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  1. 32 points
    I'd like to record how much I love this forum. Sadly my wife have become increasingly upset with the amount of time I spend posting here, and not paying attention to her and has issued an ultimatum. "It's me of the forum"! So sadly it's time for me to say farewell. I'll be back in a couple of hours when I've finished packing her things and driven her to her mothers. Don't do anything interesting without me.
  2. 28 points
    It's hard to believe that those halcyon days of endless summer spent on the Norfolk Broads are the best part of a lifetime ago. I sit in my armchair and gaze into the garden, rain making patterns on the French windows, grey clouds scurrying across the distant horizon. I have reached an age where I need a list to remind me to buy milk and bread when I go shopping. A small device in my pocket the likes of which once seemed beyond science fiction reminds me of the correct day to visit the Doctor and renew my various prescriptions and once in a while allows a family no longer nearby to check up on me. A call to see if it's worth spending a stamp on a Christmas Card or whether it's more prudent to invest in dry cleaning their funeral outfits. For all my great age and frailty I can still close my eyes and recall the names and faces of those days in Norfolk, recall them as if they were only yesterday. The man on the radio plays a tune, it's “Tracks Of My Years” time, I like that. It reminds me it's time to think about lunch. The intro sounds familiar and as the band begin playing I recognise the song we danced to so many times on those sultry evenings on Pakefield Beach, dancing, swimming and sitting around the driftwood fire, it's flames glowing blue green as the salt coloured them. They were carefree days, days of wonder and enlightenment. Everything was possible, everything an adventure, but I let that adventure die before I realised how magical it really was. Summer holidays were the one luxury our family enjoyed. Every year the money was scraped together somehow for our two weeks in Norfolk and Suffolk. Times were hard back then. We didn't think of ourselves as poor, in fact both my parents worked and we were better off than many in our local community but still there was “not much to spare” as my mother often said. She worked in the hosiery factory at the top of the street, my father was a carpenter. They paid the mortgage, sometimes with the aid of ten bob from a helpful grandparent, put food on the table and provided us with clothes, which sometimes fitted. We had no car, in fact in our whole street their was only one car, the scary man at the top of the road who worked at the bank. The street was for playing football and cricket, undisturbed by traffic. We did however have a television, and that too was one of very few in the street. Father's brother was a television engineer, remember them? Try explaining to the youth of today that when your TV broke down a man came and fixed it, or occasionally took it away in the back of his van if the repair was too involved, for it's return to be eagerly awaited like the delivery of a new baby in the family. Our TV was one which it's previous owner had given up having repaired but which Uncle Bill had pulled back from the brink of oblivion. It was black and white, of course, and it had buttons to switch between 405 and 625 lines depending on which channel you wanted to watch. There were three, can you imagine finding something worth watching with just three channels? To change the channel you had to twist the dial, little pieces of stamp paper marking the approximate location of each station. I was the remote control.... “lad, put BBC2 on” my father would say. During school holidays kids were left at home. That was the way. There would be somebody “on duty”, somewhere in the street. A non working mother maybe, or an older sibling. “If you need anything knock at Mrs Morris's” mum would say on her way out to work. I don't think it was ever said, but it was understood that you only disturbed mum at work if it was really serious. In truth we were not really “home alone” as we would be out playing all day. It seems almost unimaginable today, but kids played together outdoors back in those days. Half the things we got up to would probably have snowflakes from Social Services banging at the door nowadays. We climbed trees, built dens, made fires to bake potatoes on and if someone had got a ball we spent the afternoon in the park. Children of different ages played together, can you believe that, but there was a pecking order. The older kids decided what to do and the younger ones were allowed to tag along. Of course the school holiday we all awaited most eagerly was Summer. Nine weeks of freedom. Almost long enough to forget your teacher's name. Being factory workers my parents both had set holidays, when the works would stop and most of the county boarded a bus (our railway line having fallen victim to Dr. Beeching's axe) for Skegness. But for us, it was a car, hired, borrowed but never quite stolen and the A47 eastward East to Oulton Broad ……. to be continued …..
  3. 27 points
    Kenneth Grahame writes “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”. A little bit like the Mole, I ventured out of my hole and sniffed the late spring air. It had been a tough winter of coughs and agues, sneezes and diseases, wobbly legs, a jiggly hand and an errant and wayward cakehole. But spring was finally here and my white whiskers twitched with excitement at the prospect of adventures to come, for our granddaughter Gracie was making her first trip to the Norfolk Broads to meet Royal Tudor. Deciding who was the most excited about the impending trip to the Broads was going to be difficult. Gracie had packed her small suitcase the day we announced the trip. Walking Gracie to school became a chance to answer her questions about boats, boating and the rivers. 'Boat fever' was something I didn't mind catching in the least! How best to describe Grace? Six going on twenty-six. Bright as a button, very, very astute, long fair hair, tall and as limb-lithe as her name describes. Our walks to school were full of talk of ducks, otters, life-jackets, types of boats and pirates. 'There are no pirates Timbo, only those near Africa!'. There's no fooling Gracie! The day of departure finally arrived and after a fitful night's sleep, I of course overslept by half an hour, the day dawned bright and sunny. A quick coffee and after walking the beagles Ellie and I started to pack the QQ for the journey. Soon we were leaving 'Big G' three-quarters of an hour later than we intended with Gracie wedged in the back seat, the beagles in the boot and the QQ full to the gunwales with luggage and bits for the boat. We made our way via Doddington and Harmston to join the Sleaford roundabout. Just after the stretch of dual carriageway, Gracie was feeling travel sick. More I think due to Grandma asking if she was OK than actually feeling ill. So when I managed to find somewhere to pull over Gracie became my front seat navigator. I introduced her to the game of Pub and Church cricket. A game quite difficult to play since the demise of the public house. The rules are simple. Passengers take it in turn to 'bat'. A church with a square tower is '6 runs'. A pub name or it's sign provides additional runs to the number of 'legs' stated or depicted. So the Canary and Linnet pub provides four runs. The Carpenters Arms would have been no runs but the sign depicted two 'carpenters' holding up the arms so this was four runs. A church with a spire means that you are 'out' and the next passenger starts spotting to score. Due to the lack of pubs these days, windmills were substituted as three runs. Playing Pub and Church Cricket, Gracie reading the names of places on the Sat-Nav and handing out the mints, we were soon over Sutton Bridge and into Norfolk (According to Gracie the Bridge counted as fifty runs and brought her score to 367 not out). I stopped at the services at Swaffham, where Ellie realised what crap service we actually got from eateries at home. While Grace and Ellie went into McDonald's I sat outside with the dogs, the staff offering to bring my food outside while the ladies sat in comfort. Fed and watered we got underway again. As we drove along Gracie got more and more excited as I pointed out landmarks that were increasingly boat related. Down the new Broadland bypass, turn right for Wroxham and over the bridge and a 'wow' from Gracie as she saw the busy river and the boats. We stopped at Norfolk Marine to buy Gracie her life jacket. We were pleasantly surprised expecting a price tag of £50 plus to be asked for £25. While I waited with the 'beagle boys' Ellie and Gracie popped to Roy's for some last minute shopping. “They should call it rob-dog Roy's” Grace announced upon her return to the car clutching a new 'word search' puzzle book. “It's ever so expensive!” there's still no fooling Gracie. On our way again and we finally arrived at Stalham. Gracie was incredibly excited. The first job at the wet shed was to take the 'boys' for a well-earned wee. So Ellie, Gracie and I walked down the footpath behind the sheds while the boys stretched their legs. Back at the wet shed, I stopped by the two wrecked day launches parked on barrels outside. Gracie's face was a picture when she thought fleetingly that one of them was Royal Tudor. Just inside the shed, Dave (Janet Anne) was varnishing Uncle Mike's boat Chameleon. We made our way around the jetty until we, at last, reached Royal Tudor. Gracie was full of gasps and wonder and finally delight. It was love at first sight! While Ellie and Grace pottered around exploring RT, putting away the groceries and starting to clean, Dave and I did some catching up and waited for the chance to sort out the stern gland grease. We found this had already been done so Grace and I made a run to Tesco for last minute bits too expensive in Roy's, like beer, wine and batteries for Gracie's night light. In Tesco, Gracie looked thoughtful. “No, he's not a pirate.” “Who?” I asked her. “Dave. He might look like a pirate, but he's too nice to be a pirate. Besides, he doesn't have a wooden leg or a parrot!” “Ah!” Did I mention there's no fooling Gracie? At last with Royal Tudor fully provisioned and with the day waning rapidly, I made final preparations to get underway. By this time I was getting quite rushed, hot and bothered. I dropped RT's cockpit, took away her connection to shore power, started her engine, let loose the warps and we nosed out of the shed! Flags flying we made our way out onto the river and Gracie was elated! It wasn't long before she was acting as 'lookout' spotting birds and boats. As the river widened Gracie was even more amazed. “It's the first time I've ever been on a boat on a big river!” Gracie exclaimed. I was waiting for the look on her face when we reached the expanse of Barton Broad. As we made our way out onto the broad Gracie gasped. Both Barton Broad and Gracie's face were shimmering in the evening sunshine. What a glorious, glorious sight to see! “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”. Part Two soon!
