TA EAST NEWS 20th January 2011
To Local TA East Members & Friends

Reminders :

Firstly – that we are meeting tomorrow, Friday 21st January, for coffee at Paper Mill Lock and lunch at the Queens Head, Maldon

Secondly – That Geoff Morse is keen to have your booking for the TA East Lunch at Bradfield Combust on 6th February – “It would be a pity if my last lunch was a flop” he says. So please get on the phone to Geoff – 01787 375983. For details see the end of this email

I have recently heard from our former Chairman Gerry Lewis. He and Anne made a flying visit to England for the funeral of Mike Davey. He writes:

Just a quickie. We got back last night after attending Mick Davey’s Funeral ……. Also in attendance were The Pursers,Almas, Fenns and Timmis’s. The Thanksgiving Service was very cheerful and well attended by many Cyclists.
Glad we made the effort to go.

A member has asked for more details of the diary of a woodman which I mentioned in the last TA East News. Some of you might like to read my reply:

This is the transcript of a diary, originally written in the margins of a Prayer Book.
The diary seems to have been kept by William Scarfe who lived in Thorpe Morieux 1777-1848. Thorpe Morieux is about 5 miles south-east of Bradfield, where we have the TA East lunch.

It has been very intelligently edited and annotated by Pip & Joy Wright and Leonie Robinson and published by Poppyland Publishing 4, Alfred Road Cromer Norfolk NR27 9AN, at £12.95 There are copies in many Suffolk Libraries.

Most of the entries were written between 1817 and 1842.

The real value is the way it complements the vast majority of history – which has been written by the educated and comparatively well-off.

It is still about what the writer sees as major events – births and deaths in Thorpe Morieux and the surrounding villages, “a singing frolic at our house”, reported court cases in Bury etc.

One would wish that he had written more about his day-to-day doings in the woods***, but there is a bit. For instance many references to gathering bark – and the editors have added a photograph of a colossal pile of bark – four times the height of a man, and perhaps 40 yards long – outside the tanning factory at Combs. We pass the place on the Stowmarket & District evening “10”s.

Something that sticks in the mind is how dangerous the roads were. We think this is a modern phenomenon, but the editors have done some research and found that 15% of sudden deaths were from road accidents. For instance people sometimes rode on the shafts of carts and fell off with fatal consequences.

Sometimes the editors research a particular accident that William Scarfe mentions. One that rang a bell with me was a farmer who spent the evening in a Bury inn and was returning home down the Sudbury road in his pony & trap. He was not apparently really driving, but the pony knew the way home. Unfortunately someone had allowed a dung heap to encroach on the road. The pony passed too close and the trap ran over the fringe of the heap and overturned, killing the farmer.

Has a resonance with me because the last time I visited my youngest Muir aunt, in a hospice shortly before she died, she told me a story about my grandfather (born 1860).

Grandfather was returning to the family farm one evening – Burston Manor Farm, between St Albans and Watford. The pony knew the way. Keen to be home, the pony speeded up down the entrance track…..and sliced one of the wheels of the trap clean off as they went through the gate to the farmstead. No fatalities that time fortunately…… but perhaps a salutary warning to all tricyclists

*** How I wish that more people – or indeed any people – would record what their working world is like. We still don’t do it.

What is it like – minute to minute – to work as a mechanic in a garage, on a production line in a factory or as clerk at County Hall? Yet this is a large part of many of our lives…still passing, unnoticed, unrecorded.

Details repeated from the last TA EAST NEWS:

Maldon – Friday 21st Jan.
Paper Mill Lock Cafe is on the lane which leads north from Little Baddow. The grid ref is TL777090, Postcode is CM3 4BS. I guess we will leave by 11.15am.

MALDON QUEENS HEAD is on The Hythe – ie the waterfront. Grid ref is TL857068, the postcode CM9 5HN.

EAST LUNCH at The Manger, Bradfield Combust , Sunday 6th February
Bradfield Combust is on the A134, 6 miles south of Bury St Edmunds.
OS Sheet 155. Grid ref TL893574. Postcode IP30 0LW
£12 per person, please contact Geoff Morse,
White House, Heathway, Gt. Waldingfield, Sudbury, Suffolk CO 0TU
Tel: 01787 375983 geoffreymorse@aol.com
Chairman’s Appetiser Run: Meet at ‘Sweetmeats’ café above sweetshop in Water Lane, opposite kitchen door to ‘The Swan’. Approx.10:30 in Lavenham.

Best wishes to you all
Ferg Muir 01603 615000 fergusmuir@btinternet.com


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