When planning my trip from Ipswich in Suffolk to Marton in Yorkshire, I thought it would be good to call in somewhere associated with Captain Cook. I’d been to many along the way on previous trips, and couldn’t think of any more.
Then I received an article about Alexander Hogg, who sailed as an as an AB in Resolution during the Third Voyage. It said he died at Boxford in Suffolk, and there is a memorial to him at nearby Groton. At the time of his death, Boxford and Groton were in a different county to Ipswich. They were in West Suffolk, whereas Ipswich was in East Suffolk. They came together in the local government reorganisation of 1974, when my birthplace moved from Buckinghamshire to Berkshire due to the redrawing of these counties’ boundaries!
So, on the Friday of the CCS weekend, I drove west to Boxford, where my great great great grandfather, William Butcher, was minister at the Congregational Church from 1875 to 1881. The Manse, where he lived, is still in the village, and I passed it on my way to the nearby village of Groton.
St. Bartholomew’s is a lovely church, and I enjoyed wandering around outside and inside taking photos to accompany the Hogg article.1
Suffolk doesn’t have many major roads, and no motorways, so it was a slow drive north to Bury St Edmunds, where I could join the road from Ipswich. I’d spent 90 minutes longer getting to Bury than when I go direct. However, the diversion had been worthwhile.
The journey north was slower than usual, and I arrived in Great Ayton just after 4pm, so missed being able to go inside the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum, by a few minutes. However, the statue of Cook as a boy was still on the green, along with a friend.2
And so, to the Blue Bell Hotel, where I checked in, and then spent a pleasant 20 minutes chatting to the several members milling around Alwyn Peel in the corridor from Reception to the bedrooms. A great way to be welcomed to the hotel.
That evening we had an informal meal and the opportunity to show each other books, stamps, and other things we’d brought along of interest. And chat. And chat. And chat.