  4. 25 points
    those who were at the wooden boat show this year may remember the auction for the artwork,framed, of the poster of the show, having been outbid i asked the artist (member victory v)to do a painting of my boat for a donation to his charity.collected it today and even found time to spend money in THE ORIGINAL BAKEWELL PUDDING SHOP WELL IMPRESSED thanks david even visited a proper national park
  5. 24 points
    Travelling any distance took planning. It wasn't like it is now. I can get in my car today and be anywhere on the Broads in around three hours and a single tank of fuel completes the 360 mile round trip twice. If I don't have enough fuel I'll pass at least six filling stations in the first ten miles or so from home. In the early 70's we didn't pass that many garages on the whole journey, and they opened “office” hours. Saturday morning if you were lucky, never on a Sunday. A full tank would just get us to Oulton Broad with enough leeway. Three hours was a pipe dream, the journey took six on a good day, on a bad one it could take eight. There were no “improvements” on the A47 in those days. No dual carriageways, no crawler lanes, no straightened sections. The climb up Rutland's Wardley Hill could be murderous. Lorries laden with coal and gravel from the mines and quarries of Leicestershire could make no more than walking pace up the narrow, serpentine three mile ascent. The road passed through every town and village on the route, bypass was a word still alien to our language. Every village had it's crossroads, towns had traffic lights. Travelling was stop start, stop start. There were motorways, the M1 had opened some years earlier but mother would never use it and no motorway went anywhere near Norfolk. At least some things never change. For us, the adventure began on Friday afternoon. It was straight home from school and into the back of the car. The first car I remember was a brand new Ford Escort 1100L 2 door saloon, hired from our local Ford dealership and nicknamed “Silver Fox” after it's paint colour. Two adults in the front, three kids in the back and a rather portly and often flatulent dog in the back window. A boot full of everything but the kitchen sink and a roof rack on top with father's vast array of fishing tackle. All that and the grand total of 40 horsepower. Even when you found a bit of “open road” progress was never rapid. I often wondered if mother, who was the driver in our family, father never learned, was grateful to those lorries on Wardley Hill as I doubt we could have gone much quicker if they were not there! The first point of note on the journey, for me at least was Peterborough. Dad's parents came from Rutland and he had family across the county and through Northamptonshire and so we visited those places quite regularly. Mum would borrow her sister's Mk I Cortina to take dad fishing with a visit to his parents afterwards. Many a Saturday afternoon was spent at the tea table in Nana's dining room watching the Wrestling on World Of Sport on their second, yes second TV. The one in the lounge was even colour! Peterborough was different though. We never came this far other than this one time each year when we were going on holiday. This was the start of foreign territory. Exotic began here. The next place of interest was the small village of Thorney and fish and chips for supper. Well a bag of chips between the three of us kids anyway, I told you times were hard. A bottle of Corona Limeade washed them down, that being dad's favourite. We would wait until the pop was gone so dad could return the bottle and get the thruppence back on the empty before resuming our travels eastward. The reason for our Friday departure was the content of the roof rack, the fishing tackle. Dad would never pass a river, lake, pond or even muddy ditch without wondering what he could catch from it. He was a keen angler, more than keen even. He was an international match angler, fishing alongside the likes of Ivan Marks and Roy Marlow in an era when the top anglers didn't need make up, lights or sound engineers. One of the many clubs or associations he belonged to held fishing rights on the Rivers Welland and Great Ouse and the drains of the Middle Level so once we reached Wisbech we turned off the A47 and followed the A1101 through the pretty village of Outwell and to our destination for the night, Salter's Lode. Dad's aim was always to be set up and ready to fish before darkness fell and would fish through the night with the aid of his faithful “tilley” lamp. I was a great disappointment to my father. After two daughters he was delighted to finally have a son to share his passion for fishing and shooting but that wasn't the way I was wired. He would drag me along the bank and show me how he was setting up, how he was going to fish and what, hopefully, he was going to catch. I watched with feigned interest but mercifully was considered too young to spend all night on the river bank and so for me it was back to the car to bed down for what sleep we might manage. Mother would have the thermos out and tea made, all the good things in life seemed to be accompanied by a thermos flask. Meanwhile my sisters would walk the dog along the riverbank allowing for his night time ablutions. And so to “bed” dear reader. My eldest sister would claim the passenger seat due to the hierarchy of age leaving me and “middle sister” to fight over the rear bench seat. We always had pillows and blankets in the car so we could get reasonably comfortable. We watched the deepening black of the sky as sleep came slowly to us. And then the dog farted.
  6. 23 points
    As this is a time for sharing some stories, I thought you might like to see what your damage waiver gets spent on! This was one of the more awkward salvage jobs I have been involved in, and there have been a few! This was on the river Charente, near Cognac, towards the end of the season and the river was swollen owing to heavy rain up in the Dordogne. The high water had covered an island in the middle of the stream, which used to have small trees on it but these had recently been cut down. Despite the danger warning buoys, one of which you can see right beside the boat in the photo, they carried on across the island and two of the tree stumps went straight through the bottom of the boat. We went down there with two other hire boats, a lot of gear and three motor pumps, hired from a local plant hire firm. Olivier, seen here, was the base manager at Jarnac, so the boat was his baby! Luckily Jaques, the manager at Douelle, on the river Lot, had been a diver in the French Navy : But he only had one set of bottles, so he and I were down there buddy breathing off the same regulator, while we sawed the stumps off from under the hull. We then bolted and screwed a couple of plywood patches over the holes, using my old hand drill and my Yankee pump screwdriver, both of which work perfectly underwater! Then we started to pump, which was not easy as all the side windows and the aft well were under water. I had already been down that side holding my breath and plugging all the vent and drain holes I could find in the hull, as even the galley sink was under water by then. I was in the aft well, up to my chest and sitting on a pillow, so as to push it up against a big vent grill in the side moulding. After a lot of pumping, nothing was happening, until I noticed that the water in the boat seemed to be moving about. There seemed to be a flow, coming out of the door to one of the cabins. So under we went again and sure enough, there was a third tree stump through the bottom on the other side of the boat! This wasn't easy, as the boat was leaning over on it and we couldn't get access from the inside in the cabin. So we just had to dig around the stump, saw it off and leave it in the boat. We pushed a lot of pillows around it and as she began to come up level we shoved them gradually further into the hole. Pumping out had to be done very carefully, as with all that water inside she could very easily capsize over the other way, and we would have to start all over again! One person standing on the deck in the wrong place, is all it takes. By the time we had got her level and stable, the river had started to go down, so we had to pull her off the island with Tirfor jacks, from the bank. Getting her home to Jarnac meant I had to push her from behind with another boat, as the lock gates were too narrow to enter alongside. The pushing boat was a bathtub type so I could see out of the side windows but nothing at all in front. Luckily Jaques and I had started on some wine by then and we were able to have a shower on the boat when we were in the lock, so that cheered us up no end! We had the pumps running flat out all the way home and hauled her out straight away on the gantry. This is one of the patches that we put on underwater. And this is the hole on the other side, that we couldn't reach to patch! The boat was written off by the insurance but the wreck was bought by the local policeman, who fitted her out again inside, for his own use. I am not sure I would have taken on a project like that as there was not a lot left worth having, in there! At least it happened in fresh water, I suppose. If it had been brackish water, like on Breydon, that would have really done for it!
  7. 23 points
    It's worth having a look at the history section, now that we have some time on our hands. There are all sorts of good things hidden away in here! I said yesterday that I would tell some stories about what the operation at Jenners was like and I see that I have told the history of it in the first page of this thread, so it stops me repeating myself - for once! The first two pages have a lot of other good stories of those days, so I hope you enjoy them, even if you had read them earlier. Notice that "thread drift" is nothing new! I don't seem to have told the stories of how the yard actually ran, and the things that went wrong, so I will tell a few now! Before I start I wish to say that I never tell Porky Pies on this forum. There are enough stories of the Broads to tell, without having to invent them! So best to start at the beginning . . . . David Millbank bought Hearts in 1966 and first took it over in 1967, when he was also buying the hire fleets of a lot of yards in Wroxham and elsewhere, so in the autumn I was given the job of getting my friends together and delivering the boats to Thorpe, which amounted to being given free Broads holidays, every weekend! On the Saturday we would do all the logistics of leaving cars in the right places and getting the boats prepared and running, usually about 10 boats at time. By the time we got all assembled, we got as far as Acle Bridge on the first night, often getting there in the full dark. And the next morning across Breydon early, followed by a pub crawl up the Yare! It was the 60s, we were all young, about 18 or 19 and we had our girlfriends with us. On cabin cruisers. It reminds me of Peter Sellers : "Now tell me headmaster, how do you segregate the sexes?" "Well if you must know, I go round with a crowbar and I prise them apart!" Actually, I have friends from those weekends, who went on to be married, and are still married now. I remember one time when we just got to Coldham Hall before closing time at 1400, with 7 boats, but there was only one mooring space left on the quay. So without a word or a signal between us, we formed line astern, turned round into the tide and moored alongside one by one in a long "trot", like wartime MTBs mooring in Gosport. The boat at the outer end of the trot was the River Inspector's launch. Jack Hunt had a "nose" for these occasions and had turned up to make sure we were behaving ourselves. Which meant accepting our offers for him to join us for a drink in the pub! As he was moored on the end of the trot, we couldn't leave the pub before he did, and Harry Last didn't close on Sunday afternoons! We did about 4 weekends that year, and another 5 the following autumn, as David bought more boats. I have the very happiest memories of those weekends. Perhaps that's enough of a story for now and I haven't even got to the running of the boatyard yet! I will tell a few more after lunch. Hope you are enjoying your day!
