On your shelf – An Edith Cavell treasure?

Picture of Edith Cavell as a young woman

Edith Cavell as a young woman

Nurse Cavell was shot in Brussels in October 1915 for helping 200 allied soldiers out of German-occupied Belgium to neutral Holland.

Maltese composer Paolino Vassallo (1856-1923) wrote a three act opera on Norfolk nurse Edith Cavell which was performed in 1927.

Christina Gauci in Malta is researching Vassallo’s work and has sought our help in finding this opera’s score.

The Norfolk Record Office has leather- bound original manuscripts for the first two acts, pictured below. These were acquired in an auction in 1941 but no further details on their provenance are available.

Image showing Showing bindings and frontispiece NRO, MS 21153

Showing bindings and frontispiece of ‘Melodrama’ by Paolino Vassallo. NRO, MS 21153

Where is the third manuscript – the all-important act 3?

Is it on your library shelves, unopened for many a year? Contact the Record Office via norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk if you can help us unravel this mystery.

Nick Miller, Keeper of the Cavell memorabilia for St Mary’s Church Swardeston

Image showing NRO, MS 21153 example of score from vol 1

Example score from vol 1. NRO, MS 21153

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The experiences of the Earl of Albemarle during the Boer War: Part 3

After visiting the wounded from the previous days, Albemarle and his men marched back to Pretoria where they were provided with fresh clothes. That day the Earl also caught a glimpse of Baden-Powell, the future founder of the Scouts, who had rode from Mafeking.  After leaving Pretoria, marching to Irene and then to the mining town of De Springs, Albemarle regretfully was forced to leave 122 exhausted men behind before marching again. ‘They are really trying us too high. Many of our men are completely done up and utterly collapsed’, he reported sadly, ‘They have toiled on until they could do so no longer, and some of the men had tears in their eyes on being left behind the Battalion’. By the time the battalion reached Heidelberg, Albemarle solemnly reported a dramatic drop in the amount of men accompanying him, ‘The strength of the Battalion is now 604 men and 22 officers. When we left London, it was 1,048 men and about 30 officers’.


Near Pretoria. NRO ACC Albermarle 2/6/69

As the men marched on, signs of what would define the agonising second part of the Boer War would come into play. ‘We burnt two farms on the way, one of which was a model one, belonging to a Heidelberg potentate, who was out on commando’. The practise of burning Boer farms became all too common in the latter stages of the Boer War and was known as ‘scorched earth policy’. This tactic had previously been used in the American Civil War to great effect but not to the extremes that the British army would resort to which included sending the inhabitants to what are regarded as the first concentration camps. Although they had a different purpose to those in Nazi Germany, the death toll was frighteningly high and news of such atrocities caused other nations to see the British as barbarians.

Like what became of many British horses in the Boer War Albemarle commented that his steeds were ‘little more than skeletons now’ yet was happy that his remaining men were better fed and that their health was ‘pretty good’. For three weeks the men were entrenched at Heilbron where the men were involved with garrison work, anticipating any Boer attack that may arise. During this time officers and men would often indulge in cricket or football whenever they could have a break from their duties. Suddenly however, the garrison was forced to leave Heilbron. During the evacuation the enemy watched the British from the hills. To avoid bloodshed they took Boer hostages alongside them, warning the enemy that if they they were shot at, the hostages would also be shot, ‘They were all mighty frightened’ commented Albemarle. Fortunately for the British and their scared prisoners, they were met with no disturbance from the enemy.

Upon arriving in Friedrichstad an unusual event occurred in which a Boer rode towards Albermarle’s men with a white flag, uttering the words ‘surrender’. At first the earl was flattered for he thought the enemy was offering their submission before realising that it was ‘we who were expected to surrender and not the Boers’. Quickly the man was blindfolded and confined under a guard. Before long the battalion alongside the Yeomanry came into contact with the man’s comrades. They were driven back by the British guns but not before two men were killed while attending to a wounded yeoman, one of which being a stretcher bearer. The British then burnt around ‘eight or nine’ farms in revenge for the ‘murder’ of an engineer and two Kaffirs who were mending the way close to the village of Buffelsvlei.

