Dating memories scrapbook

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In the first article, The Enchantress and the mystery of Viscountess Bury, published in February 2012, I wrote about the ex Thames passenger launch which was eventually converted into the motor cruiser by Leo Robinson in the early 1920s having previously been used for a while to run pleasure trips from Oulton Broad.

I was contacted around 18 months later by Tim Sargeant who added a new twist to that story as one of the Oulton Broad postcards I had posted was actually of a different passenger launch bearing the same name. Banham c1910 with the intention of running her as a passenger cruiser from his boatyard in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

In the early stages of looking into the history of these distinctive buildings, I came across evidence of the subsidence problem via brochure entries from the 1950s and 1960s for the other two villas, then named Southernholme and Broadwaters.

The 1958 entry for Southernholme in the Hoseason’s brochure of that year showed that it was noticeably lower than it had been in the 1930s postcard.

So began the story of Kia Manzi and the Dasiy Broad villas.

Kia Manzi fared better than the other two villas and still retained both floors when Chris Raynor’s grandfather owned it, although Chris does remember having to walk downhill to patio doors from the river and that it always seemed somewhat damp inside.

The power of the internet is sometimes a wonderful thing as, in January last year, I was contacted by the daughter of that former owner who confirmed that her father, who was Rhodesian, had christened it Kia Manzi which was the Matabele word for “house on the water”.

Rosemary Misselbrook recalled the family remodelled the layout to move the sitting room upstairs and bought a little cruiser from the London Boat Show to use as a runabout.

I had originally dated the postcard it came from to the 1920s or 1930s, but there were no real clues to provide a definitive date for it.

It shows the entrance to Daisy Broad with the building which later became the Beehive Stores on the left.

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