  8. 23 points
    Timbo has asked me to post the following message Enough! It is time that both sides took a break from the facile arguments surrounding the definition of the Broads as a National Park. It's time to stop squabbling because while you weren't looking someone nicked your football and changed all the rules. It's time to look up and look around you. Your perpetual argument from both sides ceased to be valid on the 21st of September 2019 with the publication of the Landscapes Review. Our country has undergone the most dramatic political, fiscal and social change in years and we are already seeing an equally dramatic change to the legislature. What was past is past. All bets are off. Both sides have won and both sides have lost. Even more so under the current national emergency. 'Excrement happens' and it's happening now. How we deal with the current emergency is what is important. The time when the country regains some vestige of normality, will be the proper time to resume structured and mature discussion about working together to protect our Heritage Landscapes nationally. And I do mean working together, all parties, all sides, constructively. Until then, the committee and the moderators are all working extremely hard to keep all of our platforms working smoothly. Already members are making sure everyone is OK by telephone, pm and email. The Chat Room is open at specific times should anyone need help or company. The NBN is about supporting one another, passing on experience and learning things new. Above all it is about friendship and The Broads that we love.
  9. 23 points
    Hi All As a new year's gift I just thought I'd share my Webcam online initally as a trial but if it goes OK I'll leave it there. The Webcam is in Brundall over looking the Yare towards Brooms and I though there is a lack of them on this river. It's not that clear at night but OK in daylight. I may in the future set a movement schedule up as it is PTZ. I hope you enjoy and feel free to share. BTW my website is and always will be free and advertising free even though there is a personal cost to me. Let me know your thoughts. http://catchpro.co.uk/Webcam Cheers Simon
  10. 23 points
    Now look here! I can see us getting into a lot of trouble over this topic, especially as we know Timbo is watching! I think we should agree without further ado, that it is NOT a Great Estuary. But it may be considered, for marketing purposes, as a member of the Estuary Family.
  11. 22 points
    Whilst there are so many people (and I'm talking in general, not just on this forum) struggling to understand the very simple and clear instructions that have been given out in order for us all to get back to living our normal lives as soon as we possibly can, may I just remind you (once again) that we are now approaching 15000 who have lost their lives (in hospital, excluding care homes, at home etc) I have now been involved in many cases of Covid affected individuals through work, but one of those 15000 was my very dear friend who was laid to rest today, I wasn't allowed to attend unfortunately due to restrictions laid in place regarding the numbers of people who were able to be there for which I am in no state of mind to add comment once I have posted this one. So whilst some people try to find justification for pointless journeys, "exercise" which many people were not interested in before restrictions were put in place etc, can we all just remember that there are much more important issues going on right now and just apply some common sense to the instructions that have been given out in a very short timescale under difficult situations, for which it is blatantly obvious what the reasoning and idea behind them is.
  12. 22 points
    I'm basing my comments on one of my final surveys and reports of 2018 before I officially retired. Over the thirty odd years of my career working in antiquary and landscape management, I have seen quite a dramatic change in visitor behaviour and the marketing techniques that need to be employed in order to successfully exploit that behaviour for the benefit of the landscape and stakeholders. Be under no illusions, the visitor centre is dead in regards of examples such as the scheme proposed at Acle. It's not resting or pining. It is no more, it has kicked the bucket, dropped off it's perch and joined the choir invisible. In terms of visitor numbers Scotland is leading the charge easily outpacing England in visitor growth for the past seven years according to the most recent figures from the ONS. However, in their last published figures Visit Scotland have announced a 58% drop in footfall through their visitor centres over the past ten years. Consequently they closed 39 of their 56 visitor centres and reduced and streamlined services in the remainder. The stock in trade of the visitor centre, books, maps and guides, in the past was in short supply. Today the visitor can find detailed information within seconds without ever having set foot inside a visitor centre. The fundamental change in visitor behaviour is that the visitor centre was a 'must visit' as soon as they arrived at a destination. Today, if they come across a visitor centre then they might pop in. If it's raining. Or they can't get a coffee anywhere else. The Glover Report has one great flaw, among many, in compounding the outdated marketing strategies employed by National Parks, AOB's and many of the conservation organisations. The 'build it and they will come' schemes, and don't get me started on re-branding, are thirty years past their sell by date and other than waste money in short supply only emphasise an ageing management who I'm sure hold Michael J Fox and Melanie Griffith themed office parties to give their shoulder pads an airing. I'm sorry but best practise dictates satisfying visitor and stakeholder needs and providing value while maintaining the integrity of the landscape identity. At the most basic of levels the object of marketing for landscape managers is the dispersal of visitors out into the landscape. A visitor centre is an impediment to this fundamental process. Tourists sat in a visitor centre are not enjoying the Broadland landscape and more importantly they are not spending money with business stakeholders. You don't bring the visitor to the visitor centre you take the visitor centre to the visitor. By that I mean the front line of Broads Rangers face to face with stakeholders and people like Tom. I have to say that I really appreciate Tom's contribution which I think is an outstanding example of best practise...in practise, as it were and long may it continue!
  13. 21 points
    We were due for two holidays this year on Swan Roamer, April and June. The April one was cancelled (Covid-19 lockdown) so we moved all payments to the June (6th) one and paid the little remaining money on the invoice. On Wednesday we received the email from Richardsons about our options for June, initially we decided to 'sit on it' in the vague hope that it might be able to go ahead but yesterday changed our minds and thought about the possibility of September. Looked at their web site to see what boat options there were, no Swan Roamer or similar available but Swan Ranger and Moon Enterprise were with Moon Enterprise being a week earlier so telephoned Richardsons, phone answered very promptly which I was not expecting, and requested the transfer which was done with no hassle at all, I didn't even query the price but just went for it. Received the email confirmation a few minutes later and was most surprised to see that everything including all discounts (2nd holiday in the year etc) had been transferred and the net invoice was zero (having previously paid for June). I regard this as excellent service that goes way beyond what I expected, very well done. Hopefully now we will get our Broads fix this year after all.
  14. 21 points
    Before I explain some of the new features in the King of Hearts, we might compare what most hire boats used to look like in those days. This is the saloon of the Six of Hearts, which was completely re-furbished in 1946 after she had spent 5 years of the War on a mud weight on Rockland Broad in order to stop German seaplanes from landing. Quite what the Germans might have done to threaten us, after landing in the middle of all that reed marsh, was never fully explained! Among things to notice are the heavy oak roof beams, supporting a deal planked cabin top, usually tongue and grooved and covered in painted canvas. More of that later. Right aft is a small galley compartment with a hand pump for cold water and a cooker. The gas bottle was kept in the cupboard under the sink. The BSS, was several decades into the future at this time. The saloon layout is still more like a yacht, with a central folding table and seating which converts into berths at night. Seat covering would be leather and berths were covered in an upholstery fabric, which gave one the feeling of being in a compartment of a second class railway carriage. Some boats even had droplight windows, held up by wide leather straps, just like the Great Eastern Railway! On this boat the windows were opened with handles, just like in a car. Furniture still relied on whole boards of solid mahogany. And here looking forward, into the small, stand - up wheelhouse, with the engine under the floor. Compare this with the saloon of the King of Hearts : Having the main saloon and dining area as part of the wheelhouse, was made possible by the fully opening sliding canopy. This also freed up the aft end of the boat for a big athwartships galley and an aft cabin with its own toilet compartment off to one side. So straight away, you had a boat with two toilets, which was also quite rare. Extensive use is now made of plywood bulkheads and furniture, rather than the traditional mahogany panelling. The seat covers are made from a brand new plastic material, called "Vydura". This was waterproof if you left the canopy open in the rain; you could walk all over it to get out onto the deck; you could spill your food on it; you could even puke all over it, and it all wiped off with no trouble at all. In other words it was virtually HIRER PROOF! With my father, everything had to be hirer proof. And how right he was! Father knew quite a lot about plywood as he had been in Coastal Forces MTBs ever since 1935 in the RNVR and most of their superstructures were built of it. He said it was a very strong, light and hard wearing material, but it would not stop incoming cannon shells. So he made that long, wide foredeck on the King with quite thin deck beams and two layers of marine ply, glued and screwed together to make a very strong, light structure. The aft cabin and canopy top were made in the same way. So this was one of the early examples of cold moulding. The big innovation was the sliding canopy and one or two yards tried to copy it but they found there was a problem. The "trick" to it was that the cabin sides had to be parallel and exactly vertical, or it jumped off the rails. Most boats then, were not shaped like that. The runners were made of thick brass tube with the front face sliced off, to form a track, which was fixed to the sides on wooden formers. At each corner of the canopy was a steel ball which ran inside the track on roller bearings and was bolted on with adjustable lock nuts. So the canopy could not fall off, or blow off in the wind and you could even take her to sea, if you had a mind to. The front rail dropped down sharply at right-angles at the front, for about an inch and a half, so when you closed the canopy, it dropped into place and locked itself. At the same time a front lip dropped over the front of the windscreen to hold it in place and make a rain proof seal. So to open the canopy, you just had to stand at the front inside facing aft, lift it up about an inch, and it glided back down the rails on its own. One man could close it by pushing from the inside but one on each side out on the deck, was recommended. So the performance of lowering and stowing a wheelhouse canopy and its sides, could now be done by one man in a matter of seconds, without even having to stop the boat. The galley was built with the new "magic" material called Formica and it was a revolution at the time, in easy to clean, hygienic surfaces. This was the galley in the Princess of Hearts which went right across the boat, with an aft cabin having its own toilet (and shower) off to one side. A layout that we are quite familiar with nowadays. In the same galley, looking forward, all of the surfaces and bulkheads are now in Formica, as were the toilet compartments. Apart from the cooker, it would be hard to tell this boat from a modern one. But this was 1956, and it was the state of the art! I am now going to take a tea break if I may, and later we can "lift the floorboards" and have a look at the engine. That was ahead of its time, as well!
