Catfield 1925

catfieldmill-2The annual Christmas weariness is well and truly here; stuck in that seemingly unending in-between stretch before we’re all forced to be jolly once more. Yay! Perhaps as a means of killing time, nostalgia is rife at this time of year. Last year, I ended up revisiting Doom – as indeed I have this year, too! – this year, in my lethargy I found myself drawing a windmill; a good old two-dimensional drawing of the thing, rather than a model, for the first time in quite a while – a miniature throwback of its own. It was a relative quickie, coming in at just over an hour, but it was nice to be ‘sucked in’ and rescued from my wandering – I suppose I ought to have known by now, I can always turn to a windmill!

The mill you see is Swim Coots Mill, a drainage mill that also ground animal feed. Situated in the village of Catfield just beside Hickling Broad, and indeed owned by a family who ran several mills in Hickling, it was built in the early nineteenth century and makes for a charming little structure, with its tiddly sails atop a tower with a very pronounced batter. The mill worked until the mid-twentieth century, when, like many of its colleagues, it was obsoleted by electric and oil pumps; the tower still stands, but is today capped by a rather unsightly tin helmet.

What intrigues me the most is the chap in the reference (there were others, but in my haste they turned out really quite badly, so I removed them). Who is he? The miller? Me in a past life? Both…?

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20 comments
    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Dawn – thrilled to hear as much! The windmills on the Broads were what I first took to drawing when I was little, so it’s always nice to revisit them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dawnmarie said:

        I am glad you did.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Geke Hop-Wassink said:

    Beautiful, have a great New Years Evening and a good, healthy and Happy 2017 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Geke! And thanks also for your continued support and friendship – a very Happy New Year to you too! Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to see a good old-fashioned drawing again, Jacob. Whoever that chap is, he cuts a fine figure with his loose-fitting suit and frankly strange hair/hat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Michael – more to come, I’m sure. Ha, I’m not sure why I didn’t think to fix that hat! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill Fufkin said:

    Very ethereal drawing…truly a bygone age. I imagine our subject was very proud of his castle. B

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You can indeed always turn to a windmill. But can you turn LIKE a windmill? Chances are you’ll need more arms. I’m not sure why I said that. Anyhoo, i’m loving the monochrome. Also loving the style. Very illustrationy, for want of a better term. I’m kinda glad that the other people didn’t make the cut; the solitary guy gives the image a certain intrigue. Noice woik, Jacob!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks so much! Haha, this reminds me of the ‘windmill’ warm-up we were made to do in PE lessons: arms out straight, one turning forwards, the other backwards. Exactly how that qualifies as ‘windmill’ I’m not sure, as I was sure a mill’s sails turned the same way – still, teacher knows best. 😉 But for this exchange I’m happy to go with it and proclaim that yes, I can turn like a windmill! As can you! 😉

      Yes, I’m with you on the solitude-dude, he definitely creates a vibe. It’s just really, as he was the star, what attracted me to drawing. The fully-populated photato itself is quite nice, though – they look as though they’re making a nice time of the sun: http://www.norfolkmills.co.uk/images-drainage-mills/Catfield-Swim-Coots-c.1925.jpg Simpler times, and all that!

      Liked by 2 people

      • haha, i think i recall a similar thing in P.E now that you mention it! Yes, the arms moving in opposing directions doesn’t quite cut it, does it? But i guess we have to make allowances for P.E teachers; they’re not used to thinking about things ….;P
        Aww, what a charming image! For some reason i was expecting to see big crowds of people. They do look happy, don’t they? But i’m not sure where the man fits in there…he’s very intriguing indeed.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jacob said:

        Haha! As one who went to a ‘sports college’ high school – bleurgh! – and hence was surrounded by PE teachers, I can confirm that is true!

        Yes, it’s interesting about the man – he seems curiously distant from the others, doesn’t he? Almost as if he’s an apparition, visible only on the image. Perhaps it was seen as more gentlemanly for him to pose a mile away from the women in the photograph. Maybe I’ll get in touch and see if they know any more about the image and its subjects, or perhaps I’ll just leave it and let our imagination do the summation!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ugh- you poor thing! A “sports college” sounds like a living hell! How are you still sane?!!
        Ah, good point. In those days it may indeed have been considered improper for a man to stand too close to a group of ladies. yeah, it’d be cool to know the story behind it. But it is fun to imagine, too 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jacob said:

        Yesss, it was quite the drudge. Basically, you weren’t worthy of acknowledgement unless you were some expert athlete or sportsman, and, even if you weren’t, you had to take PE as one of your GCSE options. I was in the lowest ability set – they didn’t really trust us with rugby or anything strenuous, ’cause we’d surely never understand the rules or know what on earth we were doing. I vividly remember the teacher yelling out to me during a game of football that I should, “kick it in the goal!”. NO WAY?? Hilarious.

        But yes, I did my worst – without having to try at all – to sully their precious reputation 😉 and quite happily walked out with an E grade. Oops! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • The only reason i didn’t “like” this, was because doing so would make me feel that i approve of the awful time you must’ve had at school! It sounds like a terrible place. How can schools like that be allowed to exist?? Non sporty people shouldn’t be forced to attend such institutions. I feel for you! I would’ve got an F…or a J or a K, more likely!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jacob said:

        Haha, aw – while the ‘sport is everything’ mindset got very frustrating very quickly, it wasn’t too bad. I survived… just about. Actually thinking about it, I’m wondering if I got off lightly compared to a non-sporty school, for they might not have had the ‘don’t even care’ set that I was able to hide in. It was basically a doss – and it was a mixed group for the first two years, too, which made it more relaxed and fun – whilst the worthy ones strutted their stuff elsewhere. At a different school, I might have been lumped in with a load of over-competitive boys!

        Haha, a K grade! I can relate indeed. Incidentally, for GCSE PE I was predicted a G for practical and A for theory. That’s some indication of how awful at sport I was/am! But they could hardly grumble at my E, could they, as I’d overachieved by two whole grades. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Ha! Well there you go- you showed them! I’d be happier with the A for theory anyway. better to have a brain than be…well, a future P.E teacher, hehe 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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