The Blakeney Area Historical Society (BAHS) in North Norfolk

The Blakeney Area Historical Society

Covering The Blakeney Haven (Blakeney, Cley, Morston,Salthouse, Wiveton) & Adjacent Hinterland   Contact Us

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Guest Book

Website visitors are invited to post comments or requests regarding local history matters here, but remember this is not a family history society. If you are just starting family history we suggest you click here for links to websites which provide much helpful information:

Unfortunately the Society cannot provide a research or enquiry service, as there are insufficient volunteers to cope although a visit to our History Centre may be beneficial. If you have a question regarding local history or a particular family or person, do post a message, but remember you are more likely to encourage a response if your initial request is simple and clear, supported by some background information. Long and diffuse questions asking for everything on a family or subject often fail.

Replies can be posted on this Guest Book. If you any information for the person who posted the enquiry please contact them directly but it would be useful if you could copy the society in any communication by emailing

Please note entries are listed by the most recent appearing first.

Note: For the time being the ability to post an enquiry has been removed. In the meantime, please email if you would like something added, including your name, email address and location.

Name: David Asprey Email:
Ref Blakeney steam lighter 'Yankee'
Country: England Date: 19 March 2014

Enquiry: I have been researching an obscure Clyde-built vessel 'Yankee' for an ongoing project on Scottish shipbuilding. The skimpy details found are at

Meanwhile I have come across the page on the Patrick Kearney painting of 'Yankee' I have a strong suspicion that these are one-and-the-same. There are some passing references in online books about Blakeney that this 'Yankee' became a houseboat on Long Hills Bank and, at least until recently, there were some remains in situ:

I have been in touch with the daughter of the late Patrick Kearney, but she has no further information.

So am hoping that someone around the Wells/Blakeney area may be able to help. Any leads would be welcomed. The harbour-master passed my query to Charlie Ward at The Boathbouse, Morston. He confirmed his familiarity with the wreck of 'Yankee', and pointed me in your direction.

I am wondering whether any of your members have more on the Blakeney 'Yankee' and how she came to be at Blakeney. In particular, it would be interesting to learn the approximate dimensions of the wreck and to see other photos. Do you know of any earlier images of 'Yankee' or of 'Taffy', which was definitely Clyde-built

best wishes
David Asprey

Name: Penny Jack Email:
Ref West Beckham Workhouse
Country: England Date: 6 February 2014

Enquiry: My grandfather was born in West Beckham Workhouse in 1881.

If anybody knows if records for that period from that particular workhouse still exist in a local archive/repository, I would be very pleased to hear from them. I have tried the Norfolk Records Office but they were unable to help.

Penny Jack

Name: Dr Antonia Hardcastle Email:
Ref Naming a rowing skiff
Country: England Date: 20 January 2014

Enquiry: I am the secretary of the coastal rowing association in Blakeney, and we have a rowing skiff that is based in Blakeney during the summer months. You might have read all about us in the Glaven news.

We are building another rowing skiff, which will hopefully be launched at the end of April in Blakeney, and are considering calling her bluejacket.

Godfrey Sayers suggested this name after the last billy boy Ketch that came up the creek in Blakeney. I have had a look online and found very little information, and was wondering whether there was anything her in the BAHS archives or if any of your members may be able to help?

We obviously don't want to name her after a boat that has bad connotations for the area or the people in her!

If anyone has any information this would be gratefully received.

Any help would be absolutely great!

Antonia Hardcastle

Name: Janette Crisp Email:
Ref Katherine Johnson from Cley
Country: England Date: 10 January 2014

Enquiry: I am looking for Katherine Johnson who joined the WRNS at the same time as me, in February 1973. She was a store accountant and I was a radio operator. She came from Cley-next-the-sea.

I would love to make contact with her again.

Kind regards

Janette Crisp nee Nicolson

Name: Geoff Elkin Email:
Ref Blakeney Villiage Sign
Country: England Date: 23 September 2013

Enquiry: We were admiring your village sign when we passed through last week on our annual pilgrimage to the North Norfolk coast and wondered if there was a story behind the images the boat for instance a known boat or just representative of Blakeney's maritime history?