  15. 21 points
    Reading this thread really does get me down. I love the broads, the boats, the people, the area and most importantly those who wish to discuss or post photos or videos I subscribe to a number of forums, Facebook groups, websites and YouTube channels run by Captains, Admirals and Whitworths! I do it because it keeps me close to the place I love. I used to post regularly to what some call "the other forum" but stopped because it became nothing more than a site full of the same people bickering and regurgitating the same arguments until people sided with them or turned off. I turned off myself and stayed away from forums dropping into this one to read up on items of interest, and more recently dipping my toe in to add the odd comment again, but I now see this also going the same way with bickering being the norm and turning the likes of me away from what should be a site full of interesting articles, adventures and opinion. I therefore welcome moderators, administrators or whoever trying to take the forum back to some semblance of order before it's too late and it becomes a forum only used by a small group of members bickering with each other, oblivious to the world around them. This is my final comment on this particular thread and look forward to reading and adding value to many more threads in the future.
  16. 21 points
    I'm not talking about them falling over...you know who I'm looking at over my glasses ... I've just spent an afternoon at my day job advising a landscape management authority on the content on their tourist information boards. The authority involved had received quite a lot of negative comment from visitors and stakeholders about the information contained on these notices. The main complaint can be characterised in one comment. "I wanted to know about the history of the location but the only information available was about non-descript brown birds which we could not see." This instantly struck a chord with me. I recently brought RT back to the Northern Broads and moored up for the night at the Tea Gardens. "I wonder why they are called the Tea Gardens?" asked Alli who had been volunteered as crew. "I don't know. There's a tourist information board over there, let's go find out!" I replied. We sauntered over to find a a board full of information about non-descript brown birds which were hiding and not visible at the location at that time of year at that time of day and nothing about the history of the location. As part of the meeting today I was confronted with a blinkered wildlife organisation also attending the meeting while we were on a site visit. "There's no history here, the wildlife is the important thing that we need to get visitors to appreciate!" said the wildlife bod. While we walked along the path we were caught up by a group of American Tourists. As we walked along I picked up shards of Roman pottery, a whet stone, several neolithic pot boilers and an Elizabethan silver penny from the plough soil by the headland. The tourists were fascinated and asked so many questions I went into 'tour guide mode'. I pointed out the remains of the abandoned medieval village. We spoke about the plague, agricultural revolution, I gave them directions to the next village along which was the former home of one of the Pilgrim Father's which was one of the reasons they were visiting the area. The tourists moved on leaving me £60 in tips which I donated to the management authority as my contribution to their new 'inclusive' tourist information boards. The rambling point I'm getting to, is that the information boards around the Broads are in a similar state. Other than at specific recognised historic locations such as St Bennets or Potter Bridge, there is little or no information included on signage for the tourist interested in things other than non descript brown birds. Norfolk is a landscape shaped by man. It's a landscape so drenched in history you couldn't swing a duck, if you can find one, without hitting archaeology. So please, could we start to have signage which is inclusive of all interests? Rant over, I'm now off to report my finds to the county archaeologist and finish this article on 18th Century perfumers.
  17. 21 points
    I was reminded by Facebook of a memories picture. Please see the picture of Tan & I sat on the upper helm of Ranworth Breeze with the canopy down. A happy time aboard the boat and being together. Regards Alan
  18. 21 points
    False dawn, buy me a beer and I will tell all, is an odd phenomenon. It was just starting to break as I awoke at 5:00 am firm in the knowledge I was being observed. A slight thump of beagle tail indicated 'the boys' were aware I was only pretending to sleep. I opened my eyes to find two beagle noses inches from my face. Out of bed, put the kettle on to boil while 'the boys' abandon ship for the bank. With Italian coffee steaming in my mug, wash kit and towel under my arm I head for the shower block. Like many men of my generation I started shaving during the disposable razor revolution. While others moved on to either an electric razor or the double, then triple, quadruple and now quintuple with battery powered jiggle, wet razor, I didn't. For practical reasons of shaving in the field I learned to use a safety razor as you can get blades almost anywhere and they cost pennies. Together with a badger hair brush and shaving soap I still use it as a challenge to keep my hand steady after my strokes. It's also a closer shave with less skin irritation than modern razors. Shaving is not a chore for me. Which is fortunate as my beard grows quickly. A shave in the morning and I will need another if we are going out in the evening. I look forward to the ritual immensely. Twenty minutes of pure self indulgence. Of course, my choice of fragrance post shave is also an indulgence. Today was Royal Water from the house of Creed. Citrus and mint in the top notes, juniper and basil in the heart notes and musk and ambergris in the base. So, lemon, mint, gin, pesto, deer butt and whale poop. Exquisite! At five past six I take the boys for their jaunt around the footpath marking the edge of what once was Sutton marsh and Broad. A loud twittering of small birds alert me to the proximity of an owl. Sure enough, sat in the branches of an oak sits a Barn Owl. In the field to my right comes the dull thud of hooves from Long Horn Cattle and in amongst them Muntjac Deer. Back at the boat and Grandma and Gracie were fast asleep, so I put the kettle back on, made another coffee, took my tablets and gave Dylan his and set about putting my bed away. The ladies were soon up and about and while Grandma fried bacon for breakfast, I was treated to 'Gracie kisses and cuddles'. Breakfast over and the girls made themselves even more beautiful. Did you see what I did there? Since I bought a boat, I have seen more of The Broads away from the water than I ever did in the forty years prior. “Do you know where you are going?” asked Ellie from the back seat. I didn't reply. After seventeen years Ellie still cannot appreciate the correlation between my love of cartography and landscape and knowing where I am. “Does he know where he is Grandma?” asked Gracie. “Is this Horning then?” asked Ellie as I pulled into the car park by The Swan. “No, it's Cleethorpes.” I muttered realising too late that I'd made an error. “Have we come to Cleethorpes for doughnuts and fish and chips?” asked Gracie the expert on 'seasides'. The reason for our trip to Horning was postcards. Ellie is a traditional holidaymaker in that the first thing she will do on holiday is buy postcards, write them and post them. In this age of technology when people post pictures of every meal and drink consumed to Facebook, postcards are a thing of the past. The postcards we could find were old, dusty and sun bleached. Grace found the whole concept of the postcard fascinating. “This actual card, with my writing, will go to Daddy?” So we bought postcards to send to Mummy, Daddy, baby Arlo, Nanny and Granddad (I'm Timbo as we have a surplus of Granddads and Great Granddads), Uncle Matty, Gracie's best friend Lola and we bought another card for Gracie to send to herself at home. Gracie needed to make sure that postcards really did work and why should she miss out on the honour of receiving one? Ellie also bought Gracie a fishing rod. A pink, toy, fishing rod which I was supposed to teach her to fish with. I shot Ellie 'the look' I usually reserve for politicians and modern art. It's a look perfected by bespectacled lecturers in universities with high entry standards yet forced to accept the idiot offspring of the wealthy for a fee. “I'm going to need some other bits and pieces.” “It's got everything in there you need!” said Ellie the fishing expert. “If I was targeting Tiger Sharks with a toy pink fishing rod, yes, this has everything that I would need.” “The chap was very helpful, and gave me all the information. He said you can use corn for bait.” “Did he mention needing a rod license? No?” Fortunately I carry my rod license in my wallet. But the damage was done. Gracie had her pink fishing rod and a kids fishing net. She loved them and I was going to have to try and catch a fish with them. So, a quick trip to Lathems and I bought a packet of hooks to nylon and a disgorger. My fishing tackle was something that Ellie had forbidden me to bring with us. Back to RT for an early lunch and then Gracie wanted to go fishing. I put the pink 'cute' fishing rod together. It reminded me of a much thinner version of my Grandfather's home made spinning rod I inherrited, made from a tank antenna that is definitely not painted pink. Two uniform lengths of 6 mm diameter metal tube with ferrules in the middle, one eye ring on the tip and one by the cork grip and about three feet in length. The reel looked like an open faced reel, but plastic throughout and loaded with 10 lb line. The float was a solid lump of plastic, the hooks were size 4's and there was a swivel that didn't swivel. This was going to take a bit of thought. So while Ellie put the kettle on, I took the dogs for a walk and had a bit of a forage at the waters edge and found the straight and dry sections of reed I was looking for. Back on RT I drank my cup of tea and had a rummage in my tool bag. I came up with a roll of solder, some red and yellow electrical tape, some Gaffa Tape, a large rubber band and some Milliput. Time to rig the rod. I used the Gaffa tape to secure the reel to the rod firmly as the reel seat was flimsy to say the least. A piece of reed would be our float. I'd wound the solder around the bottom of the reed to make it self cocking. I cut small pieces from the rubber band and put a small hole in each one to make float rubbers to attach the float. I topped the float off with a strip of red tape and a thin bit of yellow tape to make it look the part. I mixed up some Milliput and used tiny pieces down the line as droppers and a little bit bigger piece to nail the bait to the bottom. Finally a size 18 hook nicked through the skin of a kernel of sweetcorn as bait. A couple of test casts and we were in business. “Why is that man laughing at us?” Gracie asked. “Ignore him sweetie, now trap the line with your finger like a gun, swing, flick, finger off, put your bail arm back on, perfect!” Gracie picked casting up very quickly. Very quickly indeed. "Now dress your line, give the rod a tiny flick so the line sinks out of the wind, wind a little bit...that's fantastic!" “Can I do it again?” “Just once more, but remember the fish are in the water not in the air!” I said, sounding like Uncle Albert when he was teaching me to fish. It's funny how you slip back into your childhood memories and the lessons you learned. I can still hear Uncle Albert's litany even now. 