A love letter to Norfolk - Poem written more than 50 years ago discovered in book

Kathy Blake and her mum Jean Lincoln on Waxham beach in 1972

Kathy Blake and her mum Jean Lincoln on Waxham beach in 1972 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

For more than half a decade, it remained hidden in a well-thumbed copy of English writer Arthur Mee’s book, Norfolk. 

And now, for the very time, an extraordinary poem written in homage to Nelson’s county has been shared. 

Kathy Blake, of Bircham’s Yard, Reepham, first came across the love letter to Norfolk after helping her father, John Lincoln, sort through his belongings. 

Previously unpublished, it is was possibly penned by her mother, Jean Lincoln, who died in 2002. 

Jean Lincoln in 1954, which would have been around the time the poem was written

Jean Lincoln in 1954, which would have been around the time the poem was written - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Ms Blake explained how the discovery came about. 

She said: “My father recently, because of ill health, moved in with me.  

“We have gradually been going through his stuff and that was how I stumbled across this poem. It was in a copy of Arthur Mee's, Norfolk.  

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“In the 1940s, Mee wrote a series of books about all of the English counties. It was sometimes referred to as the new Domesday book. I know mum loved her copy and it was very well-thumbed. It would have been a natural home for the poem.” 

During the early 1950s, Mrs Lincoln was secretary to the then chief constable of Norfolk. The poem is believed to have originated from that time - although its provenance remains a mystery. 

“I have looked online and found nothing, so I imagine it was unpublished. There are no clues from the original copy either. 

“Mum may well have written it herself but I cannot categorically state that she did. If she did, she never told any of us about it.  

“Ironically, I found it just a few days before this year’s Norfolk Day. If anyone else has any information about it, I would be very interested.” 

Ms Blake described it as “a wonderful poem” that brought a lump to her throat when she first read it.  

She added: “I've had a print of it made and framed which will be displayed proudly in my home.” 

  • If anyone has any information regarding the poem then please email reporter donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk  

The original typewritten poem

The original typewritten poem - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Norfolk - a poem

by Unknown  


No mountains grand your contours show, no rushing gorge 

deep streams,  

But quiet brooding marsh and fen, and heathlands heathered  

dreams,  

No bard extols your lavish past, no poet pens your lines,  

But still the Nelson spirit lives, and still your beauty  

shines.  

  

Your sleepy broads mean more to me than lakelands wond'rous  

charms, 

Nor would I change for Snowdon's peak, the smallest of  

your farms, 

Bedecked with fields of golden corn, and clothed with  

  gorse and broom; 

The pine trees gaunt stand guard upon the heathlands of  

  my home. 


Far out across the sandy dunes where oft the wild geese cry,  

A million breasts of white are seen, like snowflakes in  

the sky.  

While on your borderland there broods the silent sombre  

fen;  

 Sea lashed, it stirs protestingly, then frowns to sleep  

again.  


 Your marshland churches stand to-day proud monuments to God;  

Defying time as once they did the haughty Norman's rod. 

The fenman to his freedom held when freedom's price was  

dear; 

The northern oceans mock him yet, but naught can make him  

fear.  

  

Cathedral city Norwich stands, your fairest jewel of all; 

The shadows of its lofty spire like benedictions fall, 

Its sleepy stream meanders by, its drowsy castle sleeps, 

And locked within grey city walls, a heart of gold it keeps.  

  

From banks of Ouse to Waveney, from Gorleston sands to Lynn,  

Your boundaries are none too large to hold your treasures  

In. 

What fragrant memories dear to me were born within your breast,  

When in those happy days of peace my heart to yours I 

pressed. 

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