Can you help?

Geoff Elkin

Name: Chris James Email:
Ref Ryder Smith Family
Country: England Date: 20 September 2013

Enquiry: I am writing a biography of Mr William Marriott, and understand that his daughter Winifred who married a Mr Ryder Smith lived in Blakeney. I would like to know if any of her family are still around or if there is any information on her which I could include in the biography.

Thank you in anticipation
Chris James

Name: Norm Jary Email:
Ref Jary Family of Wiveton
Country: Ontario, Canada  Date: 1 September 2013

Enquiry: I am interested in any information related to my relatives from Wiveton Norfolk. Particularly Robert Jary born 1804 in Wiveton and his son Samuel my great great grandfather. Samuel was a master mariner and sailed on the vessel BlueJacket as first mate. I have many details, parish records, census data around Robert and his family but cannot find any information related to Roberts parents.

I’m also interested in any historical data, photos regarding the BlueJacket sailing vessel. I know there is a work shop nearby named after the Bluejacket but would appreciate any historical data/photos.

Norm Jary

Name: Marie Lines Email:
Ref Lynes, Lines and Loynes Family of Cley
Country: Adelaide South Australia.  Date: 24 August 2013

Enquiry: I am researching my husband's family who originated in Cley Next The Sea. The furthest I can go back is John Lynes marrying Edna Williamson in 1761 . They are buried in the graveyard of St. Margarets. I have a picture of the headstone. My question is that on the marriage record they were married by licence instead of banns.

Could anyone tell me why this might be and if there is a book with the licences?

I understand this information this might help in finding out perhaps an occupation or other details as I cannot find who John's father was. He was born in 1737. I have checked the banns book but John and Edna are not there. The parish records online have been a tremendous help tracking down the family.

Before they came out to Australia in 1851 they were recorded as Lynes, Lines and Loynes.

Many thanks,
Marie Lines

Name: Christopher Holderness Email:
Ref Blakeney Band Members?
Country: England  Date: 4 May 2013

Enquiry: Members of a Blakeney Band?

I am a local musician and researcher into Norfolk's traditional music history and liaised with Blakeney Historical Society some years ago when researching Herbert Smith and the music around the Blakeney / Morston area.

A friend recently sent me a copy of this photograph

Blakeney Band?
Click picture to enlarge (in separate window)

It is supposedly of a Blakeney band. It looks like it was originally a postcard and my friend thinks that it was published in a local book and there was a caption to that effect, but I can't remember more than that.

Certainly the young man seated at the right bears a strong resemblance to Herbert Smith and the bearded man behind to Emmerson Shorting.

Please contact me if you can shed any further light on this?

Many thanks,
Christopher Holderness

Name: Anne Cameron Email:
Ref Durrants Row - Cley-Next-the-Sea
Country: England  Date: 7 April 2013


Originally built in 1790 this group of 4 houses was rebuilt in 1973 under the auspices of the Blakeney Neighbourhood Housing Society. Does anyone have information as to whom the’ Row’ was named for?

My ‘Durrant’ family lived in the village around the 1840s.

Many thanks,
Anne Cameron (nee Durrant)

Name: Geoffrey Symcox Email:
Ref Hugh Boycott-Brown, artist
Country: United States  Date: 25 February 2013

Enquiry: I was wondering if you could perhaps help me track down an artist who I think lived and worked at Blakeney. He was my art teacher in the late 1940s when I was a schoolboy at the Royal Masonic School; we called him Mr Brown, and I think his first name was Hugh. I remember that he often spoke of Blakeney, and of painting there. I believe he eventually settled there permanently, to paint full-time. I think he worked mainly in water colours.


I continued searching the web and discovered that the person in question would have been Hugh Boycott-Brown (1909-90), whose work is well represented on various art sites. It includes a few views of Blakeney, in oils, and not in water colour as I had assumed.

I'd like to find out more about Mr Brown, who was a very important influence for me as a boy. I owe my life-long love of art to him.

I’d be very grateful for any information you might be able to provide, if in fact my assumption is correct and the Hugh Brown lived and worked at Blakeney.

