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Vaughan

Coke Oven Reach

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To answer the question I posed elsewhere, Coke Oven - also Cinder Oven - Reach, goes upstream from the bend at Horning Swan, towards Black Horse Broad.

The parish staithe at Horning is now an open lawned space in front of the shops, and beside the Swan Hotel. It was originally a large range of buildings which later became a maltings. They started life as a factory which made ship's biscuit for the Navy at the time of the Crimean War. Coal sweepings from colliers bringing coal into Yarmouth from Newcastle, were brought upriver by wherry to Horning, where this was made into coke in ovens beside the river. The coke was then used to bake the biscuits. The maltings buildings were said to have been mainly built from material "robbed out" of St Benets Abbey, as were a lot of old houses in the area.

By the way, I see that both Roy Clark and Robert Malster both spell Candle Dyke as Kendal Dyke. Unfortunately, they don't tell us why!

Devil's Reach was originally known as Devil's House Reach, as folklore said that an old house on the marsh there was once inhabited by an old widow who was possessed by evil spirits. It is hard to define it these days, since the beet factory was built, but is the long reach going up from Hardley mill to the bend onto Limpenhoe reach, where the factory now is.

If you were setting off in a wherry from Yarmouth to Norwich you would choose a day when the wind allowed you to reach or run most of the way but as you went past Hardley mill the river turns right back almost to north east and you have to tack the wherry all the way up it. So the wherrymen still called it Devil's Reach, as they reckoned it was "a devil of a reach"!

Anyone who has had a cruising holiday on the south rivers will have gone up and down Train Reach, but nowadays, that name would give you no clue to its location. Anyone know it?

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Anything to do with the old abandoned bridges on The Waveney?

Haddiscoe, Beccles Bungay closed in 1953.

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Or North Walsham to Great Yarmouth closed in 1959. Or the spur from Yarmouth Beach to South Town closed also in 1953.

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2 hours ago, Vaughan said:

By the way, I see that both Roy Clark and Robert Malster both spell Candle Dyke as Kendal Dyke. Unfortunately, they don't tell us why!

my 1946 copy of Jarrolds map shows it as Candle Dyke

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1907 OS courtesy of N.L.S shows Candle DykeScreenshot_20181106-125113.thumb.png.af9ac8e011cf4d620e6dbe30cb014963.png

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sadly faydens map of the late 1790s doesn't name the dyke.  But is does show that what we call Potter Heigham was called Potter Furlgate, whereas Potter heigham was that part near the church.

 Also what we call Sutton Broad was then called Stalham Broad..

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yes, but some of those maps are woefully inadequate when it comes to the location of the rivers, I noted on one the river was almost a straight wiggly line from the mouth of the ant to wroxham.

bure-1794.JPG

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Well, isn’t life full of coincidences! No sooner have I explained the corruption of Veil Retch to Devils reach, than the same form of question finds the same form of reply. The question was "Where is Coke Oven Reach". Once again the name covers at least two places to confuse the authorities, and once again we have to delve into the (or rather “my”) history book for the answer.

My last explanation dated back to 1743, but this story has it’s roots almost exactly 100 years earlier.

Well dear readers I ask you all, Who has not heard the legend that is Mathew Hopkins?

Mathew Hopkins was, for those of you who didn’t know, the self appointed Witchfinder General. He operated in East Anglia from 1644 to 1647 with his colleague John Stearne. North Norfolk was one of the many areas  he concentrated on.

Also, just upstream of Coltishall, close to Horstead was a coven of particularly active witches. These ladies lived in fear of being interrogated by Hopkins, who’s methods of questioning were in themselves open to question.

It seemed obvious to these witches that having the postal address as "Witches Coven, Coltishall, Norfolk. NR66 6NP" was a bit of a giveaway,  It had to change, especially as Mathew Hopkins was at that time working in Holt, less than a days ride away.

It was still important that the postman should be able to find them as they were still ordering their eyes of newt and toes of frog from Amazon. (other house of Stuart internet suppliers were not available).

Horstead was little known of at the time, but it was far from unheard of to shorten place names to save wear and tear on quills, so Coltishall was often referred to just by “Co”.

And so it was. The Horstead Coven became known and had the postal address of, Co Coven reach, Near Horning Norfolk NR66 6NP but often marked on Blakes and Hoeseasons maps as Coke Oven Reach.

This action was proved to be largely unnecessary as there was so much business to be done in Holt, Mathew and his sidekick John were far too busy to come to the broads, even for a much needed holiday.

In fact Mathew Hopkins believed that Holt was such a hotbed of witches with their numerous covens he was oft heard to exclaim,

“Holt? Who goes there but witches thieves and traitors” This was later shortened to “Holt, Who goes there?” A challenge still used to this day by soldiers on guard duty.  

