Broadland Memories 2018

Regular visitors to the Broadland Memories website and blog will have no doubt noticed that things have been a little quiet for a while. I must apologise for the lack of new additions and thought I’d better update the blog with a little explanation – fear not, I’m still here and very much looking forward to getting back to work on the archive.

As many are aware, Broadland Memories is pretty much a single handed affair and something I fit in when I can. 2017 was an absolutely horrendous year on a personal level for me and finding the time or drive to get work done on the website was difficult. I lost my mum in June after she had spent a lengthy spell in hospital. It was a difficult time, not helped by then being diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of the summer. The resulting surgery was seemingly successful (fingers crossed) but the operation, followed by a course of radiotherapy really knocked the wind out of my sails. I keep being reminded that it will take time to recover, both physically and mentally, and I am getting there.

Sadly, Broadland Memories had to be put on the back burner throughout all of this, bar a short flurry of new additions I managed to make between the operation and radiotherapy. Despite that, I have still been adding to the archives collection with purchases of new photographs and films which will be added to the website in due course. The new films include what I think is one of the 1930s promotional films made by Harry Blake to advertise boating on the Broads via his yachting agency. It’s on 9.5 mm Pathe film so it’s unseen as yet until it’s been digitized. I will endeavour to get those sorted as soon as I can. There are some very interesting photographic collections too including a large set which document annual youth sailing holidays taken by a church group between 1946 and 1953. The three albums you can see in the photograph on the left were from different sources, but all date from around 1900 to 1917. Two featuring sailing holidays, but the smallest album you can see is rather special.

It is dated on the cover, although it’s difficult to read whether it says 1910 and 1911 or 1916 and 1917, but it documents holidays taken aboard the motor cruiser Ibis by a couple. As a very early example of a motor cruiser on the Broads, Ibis is a stylish craft with a small aft cabin featuring oval windows. I haven’t found any reference to Ibis in the early brochures I have, but it may well have been a private boat or not affiliated to Blake’s agency.  Having spent a day scanning last week, it’s always exciting to be able to study the digitized images in greater detail. I look forward to doing a bit more research on these and the other new photographs before uploading them to Broadland Memories.

I hope to get the odd item onto the website over the spring, but we are currently in the middle of finishing renovations on our cottage with the intention of finally being able to put it on the market and make the much needed move to a larger house which will provide me with the study/office space that I so desperately need for Broadland Memories. That work should be finished by the early summer, giving me some free time once again to catch up with the ever growing backlog of new material for the website. I’ve also got some catching up to do with website emails – my apologies if you have contacted me in the last couple of months and I haven’t replied yet.

I’m still very much at the helm, and still as passionate as ever about preserving the historic photographs, films, ephemera and memories of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads that I’m able to acquire or are sent to me. I do feel very sad that I haven’t been able to devote the time needed to maintaining and updating the archive and website, but I’m sure you can appreciate that circumstances have made that very difficult over the last twelve months. Please bear with me, and do keep checking in to the website and blog as I will do my best to add a few new items as and when I can grab a few spare hours.

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone for their continuing interest and support for Broadland Memories. It’s always good to know that others get the same sort of enjoyment I do from this stuff.

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