Best wishes and thanks,
Geoffrey Symcox
Professor of History Emeritus

Name: Samuel Lidgley Email:
Ref High Silver building in Holt
Country: England  Date: 24 January 2013

Enquiry: I am aware of the Grade II Listed building in Holt, called High Silver. The building is at 35, High Street (opposite Obelisk Plain).

I am very interested to know why it is called High Silver, and I am eager to know whether anyone is able to inform me?

My suspicions are that it is in reference to the (particular high?) tree, the Silver Birch.

Name: Penny Jack Email:
Country: England  Date: 13 January 2013

Enquiry: I am trying to find out where my maternal grandfather, ERNEST WILLIAM COOKE (b. 30.10.1881 in West Beckham Workhouse) went to live and work after he left Blakeney School in 1890.

In the 1891 Census for Morston, Ernest, age 10, is listed as a 'lodger' living with his mother ESTHER SUSANNAH COOKE (née Summers) and her husband GEORGE WILLIAM COOKE, a blacksmith, and their eleven children. Their address is given as China Row, Morston.

After 1891 I "lose" Ernest until he then appears on the 1911 Census for Chertsey in Surrey, where he and his wife Ethel (née Penny), together with their son Ronald, are living in Walton-on-Thames where Ernest is employed as a chauffeur.

I have been unable to find any information on Ernest's whereabouts in Norfolk between the time he left school and his marriage to Ethel in Bishopstone, Wiltshire in 1908.

If anyone can help me fill in a few gaps I'd be delighted to hear from them on

Name: John Peters Email:
Country: England  Date: 7 October 2012

Enquiry: Can anyone remember WALTER SHEPHERD and his family of Blakeney?

Walter (a distant cousin of mine) and his wife Margaret moved to Blakeney in the early 1920’s and remained in the town for the rest of their lives.

Prior to WWII, Walter and his family lived in High Street and at 6, Council Houses. Towards the end of their days, Walter and Margaret lived in Langham Road, Blakeney. Walter died in 1965 and Margaret in 1969 and are both buried in the parish churchyard.

Walter and Margaret had six children that I am aware of - Walter, Ivy, Ronald, Primrose, Muriel and Gertrude. Perhaps someone may remember going to school with them in their younger days!

I understand that Walter was employed as a bus driver before the war. Would there have been a bus garage in Blakeney at the time?

If anyone has any further information about Walter and his family, I would love to hear from them either through this message board or directly via my email address above.

Name: Catherine Lee Email:
Ref Ownership of Post Office Lane in Cley  
Country: England  Date: 12 September 2012

Enquiry: I am writing to enquire if anyone has any information as to the possible ownership of Post Office Lane in Cley which links the High Street to the Fairstead. We are trying to buy a cottage which fronts onto the lane and need to find this out or if anyone has any recollection of the use of this lane thirty plus years ago.

Name: Robert Watters Email:
Ref Photos of White horse and P.O. in Hempstead, Holt.  
Country: England  Date: 2 September 2012

Enquiry: After a visit from an American family, I have been trying without much success to obtain a photograph of the old Chapel in Hempstead before it was converted into a dwelling place around the early 1950's.

I personally would also be interested in acquiring a photo of the old Post Office and the White Horse Inn in Hempstead around 1956 or anytime in the 50's.

I have been led to believe that, one of the local farmers (now retired !) is a collector of old photographs and postcards. I was told by a lady at Blakeney Methodist church, last year, that the farmer in question lives on a farm to the South side of the town! Does anyone know who this person might be?

If anyone could put me in touch with the aforesaid gentleman, or help me in any way, I would be grateful.

Name: Austen Driver Email:
Ref Thomas Driver, Ann Sterling & family  
Country: Australia  Date: 12 May 2012

Enquiry: I am wondering if you can be any help to me in regards to a Thomas Driver, my great great great grandfather who has been a very difficult person to deal with. He married Charlotte Hunter in Cambridge on 4/9/1788 and he passed away 15/7/1821 in Cambridge age 57. We have managed to find that his father was Thomas and mother Ann Sterling, we are very confident we have the right family.

