Beccles

DETAILS OF OUR PREVIOUS WALKS

September 2016 - BECCLES. The inaugural meeting for Group 2 was held at the Community Meeting rooms at Beccles station. Jeremy Charlish welcomed members and introductions were made. Sue Rhodes from the main committee also attended and gave a few words. The Group then walked through Beccles to the town museum where Robert Bacon, Curator, gave an overview of the museum and its history. Members then had the opportunity to look around and find answers to the quiz that had been handed out earlier.

October 2016 - HALESWORTH - The Group enjoyed their 2nd meeting exploring historic Halesworth, despite the sometimes heavy rain which necessitated an unscheduled stop at The Angel for shelter and a quick coffee. The tour included a visit to St Marys church, stopping en route to view the old Almshouses. After looking around the Market Place, Peter led the group past the old Quayside and across the river to Town Park. A walk along the Thoroughfare provided some fine examples of buildings from as early as 14th C. We returned to the car park along London Road and as we prepared to leave the sun decided to Shine!

November 2016 - BURSTON STRIKE SCHOOL - this is famed as the site of the longest strike in British history. The school was built in 1917 to house the striking children and their teachers. The strike lasted for 25 years (1914 to 1939) and began when popular local teachers Tom and Annie Higdon were dismissed from their posts. Walk leader Ivan Crane gave a talk on the history of the strike. The Group then walked around the village following the route taken by the children during their protest. We then returned to the school museum to view the exhibits on show.

January 2017 - GREAT YARMOUTH - The visit began with a tour of St George's Theatre, a beautifully restored building, formerly a church. We then explored some of the older buildings along South Quay including the Old Toll House, Merchants houses, part of the old Friary and the numbered rows which run down towards the river. The Group posed for a photo in front of the 'Lydia Eve' an old steam powered herring drifter. Thanks go to Alva for a well researched and informative visit.

February 2017 - BUNGAY - Our walk started in sunshine at the Buttercross. Led by Chris Reeve we then visited Bungay Castle, built by the Normans and rebuilt in the 13C by Roger Bigot. We crossed Broad Street into Bridge Street and over the bridge taking the path alongside the river. A peaceful walk with distant views of Bungay town and then back across the bridge by the old Maltings. Passing close to the churches of Holy Trinity and St Mary's, the walk finished at the Earsham Street cafe for midday refreshments. Many thanks to Chris for a very interesting tour of hidden historic Bungay.

March 2017 - LOWESTOFT - Today we started our walk from Sparrow's Nest, climbing through the gardens to reach the High Street. Mick Brown led us along the High Street, stopping to look at some of the oldest buildings in the Town and passing many of the Scores leading towards the sea. Tucked away down one of the Scores is the Heritage Museum with many old photos of Lowestoft and a model of the old Beach Village. The Curator gave a talk about the fishing industry and life in the village. From here we passed Christ Church and walked through the site of the old village, now an industrial estate, and on to Ness Point, the most easterly point in the country. Continuing along the sea wall we came to the site of the old net drying posts. Crossing back to the road our walk ended at the 1953 Flood level sign on the cafe wall. Thanks go to Mick Brown and Daryl Fraser for an enlightening look at Lowestoft's history.

April 2017 - BARSHAM - Today we were shown around the beautiful Holy Trinity Church by Reverend Buchanan, whose knowledge was outstanding. The church interior contains many rare and interesting artefacts,whilst the outside boasts a round tower, thatched roof and unique tracery and stained glass of the rear wall. We then took a short walk, led by Peter Westmacott, to the old school (now a village hall) and American war memorial for the pilots who were killed when their plane crashed in the field opposite during WW2. Thanks go to Reverend Buchanan and Peter for sharing their knowledge of this area.

