Join The Campaign To Save The Blue Bell

The campaign to save the Blue Bell for the community continues despite the challenging times.
Her Majesty the Queen herself reminded us recently that we will all meet again. We want Stoke Ferry to have a new hub for our community, a place where people can have a laugh and a chat over a drink or a great meal, that brings people together and hopefully leads to more village activities being planned.
Join the campaign by subscribing for updates on our website www.bluebellstokeferry.org
We are committed to saving Stoke Ferry’s last pub
It is clear from the survey we ran in March that the village really wants a pub as a new hub for village life. At a meeting a couple of weeks ago, the campaign working group committed to continuing the effort to save The Blue Bell for the village, on the back of overwhelming support from the village.
The working group has made great progress on a draft business plan and financial forecast. With the help of the Plunkett Foundation, we are setting up a Community Benefit Society as the formal organisation to bid for and run The Blue Bell. Of course, the current circumstances mean that we will not be able to run pop-up pubs to try out different approaches and that’s why we’re running the virtual pub quiz!
How you can help
We need help to complete our plans for the premises.
If you have expertise in any of the following and might be able to help, email info@bluebellstokeferry.org:
• Property renovation
• Plumbing
• Electrical work
• Graphic design (for print materials)
• Hospitality
• Producing entertainment
• Company secretarial work

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Stoke Ferry 1750-1850 and the important role of the Crown Inn

 

 

How often do people walk, cycle, drive, bus or wheelchair past the old Crown Inn in Stoke Ferry without realising the enormously important role this building played in the development of our village and its surrounding district?
But, firstly, let us be clear as to where the Crown Inn was sited during the period in question. It was on ‘The Hill’ at the corner of the present-day High Street and Lynn Road. It was only later that it ‘moved’ across The Hill to the premises which were formally the King’s Arms. It is these ‘new’ premises, now called Crown House and owned by 2Agriculture, which feature in many of the old photographs of the village.
Between 1750-1850 Stoke Ferry was often referred to as a ‘town’ rather than a ‘village’. This was because it was an “improving village”; a genuine commercial hub for an area which covered the neighbouring villages of Barton Bendish, Boughton, Eastmoor, Foulden, Oxborough, Wereham, West Dereham, Whittington, Wretton and, perhaps to a lesser extent, Methwold and Northwold. The reason for its status was twofold; firstly, because it was strategically placed as a busy inland port on relatively high ground on the River Wissey and, secondly, it had a motivated group of local landowners who orchestrated the village’s development to their own advantage.
Just as today, during this period Stoke Ferry had no administrative building in which to conduct local political and fiscal affairs, so these functions were carried out in various public houses. And by far, the public house of choice was the Crown Inn. It was here that petty court sessions, legal decision-making and meetings were held. It was at the Crown that leading gentlemen (and they were all men) and the occasional local aristocrat held their meetings to decide on draining the countryside, dividing & enclosing common lands, blocking ancient footpaths & rights of way and then insisting that public traffic use only the new Toll Roads which they themselves had devised and controlled. This in turn, was followed by frequent auctions, invariably held at the Crown Inn, of numerous plots of previously common or marsh lands which, through enclosure, had recently greatly increased in value. Then, from 1836, and in common with all English parishes, the Tithes that local landowners paid to the established church were renegotiated, standardised and reduced. In all cases it was the major landowners from each parish who wrote the necessary legislation, monitored its passage through both Houses of Parliament and, then administrated the various Acts. Further, they colluded to set up a local Association to prosecute those who were dispossessed, displaced or had lost their livelihoods through enclosure.
So, let us take a closer look at some of the activities that occurred at the Crown Inn.
During the 1700s (at least) there was an annual “Petty-Sessions for the Hundred of Clackclose(1) for hiring and retaining Servants.” Such sessions were held not just in Stoke Ferry but in various local villages. There was a further ancient petty session held at the Inn, called ‘His Majesty’s General Court of the Honor of Clare’.(2)
Bankruptees were also called to attend meetings at the Inn to meet their creditors and service their debts. For example:
“Thomas Smith to surrender on June 13 & 14 and July 2 at the Crown Inn, Stoke Ferry. Attorney, Roger Micklefield, Attorney at Law, Stoke Ferry. “(Norfolk Chronicle 27.05.1776)

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All Saints Academy

Twitter
With the ongoing lockdown situation which we all find ourselves in, it is even more important than ever that we all keep in contact with our friends and local community. To keep up to date with what’s happening at All Saints Academy please visit our twitter page which we are regularly updating. Here you will find out how learning is taking place in our school during school closure. You will see some wonderful tweets about home learning, friendship photos, advice and information about learning remotely.