Albemarle and his men were greeted in the capital but not before tragedy struck when Private Fenton passed away in the presence of his parents, most likely from sickness and exhaustion. Albemarle solemnly remarked it was ‘doubly sad at a moment when his comrades were about to receive, at the hands of the citizens of London, their reward, and approval for their labours in a long and honourable campaign’. The scene that met Albemarle and his men on the streets of London was a stirring one and soon they were embraced by family and friends. The earl and his battalion had done their duty well in the eventful (and controversial) South African Campaign.


Portrait of Albermarle on horse. NRO MC 2615/2, 989×6

Although Albemarle was not perfect as a leader or a person, it is clear he displayed great sympathy towards his men and they appreciated that in return. His diary is evidence that he had a very strong bond with his men and he deserves to be credited in history for his amount of compassion towards the more dispossessed members of military society.

Compiled by Rebecca Hanley, NRO Research Blogger.

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Church Briefs

If you’ve been delving through lists of parish deposits in your local record office, you may have come across a reference to ‘briefs’ or ‘church briefs’ before. Now, this has nothing to do with holy underwear, and everything to do with monetary collections towards a worthy cause.

We’ve been collecting for worthy causes for centuries, and briefs were a way for people to raise money for the rebuilding or repair of their church, or for damage after a natural disaster. In his book ‘The Parish Chest’, W.E. Tate states that briefs originated in the 13th century, but the most prolific period for collections was the seventeen and eighteenth centuries, when mentions are found in parish registers or separate brief books.

In order to obtain a brief, you had to apply to the reigning monarch, who, if successful, would grant Letters Patent for the appeal to be made. The brief would then be read out in churches, and a collection made after the service. The money would be given to an authorised travelling collector or handed over during the Bishop’s visitation.

Individually, the briefs themselves are detailed and give information about the reasons which led to its creation. This one, for example, is from the parish records of Hapton in Norfolk, and tells us of a fire in Little Waltham, Essex. We’re told about unfortunate widow Elizabeth Surry and her son James, who “by which dreadful Calamity they were reduced from comfortable Circumstances to great Difficulty and Distress” as a result of a fire that broke out in their yard and consumed a barn, goods, chattels, effects and property. This printed example is from 1815.

PD 236-34 - LW Fire top

Norfolk Record Office (NRO), PD 236/34

St George Tombland in Norwich is one parish who had its own Brief Book, begun in 1757. On the first page, the title ‘An Account of the Money Collected upon Briefs in St George’s Tombland Parish, in Norwich’ heads the page, and there follows a list of places in need, including Salop (Shropshire), Cheshire, Caernarvonshire, Sussex, Staffordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.

PD 106-54 - Front page St Geo Tombland

NRO, PD 106/54. St George Tombland.

It’s interesting, although perhaps not too surprising, that payments to churches in other parts of the country generally collected fewer donations than those for natural disasters or causes closer to home. This is nicely demonstrated on the page below, where the biggest payment by far is for a fire at Palling in Norfolk. The hash sign next to the word Palling, as seen below, indicates that the collection was made door to door.

PD 106-54 - Palling fire

NRO, PD 106/54. St George Tombland.

The system of briefs was far from perfect. It was open to corruption, with letters patent sometimes being forged, and the monies collected not always making it back to the original cause. People also became weary of being asked for donations, and Samuel Pepys commented on this in his diary entry of 30 June 1661, where he wrote “To church where we observe the trade of briefs is come now up to so constant a course every Sunday, that we resolve to give no more to them.”

This ‘register of briefs’ from the parish of St Mary in the Marsh, Norwich covers some of the same period as the aforementioned book for St George Tombland, and it’s interesting to note the collections from around the same, for the same events. In these examples, a fire in London in the Savoy district, which started in a printer’s warehouse in 1776/7, and payments to colleges in America around the time of the start of the American Revolution in 1763.

Savoy fire

NRO, PD 499/33, St Mary in the Marsh. NRO, PD 106/54, St George Tombland

Colleges in America

NRO, PD 499/33, St Mary in the Marsh. NRO, PD 106/54, St George Tombland

The Church Building Society was founded in 1818 and continued the work that had been formally financed by briefs. However in 1828, an act abolished the brief system. Collections were still made for worthy causes, and sometime noted in the same register, as shown in the St George Tombland example below.

PD 106-54 - No longer brief - Distressed families of soldiers and sailors - 19 pounds

NRO, PD 106/54. St George Tombland.

The Norfolk Record Office holds a number of brief books, registers of briefs and briefs themselves in many different collections, and these can be found by searching our online catalogue, NROCAT.

