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Brooke is a village which lies approximately 7 miles south of Norwich - between Poringland and Kirstead.

George Ewart Evans' House in Brooke

George Ewart Evans(1909-1988) - the oral historian - lived in a cottage here - overlooking the mere. He moved to the village in 1968 after his wife retired from teaching. He had previously lived at Blaxhall in Suffolk where he began to gather together reminiscences about East Anglian country life. Evans was not a native of either Norfolk or Suffolk but a Welshman - but found a rich vein of local history and knowledge here to inspire his work. His books include Where Beards Wag All (1970), The Days That We Have Seen (1975) and The Strength of The Hills (1983). Evans was working in the same territory as the Suffolk writer Ronald Blythe who is best remembered for his enchanting book Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village (1969).

Here is an extract from Ask the Fellows Who Cut the Hay (1956):

'As has been already stated the home-brewing was an important event, demanding the utmost care and vigilance; for there would be a great loss to the household if the brew went wrong. Moreover, beer at that time was recognised as an essential part of the farm-worker's diet; and during times of extra work on the farm allowances of hops and malt were made by the farmer to his men. Robert savage, for instance, got a lambing 'lowance of two bushels of malt and two pounds of hops so that Prissy often made two brews during the lambing season.'

The impressionist landscape painter Edward Seago (1910-1974) lived for many years at Brooke Lodge.
More photographs of Brooke




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