Freda Morse née High
Freda is Salthouse born and bred.
Her husband, Alec, who came from Kelling, worked for a time for the de Crespignys at Salthouse Hall, where his mother was Cook. During the war, while she and Alec were living in Dawsons Cottage, Bard Hill, Freda took in evacuees. Later, Alec worked for Jim Deterding at Kelling Hall and they moved to Kelling to live.
Freda and Alec Morse at Kelling when Alec was working for Jim Deterding
This photo (above) of the post office is when my father first started in it. In his trade he was a bricklayer. He took those railings down and he built the front on, then he bought the shed next door and he made that into a hall. That had red and white bricks, like they used to years ago in a pattern. The stairs went straight up and we had a sitting room upstairs over the shop, and then he built the kitchen and another bedroom.
But my father first started the Post Office in a little cottage in Cross Street. As you come from Kelling, on the right-hand side as you go up, first there is Mrs Talbots shop, then the Jarvises, then the little house next to it almost opposite the Dacks (now the Seven Whistlers). That was my Grannys house behind the Dacks and a pightle at the backwe used to call them pightles, youd call them meadows. Opposite Grannys house there used to be three or four houses and thats where the post office was started. I was born up there, and how my father managed to buy that house goodness only knows.
The old postman used to walk from Salthouse to Kelling with the letters. He was a funny little man. He had a uniform, and his hat had a peak each way! His name was Billy Lynn. He never had a bike.
I remember having a bike in the First World War, one of the soldiers wives taught me to ride it on the bottom road. There was no tar on the roads then. I can remember the big charabancsyou had to nearly crawl up the side to get in one of them, that was ever so steep. It had a great big hood that could come right over if it rained. It came from Cley along the coast road and we used to go to Sheringham on it, funny old things they were, great big things! But when we had a Sunday School outing we used to go in the farm wagon.
My mother was a Craske from Sheringham. Her family started selling pork pies at Salthouse, and she used to come on a bike selling them. My Uncle Craske had a tiny little shop next door to the chapel, you went up the side and they had part of the front room into a shop. Aunt Florrie, my fathers sister, came to housekeep for him when my mother died, and I was just a little girl of six. The only thing I can remember about my mother is her having a policemans helmet on! My uncle, her brother, was in the police force, so probably she just put it on for a laugh.
Then I can remember everybody cryingI suppose it was the funeral day . . . The Pigotts, thats Herbert and Amelia in the Bake office, they wanted to adopt me, but my father wouldnt let me go.
Then, six months after my mother died, my father married Polly Dawson and he sold the Post Office to the Smiths and we went to live next door for a while.
We used to keep shop till 8 oclock at night then, and that meant biking home in the dark in winter. You must have a light in the front and back of your bike. You used to have these old paraffin lamps and they used to smoke, but then the gas-lamps came in and that was much better. They had carbide at the bottom and water at the top, and that used to drip the water and make the gas. There was a gas-lamp in the shop; there were big rocks (carbide) in the bottom and a great big tank outside, that used to drip the water and that used to make the gas, and I had to look to see if that was going all right every day. I would crack this big old rock stuff, and put that in the bottom of my bike-lamp, and it made the gas. That gave you a lot better light, and it didnt smoke like the paraffin did.
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© Val Fiddian 2005