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Ray High

  Raymond High, was step-brother to Freda Morse. His mother was Polly Dawson, Jack Dawson’s sister, and his father, Richard Joseph High, was oldest brother of Florence Radley. Before the war, when his father gave up his building trade, Ray kept the firm going and learnt the trade. When he got married and lived at Cley he worked with Newton & Co, until the Second World War.  

Salthouse Hall in Purdy Street
from the orchard to the east of it

I was born in 1915 in the post office and I left Salthouse in 1930. I was brought up a Methodist, married a Quaker, and I’m an agnostic. I think the War knocked it out of me—I couldn’t accept religion and war—but when I get on that subject I get perhaps a bit heated at times!
My family was very mixed up with the Pigotts: my father’s grandfather, he married a Pigott, and he was half a Pigott anyway. It was his sister who was Mrs Johnson of the Manor House. I don’t know if she had been a maid at the Manor or what, we don’t know, but she married him. I’ve heard he was an alcoholic and he died young and left her the estate. Then, of course, she split up the farm and rented it to her relations. That’s how most of my family got their land. There was my grandfather James, and there was Henry, and Ernest he was a farmer, and lived in the Manor farm house. I don’t remember this of course—I’d be about five. The Deterdings owned the other farm up Purdy Street.


The Kelling and Salthouse part had belonged to the Savorys of. Weybourne and they sold the whole Kelling and Salthouse estate—except the Manor and its farm land of course—to Sir Henry Deterding. Then, after the First World War, there were a lot of men wanted land. My father and Mr Levi High (he was chairman of the Parish Council) and Mr. Stangroom at Cley (he was clerk of the Council), they got together with my father and they got a lawyer, and I don’t know who else was in it but they managed to get the Hall estate turned into Council holdings. This would be in 1920 I think.
Some of the estates that were split up in this way, split up the houses too, and the people who had the land went in them. The Rosses were in the Hall (they had been tenant farmers of the Deterdings) but it was a big old house to have really.

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Val Fiddian 2005