'Keep your feet still, don't cast so far, if there's fish on the other side there's fish on this side, keep your feet still'. “That man is still laughing at me!” said Gracie. “Just ignore him and watch your float!” To be honest, the pillock fishing from the hire boat was starting to get on my nerves. His initial quips about me sitting on the back of the boat holding my pink rod in my hand had evoked a slight chuckle. Twenty minutes constant repetition to anyone who would listen was annoying, not to mention the litany of criticism of where and how I was fishing and the 'gear' we were using. We were fishing around five feet away from RT's transom and around four feet from the bank. I was getting Gracie to drop two or three kernels of sweetcorn around our float every five minutes or so. I'd also mushed up some sweetcorn, crushed up four or five of Dylan and Toby's dog biscuits to powder and mixed mixed it all with a little bit of sugar. The resulting 'groundbait' was dropped in pea sized blobs in between Gracie's sweetcorn 'free offerings'. “Little and often.” I was telling Gracie as the expert across the way tackled up his rods. I find float fishing exciting as you watch the little dabs, nips, bobs and swirls the float makes as fish are feeding. I interpreted the movements for Gracie who was mesmerised and extremely excited by it all. Our reed float bobbed. “Wait for it! The fish is just nibbling.” The float bobbed once more before making a pirouette. “Wait for it! The fish is just nibbling and nosing the corn.” Then it lifted... “Ooh, the fish has picked up the corn. Any second it will move.” ...before sliding clean under the water. “Now!” I lifted the rod and connected with the fish. I put my arms around Gracie so she could hold the rod too. The small pink fishing rod arced right over but took the strain. The rhythmic thrum to the line told me it was a bream. “Gently, gently, don't jerk or pull the rod.” I cautioned Gracie. I had to keep a firm hand on the rod along with Gracie's. The light tackle made it all the more exciting. “Slowly, watch him come up, give him a breath of air, and he's ready to come and see you!” “Grandma just look!” gasped Gracie. “I think we are going to need your net Grace!” I said. Gracie scampered off to retrieve her kids fishing net which, fortunately, was quite well made. I guided the skimmer over the lip of the net then bent to wet my hands in the water. I brought the fish in and unhooked it. “Ew! What's with all the snot Timbo?” asked Gracie. I knew there was no way Grace would be holding the fish as I explained what bream slime was for. Grandma was ready to take a quick snap of Grace and her fish 'Slimey' and the little bream was put quickly gently back into the water. There was time for another skimmer and a roach, each given a name 'Slimon' and 'Bob', before it started to rain. “Am I good at fishing Timbo?” asked Gracie. “Yes you are sweetie!” I replied. I took great pleasure in explaining a Yorkshire angling term to Gracie with plenty of volume so all could hear, especially our angling neighbour who had caught nothing. “We weren't 'water-licked' !”(pronounced watta-licked) “What's watta-licked?” asked Gracie. “It's where you go fishing and catch nothing because the water beat you!”
  19. 21 points
    So here we are again. Back aboard Swan Reflection 1. I’m posting from my phone courtesy of Richardson’s on board wi-fi so these posts may be brief! Good journey up from Essex. Nice lunch in Bridgestone’s Tea Rooms in Potter Heigham. Very good handover from a nice polite young man and out of the yard by 2. Very quiet cruise down to How Hill. Turned around and went back to moor at Irstead. Hurray! Finally I have managed to get on the staithe here! Took a walk to look round the church then on to the Boardwalk for a lovely peaceful look at Barton Broad. Beautiful even on a grey day. Now back on board with the heating on having a very quiet evening.
  20. 20 points
    All I will say is that we are still currently treating 90 covid-19 patients in our hospital and 30 waiting for results, 25 of these in intensive care - that doesn’t include any other patients that need urgent and emergency treatment who also need expert care or others that have had their cancer surgery delayed. if you want to talk semantics and interpret the latest information to suit your own goals that is your choice - but if you all suddenly go out, for whatever reason, you will potentially put an extra stain on the NHS and those that are trying to combat this disease. This is not over, it has not eased and people are still being infected daily . Sent from my iPhone using Norfolk Broads Network
  21. 20 points
    This is an EDP article of July 1968. The Jenner Group was in its 2nd year of operation at that time. The main photo is taken in the Yard of A.G. Ward & Son, whose premises along with Thorpe Old Hall, became the main base for the Jenners operation. This site has now become the Old Hall Close housing development. Before I tell some stories of Jenners radio breakdown vans and some of the breakdowns they covered, I wanted to mention the two people in the photos : The "man in a van" is Tony Thrower, who went on to be the chief engineer at Hearts Cruisers after Jenners closed down. He and I became very good friends over the years, as we both shared the same dreadful sense of humour. You needed that, when you worked for Jenners! He was still working at Hearts until the late 90s, when he sadly died of a sudden heart attack, after diving on a wreck off the north Norfolk coast. The controller in the office is Pat Moss, who was chief engineer at Jenners and whose father Billy had been foreman at Wards for many years. When Jenners closed, Billy became the foreman at Hearts where he continued until his "retirement" after 51 years as a Broads boatbuilder. In fact he never retired, as he also owned the boatyard and moorings on the other side of the railway crossing which leads to the Frostbite Sailing Club in Thorpe. He was still at work until the day he died, one winter Sunday morning when he went down to the yard to put a quick coat of varnish on a boat, but didn't come back for his lunch. They found him sitting with a mug of tea, in front of the "pot belly" stove in his boatsheds. The yard was taken over by his son Pat but I don't know who has it now. Hopefully, it is still in the same family. Billy's yard was the original premises of Stephen Field, a wherry builder and hirer of skiffs and half-deckers, who moved there from the Wensum in Norwich, near Cow Tower, in the early 1800s, where he had been a neighbour of John Loynes. He passed his business to John Hart, who was then landlord of the "Three Tuns". This pub later had several names, including "Thorpe Gardens" and is now "The Rushcutters". Sometime in the mid 1800s he transferred the business (and his home) over to the island which had recently been created by the railway, and which passed down the family as G.Hart & sons. My parents bought the business just after the War and re-named it Hearts Cruisers, although the boats already had their "Heart" names. So one way or another, there is a lot of old history in the boatyards of Thorpe!
  22. 20 points
    I am a bit wistful this morning, on Good Friday, as Susie and I would normally have been making the final preparations to the boats before they went out for the first time today, and we welcomed the first customers of the season. Last weekend would have been my last weekend off until the end of the season in seven months' time. You don't get bank holidays, in the tourist business. At Hearts, my mother always made hot cross buns for the staff tea break on Good Friday and all the boats went out with a jar of daffodils on the saloon table; all grown in long beds in the woods on the island. I carried on this tradition by ordering in the buns specially, for the team on our base in St Gilles. They don't do them, in France! I also made sure there were daffodils in the reception office, to welcome the customers. I can't help thinking of all my friends on the yards right now, both in Norfolk and in France, as they must be feeling the same as I do. If it doesn't sound silly, I wish you all a happy Easter, wherever you may be.
  23. 20 points
    Sometimes I would like to say that 'words fails me'. Those that know me will be certain that the occasion I was left bereft of words would never arise. But yesterday the words just would not work! Sauntering through the woods yesterday morning with the Beagle Brothers and Spot the collie we happened upon a woman in distress. Sobbing her heart out she was, while trying to pick up her rather large but skinny mongrel and carry it down the path. "Do you need help?" I asked a bit concerned. "I've got to get Mr Buttons to the doggie hospital it's an emergency!" I looked at Mr Buttons who gave a nervous wag of the tail as if to say 'I didn't have a say in the matter' and struggled to escape the grip of HER mistress. "What's the problem? She seems OK?" I asked as Mr B wriggled free, landed on the ground and instantly tried to initiate a game of chase with Dylan and Toby. "Mr Buttons ate a dead bird!" "I wouldn't panic, she seems OK. Dylan there was chomping on a dead seagull the other week!" "But Mr Buttons is a vegan just like me!" wailed the woman. The words just would not come. I rounded up the beagles and scarpered.
