Arthur & Barbara Cornford. Youth Hostel managers at Damgate, Martham.

Arthur Cornford and his wife Barbara were not local people but had a great influence on village life as owners and active managers of the Youth Hostel at Damgate.

The hostel was planned as a centre for canoeing by Arthur who had formerly been a warden at Goudhurst, Cranfield, Kent and Tanners Hatch Hostel in Dorking, Surrey. The Martham hostel was in two parts: a farmhouse called Orchard House and behind it was a specially constructed extension built to Arthur’s own design to provide accommodation for canoeing activities and store supplies for visitors.  

Arthur took a great interest in nature and local history and wrote an interesting paper in which he put forward an argument that there had been Roman occupation across the Isle of Flegg. You can read about it HERE.

For many years Barbara contributed to the Yarmouth Archaeological Society’s activities and was the editor of the Norfolk Research Committee’s Bulletin as well as being a teacher. She wrote a wonderful book called “Medieval Flegg” (IBSN 0 948400 98 6)  that provides a wealth of information on historical aspects of Martham. It is a must read for anyone interested in the history of East & West Flegg from 1086 to 1500.

The Cornfords retired in 1983 and moved to Loddon.

Back to People