Thomas Driver marries to Ann Sterling 17/5/1758 at St Marys Gunthorpe
Their family;
Mary baptised 13/4/1759
Ann baptised 2/8/1761
Thomas baptised 24/2/1765
They were all baptised at St Nicholas Salt House Norfolk.

We are trying to find Thomas's parents as the family came from Salthouse and the Village of Blakeley is mentioned?

Thomas driver married Elizabeth Burton 2/11/1732 at St Edmund in Acle.
Their family;
Elizabeth D.O.B 16/8/1733 bapsited 3/9/1733
Thomas D.O.B 28/1/1734/35 baptised 30/3/1735
Richard D.O.B 25/1/1737/38 baptised 5/3/1737/38
All bapsited at St Edmund

Thomas and Elizabeth Driver
Mary baptised 13/5/1733
Thomas 29/12/1734
Ann 29/5/1737
Elizabeth 11/11/1739
John 24/4/1744/45
William 18/8/1751
Judeh 6/1/1754
All this family were bapsited at St Andrew and St Mary at Langham.

We are trying to work out if we have one of these families right or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Name: Chris Email:
Maritime of Blakeney     
Country: ENGLAND  Date: 8 February 2012

Enquiry: At the Royal Victoria Yacht Club on the Isle of Wight we are currently refurbishing an old open workboat (ca. 18ft in length). In the process we have found a plaque with the legend 'MARITIME BLAKENEY LOWESTOFT 303694' on it. We have had this boat at the club to my memory since 1970 and probably earlier. We suspect it was built not before the 1960s as the hull is fibreglass.

Lowestoft Record Office has provided paper work showing it was called 'Maritime of Blakeney' and registered in Lowestoft. It was built, unknown to us, locally here in Bembridge IOW by Keith, Nelson & Co, Bembridge, Isle of Wight in 1963 as a single screw motor launch. It was built for Michael Buxton of the Blakeney Maritime Co. of Blakeney, Norfolk and registered in Lowestoft. It was subsequently sold in 1966 to T.T. Boat Designs Ltd., Naval Architects, Bembridge, Isle of Wight. They, as designers of Nelson boats, acted as brokers. Nelsons are still produced and well regarded .... this little launch being their 'baby'. It came to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in 1969.

I am interested in any information on Michael Buxton and the Blakeney Maritime Co. of Blakeney and why he sold it just three years after it was built.

Name: Stephen Cozens Email:
Welcome Page:     
Country:  ENGLAND Date: 14 Jun 2011

Enquiry: William Hardy late of Cley Hall etc came from Scotton which in the same area Guy Fawkes came from and his sisters where married in the local church to scotton where williams parents are buried,my interest in your area is the Cozens and Cozens/Hardy our family seems to come from North Norfolk Upper Sheringham and Cozens of C/Hardy from the same area with the Hardys from Yorkshire. I will have to purchase the history of Cley Hall there are cozens/cousins/cosins/cosens all in this area.

Name: Marjorie Morris Email:
Welcome Page:     
Country: ENGLAND  Date: 31 May 2011

Enquiry: I'm looking for information about the Cubitt, High and Mansfield families. Our relative Betsy Cubitt was born in Blakeney 25 Oct 1849. She married William Joseph Mansfield who was born in Blakeney 9 Mar 1842. His parents were Robert Mansfield and Sarah Bishop and Betsy's were William Cubitt (1822-1876) and Elizabeth Thompson. Many thanks.

Name: J W Hercock    Email:
Celestine Mallett  
Country: ENGLAND  Date: 4 Feb 2011

Enquiry: I see on your guest book There is an enquiry about the Mallett family. I am interested if anyone knows of a Celestine Mallett. Her family left Blakeney for South Africa in the early seventies thanks.



Did your village, town or community once have its own brass or silver band?

I am carrying out research in the history of brass bands in local communities, and would like to ask if you know of any information about any such extinct bands in your area.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were the "golden age" for these bands numbering, it is said, up to 40,000 distinct bands at their peak. Many of these bands were associated with local industries, often being a "works" band. Others provided a musical focus for many small towns and villages in the days before the gramophone and the wireless. Today, in contrast, only some 1,500 or so are left active in the UK.

