James Marston: Prawn salads and kingly crocodiles

James Marston feature with Lord Iveagh at the Elveden War Memorial.

James Marston feature with Lord Iveagh at the Elveden War Memorial. - Credit: Archant

Well dear readers I have now lost a grand total of 11 pounds. I put it down to vast quantities of Weetabix and prawn salads, though not at the same time. Hard work though isn’t it dieting?

Wendy, she’s my enthusiastic diet guru in the west Suffolk village of Red lodge, said I was doing rather well despite a trip to France which included plenty of offal (duck hearts in fact) and a number of croissants.

Anyway as regular readers will know I fluctuate weigh-wise from heavy to heavier so I suppose I better carry on.

This week, instead of enjoying the comfort of my small Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant) I found myself waking up in London’s Berkeley Square – not disorientated in the middle of it but in a hotel.

I was there for one of those big conference type black tie dinners when everyone gets drunk in a gentleman’s club – not that sort of club – with my sister Claire who wants to marry a farmer with 4,000 acres and a week pulse. In the finish the dinner went off well and I rather enjoyed the hotel breakfast.

It was after breakfast that we had to do one of those clue type treasure hunts around St James’ Park. I discovered that the park was once a marshy area and that James I once used the park to keep crocodiles, camels and an elephant and there have been pelicans there since 1664 – a fact I am sure will come in useful one day.

When I got back to Suffolk I barely had time to put a wash on before attending the harvest supper at the ancient church of St James. Well I say supper – the ladies of the church did a buffet as apparently it kept the options open food wise. I played some incidental music on the organ and munched on a pork pie.

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This week I’ve discovered more facts at the Elveden, Icklingham and Ersiwell war memorial with estate owner Lord Iveagh.

Situated next the A11 at the convergence of the three parishes the memorial is a well known landmark for many a holiday maker.

The memorial dates from 1921 and stands 127 feet high and is the tallest war memorial in Suffolk and one of the tallest such memorials in Great Britain.

And, poignantly, the names of the fallen face the parish they came from – something to be proud of.

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