Compiled by Claire Bolster, NRO staff member (written May 2017).

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The experiences of the Earl of Albemarle during the Boer War: Part 2

Albemarle and his battalion arrived in the ‘badly laid out’, ‘half savage’ town of Bloemfontein. The earl was especially happy to see the Union Jack waving above the town and the ‘pleased reaction’ of Lord Roberts after inspection. His cheerfulness did not last for long however as his men were soon after ordered to attack Schantzkraal. Heavy firing could be heard and Boers could be seen decamping in the distance but to Albemarle’s disappointment, the battalion did not engage with them.

Fortunately for the earl however the men would come into close contact with the enemy the next day at Welkom. With a force of about 10,000 men Albemarle finally came in touch with the Boers as they quickly fired upon them, After about an hour however the British soon shelled the Boers in return and they watched as the Boers bolted, shells bursting over them.

The battalion began to move towards Winburg. For seventeen miles in the sweltering heat the men persevered in the long hard march, being forced to carry wood for the last three. That night a party set off to cut off the railway from Winburg which if successful would prevent the Boers from escaping. It seemed it was a success, as Albemarle’s forces later occupied Winburg without opposition. The battalion continued marching each carrying minimal supplies, a blanket, mess tin, water bottle, haversack and an appropriate amount of ammunition.

At Kronspruit Albemarle expressed dismay at the way the troops were fed, ‘the meat is often uneatable, and it would be just as easy to eat india rubber. Tea and coffee are short. Bread we rarely see. Vegetables are unheard of, and it is most important that the troops should have them or lime juice, if they are to march from 12 to 18 miles a day in addition to fighting’. While tea and coffee may seem like luxuries to us today, British troops often had to depend on it since water was often disease-ridden and attracted malaria-carrying mosquitos. To make matters worse Albemarle’s troops were forced to spend the ‘bitterly cold’ and frosty nights in one blanket. Despite his men being uncomfortable however Albemarle ‘never heard a grumble’.

When Albemarle’s men attacked at Doornkop the main body of his battalion remained under cover while the mounted infantry were subjected to shellfire upon the heights of Florida, a suburb of Johannesburg. Soon the main body marched upon Florida. As the men approached closer however the Boers fired more accurately and their shells ‘burst most unpleasantly over the battalion’ their objective to Albemarle being ‘the extinction of the 76th Battery’. Briefly the men thought that Albemarle himself was hit, but he had just tripped over a stone causing him to roll ‘over and over’.


The Doornkop Fight. NRO, ACC Albermale 2/6/69

Before long the battalion was camped north of Johannesburg, things seemed to be quiet for the men before a woman ‘came shrieking towards us’, crying that two drunken soldiers had entered her house. In the long time it took for the town guard to arrive Albemarle and Ted Trotter were forced to tackle them and remove their bayonets, ‘Altogether, it was rather an undignified position for officers to find themselves in’, Albemarle commented before the two culprits were taken away. There were no major incidents among the men which occurred afterwards and the Earl expressed happiness when the mess cart was finally replenished in time for the battalion’s move to Pretoria. It would not be long however until the men were faced with danger yet again.

The battalion soon found themselves at Diamond Hill, not long after General Airlie had been shot there. The enemy was still in position and could be seen placing guns along the crest of the hill. Albemarle and his men were forced to spend the night near Boer occupied territory. As meals were prepared for the men the British guns fired upon the Boers above although it would be at least two hours until the foe actually responded. The challenge then was to locate where the Boers actually stood. As the men advanced it turned out they were 1,200 yards from the edge of the cliff, where they had a good firing advantage. For 3,000 yards the battalion was exposed. The ‘hellish’ fire became so bad that the men could not make any distinct progress. A soldier by the name of Alt received a wound and went back to have it dressed but was shot in the head and killed upon his return to the firing line. Several other casualties occurred in the fray and the surgeon and stretcher bearers were kept occupied. Thankfully the arrival of the 82nd Field Battery was able to buy some time for the shaken battalion. Soon after the Maxim gun was ‘ordered out’ due to the severity of the rifle fire it drew. Albemarle agreed that the Maxim gun was indeed, ‘an appendage of doubtful utility’. Boer fire finally decreased at sunset and the troops were ordered to encamp at Botha’s Farm. When the battalion was relieved by the Coldstream Guards, Alt and Private Ives the two men killed in the battle were buried and Albemarle counted about 19 casualties from the fight in total. Reflecting upon Alt’s death Albemarle lamented, ‘I believe he is the 4th generation of his family who has had one of its members killed in his first campaign’.