Sadly many of the bands left little in the way of information about their existence, and what does exist is widely scattered with individuals, local archives and national collections.

Part of my research is to identify these lost bands, to collect together material to provide a central database of information – containing a mixture of primary information as well as references to material held elsewhere (e.g. in local archives).

Any information you can provide would be gratefully received. Whether actual information or pictures of any bands, or pointers to resources, or sources for further investigation. Even knowing that a particular band existed is significant!

Currently much of the information I have collected is available online, as a freely available resource, at  - in various locations, for example, in the Reference section under "Extinct Bands" or "Vintage Pictures".

Gavin Holman

Name:   Naomi Daglish                                          Email:

Title:     Beck/Daglish/Warren Families                Date:    23 Feb 2011

Enquiry:   I am researching my family tree and would love to hear from anyone related or with information. My great grandmother was Anna Jane Beck who married James Daglish in 1885. Their son Frederick R E Daglish married Clara Warren in 1919. I am interested in anything or anyone linked to all three families. Many Thanks in advance

Name:     Jack Haines                                           Email:

Title:   Gravestones:   Haines Hines Mansfield     Date:    18 Jul 2010 06:33:00 GMT

Enquiry:   Good morning, Could anyone tell me if any of the above names are interred in the St Nicholas churchyard, please: Thank you in advance

Name:   Steve                                                      Email:

Title:     The Thompson and Ramm families       Date:    5 Jun 2010 22:58:23 GMT

Enquiry:   I am trying to find some pictures on the John Thompson and Sarah Ramm family. I have spent hours looking for pics but seem to have come up blank. John Thomson was a Master shipcaptain. He was a petty officer in the Battle of Copenhagen with Nelson and under Nelson's orders steered one of the ships home which was damaged. He went off course and ended up in Cley Norfolk instead of Dundee. Here he met his future wife Sarah Ramm John Thomson from Dundee & Sarah Ramm from Cley Norfolk They had 12 children I have most of the records for their births and marriages if any needs them. I did find a BAHS Newsletter PDF which says The Thompson/Ramm exhibit is well supported by photographs from around the world, stories, wills, inquests, South Shields family, River Tyne Police, copies of mariner’s tickets, indentures and sailing stories, obituaries etc. Thanks from Downunder

Name:Andrew MooreEmail:

Title:     The Moore Family of Cley Date:2 Oct 2009 11:27:14 GMT

Enquiry: I am researching three generations of the Moore family. Mark Moore (1741-1813) his son Matthew Moore (1769-1843) and his son Martin Moore (1807-1890)All were registered as born in Weybourne and living (and dying) in Cley. Martin was a policeman and lived in Durrants Row Cley in 1881. I have just discovered that Matthew is shown as a Farmer in the 1841 census and wondered if any records of farming exist for that time? Many thanks Andrew Moore

Name:  Liz Matthews                                              Email:

Title:    Local Family Histories                               Date:    13 Aug 2009 15:31:51 GMT

Enquiry:   Firstly, belated thanks for your wonderful Open Day in August 2008, and for all your work. I have subsequently produced a first draft of a family history which includes a link between the Carroway and Dew families of Blakeney and also the members of the Leverett, Boyce, Loose, Wright & Dew in a radius of ten miles inland. I should love to be in contact with other interested descendents. I should like to buy Richard Wright's book, please, if you have one left.

Name:   Ray Dunn                                                   Email:

Title:  The Dunns of Blakeney                                Date:   30 May 2009

Enquiry:  Dear Sirs

Val Fiddian kindly passed on your web site address.  I am trying to research my family tree.  My (now) deceased (Ethelbert Blomfield Dunn) father did so but the tree went down with his ship in WW2 and I am now, belatedly starting from scratch. 

I am currently ‘stuck on’ Thomas Dunn living in Sheringham Norfolk in about 1746 and then moving (back?) to Blakeney, home of his second wife...  His grandson Thomas was born in Cley in 1794 and (the latter) is my great great great grandfather. In case it is of any interest, I attach an abridged introduction to something I wrote for my cousin's 75th birthday  This shows how far I have got (you could say how little I have achieved....).  Another cousin, David Dunn, was so taken with the
copy he went round Blakeney, photographing Thomas Dunn's house and I hope to see him soon to find out what he learned (he is not 'on line!')  He has a holiday cottage as Mundersley and intends to retire there - and was previously unaware that he was returning to 'his roots'...

