On Aug 7th, 16 members & friends left Stoke ferry on a Harrods mystery coach tour. Our first stop was at the Norfolk Broads town of Wroxham. Left to do our own thing, most people opted for a relaxing lunch sitting by the water, where we watched boats of all shapes & sizes enjoying their day on the Broads. After a bit of retail therapy, we all returned to the coach & travelled to our 2nd destination, which was Horning. Here we all boarded a Mississippi river boat called the Southern Comfort, for a trip up the river Bure. As we glided along past the beautiful riverside properties, the Captain pointed out places of interest, such as the lovely house once owned by Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, and the Ferry Inn, which had been bombed by the Germans during the 2nd World war, because it was known as a favourite watering hole for pilots, including Douglas Bader.
Many properties are thatched, & the reeds are grown on the surrounding marshes, Norfolk reed for the main roof, & sedge grass for the crests. Houses are expensive to build as the land is soft, so they must be put onto oak pilings, which are driven 60-80ft into the ground. However, many are available as holiday lets, the most expensive being £3500 a week, but it does sleep 10 people.
There is a speed limit of 5mph on the water, to reduce wash. This is policed by the Broads Authority, who patrol the whole area.
There was also plenty of wildlife to see, including many swans & Egyptian & grey lag geese.
After turning round on Malthouse Broad, we cruised peacefully back to Horning, where our coach was waiting to take us home, arriving back in Stoke Ferry at 6pm. Everyone thanked Gillian Smith for organizing such a relaxing day.
Our Sept meeting will be a Jewellery workshop by Liz Murfitt.
Claire Lankfer


Minutes of the meeting held on July 3rd
Mrs Armsby welcomed 15 members.
Apologies were received from Janet Burns & Audrey Hudson.
Minutes of the previous meeting were read & signed.
A birthday card was given to Hazel Hearne. There will be one needed in August.
Gillian Smith said that the mystery tour on August 7th had changed slightly, & will no longer include a cream tea. The cost is £28, & the coach will leave Stoke ferry at 9.30am, returning at approx 5.30pm.
The Sept meeting will be a jewellery workshop by Liz Murfitt.
ROTAS. Door/raffle Gillian Smith & Jenny Elsey
TEAS Janet Cooper & Hazel Hearne
VOT Wendy Quadling
A list of food required for the harvest supper in Oct, will be circulated in Sept, & Mrs Armsby reminded members to be on the lookout for possible speakers for the 2020 programme.
Mrs Armsby then introduced Roger Farmer, who is a conservation assistant at Oxburgh Hall, working for the National Trust. He began with a brief history of the hall which was built by the Bedingfield family in 1482. Over the years, it has suffered being ransacked, set fire to, & partially demolished, but survived until 1951, when mounting costs & taxes forced a sale to the Eagle Star Insurance Co. Not wishing to be responsible for a likely demolition, they offered to sell it back to the family for £5000. Luckily, three family members raised the money, & the hall was saved. In 1952 it was given to the National trust. Restoration of some items in the collection is done at the hall by conservators, but large items are packed in acid-free paper, & sent to specialist workshops. In 2016 a dormer window collapsed into the courtyard, & an intense survey was carried out. This resulted in a major restoration project to renew the roof, at a cost of £6 million pounds. Free-standing scaffolding is necessary so as not to damage the building, but meanwhile, Oxburgh Hall will remain open, & the 350 volunteers who work there are still available to show visitors around. In spite of over 500 years of history, the Bedingfield family still live in the South East pavilion of the Hall. Mr Farmer was thanked for his very interesting talk by Anita Horgen.
The raffle was won by Sheila Smith & Joy Beckett.
The meeting ended at 9.30pm.
Claire Lankfer

Stoke Ferry Parish Council May Meeting

Draft Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on
Wednesday 15 May 2019 at 7.00pm in Stoke Ferry Village Hall
Cllr Sue Lintern (Chair)
Cllr Jim McNeill (Vice Chair)
Cllr Daphne Clements
Cllr Mandy Leamon
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Gail Reeve
Cllr Donna Stocking
Cllr Janet Taylor
Helen Richardson (Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person)

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