Sunday 2nd April
Note to siblings: Jolly Mollie doesn’t approve of the corruption to “Mothers’ Day”. Do not buy her cards with that legend. Cards with a pussy cat on
will win brownie points, but not enough to make up for incorrect legends.
We approach the Old Rectory.
There is always a mission. Why can’t we just “hang loose?” Oh well, perhaps I’m as guilty. Today’s mission: Visit Wickmere. Jolly Mollie was the last Rector’s wife of that parish in 1953.
I have no memories of this village: I was but a twinkle in my father’s eye.
A short 10 minute drive, and yes, Wickmere exists. A church, rectory, some cottages, and a row of council houses. Nothing modern here
- very picturesque. (OK, not the council houses.) A village locked in time, cowing to the local landowner. (Political comment!)
A girl plays outside Jolly Mollie’s old house. “They’re out the back. Go round the back. Walk round to the back.”
“Of the house?” I enquire.
“Yes walk to the back of the house on that path.”
I do enjoy winding up small people.
We meet the present owner occupier Mr. Rice. He welcomes us, and hears stories about the place. Complete with complementary cup of tea, Jolly Mollie is firing on all 4 cylinders. She talks about the walled garden, the fig tree, the glebe, Lord and Lady Walpole…
“Oh yes and the ghost,” she continues.
His daughter listens.
“I never saw anything, but there are unaccounted cooking smells. And I’d never, never walk down that passage on my own.”
The girl squirms.
Now I know where I get my pleasure in tormenting small people.
We had a tour of the rectory and gardens. He was most interested in how the place had been
put to use.
Mr. Rice and his troubled child wished us a good day and a pleasant journey.
The prearranged lunch at the Red Lion, Upper Sheringham was excellent – good old trusty Roast Beef.
(...had to pay cash though!)
That afternoon I walk to Weybourne, a nearby village on the coast. The church is fascinating. Part of the
chancel is attached to a ruinous Augustine Priory. The North Norfolk Railway
proudly runs a timetabled steam train. This time of year just a locomotive and carriage/ brake van is
provided - totally resonable!
Back at "the Springs" Jolly Mollie prepares salad. This is an amazing meal of tinned puke and something called luncheon meat. Incredible. The tinned puke is purveyed by Mr. Heinz. It is called potato salad. It is foul. It’s bits of spud with yellow sick. I praised Jolly Mollie for being so inventive.
That night, after the news broadcast, all remains were fed to the rabbits. I vowed to find some “modern” food. There
must be a supermarket somewhere near….