Message: Anyone remember Lady Teichmann and Fred & Winifred Notley of Gardeners Cottages? Fred was my uncle, and I spent many happy years at Gardeners Cottages, punting across the lake. No. 34 bus into Norwich, from The Buck. Mr Brighty was Lady Teichmann’s chauffeur, and we used to cross the park to watch television at the Hall. This about 1960.
Bryan Webb has replied to Mervyn:-
Hi Mervyn. Being a local from the village of Honingham I can remember the names you requested which you have put on the internet. i started my life in Honingham back in 1936 – you may be older/younger than myself, nevertheless you were correct that Lady Teichman’s chauffer was Mr Norman Brighty. Unfortunately he passed away recently. He took over the job after Walter Cook retired, who lived at the Hall and had 2 daughters Helen & Doris.
You mentioned going down the Hall to watch TV. The Barnados boys were in residence then. Do you remember any of the boys’ names? As for punting across the lake, yes the wooden boathouse which stood in the water was positioned on the western side of the lake.
Yes, the number 34 red bus travelled between Kings Lynn and Norwich. This has now been updated to route no X1. The Old Buck Inn which was my watering hole/come second home in my teens is still going strong.
But the main question was your uncle Fred and Aunt Winifred Notley. Yes, Fred was an experienced gardener working at the Hall. They had a son named Leo who played cricket for Honingham at the nearby Hall Park. He was also one of my drinking partners. He married the girl from next door to him by the name of Marion Smith.
Your request has brought back memories of Fred. When the Hall was sold he was asked to work in the gardens at nearby Easton owned by the same employer. He requested transport as it was quite a way by pushbike. It got round that I had an old banger for sale. Fred mentioned this to his employer. Deal done, he got a black Ford Popular to go backwards and forwards to work for the grand total of £12-10s – a lotof money in those days(1966).
You have made my day, Mervyn. I hope this short reply will bring back lots of memories. If there are any more memories of your early days do come back to the Honingham Web site. Thanking you. Regards Brian Webb
Thanks very much for your email. I enjoyed reading it, and it did bring back a few memories of Honingham, and a very nice and peacful time of my life. I was born in 1945.
Winnie and Fred Notley were my aunt and uncle, and they lived at the end one of Gardeners Cottages which of course are still there. Fred played the violin and the viola, and years earlier had been the Leader in the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, and played at St Andrews Hall. I still have his violin here in Spain. Their son Lionel, my cousin, used to work at Barnards I think, in Norwich, and he married the girl next door, Marilyn Smith, in Honingham Church. He was a cricketer in the St. Barnabas team, while Fred was the umpire and Winnie (and me) used to do the scoring. Lionel & Marilyn both still live in Mill Lane, Horsham St Faiths, and I phone them now and again. Fred was the gardener for Lady Teichman, and she used to come up to the walled garden, which is still there I think – though the lake seems to have dried up now according to what I see on Google Earth. Being man-made, it was never very deep in the main part, but I think they altered the course of the River Tud at some time, to make it. There were two young girls about 12 – 14 living in one of the Gardeners Cottages further along the row. I visited the Cottages in about 1997 or 98, and saw one of the ladies who lived there – she remembered Winnie, Fred and me. I was sorry to see that most of the gardens had disappeared – it looked like a bomb site. From Gardeners Cottages we had to walk up to the farm for both milk and water, though later they had water pipes installed before I left. I had to turn a large metal pump wheel at the farm, and then carry the water to the house in a couple of buckets.
Fred was also a member of the Bowls Club in the village and used to go down for a game quite frequently. Besides working in the gardens for LadyTeichman he was a market gardener, and used to take vegetables and flowers into Norwich Market early on a Saturday morning on an old green Ford pickup. One of Lady Teichman’s apple-stores in the gardens used to be filled with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize Certificates for flowers and vegetables that had been exhibited at the Royal Norfolk Show over the years.
I used to get a 34 bus from the pump opposite the Buck, but sometimes had to walk up the hill to a place near an old windmill. This was all before they changed the main road of course, and now the new road cuts straight through the old drive. Just past the entrance to the old drive there was a long house on the right, down a dip, and a young lad who lived there also went to join the Army at some stage.
At the Hall a Mr Baldwin did out a reference for me when I joined the Army in 1962. And as I said, we used to visit Mr Brighty and his wife to watch television. I remember a sloping roof, and I think they used to live in an attic in the Hall. I don’t remember the names of any of the boys at the Hall. At the south-west side of the lake, a few feet from the boathouse, they had what they called a “ram” in a hole in the ground under a metal cover. I used to have to go down to this, remove the cover, and press down on a small piece of machinery with a long pole several times. This then started to work and it pumped water, through underground pipes, up to a concrete tank in the garden for Uncle Fred. I used to cross the lake regularly in the punt, and used to worry about the deep water in the south-eastern arm because I couldn’t swim. There was an aircraft fuel tank deep under the water, that had probably fallen from a wing during the war. Once we dragged the punt from the boathouse, right across the fields, put it into the river Tud, and punted all the way down to the gatehouse at the end of the front drive near the Church.
Fred used to talk about a lot of people in the village, and knew nearly everyone. We were all unhappy about the Hall being demolished some time later, after Lady Teichman went into a home and they closed the Barnadoes. He also used to talk about someone by the name of Jock Alston – though I thought he didn’t think much of him! Years later, after Winnie died, I came to visit Honingham from Shropshire in the eighties, and Fred was then living alone in the little gatehouse at the end of the front drive near Honingham Church. He was asleep when I walked in and I don’t think he really recognised me.
I hope a bit of this might bring back a few memories for you too, though I think we both knew Honingham at different times. I’ll tell Lionel at St Faiths that you replied to me – though he’s not on the internet.
Best wishes and regards from Spain,