Diamond Hill

Diamond Hill. NRO, ACC Albermale 2/6/69

In the next few days it became obvious that many of the men would not make the remainder of the war.

Compiled by Rebecca Hanley, NRO Research Blogger.

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My Work Experience at the Norfolk Record Office

During my work experience week at the Norfolk Record Office, I have undertaken many different tasks in all areas of the work. This includes working in the search room, finding documents in the strong room, and learning about the conservation and preservation work that is done here. Before this week, I didn’t realise how many different jobs there are at the Record Office and how different many of them are to what I expected. I have also worked on two projects that are currently underway at the Record Office: the cleaning of their collection of maps, and the indexing of their birth records. These have both been fun as they gave me a chance to work with documents that are over 150 years old and so give an idea of what Norfolk was like almost two centuries ago. It has been interesting to see how different areas of the county, especially the area I live in, have grown so much in this time, from what were just fields to a now densely populated area.

One of the main tasks I have worked on is the cataloguing of an old document: a photo album created by Corporal Mechanic Cyril Morris of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. This was very interesting as the album was very detailed and gave a clear insight to life at Snarehill airfield, near Thetford, during the First World War. It included pictures of the men who were stationed there, both while at the airfield and in their free time (when they played football, cricket, and other sports), and of the planes they flew and worked on. This is especially interesting as we do not see much about these early warplanes nowadays and these photographs show them in great detail. Furthermore, it also contains many photographs of crashed aircraft (which seemed to happen a lot) and includes the reasons for their crashes. The reasons were very intriguing as they show just how unreliable and uncontrollable some of these early aircraft were. This album is interesting as it brings to life an aspect of history that isn’t thought about as much now and those who took part in it, which wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Overall, it has been an interesting, enjoyable week in which I have learnt much about the Record Office and the work that is done here, as well as the history of Norwich and Norfolk. It has been especially surprising to find out how much history there is in Norfolk that I had no idea about, but is so easily accessible at the Record Office, and learning about the work that is done to make this history accessible and to preserve it.

Ollie Calver, Hellesdon High School

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My week at the Norfolk Record Office

Coming to the Norfolk Record Office a week ago I didn’t really know what to expect of the nature or varying roles within the building. This week has been brilliant in allowing me to experience aspects of not only historical content, but also to observe and undertake roles that directly use history skills attained at school. The most appealing feature of this week has been the opportunity to learn and understand the use of primary sources and historical evidence, far exceeding the scope of the school curriculum. Through doing so I have been able to index births in the district of Mancroft in the early 1850s, as well as enjoy cataloguing the collection of Frederick Parker.

Frederick Parker’s diary and a few other items in the collection express what life was like for a boy evacuated to Fakenham from London in 1941. His almost daily entries between January and November of 1941 show Parker’s thoughts on rural daily life, while he also has interest in the international affairs of the Second World War. Alongside the diary, the collection includes an edition of Parker’s School’s magazine, a transcript of his diary with a small biography, as well as three photographs. If you would like to further research into these items see the collection MC 3306. Cataloguing these items was enjoyable as it allowed for a more personal connection with the author of them. Being able to read Parker’s journal was important for really understanding the details of daily life for evacuees, which can often be underappreciated or become lost in statistics.

MC 3306-1 (2)

Frederick Parker’s diary, 1941. NRO, MC 3306/1, 1067X3


MC 3306-4 (1)

Photograph of Frederick Parker. NRO, MC 3306/4, PH52


I have enjoyed shadowing some of the jobs within the Norfolk Record Office and have been surprised in what they entail. These include: archivists, strongroom assistants and conservation and preservation. It was particularly interesting to observe the behind the scenes work in the strongrooms and searchrooms. With over 12 million items stored at the Norfolk Record Office and there being frequent requests and online enquiries the team has to be efficient and organised in finding and preparing documents.

It has also been interesting to improve my historical skills and understanding this week through activities such as a palaeography exercise, enabling myself to better read handwriting from centuries ago. Moreover, it was intriguing to observe the horrors of document preservation and the techniques used to preserve documents for centuries. I never knew that even paper clips and rubber bands can be very damaging to documents.

