Gedney Drove End – the village that emerged from The Wash

Sean Portass and Dana Garkavaya have brought The Rising Sun back to life. Photo: SG171013-112NG
Sean Portass and Dana Garkavaya have brought The Rising Sun back to life. Photo: SG171013-112NG

It is said everyone living left of the A17 as it skirts the Wash going east are Marsh people and those on the other side of the road are Fen people

Those living at Gedney Drove End have no doubts about their identity: they are most definitely Marsh people.

The village appears to have a tentative hold of the land when looked at on a map, with tentacles of water stretching from the North Sea inwards along muddy creeks.

In between land and sea are vast stretches of marshland and sand banks – including an area used as part of RAF Holbeach bombing range – and this is a surprisingly rich habitat for wildlife, such as geese, Barn Owls and Marsh Harriers.

The homes of Gedney Drove End residents are safely protected from the water’s reach by three sea defences, the sea bank creating a popular dog walking area.

The village may be about seven miles away from a pint of milk, but it has its own pub, thanks to Sean Portass who took over the Rising Sun about a year ago with his partner Dana Garkavaya.

At that time, the Rising Sun was shut and run down – Sean has spent about £60,000 refurbishing it, including uncovering original 17th century beams.

Sean says the pub is “a bit of everything” with food served seven days a week, including Sunday lunches and Wednesday steak nights, and music most weekends.

The other focal point of the community is the village hall, which committee member Vikki Bills says is used for Friendship Club meetings, monthly bingo, and this year’s summer fair in September.

Vikki said: “The village hall committee organised it to get the community together and it worked. We are doing it again next year.”

A Halloween party is planned for Friday, November 1 (7-9.30pm) with fancy dress and disco and, on Sunday, December 1, there is a Christmas fair with Santa’s grotto (1-4pm).

Vikki said it is hoped in future that the hall could be used for weekly coffee mornings and as a youth drop-in.

Vikki’s youngest child is one of 43 on roll at the village school. The children occasionally visit Christ’s Church, where churchwarden Cynthia Causer says they are currently preparing for a Remembrance service with Gedney Dawsmere Royal British Legion on November 10 (10am).