  24. 20 points
    Because it is not an opinion. Being a member of the Liberal Party or reading the Guardian is a choice. Being GAY is not, believe me I know and yes I have been verbally abused for being Gay whist on the Broads while eating at a restaurant in Wroxham. I'm sorry but some of the comments in the thread I find personally offensive, mainly stated out ignorance but if you have been called names in the street or spent a night in hospital due to GAY bashing as I have done you may see the World we live in, in a different light. Anyway cheers from my Civil partner, soulmate, lover and I! Fred
  25. 20 points
    Let's start a thread about all the wonderful things the Broads has to offer, the happy times we've all experienced, the help and support we all offer each other because we have the Broads and boating in our blood, two things we all definitely have in common Romantic times like when Jay and I sat on the bow of the boat late at night cuddled under a duvet having a glass of wine, watching the stars and listening to the water The helpful people like my Dad who once helped an elderly couple (novices) who were terrified, he climbed aboard with permission and took them back to the boat yard for extra tuition. I'm sure we've all helped someone out at some point or been on the receiving end of a helpful hand It's not all crashes, bumps and drunks Don't forget all the friendly waves as boats pass each other whether private, hire or even one of those ruddy flappy things The gorgeous pubs you can visit along the way for a few drinks or a bite to eat and not forgetting the absolutely beautiful scenery along the way too. It's summer time, here's to happy boating everyone Jay and I are kayaking soon, god help the lot of you Grace
  26. 19 points
    I'm quite a private man really in some things. But during these diffiçult times amongst other health issues which my wife and I have been subjected is that of COPD. Together with other problems. Which has placed us on the priority vulnerable list. The joys of growing old. It is bowel cancer aware month. Is if you haven't got enough to worry about. Please take time to read my story. I'm good by the way. Andrew https://fundraise.big-c.co.uk/news/andrews-story/ Take care all of you.
  27. 19 points
    Seriously though, I read this thread with a sinking heart. Members are saying the police shouldn't do this, that and the other. The government should say what we should do and what we should not do and make it all really clear. I am one of a very small group, I am a certified idiot, yet even someone as thick as me can see what the government and the police want us to do, and it's not to look for loopholes. It's not to whinge about things and it's not to try to find ways around the advice. It's to stay alive. No more, no less. They have told us how to help in little words so the likes of me can understand. yet still I read about timing journeys (unnecessary ones) to compare them with lengths of time it takes to exercise. It is often said that when a person "drink drives" he risks taking innocent peoples lives away. Well in my mind trying to bypass the "rules" puts those people in the same camp... no worse... a D&D may take a couple of people out, A spreader of this virus can kill hundreds, and do further irreparable damage to even more. SO... I consider anyone intentionally breaking the spirit of these rules as a lower form of life than a drunk driver ploughing into a primary school.
  28. 19 points
    Peter, If we weren't seen to be sharing and supporting the Government message then we would be equally criticised by those on the other end of the spectrum for not doing enough. Whether individuals like it or not we are a highly visible 'authority' to those interested in the Broads and so we have an important responsibility to help get the messaging out. We are aware that our messaging might sound a bit firm, but from a looking at national and regional examples its the most effective way of getting people to listen, which is of course the most important thing right now. Our role, as it has been for other National Parks, AONBs, DMOs and other organisations is to assist the Government with getting the messaging out and making sure that those in their own little patch (in this case the Broads) are aware of the guidance, and to support the enforcing authorities (in this case the local police) with them taking action if required. Our Rangers aren't going around ticketing people, but we are keeping an eye on things and helping the powers that be take action if needed. We have had many years working alongside the local police force, and this instance of us helping them to enforce Government restrictions to keep us all safe is no different. We understand your concerns about kayaking/canoeing if you live next to the river (non-essential travel is clearly forbidden at the moment) in comparison to say cycling, but the guidance on paddlesports has been provided by British Canoeing and in our opinion seems sensible when you consider the risk factors of paddling on a river alone. Again, we hope that people can read the advice and make their own informed decisions. Again, we'd like to express our thanks to everyone for their ongoing understanding and co-operation. Hopefully we will all be back out on the water soon. Tom
  29. 19 points
    Well after the loss of a close friend last week to the Covid virus and continued the week making decisions that became more stupid and more stuoid as the week went on, the timing of the local Health Service requesting help from my Fire Service employers couldn't have been more timely. In addition to our usual tasks this week has been spent delivering medication to vulnerable people (400 delivered in our first 2 days) as well as putting plans into place for a number of additional COVID tasks over the next few months. We have thankfully agreed that we shall be staffing emergency Ambulances, transporting NHS supplies and PPE for the Health Service, working in the health service control room taking calls and communicating to crews over the radio and staffing patient transport ambulances for those requiring assistance. To be completely honest, we are absolutely delighted to have agreed to these additional roles in addition to our usual work, and the delivery of prescriptions and shopping to vulnerable people looks to be stepped up too, so I am glad to be doing a small part alongside my colleagues to sort this ruddy virus out. Take Care Everyone, Stay Safe
  30. 19 points
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contributions to the Norfolk Broads Network this year. Our sponsors for helping to keep the lights on. The management team for making sure the bills get paid and I'm behaving myself, the technical team for making sure that everything is running smoothly, the moderation team for keeping all of us on our toes and behaving ourselves. Last, but certainly not least, each and every member that posts, reads and enjoys the forums, meetings, get-together's and work parties, it just wouldn't be worthwhile without you! I wish each and every one of you a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year and I hope to see you out on the water to make more fabulous memories very, very, soon. Timbo, Ellie, Gracie, and 'the boys'!
  31. 19 points
  32. 19 points
    An NBN Christmas Carol Grendel Scroogeloder head modelrater sat all two-square on the botty by the flickery light of a candlopper, all scowlage on the facebole and grumpymost there. In a far corm of the NBN modelrater's orifice, shivery and cloudymost of the breathloder, Maxwellian Scratchit sat doing summage while around him readling postits were the modelrators all scribbly with a quill-pen in the gloomy. “I suppole you expeckly day off tomorrole?” said Grendel Scroogeloder to the modelraters. ““Well it is Chrimbole Sir” says Maxwellian Scratchit, all mumbly and averty eye contacker. ““Chrimbole? Humbugly!” said Grendel Scroogeloder. That evelyn, Grendel Scroogeloder trickly-how down the garbage path all fumbly for the house key, when the dorm-knocky transforl into a distorty fizzog. Grendel Scroogeloder rubbage of the eyebold all disbelievey. “Humbugly!” he scrile and rushit inside. Later, all sittage by the fireloder making modley of Pottley Higham Fridge from toenail clippage and ear waxage, Grendel Scroogeloder twitchy of the eardrobes at the clankage and rumbly of iron chains all draggit along the floor-boarms. A translucel apparishy appeared all moany and frightfole, wavey chains all rustly in a menacey manner. “ Grendel Scroogeloder I am Jabsco Marlers all hauntage and warny about throo spectroles planning a visit afore mordy” “Jabsco Marlers? But I saw your deceasy corpse all stuffit in the sarcophagole and ashey to ashey amen!” said Grendel Scroogeloder all quakey in the boots and widely eyebold. “Indeel, but because of greedymost life and lack of compashy for the fellow human specie, I am condemned to trickly-how in the gloomage all chain-rattly and ‘wooOOooo’, instead of all restage on a celestibole cloudy . Folly folly.” said Jabsco Marlers waggit fingerlopper at Grendel Scroogeloder. ““Bah humbugly to Ghostloppers! Must have had too many tilty-elbows!” said Grendel Scroogeloder and falolloped up the stairloder and climbage into the four-posty bedlopper. In the middly of the nightloder, anothy ghostlopper materialisey by the four-posty bedlopper and tappage on the noggin laid on the pillop. “Grendel Scroogeloder. I am the spirry of Chrimbole passit!” The spirry grabbed Grendel Scroogeloder by the handlopper and transporty over roof and housage, all pointy down at scenes of a young Grendel all smileage and chirpymost with hair on his noggin! At a Chrimbole party for the Viking Reinactole, youthfole Grendel Scroogeloder twirly on the dance florm, all wasp-waist and swivel-hippy and show a pretty girm his big chopper and moo walk. Deep joy! “Grendel Scroogeloder!” said the apparishy. “Remembole being all chirpymost and back-slappy with joie-de-vivre and skiply step?” “Folly folly! That was years ago before life all disappoil and miserabole and NBN peeploders postit argumenty with cabin feverly in winterage needy modelrating!” scrile Grendel Scroogeloder. Whoosh! With much use of cheap speshy effectloppers Grendel Scroogeloder fallalloped back on four-posty bed all aquivile! At half-past throo in the mordy, Grendel Scroogeloder awakey to a boomly voice all Brial Blessed and loud in the eardrobes there. “Grendel Scroogeloder! I am the spirry of Chrimbole present. Falollow me!” In an insty, Grendel Scroogeloder peery through the gloom and saw the insile of Maxwellian Scratchit's house. The furnishy all worn and creakymost and nothing like IKEA. Oh no! A familode all sitly round the table with knifely fork all ready for the Chrimbole feast. “Oh folly folly” says Mrs Scractchit. “A measlymost meal for Chrimbold, with no Iceland prawnly-ringloder or Markly-Spencer classymost dineage. And tinily Timbo will be disappoil that Santy Cloppers has brought only a brokel dinky car with one wheeloder; no Nintender or X-Bocker. Oh folly indeel!” Maxwellian Scratchit looks all lovey dovey at Mrs Scrtachit. “But we all togethey, and Chrimbold is not about indulgey food or expensy toys. Oh no!Chrimbold is a celebrashy of the deep joy of friend and familode. Now fetch tinily Timbo and take the Potly Noodle from the microwaveley. Deep joy!” Tinily Timbo clump into the room all wobbly on the walky stick all grinnage with not a tooth in his facebole there. “Blessage, everybole!” sprayed Tinily Timbo. Whoosh! Grendel Scroogeloder once agail transporty to the clammy bed sheets and lie there all shakey in the bones. So frightly of another ghostloder, he tried to avoil sleepage - he watched old episoles of QI and Toply Gearloppers on Dave, but eventuole, his eyebolds all closey. Grendel Scroogeloder was awakely by a mustymost smell all sniff sniff in the nostrales, and a low, moanage sound like Fiona Brice radly news. “Who are you apparishy? Announcely self! Are you the spirry of Chrimbole yet to happel?” A sinistel figure nodly head in a spookilymost cowl and pointed with skeletal fingerdrobes and transported Grendel Scroogeloder to a churchyardy. A gravestole, all covery with snowl stood all depressy in the cemetale. All engravey on the gravestole there was 'Grendel Scroogeloder'! Smoke then all whirly like NBN Chairman chain-smokely, and Grendel Scroogeloder was gazey at the Scratchit's empty room, with Tinily Timbo’s walkly stick all abandony there. “Oh deepest folly! Poor Tinily Timbo! What miserybold git I’ve beel. Folly folly!” shouty Grendel Scroogeloder. In the mordy, Scroogeloder awakely with droply sweat on the fore-noggin and with trepidashy, trickly-how to open the curtey. Outsile, snow had falolloped over streel and pavey, all brightly sparklage and cheerfole there. Snowflakers trickly-how onto treel and shrubby like diamols and glitter at an X-Factol final. Scroogeloder all dancely and skippety-hop with deep deep joy. Openy windole, he shouty at a small boyl all skiddy-skateage down the roam there. “What is todale, boy?” “Why it’s Chrimbold, Mr Scroogelopper!” Grendel Scroogeloder threw down his creddy carm to the boyl. “Trickly-how to Morrisoles and buy the giantymost Turkley, and delivery to Maxwellian Scratchit. The PIN is throo-seps-throo-fido.” “Immedially Mr Scroogeloder!” said the boyl. “And buyly self a MacDonal Sausy MacMuffer!” “Ooh gratifole!”, and the boyl falolopped down the streel to the offy to buy bottle of voddy and twenty Bensoles. Grendel Scroogeloder lean out of the windole and shouty to everybole. “Merry Chrimbold! Deep, deep joy!”
