Wells Next The Sea – Now And Then
I discovered an old book that has my Great Grandmother’s name in it, the book is a Jarrolds Illustrated Guide to Wells and the surrounding area. It’s probably from about 1900, though I suspect the photos are earlier. I thought it would be interesting to take it on holiday and compare Wells now and how it was then.
This is Clara, my Great Grandmother who owned the guide book. She was born in Wighton in 1883, and when she and Sidney married in 1903 they moved up north. That’s why I think the guide was from around this time, although some of the photos look older as there are no cars, only horse and carts in some of the photos.
This is one of my photos of Wells last week, looking towards the granary which is now luxury flats. I remember large Dutch boats being filled with grain down a hopper from the end of the building, I can smell and taste the dust now.
Here is the harbour from the guide book, the granary was built in 1903 so this photo must be earlier.
The Boathouse in Jarrold’s Guide
How it looks today. My grandparents used to like to sit here and watch the boats go by eating their fish and chips. I sampled both French’s and Platten’s last week and both were very good, I still remember Mr French chatting with my family, there aren’t many Norfolk accents about now.
The trees are a lot bigger on the Buttlands today, the houses still look much the same.
So has the marsh around Cley Mill.
It’s full of reeds now but then it had to be navigable.I had to include this old picture of cockle pickers. We picked our own cockles every year and samphire from the marshes, these were cooked and served with bread and butter and vinegar for supper, they did taste good.
This is how it looks now, the cottages have been modernised and there is a concrete path instead of the cockle shell path that crunched to let you know someone was there. That in itself brings back a memory of the noise made by the door when it opened, the bottom used to catch and it made the letterbox rattle.
I have very fond memories long summer days in Wells in the mid 60’s and 70’s, and Uncle Reggie and Noel waving us off from the top of the steps when we left for home. I still give them a nod when I pass by, even though they are no longer with us.