As far as I am aware:

Thomas Dunn was born About 1748 in  ? Norfolk , England and died on Dec. 25, 1808 in Blakeney, Norfolk  , England.  He married  Ann Taylor on Feb. 11, 1770 in All Saints, Sheringham, Norfolk , England . Ann was born About 1750 in  Norfolk ? and died in 1771 in Sheringham, Norfolk  , England. He married Elizabeth Johnson on Nov. 2, 1773 in St Nicholas, Blakeney, Norfolk , England . Elizabeth, daughter of Joshua Johnson and Amy (Mother), was born in 1745 in Blakeney, Norfolk , England and died in 1826.

Note: John JOHNSON, brother of Elizabeth , was a witness at her 2/11/1773 marriage to Thomas Dunn (widower), and probably the father of William Johnson, 1st husband of their daughter Amy. Burial: 28 DEC 1808 St Nicholas, Blakeney, Norfolk  , England Blakeney church gravestone (MI140) noted in 1880s survey (now all moved)

Notes on daughter  Amy Dunn
Father of Thomas unknown Marriage '2' Thomas Alcock b: in Wiverton? Married: 31 MARCH 1807 in St Nicholas, Blakeney, Norfolk, Eng

1.  Elizabeth Alcock b: 4 MAY 1808 in Blakeney, Norfolk , Eng.
2.  Sarah Alcock b: 7 JUNE 1810 in Blakeney, Norfolk , Eng

Marriage 3 William Johnson b: C1771 * Married: 27 SEPT 1799 in Blakeney, Norfolk , Eng

1.  William Johnson

Burial- 12 Feb 1843, 69yrs, St Mary the Virgin, Wiverton, Abode-Cley next the Sea .  I have records only of Amy - a daughter-  and an 'early deceased' daughter Eilizabeth - but four years before Thomas Dunn was born to Amy at Cley, there was a marriage bond from a Thomas Dunn of Cley. I'm sure Amy wasn't an only child and was likely to have an older brother (the eldest?) named Thomas after his father... It might be possible to work out from the marriage bond, depending who put up the surety for the bond.... But that means making time to do some work at NRO and I am not very mobile at present....
I also do not know where my ‘earliest’ Thomas was born and am struggling to go 'further back' but you will see what I do know about their travels from my attachment… If you are able easily from your records to help in any way – or even lead me / point me in any other direction to join at least some ‘of the dots’, I would be most grateful…

Name:    Becky Shorting                                          Email:

Title:      The Shorting Family                                Date:     25 Apr 2009 16:12:21 GMT

Enquiry:   Hi, a few years ago my late uncle was talking to someone who was researching Blakeney and he was told a few things about our family and shown some pictures of our ancesters. There was also talk of a family crest, I have been looking in my university library and the internet but can't find any more, I was wondering if you could possibly help me? I would love to join him to my family tree. My grandfather came from Blakeney and unfortunately he died a number of years ago so there is no one who knows! My grandfather was Henry Shorting nicknamed stash. any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. thank you for your time.

Name:    Valerie Glass                                            Email:

Title:      The Mallett Family                                  Date:    10 Apr 2009 14:03:18 GMT

Enquiry:   My ancestor, Henry Mallett, was a tailor in Blakeney from about 1820 until his death in 1871. I read in a book of monumental inscriptions that he has a gravestone in Blakeney Churchyard but I have not been able to locate it. Can anyone help? Also Has anyone come across other references to the Malletts in Blakeney apart from census and parish register entries? Would be grateful for any assistance.

Name:   Jacqui Townsend                                       Email:

Title:    The Glaven Ports                                      Date:   7 Dec 2008 19:35:45 GMT

Enquiry:   I want to get hold of a book called " The glaven ports : A maritime history of Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton in north Norfolk" , By Hooton, Jonathon, Published in 1996 by Blakeney History Group. I cannot find it for sale anywhere on the net. I would be really happy if someone has a copy they want to part with for a reasonable sum, or knows of a shop where I may obtain a copy.

