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29 October 2014
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Title - Extra Norfolk

Poppyland the stuff of dreams for writer
Deborah Partridge reports (real 28k 2'38")
Download poppy wallpaper
Poppy field
A field of nodding poppies - a familiar summer sight and lasting symbol of North Norfolk.

When newspaper critic Clement Scott's editor sent him to look at the lure of 19th century Cromer, it was to change two lives irrevocably and give birth to Poppyland, writes Deborah Partridge.

Poppyland poster

When Clement Scott stepped off the train in Cromer love was the last thing on his mind.

The town was hot, crowded and (he thought) rather vulgar. There were swarms of visitors on the beach and nowhere to stay. Discouraged, he strode off along the cliffs towards Overstrand.

The woman he was about to meet would change his life forever. Nineteen-year-old Louie Jermy was in the garden of the mill house in Sidestrand when he first saw her.

Louie Jermy
Miller's daughter Louie Jermy

Young and fresh-faced rather than beautiful, she was the daughter of the miller. He asked for accommodation, she invited him in. Scott was married, but this relationship would become one of the most important in his life.

"Louie had little education, but she loved books and had a quick brain, but almost certainly it was her innocence and the romance of the situation that also appealed to him, " says Rochelle Mortimer Massingham, from Cromer Museum.

Later Scott would describe the journey to her doorstep as "a blue sky without a cloud across it; a sea sparkling under a haze of heat; wild flowers in profusion around me, poppies pre-dominating everywhere, the hedgerows full of blackberry blossom and fringed with meadow-sweet".


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