22 October 2012

Don't diss the Fens.......!

I may have mentioned before that I just *love* the British Newspaper Archive (although I am less than enamoured at the cost, given that their Australian counterparts don't charge at all); so you will understand that I enjoy a good search through the BNA's pages.


The following came up as a result of a search for Langfords in Stretham and I only really read all the way to the end because I was attempting to edit it.  Then, after a mild chuckle at the "..... followed to the grave...." I got a bit sniffy with the journalist who wrote it, for his somewhat back-handed compliment to my favourite part of the land....

CAMBRIDGE CHRONICLE & JOURNAL – 25th March 1831
The late Mr John Read of Stretham, whose death at the advanced age of 83 was noticed in our last paper, was on Thursday followed to the grave by, amongst other relations and friends, the four after-named persons—his widow, in her 84th year—Mr John Dimmock, in his 81st— Mr John Langford, in his 86th—and Mr Wingfield Hitch, in his 87th —Mr and Mrs Read had been married upwards of sixty two years, and had eight children, two of whom died in their infancy—the other six attended the funeral of their father.
—The above account may perhaps tend to shew that a residence in the fens is not altogether so prejudicial to health as many persons are inclined to suppose.
—Mr. Read for many years of his life had the management of the Drainage within Waterbeach Level, and this duty he performed with great zeal and activity; indeed it is well known that at this period he might be said during the winter seasons to have passed almost the whole of his time amongst the waters. Mr Read was also for a great length of time steward to the late and the present Sir Charles Morgan, Bart.

More soon.

2 comments:

we came from said...

A great find - although I have to say that my experience of 4 years living on the soggy fens was not particularly conducive to my health. From October to February the damp just seems to hang in the air - chest height.

Genpen said...

Well, yes, I agree! Best bit, tho, is the massive amount of sky and lack of hills..... :-)