I’ve upoaded another batch of 20 old postcards to the Broadland Memories website this morning which include six views of Coltishall and fourteen of Wroxham and Hoveton. Once again, there are quite a few Edwardian postcards amongst the collection but there are also images which date from the 1920s to the 1960s.
Amongst the new Wroxham additions is the postcard on the left which has puzzled me for a while. It shows three holiday villas which would have looked more at home in the Mediterranean but were actually situated on Daisy Broad, opposite Royall’s boatyard. I’m unsure of the exact date of the card, but the design seems to indicate that it was produced in the 1930s or 1940s. As yet, I haven’t been able to establish when these two storey villas were built but they were certainly very different to the holiday houses and bungalows which were being built elsewhere on the Broads at that time. The names I have been given for them may not have been the originals but they were, from left to right; Kia Manzi, Southernholme and Broadwaters.
The earliest reference that I have for the villas was in the 1958 edition of Hoseason’s boating brochure when Southernholme was listed a 5-6 berth holiday house. The entry on the right shows that the accommodation was spread over two floors with three single beds in two bedrooms plus a “Put-U-Up” double settee in the sun lounge on the upper floor, whilst downstairs there was a single camp bed in the sitting room, a kitchen and a garage. An internal staircase connected the two levels and the listing mentioned that there was an outside toilet alongside the property. In 1958 Southernholme cost between £11 and £23 per week depending on the time of year and was let with a 10ft rowing dinghy and a wireless!
I’ve been told that the properties began to sink, and later brochure evidence seems to confirm that this was indeed the case. Just two years on from the last brochure entry, Southernholme had been remodelled and was being let as a 5 berth, upper floor flat. As the 1960 Hoseason’s entry on the left illustrates, a small extension to the rear of the building had been built to house a staircase and a WC, whilst the single bedroom had been divided to create a small kitchen. Hire terms remained pretty much the same as they had been in 1958. By 1968, the brochure entry for Southernholme showed that the lower floor had been completely removed and opened up, the now one storey property sitting on the stilts which were created by removing the lower walls. It’s neighbour, Broadwaters, was also listed having undergone similar remodelling.
The brochure entry on the right dates from 1972 and clearly shows how the properties had sunk as the upper floors were considerably lower to the ground than in the 1930s photo. Broadwaters had been converted into a 4 berth flat with one double bedroom and a Put-U-Up in the lounge, a kitchen and a bathroom. Both properties cost between £19 and £38 per week and now came equipped with TV’s! I guess it’s a good illustration of the problems which can be encountered by building on what was essentially marshland. Whilst timber built properties can be “jacked up” every few years, the problems which arose with these more substantially built houses were obviously not so easy to rectify. I believe that Southernholme and Broadwaters were rebuilt c1995 and that Kia Manzi was demolished and a new house was built in it’s place, although the original name was retained. I think the original postcard might make an interesting subject for a “Then & Now” photograph later this year but, in the meantime, I would welcome and further information on the history of these unusual villas.
Note: An update regarding Kia Manzi was posted on the blog on 13th April 2012 which can be found here.
11/01/2017: New photographs and more on the Kia Manzi Story added here.