Elinor and I went to Beccles the week following our chilly walk in Halesworth. You might think Beccles (rhymes with freckles) is a strange name for a town: according to my Dictionary of English Place-Names the name probably derives from the Old English for ‘pasture by a stream’. Other derivations put forward are from the Brittonic for ‘small court’ or a contraction of ‘Beata Ecclesia’, the name of a Christian temple erected here c.960 AD. Take your pick!
Elinor needed to buy her Grandmother a birthday card and gift and Beccles has a greater selection of shops than our more local towns. We also wanted to have a walk by the river where I used to take Elinor when she was very small. We used to go there as a place to rest and recuperate after visits to the dentist, which she found extremely stressful.
We were successful with our shopping and then, because Elinor was hungry we bought her a panini to eat in the car. Unfortunately, it exploded and she and the seat belt were covered with runny cheese! We often have these events which are sent to try us apparently, but they also make life that bit more interesting! We then drove to the Boat Station car-park taking a couple of wrong turns on the way just to add to the excitement.
The weather was completely different from the week before. It wasn’t warm but the sun was shining brightly and there was that something in the air that spoke of Spring and warmth to come.
Beccles is part of the Broads. Not many people realize that the Broads stretch south into Suffolk, but they do. A few people leave their boats at the Yacht Station at Beccles Quay over the winter. There are WCs, shower and washing facilities (with points where one can empty chemical toilets), places to dispose of rubbish and a café, all provided for people travelling by boat wishing to stop here and enjoy visiting Beccles and its environs. There were many people working on their boats when we visited or they were sitting on deck enjoying drinks, hot and cold. There are boats and yachts for hire and we saw a few people out on the water.
Elinor and I returned home much refreshed by our visit to the Quay and the river.