Regular visitors to the Broadland Memories website will have probably discovered the wonderful 1918 log of a honeymoon on board the yacht Frolic which can be found in the personal memories section. Written by Leslie Champness, and transcribed by his grandson Bruce Robb, the log is a delightful read and provides a little insight into holidaying on the Norfolk Broads during the First World War.
You can imagine my delight when I was contacted by Bruce last week to say that another Broads holiday log written by Leslie had been discovered. Whilst clearing out a desk which had belonged to her father, Bruce’s aunt found an old notebook at the back of a drawer. It turned out to be an account of a 1913 holiday Leslie took with friends on the yachts Holiday and Snowdrop which were hired from Ernest Collins at Wroxham. Once again, Bruce has kindly transcribed the log, including photographs, into a PDF document which can be viewed via the personal memories section of the Broadland Memories website as linked to above. Bruce has carefully researched many of the references in the log and added explanatory footnotes. The “Bach” on The Broads is an account of a fortnight’s holiday taken by an all male party who were mostly fellow students of Leslie Champness at Durham University. Full of youthful exuberance and letting off steam having sat their final exams, it has to be said that the group were not always the best behaved bunch of young men. It serves to show that rowdy behaviour is not a modern phenomenon by any means. A gramophone provided evening entertainment for the lads and it is thought that their choice of music may well be where the “Bach” in the title of the log originates. They also developed a taste for locally brewed cider which they found in the riverside pubs! It’s another amusing and fascinating read. The log also contains a set of photographs taken during another Broads holiday in 1914, this time aboard the yachts Smuggler and Joan.
My thanks to Bruce for his work in transcribing the log, and to him and his aunt for allowing me to publish it on Broadland Memories. Bruce is currently working on yet another of his grandfather’s Norfolk Broads logs which has recently been found. It dates from 1919 and I very much look forward to reading, and being able to share it via the website in due course.