Mary Hardy's Diary

In 1988 Mike Sparkes, a skipper of wherry Albion and trustee of Norfolk Wherry Trust, wrote an article in our Journal and mentioned some old family diaries that he had seen. Margaret Bird read this, contacted Mike and went to see these diaries. They turned out to be comprehensive and unique. She has spent the intervening 24 years carrying out further research and turning them into a book.

Margaret is an Honourary Research Fellow at the Department of History Royal Holloway University of London. The diaries are now about to be published in four volumes, the first of which 'The Coltishall Diaries 1773 - 1781' is about Mary's life as the wife of a farmer, maltster, brewer - and wherry woman. Her records of the life of wherrymen and the cargoes carried make fascinating reading but especially for wherry Albion fans, as she, of course, was built for a malster - albeit just over 100 years later.

There is the opportunity to listen to Margaret talk about her book, how it came about and the research she undertook. There are two talks coming up soon, both at Holt. Both are free, and all are welcome:

  • Holt Library, 11th April at 10 am
  • Holt Bookshop, 31st May at 6.30 pm.
The events are under the 'News and events' heading on the Diary site and the publishers' site. Here are the links:

Library talk

Bookshop: Author event

Back to News Items