Saints Alive: Stanhoe and Barwick Newsletter

June 2020

Stay alert – Control the virus – Save lives

Stanhoe Parish Council Matters:–

  • Your Parish Council is hopping along in ‘virtual’ mode. We cannot hold physical meetings which knocks out the AGM, normal bi-monthly meetings and other work. But things are still getting done.

  • The Stanhoe Volunteers have readied to help in encouraging numbers, and we have been surprised at the resilience of our more vulnerable community which combined has led to little stress to date. Everyone seems to be coping (fingers crossed).

  • We remain keen to help anyone with delivery or personal issues - just call Wayne on 07789 887 380, email or David Lord on 07976 267072 or 01485 518727, if you need help or simply a call.

  • The Reading Room and Play Area remain ‘off limits’ but no one told the wildfowl in the Pond which now has over 50 chicks! Meanwhile some more felling, strimming and cutting back has been done - we will just need a dose or two of rain to keep the water levels up.

  • The SAM 2 speed sign is out of commission and won’t be repaired until ‘work’ resumes; but this month traffic levels have been much lighter.

  • Church Lane is being resurfaced as we write; a welcome development.

  • Planning, littering, fly tipping, speeding, community and care issues still persist and present complex but important issues. Anyone interested in joining us in maintaining the fabric of this unique community should feel free to explore joining the Council. Please just contact Wayne Leighton to start an informal discussion.

  • In the meantime; keep well.

Stanhoe Village Hall Reading Room Lending Library:–

With plenty of time on our hands and mindful of our mental health during ‘lockdown’, if anyone would be interested in borrowing books from the extensive Reading Room Lending Library at Stanhoe Village Hall, the Trustees are offering to open it up, by appointment, for you to come and choose some books to borrow.

For yours and our safety you will be issued with gloves and books can be borrowed for two weeks and they will then spend a week in quarantine upon return to make sure they are germ free.

If you think this might help you through the current situation, please email or call her on 01485 518 057.

At Home In Stanhoe:–

In 2012 Brendan Hopkins, the then owner of the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market had the idea of hosting an annual Trafalgar Dinner to commemorate Norfolk’s most famous son Nelson’s naval victory in 1805. Having read my father’s book ‘Remember Nelson’, a biography of the Admiral’s protégé Captain Sir William Hoste, he asked me to say a few words. When I spoke to my mother on the phone to discuss what I might say, she said I must tell the story of how it, the book ‘Remember Nelson’, came about, so here’s what I said;

My father, Tom Pocock, set about writing this biography of Hoste in 1975 on the suggestion of Lady Margaret Douglas Home who had just read ‘The Memoirs and Letters of Captain Sir William Hoste’ edited by his widow and published in 1833 and thought an up-to-date book on this lesser known Norfolk hero was in order. He had already written biographies of Nelson, so this seemed like an interesting idea.

Having trawled the archives of the Public Records Office, the National Maritime Museum, Holkham Estate and the State Archives of Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia and exhausted every other avenue, he had built up a fairly comprehensive picture of Hoste’s career but not much at all of the man himself. For fear of producing a dry, academic tome on Naval strategy, he was on the verge of abandoning the whole project, despondent that the months and months of research had gone to waste. Until, one morning, onto the doormat of home in Burnham Overy Staithe, dropped a postcard.

On it was written, in CAPITALS, by the historian Oliver Warner, ‘ALL, BUT ALL HOSTE’S PAPERS ARE COMING UP FOR SALE AT CHRISTIE’S NEXT WEEK’. The timing couldn’t have been more extraordinary.

My father rushed to London and had meetings with Sir William Collins, his publisher and the National Maritime Museum to raise the funds to secure the lot at auction for the Nation. They left a bid, one and a half times the estimate and waited with bated breath.

Huge disappointment followed when they were outbid significantly and the papers were set to disappear into ‘Private Hands’ again, perhaps for another hundred or so years.

Reluctant to give up on the prize that had been so tantalisingly close, further digging revealed that the collection had been bought by a stamp dealer in Fleet Street solely because of the rare franking on many of the letters. My father approached the dealer and he could not have been more obliging. He generously allowed my dad to take the entire collection to be microfiched by the National Maritime Museum. Not only that, the dealer, rather aptly called ‘Mr Franks’, also donated the most important historical letters to the Museum. The documents and letters were packed with first-hand accounts and were a wealth of the sort of information completely invaluable to a biographer.

So you can imagine the relief and excitement my father felt when ‘Remember Nelson’ was finally published two years later in 1977.

We donated the very first copy my father received from the publisher, inscribed by him thus, as the Raffle Prize and it raised over £300 for Tapping House Hospice. The book is dedicated to me, then aged five years old and oblivious to the whole drama that led up to its publication.

I moved back to Norfolk in 2010 and opened my gallery in Burnham Market and some years later when I was looking for somewhere to buy, Stanhoe offered itself as a possibility as it was close to work but not too close and still within easy reach of the beaches and Burnham Overy Staithe where I grew up. I came and looked round a house on Parsons Lane and once I had been shown round I thought I’d have a little stroll around the village and I popped into the Church. From the walls emerged monument after monument to the Hoste family. I knew from that moment I was destined to live in Stanhoe. It was only after I’d had my offer accepted on the house in Parsons Lane and had been living here for some time that I discovered it was so called because for a period during the C19th, the Parson of Stanhoe was the Reverend Philip Ward who was the husband of Lord Nelson’s daughter Horatia and they lived in a house on land up what is now Parsons Lane.

My father, who passed away in 2007, went on to write a further nine biographies of Nelson, wasn’t party to any of these coincidences, or perhaps he was, anyway, I feel very at home in Stanhoe and I know he would be really pleased I was settled here.

Saints Alive editor , 7 Station Road, tel 517 005

Copy deadline for the printed issue of Saints Alive
is the 15th of the previous month