the navy were increasing and so they reclaimed the
building and turned it into a naval lunatic asylum again.
Extensive alterations were needed. It was necessary to
remodel the internal arrangements of the premises and to
add 37 wards for the accommodation of the naval
lunatics. The alterations were completed in ten weeks.
About this time extensions were built on the outside of
the hospital to house the lavatories and other services.
These extensions were removed when the building was
converted into apartments; hence the scars on the
exterior walls. The hospital would now be used as a
naval lunatic asylum until its transfer to the National
Health Service in 1958, apart from the period during the
Second World War.

In 1866, the land to the east of the hospital was

purchased as a recreation ground for the use of the
Eastern block of St. Nicholas’ Hospital in
In 1890, the Royal Navy gave permission for the army to 1994 showing the side extensions, which
send their insane patients. were removed in 1996

In 1892, the Royal Indian Asylum at Ealing was closed and demolished to make way for the Great
Eastern Railway. Forty army officers were transferred to Great Yarmouth by arrangement with
the Admiralty.

In 1931, the Ministry of Pensions patients were admitted. These

were mainly ex-army patients and they were transferred from
Kirkburton Hospital. Kirkburton was a hospital run by the Ministry
of Pensions and was closed in 1931.

During the Second World War, the hospital was used as a Royal
Naval base for minesweepers and was named HMS Watchful.
The patients were evacuated to Moor Hospital, Lancaster and to
Northampton. The recreation and cricket ground was used to train
the local detachment of the 4th Battalion, the Royal Norfolk

At the end of the war the hospital

reverted to a Royal Naval lunatic
asylum and, in March 1946, the
patients returned and some Royal
Air Force and army patients were also admitted. One hundred and
eighty patients were in residence.

In 1953, fifty armed services patients, who were maintained by the

Ministry of Pensions, were transferred to the hospital. In 1958, the
Royal Navy transferred the building to the National Health Service
to be used as a psychiatric hospital until its closure in 1993. It was
renamed St. Nicholas’ Hospital.

In 1996, the premises were converted into apartments. All the post
1811 buildings were removed to leave the original building.

The Medical Officers, who were posted to the hospital, are of Edward Bradford
interest. In the early 19th century, Captain George William Manby Medical Officer c1860
Medical officers of the hospital
Left to right: Charles Lockhart Robertson c1846 © Wellcome Library, London; Duncan Hilston in 1894
and Thomas Browne c1890

was appointed the Barrack Master. He was well-known for his eccentricity, pomposity and for his
development of the rocket apparatus, which fired a rope to a shipwreck on the beach to save

Two medical officers became surgeons to British Royalty. Many had served in wars throughout
the world, such as: the Crimea, the Maori, the Napoleonic, the Burmese, the Opium Wars etc.

Several wrote books and articles on the treatment of psychiatrically ill servicemen.

Charles Lockhart Robertson was the secretary of the Medico-Psychological Association (founded
1841) until 1862, when he became the editor of their journal, in conjunction with Dr. Maudsley.
Robertson was the President of the Association in 1867. This was the forerunner of the Royal
College of Psychiatry. He adopted the non-restraint method of treating the insane, which
attracted visitors and interest from all parts of Europe.

Staff of St. Nicholas’ Hospital 1958 1. Dr Kingsley Jones; 2. K J Pike senior nursing officer
Nursing attendants in white coats
The plaque unveiling and Rear Admiral Charlier (left)

Robertson wrote many papers including: The Application

of the Trephine to the Treatment of Insanity Arising from
Injury to the Head. He also wrote extensively about
public health matters relating to Great Yarmouth. In
1847, he gave a lecture in the town on the very poor
sanitary condition of Great Yarmouth. The lecture
caused a stir and it was subsequently published.

Royal Naval
from the air

Richard Miller, who was appointed in 1911, was the first medic who held a qualification in

Dr. Thomas Browne, the medical officer at the latter part of the 19th century, was a founder
member of the Yarmouth Golf Club. He originated the golf term, bogey.

A blue plaque, marking the hospital, was unveiled by Rear Admiral Simon Charlier, the Director
(Operations) of the Military Aviation Authority.


