For some reason my first visit to Walberswick has been etched on my mind as a perfect summer holiday, long in length, filled with sunny days on the bridge crabbing, playing in the dunes, and on one day, huddling round a small, borrowed tv set to watch ‘The Royal Wedding’. This was in 1981, with memory’s thick rose-tinted spectacles on. I gather we stayed for a weekend!
Fast forward a few years and we have spent a fabulous week back in the small Suffolk, coastal village this summer, showing the next generation how to crab, and to play in the dunes, with no royal wedding to distract us.
One vivid memory I have of our 1981 visit was of the ferry, the ferryman and his dog. We were confused quite why he seemed to make heavy weather of it, not rowing straight across – which seemed sensible, but instead rowing high up stream, before steering for the jetty on the Southwold bank. It was a real delight to be back on the ferry this time, with knowledge of the tidal waters, and for the small fee of 90 pence, taken across the water. There is pleasure in this simple transaction. If there was a queue, you waited. If it was only you, and not the maximum cargo, he rowed for you. Now that is service!
I doubt the signage originated from the 80s but I really liked the straight forward communications around the jetties. Around the banks of the Blyth the boats and black wooden huts featured many hand-rendered signs, some more formal than others, so I’m sharing them here, hopefully for your pleasure.