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Old Somerleyton Railway Bridge


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All these old relicts raise an interesting but sad, point.

Although there are some centralised archives they are still many hundreds of images that are hidden away in private collection and which as their owners get older, will never be digitalised and saved for our children  - how sad this is and what a real treasure a  National Archive of Broadland images would be.  

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Wonderful image - thanks Peter. I've not seen a picture of the original Somerleyton swing bridge before.

As for a repository for old Broadland photos ... well I do what I can. That was why I set up Broadland Memories in the first place, because there was so many fabulous and historically important old photographs out there that really need to be brought together. The same with people's personal memories of the area, and now old films of course too. I've been truly humbled by some of the collections that I have been given access to and allowed to put online. I scan everything I get, whether it will eventually make it online or not, and keep higher resolution copies of photographs where possible too in my archives. I can always find something of interest in what some might consider to be the most ordinary old holiday snap! It's all an important record of Broadland's past and needs to be preserved and preferably available for the public the see. I try to put as much as I can out online. I've actually even made provision in my will for the collection I have amassed of old photos, ephemera, books, films etc, that they are given to an appropriate archive when I'm gone ... be that the county council archives or whatever is deemed to be the best place.

Sadly, many collections of old photographs lie in personal archives, the owners of which probably have no intention of making available to the public via digital sources. Collections of old photographs regularly crop up on auction websites .... sadly, they have probably come from house clearance and there is no background information about where or who the photos came from. I call them orphaned photos. I bid, and am successful at times, but there is a strong collectors market for pre 1930s photos of the area and they can fetch silly money. The really sad thing is that I know they will just be squirrelled away by collectors who (perhaps) don;t want to see their investment devalued by putting them out online, and they will probably never see the light of day again. Such a shame.

I've been a bit more fortunate in bidding recently and have bought two quite large collections of photos from the 1920s and 1950s for Broadland Memories and also a small set of pre 1900 photos of Broadland. The latter were put online last week and, coincidently, contain a photo of the original Reedham swing bridge - the twin to Somerleyton! http://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/pre1900gallerypage3.html#bm1898_oct2015

The 1920s and 1950s collections are being worked on and will hopefully appear over the winter months. Large collections take a lot longer to sort out and research! Not to mention the fact I have a number of cine films to edit and get online too. I am making a start on working my way through these things again now. :)



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I'm not sure if Carol's (Adamsgirl) archive is a private collection? Although she is generous in setting up a website for all to view a problem might occur when she is unable to manage her site or archive. Hopefully she will have an eager follower to take up the reigns so that it can be preserved for the future.

If it were not for her tireless efforts in compiling this collection I suspect that most of the content would already be lost.

So it's a well done to Carol from me.


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The collection I have would be deemed private, as would many local history society collections I guess, but I'd like to hope that what I have will eventually become part of a public collection. I should add - my will also provisions for the digital side of what my do in that my computers, external hard drives etc. will all go to someone (at the moment, that is my very dearest friend who also happens to be a bit of a PC whizz) with the know how to retrieve the website and digital archives and hopefully ensure that the BM archive will remain online as it is (when I pop my clogs!) even if it isn't added to after that. I've no guarantee that this will all happen of course, but I have tried to do my best to ensue this remains available for the public after I'm gone. I'm not 50 yet (next year!) so hopefully I have a good few years of Broadland Memories in me yet!

There are so many people out there doing their bit for our social history up and down the UK. It is great to see so many local history groups gathering archives from their town's and villages and making them available online. Sadly, I don;t know that local council's have the resources to make much of their own archives available for the public to view in the same way. We do have the wonderful Picture Norfolk county council run website, but even that only scratches the surface of the thousands of photos they have within their collection. It seems increasingly down to individuals and groups these days.

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Interestingly the image that I posted also shows 'The Plug', the jetty in the foreground. Known for generations by that name it helped control the tidal flow quite effectively on the Waveney. It was removed a couple of years ago, since which we have had an increased number of floods on Oulton Broad, those old Broadsmen were no fools, knew a thing or two about their environment and all without costly desk-top studies and consultations!!.

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What a great photo of Somerleyton bridge - I am sure Mr Peto would have loved it. We have a number of photos at the Museum of the Broads including a fab personal collection from the 80 plus year old ex boatbuilder volunteer. A real character with some great Broads stories to tell - I could listen to him for hours! Mrs Broadland memories does a totally fabulous job and long may she continue!!!!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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