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WHAT DOES THE DOCTOR THINK THIS MONTH – SUPPLEMENTARY ARTICLE MAY 2020

 

The editors of the village magazines are striving manfully to keep the publications appearing, albeit some of them are only on line at present. The lockdown has deprived them of a lot of their usual copy (minutes of parish meetings, etc) so they have asked for any additional material we contributors could offer.
My main article this month was a bit sombre and contained no jokes at all, so there follows a joke, a few bits and pieces that may be of interest to you, especially the blokes, and then some more jokes.
A young couple was discussing what “turned them on”. He insisted that it was when she wore her leather coat – he got really aroused, rapid pulse, fast breathing and so on. She wanted to know why. Was it because it was short and showed her legs? NO was it because the colour matched her hair? NO was it because it made her eyes look good? NO This went on for a few minutes before she gave up and the answer came “It’s because it makes you smell like a new car”
I usually read the day’s news online at 4am (Don’t ask!) and, this morning, I read about a bloke who had found a Ford Popular buried in his garden. (I thought I had problems with blocks of concrete). This reminded me of my first car which was a £12 Ford Popular and an article I had written some years ago about the cars I had owned. I think it would stand repeating:
I started in general practice on 1st January, 1970. I joined a three doctor practice in Pound Hill, Crawley and bought a house in Copthorne, between Crawley and East Grinstead. In those days, there were no photocopiers, no computers, no electronic calculators and colour TV was just arriving, with only three channels. Termination of pregnancy was illegal. Car radios were screwed into the dashboard and the wing had to be drilled for the ariel. The first tape systems in cars needed an extra player under the dash and each tape was the size of half a house-brick. Mobile ‘phones were 20 years away. I changed cars quite regularly – Ford Popular (sit up and beg) £12, Hillman Minx with 3 gear column change which was very floppy £35, Vauxhall Victor old style £45 – this took us all around Scotland, then the MOT was introduced and the man was very rude about my lovely car – something about the bottom being about to fall out of it – and demanded that I took it away as it was spoiling his premises. Next came a new look (swept down rear wings) Victor £95. This was a really modern, comfortable car which I loved and in which I took my Institute of Advanced Motorists advanced driving test – failed first time through not using the horn enough on bends. I was devastated but passed next time. Then, son Calum came along and he had a lot of paraphernalia, such as the cardboard box and wheels type pushchair, and I bought a Morris Oxford traveller (566 DGT) for £175. This amount of money was way beyond my cash capacity so it was bought on hire purchase at £7-10-00 a month (even that amount was difficult to find). I treasured that car, polished it weekly and travelled thousands of miles. We travelled to Spain for a holiday, my father and mother travelling behind in his new Cortina 1600E. My shiny car was already many years old and the tired suspension made light of all the bumpy roads (no motorways in France in those days – only signs saying “Chausee deformee) but my father was having a terrible time. The suspension on his 1600E was really hard (a sports model) and he could not travel at more than 40mph without bouncing off the road or hitting his head on the roof, so he begged me to slow down. The journey back was interesting; the clutch master cylinder started to leak in Spain at the beginning of the journey home. In those days, car parts for British cars were not readily available on the continent, so I bought clutch fluid and had to jump out and refill the reservoir after every 5 depressions. Having arrived home, the new seal was fitted within minutes!
My local garage in Copthorne was a Fiat agency. My next car was a chocolate brown Fiat 125 Special (£220 – one up from the Fiat 124 workhorse, later replaced by the Lada). It really needed driving hard, the engine was sporty and the car travelled much too fast. For months, it suffered from a “snatching” suggesting a carburettor or high tension lead problem. We spent ages looking for the trouble until, one night, I was under the bonnet at night and saw one of the high tension leads shorting across onto the rear bulkhead; the problem was easily solved and I was up to max speed again!
A friend of mine was an estate agent. In 1970, we would drink together and could only afford about half a pint each. Over the next couple of years, his business took off and he took to selling off his Volvo estates after 3 years. So, my next car was his Volvo 145S estate (BPO995G), a really solid piece of kit. My favourite bit was the rear windscreen wiper, the first I had ever owned. On reflection, the car was very noisy and not at all nippy, the inside was all black rubber but there was plenty of room and, when it rained, I could wash and wipe the rear window from the dashboard. Having bought an ancient caravan, I fitted a towbar to this Volvo and we headed off to France on Townsend Thoresen, my father and mother following in the Cortina 1600E and a newer caravan. Half way through France, a clattering noise started at the rear of my car, so I stopped to investigate. The towbar had come loose! Happily, my father never travelled without most of his tools, so we could put matters right. When we arrived at the caravan site, a terminal post on my car battery broke and a new battery cost me £40 (1974) and used up my entire spending money for the fortnight.
Three years later, I bought my friend’s next Volvo 145 estate (DPO 952L). This was an interesting car with a petrol injection engine and a strange computer between the driver and the engine. Foot on accelerator, hang around a bit and then the car would move. Sometimes unnerving at road junctions. I had this car converted to LPG (an enormous gas tank behind the rear seats) and it went really well. However, about once a fortnight, there would be a massive explosion under the bonnet and the corrugated rubber pipe taking air into the engine would be shredded. Totally undeterred, I bought some spare pipes and replaced them when necessary.
Note: I sold that car in1978 and moved on to Volvos, Peugeots and Renault Espaces – I currently own my eighth Espace which is now 10 years old. The car and I are in competition to see who lives the longer.

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