Davies, Paul P., History of Medicine in Great Yarmouth, privately published, (2003)
Druery, John H., Historical and Topographic Notes of Great Yarmouth, Nichols, London, (1826)
Preston, J., The Picture of Yarmouth, Sloman, (1819)
White, W., Directory of Norfolk, Leader, Sheffield, (1836)
The Plaque Commemorating the Inauguration of Crimestoppers
placed on the former Yarmouth Mercury office in Regent Street, Great Yarmouth
on 17th June 2013
Paul P. Davies

The Yarmouth Mercury requested the help of the society to

erect a blue plaque to commemorate the 30th anniversary
of the start of Crimestoppers. The society were happy to
help facilitate their ambition.

Crimestoppers was originated in the town of Great

Yarmouth in 1983 by Mike Cole, then detective inspector
with Norfolk Constabulary, Jim Carter, manager of the
town’s Woolworth store and the late Peter Ware, then editor
of the Yarmouth Mercury. Crimestoppers encouraged
people to pass information to police anonymously without
fear of reprisal. Informants called a dedicated telephone
number at Great Yarmouth police station. A reward was
handed out in brown envelopes for information received by
Jim Carter, often in dark alleys.

Crimestoppers was so successful that it was rolled out

nationally five years later in 1988. Credit for the scheme
was, and is, claimed by Lord Ashcroft, when in fact credit
should be given to the three originators in Great
Yarmouth. The national Crimestoppers website states
that it was established by Lord Ashcroft in January 1988
and renamed Crimestoppers in 1995. Today,
Crimestoppers is an independent charity, but its Great
Yarmouth roots are overlooked or altogether omitted.

The plaque was unveiled by Peter Ware’s son Matthew,

who said: my father would be extremely proud, not in an
egotistical way, but that he has left a legacy in a place
where he really enjoyed working. Also present were the
originators, Jim Carter and Mike Cole.

The first Crimestoppers scheme was created by

policemen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mike Cole was
visiting the town of Peoria in Illinois on a police
exchange a few years later, when he witnessed a similar
scheme and he sought permission from his police chiefs
to trial it in Norfolk. It was an instant success;
businesses from Great Yarmouth’s Chamber of
Commerce signed up and agreed to anonymously pay
money into a Crimestoppers account.
Left to right:
Every Friday, the Yarmouth Mercury published an
Mike Cole, Matthew Ware and
Jim Carter appeal for information in return for a cash reward.

Latest figures from the national office reveal that more than 95,000 pieces of information were
received by Crimestoppers in 2012; 22 people were arrested and charged every day because of
that information; £229m-worth of drugs have been seized from the streets in the past 15 years
through Crimestoppers tip-offs; and during the summer riots of 2011, the amount of information
sent to the Crimestoppers website increased by 300%.

Air Commodore Sir Egbert Cadbury DSC., DFC (1893-1967)
Margaret Gooch

Egbert, known to his family as Bertie, was born on 20th

April 1893, the youngest son of George and Elizabeth
Cadbury (later Dame Elizabeth Cadbury), at Selly Oak.
He was educated at Leighton Park School and Trinity
College, Cambridge. The First World War broke out
whilst he was still an undergraduate and, fearing that
the war would be over by Christmas and that he would
miss it all, he rushed to enlist and joined the Royal
Navy as an Able Seaman. Two months later he was
serving on board HMS Zarefah, based at Lowestoft. By
December 1914, he was transferred to HMS Sagitta
and, by January 1915, he was with the Grand Fleet
based at Scapa Flow. Bertie volunteered for the Royal
Naval Air Service, and after training as a pilot, joined
the Royal Naval Air Station at Great Yarmouth in
August 1915 as a Flight Sub Lieutenant. A few days
later, on the 9th August, he flew his first mission against
German Zeppelins. Britain was under attack from
Zeppelins, and on the 19th January 1915, when Great
Yarmouth was bombed, two people were killed.

