more of Vivian High's Salthouse memories

from his unpublished autobiography as it appeared in the Salthouse book

Along the Coast Road to Cley there were two wooden bungalows on the marsh. One was near Purdy’s Drift and was occupied by Amy and Hezekiah (“Butcher”) Holman, and the other was near Walser (Walcey) Hills, and that’s where my Aunt Alice and Uncle Billy lived at birds’ nesting time, and I used to stay there sometimes with my cousin Brian.

My Uncle was keeper of the marshes for Mr. Roy Pope. I recall how he would collect gulls eggs in a pail, and I remember sometimes on a Sunday morning he would take my cousin and me to see a Mr. Bishop who looked after Cley marshes; he had a keeper’s hut near East Bank and would bring out a packet of sweets and hand them around.

My Uncle Billy and Aunt Alice ran the tea-rooms on the beach for Mr. Pope, and we supplied them with milk daily in the late spring and summer. There was a flag pole a few yards to the right of the picture and on a very busy day, when milk ran short, a second flag would be hoisted which could be seen from our house, and this was the signal for me to hurry over with extra supplies. In later years the tea rooms were sold to a Mr. and Mrs. Brooks of Billlericay, Essex, and used as a holiday residence.


The tea room, and on the balcony Billy Holman and Alice with Brian



Randall’s ‘Folly’ was renamed when the Board of Trade took it over and used it to store rockets and other breeches buoy equipment for sea rescue. I can remember the pole, to which the breeches buoy line would be attached, lying near the Rocket House and father saying that the smallest man in the team climbed the pole to do this.In the 1930s the Rocket House was bought by a Mr. Brittain from Sheffield who used it as a summer residence.

Randall's Folly from the landward side

On the sea side of it there was a car park and also a pill box with a winch on top for pulling boats up the beach, and there was a car park on the land side just below the Rocket House. In the second World War, the place was used as an army detention centre, and after the war it was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Jopling. It was badly damaged in the floods of 1953 and finally blown up in 1956.
The garage which also housed the engine-driven water pump can be seen on the right of the above photo of the Folly from the landward side.

Val Fiddian 2005