The day dawned fine and cool at about 9 C but overcast and windy. Some sunshine during the morning but showers from about 1:00pm onwards.
Today was mainly about seeing a bit of different countryside. When we put the plan together, we had left out the Norfolk and Suffolk areas. With a day up our sleeves we decided to move the itinerary around a little and drive the eastern section of England.
We started by having a bit more of a look around Peterborough and that mainly turned into a walk and a visit to the city's museum. Only small but concentrates on the local area and has some good displays on the history of the area. A couple of areas well covered were the Prisoner of War camp set up in the area at Norman Cross. The first camp in the world built specifically to house POWs. This was at the time of the English/French War around the 1800. Part of the display included items made by the prisoners, usually from carved wood or bone and detailed how the prison camp inmates became a part of the area's economy with the sale of the goods. I also discovered that Peterborough is the home of Perkins Engines having commenced business there in 1932.
From Peterborough we headed east through the area called Fenland. This area is a coastal plain and at one time was a very marshy area. The marshes were drained centuries ago and what remains is very fertile flat agricultural land. The area has become a major agricultural region in Britain for grains and vegetables. Driving through it I was reminded of the areas around Gatton/Laidley in Southeast Queensland. A large section of Fenland has irrigation/drainage channels running through to provide water and drainage to areas that are barely above sea level.
We stopped in Ely to see the Cathedral there. The present building dates back to 1083 and Cathedral status was granted in 1109. Also in Ely is a house in which Oliver Cromwell lived between 1636 and 1647, part of the period during which he was one of the leaders of the Civil War between Parliament and the King. The house is claimed to be haunted. An interesting fact about Ely is that it was once an island in the marsh area and its highest point is only 39 metres above sea level.
From Ely it was on through Norwich and into Great Yarmouth on the River Yare in the rain. Drove around the main part of the area and we were surprised at the difference of the town to most other places. Concentrated on the beach front with two piers, multiple amusement arcades and parks and a permanent circus stretching 5 klms along the foreshore and casinos across the street, it is obviously a modern thriving tourist city apart from its role in the supply of North Sea oil and offshore Natural Gas rigs. The river has two crossings and each is a lifting bridge to allow vessels to navigate the river.
We then travelled south, still in the rain to Ipswich where we are staying tonight,
Tomorrow we have another go to find that elusive man with seven wives. I think this time we have the correct town. That may have been why we failed to find them last time.