The difficulties involved in attacking Zeppelins at this

time cannot be over-emphasized. Finding the Cadbury (left) and Leckie (right)
Zeppelins, catching up with them, and then being able
to destroy them was a very big problem. The chance of
even intercepting a Zeppelin was slight. Until very late into the war there was no properly
established format or chain of command for enemy aircraft reporting. In addition, the Zeppelins
usually flew over at night, and high, and were almost unheard from the ground. There were only
two searchlights along the whole of the East Anglian coastline. Thus it all relied on a sighting,
probably by a civilian, who would then need to tell a policeman, who in turn would cycle to a
telephone, which was not always near at hand, and call the nearest Naval Air Station, where they
would scramble an aircraft. The early aircraft were flimsy,
had poor performance and range, and could not climb as
high, nor as fast as the Zeppelins. The only armaments that
the aircraft had were service rifles, shotguns with chain
ammunition, revolvers and Ranken darts. There was little
chance of an aircraft shooting one down and, as a result, in
1915, the Zeppelins made 20 raids over the United
Kingdom, killing 207 civilians and injuring 573. Though not
a single Zeppelin was shot down by an aircraft that year,
one was shot down by gunfire from the ground.

In 1916, the Zeppelins made 22 raids. On 31st July of that

year, eight Zeppelins crossed the coast. After having to
land his aircraft at Bacton to deal with a mechanical
problem, a Zeppelin flew overhead and Bertie took off in
pursuit. This time he was unlucky. Bertie continued to
patrol and then on 27th October, ten Zeppelins took part in
raids on the Midlands and the North. One of them, L21,
returning from an attack on Macclesfield, went out to sea
near Lowestoft, and was attacked by three BE 2 aircraft
Cadbury and his sister when he from Great Yarmouth, piloted in turn by Bertie, Sub
joined the Royal Navy in 1914 Lieutenant Fane, and Sub Lieutenant Pulling. Bertie and

Tail of a R Class Zeppelin and a Sopwith Camel.
Drawn to the same scale BE 2 aircraft

Fane attacked from under the stern, but Fane’s gun jammed. Bertie got under her and fired all
his ammunition. Pulling attacked from the port, but saw the Zeppelin on fire where Bertie had
shot at it. The flames spread, but one of the aircrew of the Zeppelin continued to fire his machine
gun until he was enveloped in flames. The airship, captained by Kapitan Deitrich Frankenberg,
plunged into the sea off Lowestoft. Pulling was awarded a DSO, and Bertie and Fane, DSCs.

It was not until late 1917 that reliable

tracer and incendiary bullets were
provided, based on phosphorous,
which ignited in air, and there was then
a more realistic chance of setting fire to
an airship. The hydrogen gas was
contained in a number of low pressure
separate chambers, so a simple bullet
could pass through the airship without
noticeable loss of inflation. However,
the incendiary bullets did the trick. The
old BE 2 aircraft had by now been
superseded by aircraft like the Sopwith
Camel and the De Havilland DH4,
De Havilland DH4 fighter/bomber which were improved performance
fighters with higher speeds and
ceilings. The Vickers and Lewis guns
had been similarly developed with
better mountings in the aircraft.

In February 1917, Bertie married Mary Forbes Phillips, daughter of the controversial Vicar of
Gorleston. They lived at 6 Kimberley Terrace, now the Carlton Hotel, on Marine Parade. One
year later their first child, Peter Egbert Cadbury, was born. Mary had a fine singing voice and,
with Bertie in the audience, was singing at a charity event in Great Yarmouth on 2nd August
1918. He was enjoying the music
when, at about 8.45pm, an orderly
came in to tell him that he was wanted
at headquarters. Three Zeppelins
had been spotted over the sea some
50 miles away. He dashed in his Ford
car to the airfield. Bertie saw that
there was only one aircraft available
with sufficient speed and climb, a
DH4, and leapt into the pilot’s seat,
with Lieutenant Leckie (also an
experienced pilot) acting as Observer/
G u n ner . Af t er le avi n g G r e at
Yarmouth, they spotted the three Zeppelin L70
Zeppelins at about 9.45pm some 40 miles away to the north
east, flying in a “V” formation. The airships altered course
and Bertie gave pursuit, climbing to 16,400 ft. with the
Zeppelins flying above them at 17,000 ft. Leckie fired his
Lewis machine gun at one of the Zeppelins, L70, and the
explosive bullets blew a great hole in the fabric. Fire spread
along the length of the airship and it plunged into the sea off
North Norfolk. The other two turned back towards Germany
at high speed. Bertie and Leckie attacked one of the
remaining two, L65, but their gun had jammed. They landed
at Sedgeford Airfield and were horrified to find that their
bombs had failed to release. L70 was Germany’s finest
airship. She was captained by Kapitan von Lossnitzer, but
had on board the Chief of the Imperial German Naval Airship
Service, Fregakapitan Peter Strasser. Bertie and Leckie
were each awarded the DFC. 1

