I often ride through the village of Kimberley, near Wymondham, as it is situated on a favourite stretch of motorcycling road; the B1108 or Watton Road.
Whenever we pass through, the South African in me always thinks of the diamond mining town of Kimberley in South Africa but I didn’t realise that the two are linked.
I have recently discovered that Kimberley in SA is actually named after John Wodehouse, the 1st Earl of Kimberley, who was born in Wymondham. He went on to become a Liberal Politician and later held office as Secretary of State for the Colonies.
The diamond town in SA started out on the farm Vooruitzicht and later became known as New Rush. However, when they proclaimed the area as a Crown Colony in 1873, Lord Kimberley insisted that before electoral divisions could be defined, the places had to receive ‘decent and intelligible names’.
His Lordship declined to be in any way connected with such a vulgarism as New Rush and as for the Dutch name, Vooruitzicht… he could neither spell nor pronounce it!
The Colonial Secretary, J.B.Currey, suggested that Lord Kimberley would be able to both spell and pronounce the name of the main electoral division if it bore his name. (Good career move, Mr Secretary, Sir!)
Last Saturday, Jess and I had a lovely ride-out with Nick & Hazel to Wymondham. Nick is very knowledgeable with regards to the roads in Norfolk and took us via the Barnham Broom road, which runs through the Kimberley Estate.
There is a particularly scenic spot where the road crosses the Tiffey river where we stopped to have a better look.