Barges, barns and boxes of eels.

            Three things in the November/December issue of Anglia Afloat, starting near the back with a Curious Quay – Heybridge Basin on the River Blackwater in Essex. They once dealt in eels there, a lot of them from the Baltic, stored for the London jellied eels market in floating timber boxes.

            And then still in Essex, a couple of pages of shots of the Colne Barge Match which took place back in September, big sails in the sunlight with a heavy cloud backdrop to make them look like ghosts from another time, which in some ways they are.

            And finally there is the last instalment of the East Coast’s maritime endeavours to kibosh the Kaiser and the clearing up which followed. And finally perhaps indeed, because Anglia Afloat is dropping down to two issues a year for 2015. Will East Anglia’s boaters and sailors protest?

            Meanwhile, in Suffolk/Norfolk Life, November issue, you can read about Happisburgh churchyard and the huge communal grave which took the bodies of 119 of the 400 of sailors who died when HMS Invincible ran onto sandbanks nearby in 1801. The unmarked grave was rediscovered in 1988 during drainage work and a simple plaque now marks the spot.

            In the same issue, there are barns, old barns, from the 15th and 16th centuries, when if the lord of the manor had made a few bob, he would go for the big statement of the big barn, on the if-you’ve-got-it-flaunt principle. Fortunately, built-to-flaunt meant built-to-last and a handful of them in Norfolk remain for posterity.

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