  33. 19 points
    hi, finally managed to buy the boat my wife fell in love with, at last we are back on the water, lovely mooring at Acle all sorted, thanks to everyone who's advice i duly ignored, thanks anyway. its 32 feet long 12'3" wide single volvo penta diesel (2.0 litre austin montego engine) or perkins prima. we love it!!
  34. 18 points
    Hi all, thought you may appreciate an update: Reports from our Rangers were overwhelmingly positive over the weekend. It appears that the Broads has largely escaped the issues experienced other upland National Parks and at certain locations at the coast. It was busy with lots of people out enjoying their boats and paddlesports, but nearly all following the social distancing guidelines. Many a friendly nod/wave/word was exchanged and people seem delighted to be back on the water. Also, the majority of boats were tolled (thank you), although a small number of vessels were not. Reports from places such as Ranworth/Hickling/Wroxham/other honey pot areas were that people were enjoying the weather on land too, but were being sensible and staying a good distance from each other. Unfortunately I have seen a number of reports of people fishing during the coarse close season at various locations across the Broads network, and the Environment Agency has been prompted to monitor and take action where they can. Whether this is down to confusion regarding the Government permitting angling from 13 May onwards or not is unclear. We appreciate it is frustrating for those that still aren't able to make the journey back to the Broads or stay overnight under the current guidelines, but we are expecting the Government will change this as soon as they deem it safe and appropriate to do so. The no overnight instruction from the Government has helped to limit the potential for people to flock here en-masse and adversely affect our local communities. It will be fantastic if the public can continue to lead with this great behaviour over the coming bank holiday weekend. If anyone has any further questions or needs assistance please drop me a line on here or get in touch with us via our website. Tom
  35. 18 points
    I suppose if I had any sense I should keep my head down and not have the temerity to offer my own opinion (on a discussion forum) if it does not conform to the obvious "party line" of stay at home and save lives. Of course I am worried about lives being lost in this crisis but I am also very worried about human life as we know it. When this is over and we all climb back out of our fallout shelters we are going to find a different world out there. Thousands will be out of work, businesses will no longer be in business and social life and communication will not be the same for many months to come, if ever. I imagine a lot of people are already going "stir crazy" at home and the effect on mental health and well-being is going be enormous. So we need the relaxation and distraction of a leisure activity even more than usual. Boating on the Broads would seem to me one of least risky ways of doing this whilst sticking to all the rules and guidances that we all know about by now. I am lucky in that my main leisure activity at the moment is railway modelling and I do that at home! By the way, it is no use preaching to me about staying at home because I am at home and have been here ever since this started on 12th March. I go out to the supermarket every 10 days and that is it. We are no longer in lockdown here but there are still many restrictions. I am not to travel more than 100km from home except for a handful of specific reasons, and I don't qualify for any of those. In all practicality I can't see us being able to cross the Channel to visit our families for another 6 months or more. So there is no question of us taking a "furtive" little visit to the boat that we only bought at this time last year and have only holidayed on once! She sits there though, on her paid up mooring with current river toll and insurance and my daughter is looking forward to taking her husband and young family out for days on the Broads as soon as possible. She, of course, doesn't "stay at home and save lives". She goes to work to save lives in an A&E hospital, so she knows exactly what this virus is about. She is also the only one of the team she works with who has so far not caught it, recovered normally and returned to work. So if she thinks there is no added risk to her and her family (or the general public) in taking a day out on the river, I am well prepared to believe her!
  36. 18 points
    A surreal experience today, as the sole attendee of a funeral. Not something I have experienced before or would wish to repeat. You will recall I posted of the death of a very old family friend who we lost a week last Saturday. Her funeral was held at the crematorium today. The minister called on Monday and asked if I would be able to attend. Her only family is an estranged daughter living in Australia, her neighbour would like to have attended but is in the at risk category and most of her other church friends are upwards of 80 years of age and so similarly have been recommended to self isolate. Hence it was the minister and myself. I gave a fine solo rendition of Abide With Me, and her favourite hymn, which is also mine, How Great Thou Art.The crematorium staff were very good, and asked before entering the chapel if I wished to sing the hymns, if not they would "pipe" them instead. I have to admit, I might have the stature of Sir Harry Secombe, sadly not the voice, but she went on her way to the sound of her favourite hymns, sung, not played.
  37. 18 points
    Hi all, I thought this may be of interest to some of you. We have recently uploaded a set of eight voice recordings kindly donated to us by David Cleveland (ex-Director of the East Anglian Film Archive) to our YouTube channel. They include chats and ramblings from some key local people involved with the Broads over the years, including wherrymen, eel catchers, Ted Ellis and Joyce Lambert to name just a few. The playlist can be found below if you wanted to take a look (please bear in mind that voice recording technology seems to have come a long way since these were made!) https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrkwmQ8uE07Xu7FKs2ppFNbi0G_GdhQRG Tom
  38. 18 points
    I think perhaps I ought to explain myself, as I would certainly not wish to cause any mis-understanding. As this thread is already in the new Speakers' Corner, maybe I can have my say here, without falling foul of a moderator. I was not just reacting to a small post which "had a smiley face attached" but also to a PM which followed it up. That did not have a smiley attached. I do not feel "hounded out" by a few people who have been expressing strong views, as I welcome those views! They come from those of us who are concerned for the future of the Broads as we have known them all our lives. I don't "bash the BA" for the sake of it and I am sure the "usual suspects" don't either but we will surely identify and point up those areas where we feel the BA are not acting in the best interests of the Broads as we love them. And we will back up these opinions with fact and experience. This is our right of free expression and this forum is one of the only places left where we can still hold an un-elected quango to account. I speak as an ex member of the management of the Broads Society in the days when it was a voice of public opinion and influence on the Broads. Sadly that has just become a "damp squib" these days and I don't want the same thing to happen here. There are several threads here, where we can all have fun, talk of our holiday tales and have to guess which pub the photo of a beer was taken in. Please, I don't disparage that for a moment! Indeed I have often posted my idea of where the pub was and always got it wrong! But surely, this is just the "gravy" on the Sunday lunch? The real "meat and veg" of the forum should be much more than that! I have spent the last week reading the forum without logging on, so I have been a "guest". I have been reading back on posts in "Broads chat" over the last few years, which are all there for anyone to read and they are a fascinating library of experience, knowledge, history, technology and most important - considered opinion. Just look at this thread, about Acle road signs! It has so far been viewed by 17,490 people since it started only 4 weeks ago. You can bet your boots that those are not all "members only"! As to members' behaviour in discussion - this is social media for Goodness' sake! "Stuff happens"! When people are giving personal opinions about a subject which is dear to them, there are going to be a few rough edges. Surely we are all grown up enough to realise that? I would have thought this forum is an excellent example of comportment. At least compared to its own facebook page which is, bizarrely, supervised by the same moderators! My adverse reaction is not sudden. It has come about over several weeks and months where I have become ever more frustrated that every time we "get our teeth" into a subject which is important for all who want a good future for the Broads, it is shut off by a style of moderation which has become too risk averse. Please, moderators, don't be so frightened of honestly expressed opinion, especially when it is backed up by documented fact. If not, as some have suggested, the forum will stagnate, as others have before it. Paladin, who is an expert on the subject, has already agreed with me that you are not committing libel if you are telling the truth. That is the meaning of the law. Meantime, I have found that I am rather annoyed by it and there is no fun in that. So I will join ChrisB and one or two others (who I notice by their absence) and take a bit of a holiday. And while we are talking of posts with smileys attached, I will leave you with this one. Perhaps we should reflect on it.
