Saturday 22nd August, I shod myself in walking shoes, equipped myself with food and water, and caught the 6:30 am bus out of Great Yarmouth. At Norwich, I caught another bus to arrive at Newton Flotman by 7:40 am. It was a breezy day. It was to get breezier.
My father was born and grew up at Newton Flotman. But his mother’s family had come from “across the road and down the lane”. That road is the A140, the old Roman Road from Venta Icenorum to Colchester. Down the lane are the two parishes of Saxlingham: Nethergate and Thorpe.
But first to cross the river; navigable in former times, now barely a stream. The Tas.
I’ve become quite obsessed of late with water-reflections.
As a child, I’d come through here on a bus to visit my other grandma who lived in the next village along. Every time I saw this barn, I knew we were nearly there.
Deemed a Village of Outstanding Beauty. You can see why.
You see the sign he’s sitting on? Generally, that means restricted to farm traffic. But in this instance, I think it means foot traffic…
Today, what remains of Saxlingham Thorpe hugs the parish boundary with Newton Flotman and shares the advantages of being close to a main arterial road.
My maternal grandma lived in the next village. Hempnall. Not the place of her birth; she came from South Norfolk, from close to the Waveney. But my maternal grandfather’s family had settled here.
Oh, the times I had waited here as a child. Then we didn’t have phones that doubled as cameras. We didn’t have easy connections. And nor had I. The 4G connection was erratic here. Whether that’s the usual state or whether it was due to the winds and threatening storm… beyond me to know.
I spent a lot of time in Saxlingham in 2016-17. I researched its history from the earliest times. I trod its bounds. The results of that research formed several posts here on WP. If you’re interested, see here: