A geographer who has spent the last two decades researching the cultural landscape of the Broads has given an insight into his relationship with Dr Joyce Lambert, the woman who overturned popular beliefs by announcing the area was man-made.
Professor David Matless, who grew up in Norwich and went to Old Catton Primary School and Wymondham College, will be presenting material from his newly published book at a free public lecture on Monday 3rd November at the Julian Study Centre, University of East Anglia, 6.30pm, to celebrate the Broads Authority’s 25th anniversary.
The 280 page paperback, In the Nature of Landscape: Cultural Geography on the Norfolk Broads, is the first cultural geographic study of the area and draws on archive material given to him by Dr Lambert. Professor Matless interviewed the botanist and former Norwich school teacher about her findings when she was in her 80s at her Brundall home. The two struck up a friendship which led to Professor Matless hearing many stories of Dr Lambert’s research on the origins of the Broads.
Dr Lambert gave Professor Matless her collection of carefully documented press cuttings from the Eastern Daily Press and access to the many published letters recording the public debate surrounding the formation of the Broads.
“It was fantastic to meet someone who had made such a notable mark in the region,” said Professor Matless. “The press cuttings are a wonderful document in their own right. Joyce was a perceptive reader and I would send her my writing so she could pass a critical eye over my work. It was incredible that the person whose work I had read and was the main figure in my book was actually reading and commenting on my own work. We had a mutual respect for each other.”
The two found they shared a love of Norwich City Football Club and Dr Lambert would recall how she would cheer the Canaries on at The Nest in the 1930s before they moved to Carrow Road. She also followed the matches on local radio.