River Deben Festivities 2021 and before

By Julia Jones & Archie White

We publish this RDA Journal post on the eve of a new River Deben Festival – a new style of weeklong festival where many of the river businesses, clubs and organisations come together to do something special.  The Deben Summer Festival is the inspiration of Moray McPhail, Matt Lis, supported by the committee of the River Deben Association and many others.  Until the festival begins, the best place to visit is the website which continues to grow as organisations add their events. https://www.debenfestival.org/events

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Of Diaries and the Perennial Diarist of Waldringfield

By Gareth Thomas

[This article is about A Perennial Diary kept by the Reverend Thomas Henry Waller, Rector of Waldringfield for 43 years from 1862 to 1905.   Please note that where entries are quoted verbatim the text is italicised.]

Readers who belong to The Arts Society will have had the opportunity recently to hear Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, pronouncing on the immense value of diaries and describing a collection of 11,000 such pieces which he oversees at the Bishopsgate Institute, opposite Liverpool Street Station. 

Finkel, a real enthusiast in the preservation of diaries, describes the simplest, most humble diaries as ‘magical’, because they are concerned with the life of real people who have written ‘the truth as they see it, without manipulation.’ He makes a particular point that none of the 11,000 diaries in question were kept by politicians. Continue reading

Tales from the courts

Murder on the Deben by Peter Wain

The Deben is such a peaceful river but its tranquility masks deeds of theft and even murder on its banks.

On Thursday the 20th December 1352, in Bawdsey, Robert Fille, aged 32, and William Crey had an argument[1]. It seems that this argument took place at one o’clock in the morning and it may be that both men had been drinking.  It seems they were arguing over two ‘botewond’.   

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Waldringfield

by Leigh Belcham from Newbourne in short trousers © Leigh Belcham 2014

Sheltered from the prevailing westerlies, the sandy beach at neighbouring Waldringfield was always an attraction for Newbourne children. On the banks of the River Deben, the village had been a popular sailing centre since the 1920s. The waterfront was was inaccessible to the public during the war, but once hostilities ceased, boats soon returned to the river and children to the shore. Most parents were tied to their smallholdings, but older children could roam free, with many heading to the water by bike or on foot.

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Barge Wharves on the River Deben

by Robert Simper

Part 1:  Bawdsey Ferry up to Hemley Dock

When I was young, in the early 1950s, there were still people who talked about the places where Thames barges loaded on the River Deben. Most of these were still clearly visible as loading wharves, but nearly seventy years later most of them have been reduced to just a few pieces of rotten wood sticking out of the mud. Continue reading

Managing the 2013 Flood Surge

Where can I launch my surfboard!

Managing the 5th December 2013 tidal surge

The bi-annual River Deben Association talk was delivered by David Kemp, Coastal Team Leader, Environment Agency (EA) to an audience of over 100 members.

When a flood is forecast, the key time is the preparation within the 24 hours before the storm arrives. His fascinating account took us through the EA’s planning in the East Anglia Incident room whilst preparing for the surge of 5th December 2013.

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