Postcard From the Past

broads-southludham-4 Well, hello there! It is I, for I am not actually dead. Well, some would probably disagree. And hey, what if this is the afterlife? Have to admit, that wasn’t how I was expecting this to start whilst I was putting this drawing together. It’s been a while since I’ve done this. Cut me some slack, jeez.

I might not be dead, but sadly, both of these Ludham windpumps are long deceased. A great shame that is, too, as we appear to have two magnificent examples of Norfolk drainage mills in close proximity – a classic tower mill, known locally as Beaumont’s Mill, and an open ‘skeleton’ mill – working together day to day together (together!) on the River Ant. Though I’m more enamoured with the tower mill, I think the skeleton mill is probably the bigger loss as I can only think of a single other on the Broads in any decent condition today, that being Boardman’s Mill, which, incidentally, stands just a couple of miles north on the same river.

My inspiration for this was, besides a sweet release from the ‘day job’, this postcard I happened across, showing Beaumont’s Mill presumably post-retirement and looking the worse for wear. I decided to substitute in a reference of the mill in better condition, and repositioned the neighbouring skeleton mill so that it could share the spotlight. The colour and shading is murkier than I wanted, but it’s a drawing, and pretty much the first drawing I’ve managed to complete this year, so that’s a victory in my book (pity it’s on my hard drive, in that case). Maybe I’ll try a brighter version someday.

I’m not sure if I’ve made this confession before, but it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I indulged in quite a bit of deltiology as a child, and yes, they were almost all of the windmill persuasion. Yes. I was that cool. I had a “walbum” full of the things, from home and abroad. I don’t know where they are now. But it’s nice to see postcards of these structures now long gone, which I actually knew very little about until recently. Demolished in the sixties, a boat mooring now occupies the site of Beaumont’s Mill and of the skeleton mill only the piers remain. Thank goodness for these postcards from the past.

  1. That’s an excellent re-imagining from the postcard image. I have some old postcards from when I lived next to Sarehole Mill (not a windmill but a waterwheel mill) and Mosely Wood and Joy Wood in South Bham – the site and grounds where a young Tolkien played and drew inspiration for The Hobbit and LOTR.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks! Ooh, I quite like watermills too, and Sarehole Mill looks a beauty – a picture postcard setting if ever there was one! Nice to see it’s being looked after, and has just had the bakehouse restored to working order apparently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was nice living there, and I spent a lot of time exploring the woods. Knowing the Tolkien connection made it even more a special place. Across the road was a café called ‘The Hungry Hobbit’ 🙂 Don’t know if it’s still there, been 10 years since I last visited. Good to hear they’re still restoring. I think it’s always been one of Brum’s heritage sites that’s been well looked after.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jacob said:

        Haha, love Hungry Hobbit! Looks as if it’s still there, though there was a legal dispute over the ‘Hobbit’ a few years ago. I guess they won as it’s still marked as The Hungry Hobbit on Google Maps.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Google stats just hiked up on the word “deltiology”

    I really like the lighting in this drawing, in fact it’s made me realise I haven’t done a pencil drawing in ages. To the extent I can’t even remember my last one – those graphite weapons have been neutered down to just marking up for some paint to obliterate their lives.

    Thanks for posting it up Jacob, thanks for the inspiration and thanks for not being dead 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Haha. I used to follow a blog on here in the early days called Deltiology, I think that was the first I heard of it.

      Chuffed to bring the inspiration to you, sir – this post was worthwhile after all! It can be refreshing to ‘simplify’ and just sketch at your own pace after so long focusing on other styles or media.

      Liked by 1 person

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