 

 

You know, sometimes I think I just have too much time on my hands and need to get out more!

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Train Reach is between ******** **** and ******* **** I believe. At least that’s what Hamilton’s says! Vaughan will be able to tell from my asterisks if I have got that right but, as I’m cheating using my Hamilton’s, I’ll leave others to guess. :default_norty:

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3 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

You know, sometimes I think I just have too much time on my hands and need to get out more!

Sometimes I think I agree with you! :default_wacko:

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6 minutes ago, vanessan said:

Train Reach is between ******** **** and ******* **** I believe. At least that’s what Hamilton’s says! Vaughan will be able to tell from my asterisks if I have got that right but, as I’m cheating using my Hamilton’s, I’ll leave others to guess. :default_norty:

Oh, I thought you were just swearing.  :default_hiding:

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Struggled along Train  Reach on a nuber of occasions, desperate for a 'bell'.

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Whilst being historical and Navigational, I though some folk would like to see a map of "The actual Broads"

 

20181106_142311.thumb.jpg.cad0210e05bfd004845a8254188dcca7.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Poppy said:

Struggled along Train  Reach on a nuber of occasions, desperate for a 'bell'.

Poppy knows what I mean, since it is now heavily lined in trees and woodland, which makes it an awful end to the Yare Navigation Race, as you can see the finish, but have no wind left to get there. It is the reach that goes downstream from Coldham Hall as far as Strumpshaw steam pump.

It shows us how much the countryside has changed, since the Yare never used to have any trees on the banks. They were cut down by the wherrymen when they were still saplings, so as to maintain a good sailing wind up to Norwich. It's a bit like Network Rail saying they have the wrong kind of leaves on the line. In the days of steam there were no leaves, as there were no trees on the cuttings or embankments. They were kept clear!

The Yare used to give a clear view right across the marshes, and Train Reach was so-called because it gave the wherrymen a good view of the trains as they left Brundall and headed out across the marsh towards Buckenham.

You don't see any trains there now - just trees!

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49 minutes ago, MauriceMynah said:

Oh, I thought you were just swearing.  :default_hiding:

Never let it be said!! :default_norty:

 

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Vaughan and others who've contributed, I continue to be in awe of your historical knowledge. Cards on the table, I had no idea that any stretch of river anywhere was named as 'xyz reach'. 

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44 minutes ago, Broads01 said:

Vaughan and others who've contributed, I continue to be in awe of your historical knowledge. Cards on the table, I had no idea that any stretch of river anywhere was named as 'xyz reach'. 

I don’t think I have noticed an ‘xyz reach’! :default_norty: Seriously though, if you can get hold of an old copy of a Hamilton’s Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Navigation, you will have a lot of local history at your fingertips. I don’t know if it is possible to obtain one but certainly worth trying. 

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Copies of Hamilton's occasionally pop up on E-Bay - I managed to get ours for £1 (complete with the maps and tide calculator) because the title had been misspelt and there were no other bidders! No pics because its still on board.

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Just reviving this, because I've just found something out which may have relevance to the name of coke oven reach

They used to make Peat Coke... , dried and coked peat, in later installations the gases driven off were used to heat the ovens themselves.

The peat coke was used to make iron and power things like blacksmiths forges which need an intense heat.. The notes I've just read said this was done from at least the 1300's through until coal coke and modern iron works came into common useage..

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By the way, I see that both Roy Clark and Robert Malster both spell Candle Dyke as Kendal Dyke. Unfortunately, they don't tell us why!

I noted in the past that it was also referred to as Kendal Dyke/Dike in the late 19th century by both P.H. Emerson (in 'On English Lagoons') and by George Christopher Davies in his "Handbook to the Rivers & Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk'. I often wondered if it was a dialect thing in that they wrote it down as they heard it pronounced. Having said that, there are other instances of places being known under slightly different names like Dydler's Mill which I've also seen as Dydall's Mill. 

Whilst on the subject, and in the Upper Thurne area, does anyone know why Dungeon Reach and Dungeon Corner are so named?

I'm sure that Peter Waller once posted a list of all the old reach names in the dim and distant past ..... perhaps on another forum.

 

Carol 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AdnamsGirl said:

Whilst on the subject, and in the Upper Thurne area, does anyone know why Dungeon Reach and Dungeon Corner are so named?

I've never heard the names. Where are they? 

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I believe they are between the Martham farm 'ferry' crossing and West Somerton but I'm sure Carol will correct me if I am wrong! A very pretty stretch which sadly we don't get to see that often. Must be about six years since I've been up there. 

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