Suffolk and The Sea – Sailors, Artists And Anglo-Saxons

by Claudia Myatt

Every spring and early summer there is a conversation between River Deben sailors that goes something like this:

‘Have you been over the bar yet?’
‘No, but I’ve got the chartlet, hoping to go round to the Orwell next weekend’
‘What’s it like this year?’
‘Shifted a bit in that storm I hear – quite narrow now.  Wouldn’t risk it until after half tide with my draft’
‘Deepest water is usually close to the beach but the tide runs hard there….’

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RDA Journal Update

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AGM Report – Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust – The State of our Rivers Report

The East Suffolk Rivers area of 1,364 km2 encompasses the valleys, waterbodies, tributaries and estuaries of the Rivers Gipping (Orwell), Deben, Alde and Ore, Thorpeness Hundred, Yox, Blyth and Lothingland Hundred.

This area is mostly rural with significant urban areas at Felixstowe, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Stowmarket, Saxmundham, Halesworth, Southwold and Kessingland.

Agriculture is the predominant land use (root veg and pig farming in the east and arable). Other pockets of land-based industry exist, including food processing, milling, malting and the manufacture of farm machinery and fertilisers.

The attached report by the Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust looks at the current state of these Suffolks Rivers.

 

Joe Clark  (14 July 1935 – 20 February 2022)  – A Tribute

From his family and from the Waldringfield History Group. Presented by Gareth Thomas (former chairman WHG)

Captain Joseph Christopher Clark, who retired from the Merchant Navy in 1992, passed away peacefully at his home, Woodside, in Waldringfield on Sunday, February 20th. 2022, following a long and debilitating neurological illness. Throughout that illness he had been cared for, unstintingly, at home, by his wife, Kit, his family and a magnificent team of carers.

Joe was the founding Chairman of the Waldringfield History Group and, as his immediate successor, I have been given the honour of providing for the RDA Journal a tribute to this kind, unassuming, dry-witted gentleman, this stalwart of Waldringfield. Continue reading

Overview of Sewage Overflows

By Liz Hattan

The East Anglian Daily Times recently published an article on sewage overflows into Suffolk rivers (October 26th 2021), highlighting those rivers with the highest number of spills in 2020.  The River Deben had 40 spills at its Deben Road overflow, totalling 18 hours. Other rivers such as the River Thet fared worse with over 1100 hours of spills at Badwell Ash, and some sites in the other parts of the country have seen thousands of hours of spills (see Rivers Trust interactive map for local data Is my river fit to play in?’  https://arcg.is/19LiCa).  Nationally, the number of spills is high with over 400,000 monitored spills (around 3.1million hours) in 2020 into English rivers and many more unmonitored ones.

So why are there are so many spills, why does it matter and what is being done to address the problem? This is a high profile issue with considerable political, media and public scrutiny. This article looks at some of the challenges. Continue reading

A Ramble around Wickham Market and Campsea Ashe

By Sue Ryder-Richardson

Rivers. The lifeblood of communities for generations, the Deben, from source to mouth, is one such. The river and its tributaries nurtured villages, gave grist to many mills, and fed and watered the all-important abbeys. Explorations around Wickham Market have revealed Paleolithic, Bronze Age, Roman, Anglo Saxon, and medieval relics. Both the tidal flood of this river and its inland arteries have supported this lineage of settlements.

A ramble around Wickham Market and Campsea Ashe [1] offers an insight into the generations that have lived, and worked alongside the Deben, from the C18th Rackham’s Mill, through the ancient, coppiced woodland ‘The Oaks’, alongside medieval fishponds, beside ‘Ashe Abbey’ which stands on the ground of the C12th Augustinian Priory of St Mary’s, but mostly walking over water-meadows that have brimmed and supported life for centuries.

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Some Suffolk Books from 2021

By Julia Jones

As well as being the fortunate editor of The Deben Magazine and The RDA Journal I have what I consider the dream job of ‘literary contributor’ to Yachting Monthly magazine. My duties every month are to select a 1000-word extract from any nautical book – old or new – which I think readers might enjoy and include it in the print edition of the magazine with a few details about the author and publisher. I also provide short reviews of three new books. They can be cruising stories, nautical fiction, instruction, advice, pilotage – or matters connected. (I’ve just selected an extract from an extraordinary book about the music of coastal foghorns for our March 2022 issue.)


Tidal flats on the upper reaches of the River Deben near Woodbridge (photo from Coatwise, published by Fernhurst Books).

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