The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

If you'd like to publish any interesting material about the history of East Anglia on the site, then please send an email to the Resident Historians at and we'll add it.

Family Historians have their own area on the site, so look there if your main interest is in tracing your family history.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Pals

Another mystery postcard has been given to us. This is a group of people from Belchamp. It was thought to be a group of special constables, but this may be a guess based on the strange headgear of the gentleman on the far left, who looks rather more likely to be in hunting gear. The best guess is that this is the local Otter hunt, but normally the whole group would be in their hunting clothes.

The mystery group from Belchamp, which
includes Harry Twichett

For the sake of city-dwellers of delicate disposition, nobody from any of the Otter Hunts could remember ever having caught an otter. Some of the otter hunts are still going, renamed as Mink Hunts, and tasked with ridding the rivers of this pest. It appears to be a good excuse to have a good days exercise splashing about in the river and giving the occasional whoop. They carried on their activities with unalloyed joy for many years after the otters became extinct on the Stour, driven out not by their activities but the pollution, and the loss of riparian habitat.

This is probably all academic as the group could be nothing to do with the local otter hunt. All we know is that the man holding the dog is Harry Twitchett, who used to run the village store. The photograph has been leant to the society by Mrs Lynette Hards, to whom we are immensely grateful.

Mrs Hards, who in the great Granddaughter of Harry Twitchett, has been immensely kind in giving us copies of a set of photographs of Belchamp Walter which I've never seen before and will soon be going up on the site. These include several photographs of the Stores, the Eight Bells, the famous signboard, the church, the school and Belchamp Hall. All in all a treasure-trove of photographs which should please everybody in the village of Belchamp Walter. Please remember we are very much on the lookout for photograps of the other villages in the area as well.


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