It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. It was just right! The Strand Club’s annual outing was blessed with perfect weather with not a spot of rain and comfortable temperatures which enabled us to explore to our heart’s content. We were taken to Gressenhall Workhouse Museum and Farm by Wrights Coaches, driven by the expert Matt. We hadn’t used Wrights before but having been recommended to them, decided to give them a try. How pleased we were! Matt arrived promptly to collect us at Overstrand and went on to pick up three more of our ladies in Cromer. We then set off, travelling down the beautiful green lanes of Norfolk before arriving, exactly on time, at Gressenhall. We had time for a wander around the beautiful gardens and in and out of the little cottage, forge and school, furnished as they would have been in Victorian times, before regrouping in the conservatory for a splendid buffet lunch.
The farm was our next port of call and having admired the 11 black piglets, born at the end of May and behaving like puppies with their tumbling and play fighting, we took a ride in a cart drawn by two beautiful Suffolk Punches. They were steady and content, ambling round the small walkways and narrow lanes of the farm complex. Even when we passed two of their friends in a field they didn’t react – no whinnying or shying.
A gentle walk back in the sunshine to the workhouse and museum set us up for some of the harrowing tales we read there. Families were split into separate houses, women and young children in one, men and older boys in another. They were fed just enough to keep them alive and able to work. They slept on thin straw mattresses on metal bedframes. They were locked up in a cell for refusing to work or for answering back. But amongst all that there were some uplifting stories. There was a family, depicted in statues outside the main door, where a father had to leave most of his children there when he was widowed. A heartbreaking decision. Years later though when he was settled and able to support them, he came back for them and the family was reunited.
After a visit to the gift shop and an ice cream we boarded the coach for our return trip. Matt once again drove us carefully and efficiently home. We can highly recommend Wrights Coaches for anyone who wishes to hire coach and driver – they have a range of different sized vehicles on offer.
Altogether a wonderful day, much enjoyed by everyone and one we will remember with pleasure.
Our next meeting will take place on 11th July at the Sports Pavilion. As always we begin at 2 pm and entrance for visitors is just £2 which includes light refreshments. Our speaker this month will be a representative from Ben’s Workforce, a branch of the Benjamin Foundation. The Workforce help anyone in need of jobs to be done indoors or out which they cannot do themselves. It should be very informative. Please come along and share it with us. All are welcome.
For more information please contact our Chairman, Jackie Hudson, on 01263 720866, or our Secretary, Chris Wood, on 01263 579433. We look forward to meeting you!