Name:  Margaret Jobes                                          Email:

Title:    The Barsted family                                   Date:    November 8, 2008 22:32:00 GMT

Enquiry:  Seeking information about the Barsted family who left Blakeney and Salthouse to settle in South Shields.

Name: Judy Pegden                                               Email:

Title:   Norfolk Dialect                                           Date:    October 25, 2008 11:37:49 GMT

Enquiry: Anyone interested in the Norfolk dialect there is a very interesting website called FOND (friends of the Norfolk dialect) they produce a magazine every 2 or 3 months of which I am member; its very interesting with stories of years goneby I'm sure they would like to here from you all including Blakeney history society: they also visit and talk on different subjects all todo with Norfolk; website is: editor of the Merry Mawkin is Ashely Gray. From a Nofolk Dumpling Judy Pegden {nee Wilson]

Name:  Margaret Holmes                                    Email: 

Title:    Migration to South Shields                       Date:    April 12, 2008 9:04 AM

Enquiry:I was interested in the article in the latest edition of WDYTYA? about your organisation. The mention of migration to South Shields in the 19th century chimes with me as I have relatives (Porter/Burcham) who did exactly that. Is there any published material about the migration, the background and any later connections between Tyneside/Wearside and the Blakeney area? I would be grateful for any reference.

Name:  David Green                                                Email: 

Title:    The Green Family - Docking                      Date:    April 13, 2008 3:10 PM

Enquiry:  I noticed in the latest copy of Who do you think you are, an article about the Blakeney area. I have been working on a family tree for many years,and I wondered if Docking was within your area of research. I have come to a halt with my Great Grandfather who was born there about 1815. His name was William Green ,and his father was also William, and on my Great Grandfather's wedding certificate, his father was a farm labourer in the Burnham Norton area. Is there any way you could help?

Name:  Richard Williams                                         Email: 

Title:     Village Pumps                                          Date:    June 20, 2008 8:33 PM

Enquiry: I wonder if The Blakeney Area Historical Society could help me, please? My wife and I have just returned from yet another few days in Blakeney, when this time I took the opportunity to hunt down old Village Pumps in the area. I have a website dedicated to the subject (see below), and am currently writing a short book on the topic.

I found 3 pumps in Blakeney, all off the High St., and wondered if you knew anything of their history. As one walks up the hill from the quay, the first pump is on the right, at a corner where one of the little alleyways leads off. It retains its iron handle and fulcrum attached to a wooden plank, and its operating rod is connected at one end via a bow and at the other through a stuffing box to a working barrel which is probably made of brass. A lead downpipe disappears down to the water source, and instead of the pump having a traditional spout a lead delivery pipe is taken from a side branch. There seems to be no sign of a maker's name or trademark.

A little way further down the alleyway is what I take to be a much older lead pump, with its handle and operating rod missing (as is frequently the case with lead pumps), but carrying the inscription "RH" and an embellishment in the form of a classical urn. Typically, initials on these types of pump are either those of the maker or, more often, the person who had it installed.

Further up the High St., again on the right hand side, through a gateway and part way along a driveway to a couple of houses, is what I assume was a private pump. This is a traditional cast iron pump, with a cracked working barrel (probably frost damage), but still having its handle in place, complete with a spout and a bucket hook. There's a maker's name on the side of the spout, but I couldn't get close enough to photograph it without tresspassing!

If you're still with me and I haven't bored you to tears, are you able to add any further information please on the history of any of these pumps? I'd be most grateful if somebody could take a closer look at the one with the maker's name and let me know what it says please!

There are further pumps at Cley and at Holkham which I've photographed and am currently researching. Do you by any chance know of any others in the region?

Name:  Michael Fitzmaurice                                    Email:

Title:    The Starling Family                                  Date:    24 Jun 2008 11:57:04 GMT

Enquiry: I am currently building my family tree and I have a lot of relations on my mothers side from Blakeney. So I am finding all that I can about the Starling family. Can you give me any pointers to where and how I can find out their history.