Neighbouring villages on the Norfolk Broads
with much in common but with distinct identities,
Salhouse and Woodbastwick lie 5 and 6 miles respectively
north east of the City of Norwich,
each bounded to the north by the River Bure.
Historically, the two villages have at times shared
common ownership and at other times gone their
own way. In mediaeval times both were near the
centre of an economic powerhouse based on peat
digging; in the nineteenth century each was home
to a wealthy landowner who spent lavishly on their
own mansion and on the village surrounding it,
and whose influence can still be seen.
has always dominated, the villages in
modern times have become largely residential but
a smattering of rural trades continues to flourish.
Exactly halfway between the two villages lies
Salhouse Broad, a tourist destination since the nineteenth
century, arguably the most beautiful setting
of any in Norfolk, in an undulating landscape that
is far from flat.
Unscathed, but not unaffected by war, enemy
action was never far away and the influence of an
American airbase nearby is still well remembered.
In this book we discover how the villages and
their landscapes were influenced by early history
and later by the changing fortunes of landowners
and the changes brought about by improved communications.
Personal reminiscences recall many
forgotten aspects of life in the twentieth century, we
look at people and social activities, and we look at
the churches, schools, houses and street scenes,
much of which has changed in recent decades but
some of which has remained very much the same.
Although having had a lifelong interest in all things
historical, this is the first book that Colin McCormick has attempted. Inspiration came from the
earlier work by Roy Bullers, who was unofficial
local historian for many years, and was the author
of many articles and talks on the subject. Roy’s aim
to produce a history book was sadly never realised,
but after his death in 2014, Colin recovered his
archives and set about collating them. From this
starting point, Colin has re-edited all the original
texts and written a number of new chapters, assembling
a wealth of new material and photographs,
including a vital part of Roy’s legacy, the verbatim
accounts of older people in the village he
interviewed in the 1980s and 90s.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 292 7, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published November 2016.