Brampton Spring: a flock on the start the start of a journey north
A small flock of Golden Plover brighten up and otherwise nondescript morning. At first we nearly missed them as we walked along the old track, but then we noticed them; 26 Plover milling about quietly in a field of Winter Wheat. They took no notice of us – confident in their security. The light was too low for a decent photograph – I managed a grainy image that looks more like a watercolour than a photo (see above).
A few low whistling calls came from them, but as we continued to walk on they gradually merged into the background and disappeared from view. I like to assume that they are simply stopping over on their Spring migration north, although they may have wintered here.
Old brickwork at Oxnead Lock
The decaying brickwork of the Oxnead Lock. According to Edwin Rose (writing in 1993 as part of the Norfolk Archaeological team at Gressenahll) this brickwork was probably built in 1851 when the Mill was refurbished, although it is possible that some parts of the structure may date back to 1775 when the original engineering work on the cut was completed.
Oxnead: Eye of Heron
What struck me was the cold, glassy eye of the Heron perching on a low fence at Oxnead this morning. The slight frost last night had still not entirely melted and the young Heron seemed to be waiting for movement or a sign of life.
Carols & Services at Brampton Church
Brampton Autumn – bronze
A few sharp frosts in recent days have nipped the leaves off the Sycamore and the Ash trees, but the Oak leaves have just turned a rich burnished bronze. This one, on the south side of Keeper’s Wood gently glows in the morning sunlight.
Jam news – sale of produce to benefit Brampton Church – can you help?
The mini market stall (“Fiona’s Fayre”) at the junction of The Street and Marsham Road has been a storming success. Fiona’s Crab Apple Jelly has been whizzing off the shelves. If any one else in the village would be willing to sell their Autumn produce on the stall they would be very welcome – so if you have some spare jams or jellies, some fresh vegetables or other home grown produce, then please add to the stall’s delectable selection. All proceeds collected go for the benefit of Brampton Church.
Brampton Autumn – the Golden horde
Brampton Autumn – silence with burst of birdsong
It is the Autumnal silence which hits you on an early morning walk from Brampton to Oxnead. Silence punctuated only by occasional sharp bursts of song – a Robin, the screech of a Jay and the repetitive fluting of a Nuthatch in the Keeper’s Wood. Then there were Kingfishers – a pair chasing and calling upstream to the mill pool, another single bird calling from a perch above the sluice. It has been a good year for Kingfisher numbers so far, with numbers increased from a successful breeding season.
WILLIAM SPINKS, son of Brampton 1929 – 2016 OBITUARY
WILLIAM SPINKS, son of Brampton 1929 – 2016 – may he Rest In Peace
WILLIAM SPINKS (known to some as Willy and others as Billy) was born in the Old Maids Head pub in Brampton near where the village sign now is on 27th July 1929 and died in hospital on 14th September 2016 having lived in the same village yards from the place of his birth all his life.
His trade was as a Carpenter and was apprenticed at J.W. Palmer in Aylsham. He also worked for Norgate Brothers in Horstead. He finished his employed years with what became the Property Services Agency based at RAF Coltishall, a job that he retained from 1960 until 1992 when he retired. Although almost to the end he could often be seen working on this and that and keeping himself occupied.
He was married to Eileen in 1962 at Hellesdon as that was where she lived. Apart from his National Service William lived all his life in Brampton which is where their family was brought up and he developed a love for Village history which is shared and carried on by his son Jonathon.
William served on the Parish Council in Brampton (with a couple of short gaps) between the early 1950’s and 2013. I cannot confirm it exactly but this must be something of a record, especially locally. He also spent 20 years fund raising for and building the Village Hall.
His National Service was served in the Royal Engineers where he mostly used his trade to good effect. Due to a national emergency (Eileen thinks Korea) his time was extended although he never served overseas, in fact, he did not got any further than Wales. It appears that a good part of the extended service was spent completing the Colonel’s conservatory.
The fact is that Brampton has lost a very special son who loved the village and gave much to it over the years. As we have seen he was a very long serving member of the Council with a special interest in the Village Hall that he devoted a lot of time to. His influence will remain for all to see for years to come, the Community Field which he also lobbied for and the Village Hall are two examples but by no means are they the only ones. Even well after leaving the Council and up to the end his thoughts were for the village. Even in the last months of his life he was lobbying for a new road sign on Marsham Road which was put in place whilst he was still with us and stands as a final testament.
There was a “can do” attitude to Willy that that those who knew him were privileged to witness often. The Council might discuss and debate little bits of damage and repairs needed here and there. Whilst we talked, Willy got his tools out and repaired the things the rest of us could only talk about.
William’s funeral will be held at 11:00 on 29/09/2016 at Brampton Church with a reception afterwards at the Diplomat pub, Badersfield. This is appropriately the last building he worked on when in public service when it was built as a centre for the service wives during the first Gulf War. Family flowers only please with donations in William’s name to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Brampton in September
This week the House Martins abandoned our skies and headed for warmer climes. Recently they had gathered in wheeling flock of 40+ over the village – something akin to training flights for the late fledged young combined with a feeding frenzy. Air Temperatures had been high since Tuesday and the sky had become that deep shade of blue – cloudless and somewhat oppressive. Temperatures hit 32 degrees C (89 degrees Fahrenheit in old money) and activity on the ground had slowed. Then I noticed that they had gone – as ever to some unseen signal they had dissappeared. No stragglers apparent since then as I write this on a Saturday evening. The place is somewhat quiet without their movement and their cheerful calls.
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