Afterwards, when Mary was singing at another concert in the

town, Bertie was thanked and all those present cheered and
yelled. A wounded soldier recalled Bertie being carried
shoulder-high through the streets of Great Yarmouth on a
chair after they had shot down L70. In all, over half of
Germany’s total production of 140 airships was destroyed by
our forces. L70 was the last such one to go down. German propaganda postcard
based on Great Yarmouth
Bertie went on to become the Managing Director of Cadbury
Brothers. He was knighted, and died in 1967. His eldest son, Peter, was a test pilot, and
Douglas Bader was the best man at Peter’s wedding. Lt. Leckie became an Air Marshal in the
Royal Canadian Air Force.

left to right:
Julian Cadbury, Admiral Charlier, Leander Cadbury.
Courtesy of Paul Davies

To commemorate Egbert Cadbury, a blue plaque was erected on Kimberly Terrace, where he had
lived. It was unveiled by Rear Admiral Simon Charlier in the presence of the Mayor of Great
Yarmouth (Councillor Burroughes), Egbert Cadbury’s grandson (Julian) and his great Grandson
(Leander), members of the society and the East Anglian Fleet Air-Arm Association.
In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed from the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps.
The RAF did not have its own ranks at that time, so adopted those of the RFC. Bertie and Leckie were,
technically, Major Cadbury and Captain Leckie for the last few months of the war. However, they had
joined the Royal Navy.

Postscript to the Erection of the Plaque to Egbert Cadbury
Paul P. Davies

Norman Appleton, a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists, read a report in a national magazine
about the dedication of a plaque by the Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society
to commemorate the deeds of Egbert Cadbury, who was involved in bringing down two German
Zeppelins during the First World War. It is gratifying to see how the society’s activities spread
throughout the country. The society committee is now regularly approached by television and
radio production companies, such as Great Train Journeys, Coast, Who Do You Think You Are,
Channel Four, Radio Norfolk etc.

In 1986, Appleton completed a

large painting of the event
when Cadbury and Leckie, in
their De Havilland DH 4, shot
down the Zeppelin L70 off
Great Yarmouth in August
1918. He still had the painting
and, as he is now in his 80s, he
would like to ensure that it is
kept somewhere safe for
posterity. The painting
measures 36 inches by 31
inches. He therefore offered it
to the society. It seemed to the
committee that the painting
should be housed in the Time
and Tide Museum and they
have accepted it with great

Norman Appleton was born in

Middlesbrough and now lives in
rural Yorkshire. He served as
aircrew in the Royal Air Force
from 1944 until 1949. After a
career in senior management in
local government, he retired in
1985 and took up art on a full-
time basis. He has been
interested in aviation since
childhood and his RAF service
further stimulated his love of
aircraft of all types. He has
been a member of the Guild of
Aviation Artists since 1975 and
was elected a full member in 1981. His paintings have won a number of aviation art awards and
he regularly exhibits his work in the Guild's London exhibitions. He is a member of a number of
art groups in the Yorkshire area and his work may be seen in numerous aviation museums and
airfields in the country and abroad.

Norman Appleton’s artistic interests extend well beyond aviation and he is very keen on painting
churches, ships, astronomical subjects, rural and industrial landscapes in oils, acrylic and
watercolour. His line drawings of local views have been used to illustrate many guidebooks in the
Yorkshire area since 1968. He regularly illustrates aircraft for the York Branch Aircrew
Association's monthly magazine. He has completed over 1,000 paintings.

The Blue Plaque Commemorating the Site of the Angel Hotel
Colin Tooke

The Angel Hotel in the Market Place, Great Yarmouth

(now the Norwich and Peterborough Building
Society) was one of the oldest inns in the town; there
are records of it being rebuilt in 1652. A blue plaque
was erected in September 2013 to commemorate the
site. The earliest recorded landlord is Samuel
Foreman, who was there in 1746. This coaching inn
stood on the corner of Row 44, which was named
Angel Row. The Angel was a popular venue for
entertainment and social gatherings for many years.
In 1736, John Ives, a local historian, recorded that he
went to see the famous Mr. Laisser, the conjuror at
the Angel.