Altogether, spending a week at the Norfolk Record Office has been a great experience which has shown me a range of occupations within the historical field. While it has also been very enjoyable as I have been able to examine many documents from across Norfolk. One highlight was examining a map of my local area from 1842 and being able to notice the changes since this time in the population and landscape.

Connor Wright, Hellesdon High School

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Looking back on June and July 2017

Phew! We’ve had a pretty busy half-term, meeting lots of pupils and running a variety of workshops.

We kicked off June with Second World War workshops for year 3 pupils at Catton Grove Primary School. Pupils enjoyed learning about the evacuees from and to Norfolk, and how St Augustine’s School was bombed. They particularly enjoyed looking at some of the objects that staff took with them, with comments ranging from  ‘I liked the light because it was cool learning about the blackout‘ to ‘I liked when we held the bomb because I have never held one before!‘, one pupil even went as far to say ‘I had lots of fun doing everything!

The following week we were out at Kinsale Junior School to introduce their year 6 pupils to the work of an archivist. Pupils were about to see the types of documents we hold, what happened to the documents during and after the fire in Norwich Central Library in 1994. The most popular part of the workshop was discovering some of the issues we face when conserving documents that may have been stored in sheds, lofts and outhouses.

Pupils picked up on the issues with spiders and other insects, what happens when you try and repair documents with tape, and what happens to an elastic band once it has lost it’s elasticity. Pupils stated ‘I thought everything was awesome, especially the horrors box‘. One pupil summed up the whole workshop, saying, ‘I loved the workshop today because we learnt but also had so much fun. I wished we could do it again!‘.

We ran our first refugee workshop at Avenue Junior School, working with their year 6 groups. Pupils spent time playing the indenture game to discover some of the refugees who settled in Norfolk and Norwich, and their contribution to British society. Next they worked on a timeline in order to pin point the reasons many of these refugees fled their home countries. Finally, they learnt about Jewish Refugee Lewis Ekker and thought about the items that refugees might take with them when they flee. The pupils learnt a lot, and since the workshop staff have worked on changing to the timeline activity in order to run the session to other schools.


Packing a Refugee Suitcase


We had year 3-5 pupils from Bacton Primary School in to The Archive Centre in order to learn about their local area. Pupils had a local history workshop, and looked at some original documents, concentrating on Bromholme Priory and the Paston family. This emphasised work that they had started in the classroom.

Bacton Primary 2017 (15)

Discovering Real Parchment


Bacton Primary 2017 (12)-ed

Looking at an Early Bacton School Log Book


Finally, just before the end of term, staff visited Bressingham Primary School to run 2 workshops. One for their year 2 pupils, and one for their year 6s. Looking at their local history. The pupils all worked really hard and found out a lot about their local area. You can find out more on their blog post for Year 2 Hedgehogs and Year 6 Kestrels.

Bressingham Yr 2 (12)

Finding out about Bressingham


We hope you all have a great summer holiday and look forward to seeing you in the new academic year.


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Messing about on the river 1878 style

On Monday 26th August 1878 four friends, including the artist Ernest Arthur Freeman, set off from New Mills, Norwich on a five day canoe trip down the Yare and up the Waveney via the New Cut. The tourist industry on the Broads and rivers of Norfolk (and Suffolk) was in its infancy in the second half of the nineteenth century but was to develop rapidly with easier rail access.  They kept an informal log in a notebook which has survived but, unfortunately, the sketches they made along the way have not. Norwich Castle Museum, however, has three of Freeman’s watercolours (not from this trip) one of which is of New Mills painted in 1877.

The canoe as a leisure craft was introduced to Britain in 1858 by Scottish explorer John Macgregor after an expedition in North America and was still a notable sight. At Reedham many people turned out to watch their departure and the ‘young ones’ of family yacht party on the Waveney ‘scarcely knew what to make of the craft’. Even some of who worked on the river were unfamiliar with the canoe, as when they passed through Geldeston Lock ‘the lock keeper was evidently not in the habit of passing such craft…as he let in such a lot of water at first that our vessels became almost unmanageable, and we went spinning round and round with the whirling waters’.