May 2017 - WALBERSWICK - At last some warmer weather for our walk around Walberswick. We set off from the Harbour Inn at Southwold, across the bridge and alongside the river to the village. We passed the Bell pub, one of the oldest buildings in the village and continued across the green. Alva talked about Charles Rennie Mackintosh's stay in Walberswick and his brief arrest as a suspected German spy. We then continued towards the church passing the Anchor pub where it stands today and the house it also occupied for a time. The tower at St Andrews Church was built between 1426 and 1470 and restoration of the church building as now seen began in in the late 17th century. We then took the footpath through the heathland to return to Southwold and a well earned drink. Many Thanks Alva for your diligent research and another enjoyable walk.

June 2017 - SOMERLEYTON - We were lucky with the weather again today, dry and warm. Our meeting point was the Dukes Head pub in the village. Netta gave an introductory talk then we took the path to the river bank, turning right towards Herringfleet drainage mill. Along the way there was plenty of wildlife, including swans, ducks and herons. We stopped at The Smock mill which dates back to c1820 and has been restored to working order. We retraced our steps back towards the marina and the adjacent site of the old brick fields. Bricks were made here between c1780 to 1939 and were used to build Liverpool Street and York railway stations. The brick makers cottages, made for the workers, are still inhabited. Our last stop was the station where we admired the old station house and platform gardens before returning to the Dukes Head for refreshments. Thank you Netta for another interesting walk.

July 2017 - EYE - this month we visited the small historic market town of Eye in Suffolk. Ivan Crane took us around the Town Trail starting at the Victorian Town Hall. We stopped at the listed Guildhall before going into the beautiful 14c church of St Peter and St Paul to admire the rood screen. The site of the castle stands on a mound above the Town. Part of the outer wall is still visible and the shape of the outer Bailey can be seen in Castle Street and Church Street. A windmill stood on the castle site for a while and was later replaced by a mock keep. We finished our tour with coffee and cake in the cafe. Thanks Ivan for showing us around Eye.

August 2017 - HARDLEY - we started our walk at St Margaret's Church, Hardley. Built in 15c the church features a round tower and wall paintings and is beautiful in its simplicity. Carole Rylands then led us along the staithe and river path to Hardley Mill. This is a restored and working drainage mill built in 1874 to drain the marshes. Some members braved the many steps to reach the top which offered fabulous far reaching views of the surrounding river and countryside. Tea, coffee and cake were served in the visitor centre which displays information about the Mill and restoration project. After thanking Carole for leading this walk for us, the group walked back along the river path to the Church.

September 2017 - DUNWICH - first stop was the museum. Jane talked to the Group about the history of Dunwich and how storms and coastal erosion have reshaped the village since the 13c. We then took some time looking around the museum before starting our walk. From there we walked along the road to St James' Church. This was formerly the site of the leper hospital and the remains of the chapel can still be seen. The current church was completed in 1832 and in the grounds stands the last buttress of All Saints Church, which was moved there when the rest of the church fell into the sea around 1919. Our walk then took us around the edge of the village, along a footpath and through the woods to the Greyfriars Friary ruins and Last Grave of All Saints Church. From here we finished the walk along the footpath to the Ship Inn for refreshments.

October 2017 - WESTHALL - We started at the village hall to walk to St Andrews Church, here we were met by Pat May, an expert in Church graffiti. Pat used a torch to show us the different examples of graffiti etched into the stone (see photos). The church warden talked about the history of the church. Originally built in the 12th Century, it was later enlarged to include the south aisle. We returned to the village hall via footpaths and road to enjoy our picnic lunches. Thanks to Alva, Pat May and the warden for this interesting visit.

November 2017 - HARLESTON - we were a large group for our walk around the historic market town of Harleston. Many of the old timber framed buildings still stand but have been given a brick facade. Harleston was primarily a market town and did not have its own church until the late 19th century. We stopped to look at the large stone known as King Harold’s mounting block. Our walk took us to the site of the old railway station where passenger services stopped in 1953, continuing with goods trains until 1966. Our refreshment stop was the Broken Egg on the outskirts of the town, which did well to cope with our group of 16. Many thanks to Peter Westmacott for leading this walk for us, the Group appreciate the in depth knowledge he brings to his Walks.