The inn also had its share of royal visitors: King

William IV, when Duke of Clarence, with his Duchess
(later Queen Adelaide) landed at Great Yarmouth
and stayed at the Angel and, in November 1801, the
Prince of Orange, having arrived from London, stayed at the Angel for ten days before sailing for
Cuxhaven in Germany.
On 5th January 1804, a Captain Dickens, of
the Shropshire Militia, took on a considerable
wager to walk the 47 miles from the Angel in
Norwich to the Angel in Great Yarmouth, and
return, within 12 hours. He performed the
task with apparent ease, completing the
journey in 11½ hours. On 2nd February
1813, an eccentric Norfolk gentleman, by the
name of James Webb, visited the Angel. He
was a wealthy man, who made a habit of
handing out money to less fortunate
members of the community. After visiting
Norwich, he arrived in Great Yarmouth and
proceeded to give away money, but this
quickly led to somewhat violent squabbling
and arguing, such that he was forced to
Cook’s Directory of Great Yarmouth 1894 leave. He did however leave the town a
large sum to be allocated amongst the local

In the mid 19th Century, the Angel was the headquarters of the Tory party and, during political
meetings, the crowds in the Market Place were addressed from its balcony. Before the town had
a purpose built corn exchange the buyers and sellers carried out their business in front of the

In 1831, James Paget, in his second year of training to become a surgeon, attended a course of
lectures on bones, given by a young surgeon from Acle, in a room at the Angel.

The Angel was an important departure point for the stagecoaches. In 1839, the Dart left at 8am
and the Royal Mail at 4pm daily, for Norwich. In 1843, the Old Blue stagecoach left the Angel at
7.30am for London and the Hero left on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am. By 1850, very
few coaches were still running, but the Old Blue still ran from the Angel to Ipswich via Yoxford. In
1863, the mail cart still found enough business to run a service to Ipswich via Lowestoft daily at
The Angel Hotel.
Courtesy of Colin

There were livery stables at the rear of the hotel, accessed through a rather low entrance under
the southern end of the building. In 1836, Revd. Richard Pillons of Larling was driving his
carriage into the Angel when his head caught the beam above the entrance and he broke his
neck, causing instant death.

For many years a sign depicting an angel holding a scroll

projected from the balcony. This sign reflected the early
connection between religious establishments and travellers’
hostels. Many public houses in the country were called The
Angel, which was also a compliment to Richard II, who placed
an angel above his shield.

In the 1880s, the Angel was classed as a family and

commercial hotel and there was a tap bar accessed from Row

The Angel closed in 1939. To help overcome wartime food

shortages and to feed people in temporary accommodation, a
network of British Restaurants were set up. In Great
Yarmouth the old Angel Hotel was taken over by the
Government and used for this purpose, opening in February
1942. The aim was to provide good, cheap, plain food at
lunch times. An adult meal cost 9d (about 3p). In 1946, the
Stagecoaches from ownership passed from the Ministry of Food to the Great
Great Yarmouth. Yarmouth Borough Council and for a few years it was known
White, William, History, Gazetteer as the Civic Restaurant. The building was demolished in July
and Directory of Norfolk, (1845) 1957, rebuilt as two shop units that are today The Works and a
building society.


White, William, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Norfolk, (1845), Leader, Sheffield
Palmer, C.J., Perlustration of Great Yarmouth, (1875)

The Plaque Commemorating the First Moving Pictures
Shown to the Public in Great Yarmouth
Placed on Poundland, Market Place, Great Yarmouth, May 2013
Colin Tooke

The first time moving pictures were seen by the public in

this country was at a demonstration by the Lumiere Brothers
of Paris at the Empire, Leicester Square, London in March

The first opportunity the people of Great Yarmouth had to

see the new cinematograph was one year later, in March
1897, when the local paper announced that there would be
a presentation of Live Photographs - the Marvel of the Age
at the Liberal Club Assembly Rooms, also known as the
Bijou Hall. The hall stood between Rows 40 and 43 in the
Market Place and was a popular venue for many different
social events.
The early newsreel-type
shows quickly developed
into feature films and purpose built cinemas began to appear.
The Gem, now the Windmill, opened in 1908, the Empire in 1911
and the Regent in 1914. The Bijou Hall continued to show films
until 1914, when it was demolished and in its place was built the