"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Sunday, 27 June 2010

On crabbing and zeppelins

On Saturday afternoon I went for another fine ride through east Suffolk via Wangford, Uggeshall, Spexhall, Wisset, Huntingfield, Heveningham, Peasenhall, Theberton, Eastbridge, Westleton, Walberswick then back to Southwold.

The cycling was a delight, following small lanes all the way.

I've looked up the villages on Wikipedia. Spexhall is simply described as
A village in the north east corner of Suffolk, England. It is quite small.
True, but the entry for Wisset is a tad more interesting. After a visit to her sister there in the summer of 1916 Virginia Woolf commented that the village
seems to lull asleep all ambition. Don't you think they have discovered the secret of life? I thought it wonderfully harmonious.
The Wiki entry for Theberton notes that
on the morning of 17 June 1917 [...] the German Zeppelin airship L48 was shot down by Robert Saundby and others while it was on a bombing run. Sixteen members of the crew died in the crash, three survived but one later died from his injuries. [...] Part of the framework of the Zeppelin itself is mounted in the porch of the church.
From Theberton I cycled on to Eastbridge, a tiny hamlet so tucked away from modern life that it feels like it belongs to another time. The landscape is like Britain in the first half of the twentieth century, pre-industrial farming. When I first visited Eastbridge I thought of the hot summer of 1940: you could almost hear merlin engines overhead, competing with the sound of the bees.

A couple of miles further north I stopped for fish and chips and Aspalls cider at the White Horse Inn at Westleton. Fortified and now on the home straight, I rode on to Walberswick.
According to Wiki,
Walberswick [was] a major trading port from the 13th century until World War I. The British Open Crabbing Championship is held yearly
What a great non sequitur. It's difficult to believe that Walberswick was ever a "major trading port", let alone up until World War I. Unlike the Wiki contributor for Spexhall, I suspect Walberswick's contributor of trying to "big up the neighbourhood".

I can vouch for the quality of the crabbing there, though.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Outlandish, exciting, energetic,
colourful, intriguing and just plain ... bizarre. Recommended.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Suffolk summer

The poppies are out along the lanes between Cratfield and Cookley.
Suffolk is lovely just now.

One of the best ways to see it is by bike. Today I took a route through an ancient landscape, via the coast at Dunwich where a medieval town disappeared into the sea. Further on my route followed the straight line of a Roman road to Cratfield before wending its way along tiny country lanes, with fine views of old Suffolk farmland, to Cookley.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Tim Emmett leads Muy Caliente E10

Here's a nice little video of Tim Emmett on Pembroke's sea cliffs. Best viewed fullscreen.

Since the film was made, he's led it. More on UKClimbing and Tim Emmett's blog.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

God's Own Country

By way of antidote to my last, depressing, post - here's a link to an altogether different place in Britain.