We’ve recently taken on several books that have been around for a while – 130 years for two of them!
Clement Scott’s Poppy-Land was first published in 1886 and was based on a series of articles he wrote for the Daily Telegraph about the area around Cromer, coining the Poppyland name for the first time. His essays stand the test of time and are good to read, testaments to a slower way of life.
This edition is printed as a facsimile of the original, complete with engraved drawings and advertising in the front and back pages. The ads are interesting in themselves: an ad for Great Eastern Railways lists the fares from London – a 1st class tourist return to Cromer was 30/- (30 shillings in old money or £1.50 for those of you born after 1970!), although you could get a weekend 3rd class return for just 10/- or 50p.
Ernest Suffling’s The Land of the Broads is a guide for visitors planning to cruise on the Broads, first published in 1892. Again this edition is a facsimile reproduction, complete with drawings and a large format fold-out map printed in colour (and more advertisements!).
Suffling provides us with a river by river guide to the Broads and gives us real insight to how the Broads were at the end of the 19th century. At that time the tourist boom was just beginning, and the rivers were still extensively used by trading wherries. It was still possible to navigate the Bure all the way to Aylsham – although Suffling suggests that it may be better to take the train!
The third new arrival is not quite so old. We have been selling WISEArchive’s excellent Water Mills and Marshes for some time, but I have only just received from them a box of their older book, Colman’s of Norwich. WISEArchive’s approach is to collect the stories of people who have lived and worked in Norfolk and this book follows the same format, with a collection of stories from people who have worked at Colman’s between 1935 and 1995. These stories take us back to a time when mustard tins were filled with powder by hand, and then right up to the 1990s with automated production lines and modern scientific research.