A Baker Image 1 sketch mapb (2)

Sketch map of the route from Norwich to Earsham

Nothing was booked in advance and beds and food were found in the inns along the banks of the rivers, many of which still exist. On Monday they had beer and biscuits at the ‘famous Thorpe Gardens’ (now The Rushcutters at River Green in Norwich) and enjoyed a ‘substantial dinner’ (lunch) at The Woods End Inn at Bramerton. At 5pm they stopped at The Ferry House (now the Beauchamp Arms) at Buckenham for a ‘consultation’ and decided to press on to Cantley. Unfortunately, The Red House (now The Reedcutter) at Cantley was full so they took their bags and walked the mile to The Cock. On Tuesday they stopped at the The Nelson at Reedham for a bread and cheese lunch before pushing on to The Duke’s Head in Somerleyton where they stayed that night. The pub could offer beds but not dinner so, after changing, they caught the train to Lowestoft which is described as ‘a most enchanting spot’. The town was ‘full and the pier especially gay with the evening costumes of the highly respectable folks who throng this fashionable watering place’. They caught the last train back to Somerleyton at 9.20pm. At least one member of the party had done this trip before as when they decided to stop at The Duke’s Head he ‘took us up a creak where he had left his boat in the charge of the cottagers on a previous excursion’. The White Lion in Beccles, where they spent Wednesday night, is no longer an inn but the name can still be seen although painted over. They stayed both Thursday and Friday nights at the Fleece in Bungay. There is a large meander in the Waveney after Bungay which is not easily navigable and it took them five hours to reach Earsham. So, after much debate, the decision was taken to return to Bungay for their final night as the current would be with them. The journey back to Bungay was ‘most exciting’ and ‘excessively rapid’.

A Baker Image 2.JPG

Photograph of The Duke’s Head, Somerleyton ©A.Baker

A Baker Image 3

Photograph of the railway station, Somerleyton ©A.Baker

The boathouse at Bungay was just outside the station and they ‘chartered a covered truck’ which would be put on the goods train to Thorpe Station. On Saturday morning they loaded and packed the canoes onto the waggon themselves and then returned to the Fleece for lunch. After lunch they were apprehended by a local ‘antiquarian’ who insisted on showing them the ‘borough well’. He was a ‘maudle’ and kept them talking so long that they had to sprint for the train!

Their visit to Lowestoft was probably the highlight of the trip in terms of entertainment. Other diversions included a demonstration of two clockwork black dancing girls at The Cock in Cantley whilst at Beccles the Volunteer Artillery, headed by their band, marched down the street and were a ‘smart body of men, and their band was exceptionally good’. Thursday was market day at Bungay so the Fleece was unable to provide food until 6pm when ‘the market tea’ would be served. They sat down with fifteen or so farmers and ate ‘a rare good bit o’ beef’ carved by the chairman. It seems to have been a jolly affair. Other diversions included swimming in the river and a romp with the pub dog at Somerleyton.

They suffered the usual trials of holidaying in an English summer – wind and rain. They set off in ‘beautiful August sun’ on Monday but Tuesday saw rain just before Reedham and they got very wet despite having ‘rigged up’ the waterproofs. Wednesday was windy which made the water very rough but the canoes ‘floated over the waves’. Thursday was sunshine and showers but on Friday there was a severe storm – ‘doubtless that [which] touched nearly every part of England on that day and did much damage in London by flooding’.  They sheltered for an hour under some overhanging trees but the storm did not abate and they were ‘fully occupied in nailing the knee coverings to the deck as the high wind would have blown them away had they not been fastened; the sponges were …kept constantly on the go, sopping up the water on the coverings and thus helping to keep out the rain; we weathered the storm beautifully…the knee coverings kept out the water splendidly and our black waterproof capes kept our bodies dry’.

The equipment they carried included a paddle each and an iron spike with a ring to which was attached about 10 yards of cord which was used to tie up. Black, waterproof haversacks held clothes and whatever wouldn’t fit in these was in tins – sketching apparatus, novels, pen, ink, log book, writing paper (latter seldom used!). They also carried a ‘brandy flask’ which ‘was the only medicine chest’. They wore white jerseys or shirts with something else over the top if wet or cold and a straw hat or ‘cloth helmet’. A ‘wrapper’ was worn around the neck and shoulders to protect from sun and chilly breezes and ordinary trousers and shoes.

This trip preceded Jerome K. Jerome’s trip on the Thames by 10 years – all they were missing was the dog!

Compiled by Anne Baker, NRO Research Blogger.

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