Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Cockatrice: Who was One-Armed Carver?


MYTHS already abound about the isolated former pub alongside the Yare known as “The Cockatrice”. All the old boys say that this building – miles from any other on the road from Norton Subcourse to Reedham Ferry – was the haunt of smugglers. Certainly its location lends itself to those sort of rumours. It’s been a house – rather than an inn - for more than 80 years now. But selling books at Loddon Farmers’ Market today, I heard a snippet of surely another great story …that this building was once the home of “One-Armed Carver”.

Who he was and how he lost his arm are both unknown to me so far – although I know there was once an abbatoir here. Is that a gruesome clue? But I’m told by The Cockatrice’s new owner Sarah that he lived there some time after the building stopped being a pub. And rather bizarrely he used to use the grazing marshes nearby to race his greyhounds. Curiouser and curiouser. I’d love to know more. Get in touch if you can help.

* A cockatrice was a serpent hatched from a cock's egg which had the power to kill at a glance. The building – see below – is slightly more conventional.


1 comment:

  1. patricia betts3 March 2014 at 19:21

    Hi steve, my grandfather was the person you refer to as the one armed carver.his surname was calver, but it was spoken as carver with a silent L not really a great mystery, he lost his arm, and part of his leg, in the first world war,in france I believe. He was certainly a great character in and around loddon, often refered to as WINGY due to his one arm.He did indeed keep greyhounds, and race them, as did my father, his son. There was a slaughter house at the cockatrice, my grandmother was one of the few women to hold a slaughterers licence.