  39. 18 points
    Have you ever thought: “I’m fat.” “I’m old.” “I’m not enough.” I was young once. To all my friends from 40 years and up: Most of us are going through the next phase of our lives. We're at that age where we see wrinkles, gray hair, and extra pounds. We see the cute 25-year-olds and reminisce. But we were also 25, just as they will one day be our age. We aren't the "youth in their summer clothes" anymore. What they bring to the table with their youth and zest, we bring our wisdom and experience. We have raised families, run households, paid the bills, dealt with diseases, sadness, and everything else life has assigned us. Some of us have lost those that were nearest and dearest to us. We are survivors. We are warriors in the quiet. We are humans, like a classic car or a fine wine. Even if our bodies aren't what they once were, they carry our souls, our courage, and our strength. We shall all enter this chapter of our lives with humility, grace, and pride over everything we have been through, and we should never feel bad about getting older. It's a privilege that is denied to so many.” (Mums funeral tomorrow) Griff
  40. 18 points
    Hi everyone, I am pleased to provide you all with some information below. I should caveat this by saying I've got a few areas of expertise in my life however boat engines unfortunately isn't one of them. Please forgive me if any of the below doesn't make perfect sense as I've re-written some information from one of my colleagues in the CME team. So, onto Spirit of Breydon... The original engine was a Nanni N6 320hp. This was fitted by Goodchild's to their original specs and we were reliably informed that although engines (and vessels) of this type are generally more suited to periods of operating at high speed (e.g. offshore fishing, surveying and diving) the engine should have worked satisfactorily for our purposes at Breydon Water (predominantly using at relatively low revs) due to the electronic fuel injection system. Unfortunately, this was not the case in reality and she required a new engine unit replaced under warranty within the first year due to a failure in the machining of the main block, turbo issues and electric loom issues. There were also other reliability issues following the replacement, leading to downtime. The problem of downtime was unfortunately exacerbated by the unforeseeable breakdown (no pun intended) of the working relationship between Nanni and VM motors who are a supplier who produce the engine units. This made spare parts more difficult and slower to acquire. Earlier this year we did have Spirit of Breydon, in a fully functioning condition, listed for sale with a local brokerage (who shouldn't still be displaying a poster!). However, no suitable offers were received and so the decision was made to work with what we already have. For anyone thinking about electric vessels, I was informed that we had explored this avenue although the associated costs threw up some challenges that made it something possibly for the future rather than an immediate solution. Because of the above issues, and to also support our move towards more efficient launches, we have decided to reduce the engine size to a smaller horsepower. We have gone with a Yanmar engine that is more reliable, more fuel efficient, creates less emissions and is better suited to operating at lower revs/speeds but still able to push the launch along at a satisfactory when required. I'm aware that many of you may already know snippets of the info above but I hope it's interesting to some of you to have the full picture. Although the situation has been far from ideal we have learned plenty of lessons and are looking forward to utilising her for her intended purpose once again. Hope you have a good weekend, Tom
  41. 18 points
    Meet 'Trevor the Transit' This is the replacement 'GriffTile' work horse. Trevor is a 2015 2:2Ltr 155bhp Transit Custom Sport 2900. With only 18'000 miles on the clock when I got him. A dream to drive with many optional extras as standard or ordered when new. Auto lights, Auto dip / main, Auto wipers, Heated seats, Heated front screen, Hands free voice phone, Lane assist, Traction control, Elec windows, Air Con, Cruise control, Speed limiter, Led lighting, etc etc the list goes on and on. It's a bit too plush / equipped for a works van tbh. I am getting molly coddled in my mobile office and loving it. He's been with me since the third week in August and we are just about up to spec. I've not done too much to him other than fit mudflaps - They weren't any on the front - Easy to fit. The rears had the original tiny Ford ones on. They had been riveted through the skirting kit into the body, a right pain drilling out the replacing rivets. Administered ZX1 to engine (Still to do it to the gearbox) fitted a K&N Air filter. The sign writing this time - I have gone for the magnetic written pads. Means I can go anonymous when I choose to do so. There is something a 'Bit Different' about the sign-writing on the magnetic pads - You spotted it? I was under threat of death from family members not to paint the door mirrors Red and Green. So I opted for coloured vinyl large dots - That means I'm still living having 'Got Away With It' - JUST, but still have my signature Port and Stbd markings. They aren't to enamoured with the lower rear advert pad either - Stuff em, it's my van and I have a sense of humour even if they don't. I have brought over my cherished plates of course. Although Trevor was ply lined out, I got stuck in and made some storage / racking in the back - pleased with the results. Ford didn't fit a spare wheel with this van - A right PITA that is. instead they give you a compressor and a tin of their tyre gunk. We all know that stuff ruins tyres and cannot repair a hole bigger than 6mm or any sidewall damage. So I have purchased a steel wheel and a spare tyre. Ordered a jack / handle / brace, and the kit to secure the spare wheel under the back floor panel. Once it all arrives I will get stuck into fitting that lot hopefully this weekend then chuck away the can of gunk and be a lot more confident. Talking of tyres. The tyres fitted are 235/50/18 !! What's more they are Goodyear F1 Eagles (Extra Load) - FFS! Who fits tyres like that to a van? They are going to cost an arm and a leg to replace and will be next to useless in the snow / ice I can see me having to purchase some smaller alloys with winter tyres fitted come December So the 'GriffTile' Vivaro is now away. I had that van for around 12 years of its to date 14 years and put about 160'00 on the clock. It was a great workhorse and owed me nothing when the time came for it to go. Trevor the Transit has a lot to live up to. We will see. Griff
  42. 18 points
    Whoopee! Graham and I are now confirmed members of the Moonlight Shadow syndicate. We are very much looking forward to our first week on her during the August bank holiday week. (Oh! Er! Never been on the Broads before during school holidays apart from a day boat above Potter.) It’s all thanks to SueH really. She and her husband were kind enough to show us around Moonlight Shadow back in 2017, when we happened to moor behind her at Norwich. It’s taken us a while as we had my Mam to look after in 2017 and over the past couple of years I’ve been quite restricted in the weeks I could take as leave. Given we’ve not been on the Broads during the summer madness before, can anyone offer advice on good (I.e.likely to be available) places to moor? The tides are good for getting through Yarmouth, and although I know it will be more busy ‘oop north’, I fancy having at least a couple of days on the northern rivers as we’ll be restricted to the south on our next allocated week in February. I made the mistake of listening to the Mike Oldfield song on YouTube last night. Can’t get it out of my head. Am driving Graham mad too, as I keep humming it. Still, I feel like dancing!
  43. 18 points
    This is what the view from Thorpe Green used to look like in the 1950s and 60s. The first one shows the hire fleet on a Saturday in August, 1955, and was taken by Fred Low, who was resident photographer for Coes of Norwich. He was well known and liked, as he also took all the society wedding photos around the county in those days! I suggest to Paul and other new members that they might like to have a look at the history section of the forum, where there is a thread called "Vaughan's memories", started by our dear departed friend JillR, and where he may find the answers to most of his questions. There are also two ciné films taken by my mother, which show what the boatyard was like, and life on the island as it was then. This is where the forum can provide such a valuable archive of history and other information, in a way that facebook never can.
  44. 18 points
    Well it has been an exciting time. I have bought an Alphacraft 29 Sports bridge, re named her Legacy because that's how I could afford her. A friend and I are still getting to grips with a thorough clean through and a bit of varnishing as well as making her dog safe. Chugged up and down a bit and practised mooring, peered at the engine checked the bilge pump and tried to look like I am an old hand! This Saturday another friend and I are on a hire boat, Sonnet 3 from Barnes. We decided to still have this holiday as Legacy isn't quite kitted out for a week yet, so hope to get some waves as we cruise by "the hand type not like storm Doris last year, very choppy"! I will do photos later in the year.
  45. 18 points
    Finally, at last, and those that know will tell you there were times we thought this would never happen. Then again it's all part of the ritual that is wooden boat ownership. Just got to finish the 200 or so little jobs that crave my attention, like fit the galley
  46. 18 points
    James Knight is a district counsellor. South Norfolk Council have appointed him as a full member of the Broads Authority I bet his high and mightiness is spitting feathers Griff
  47. 18 points
  48. 18 points
    Being both a boater and an active Angler, I too have a trotter in both camps. With regards to those that quote scientific argument on either side of maintaining or abolishing the closed season - I don't give a toss - Not even a nanno. I do however have an opinion and complete any surveys related to this hot topic I come accross I want the closed season maintained just as it is, not reduced but maybe extended if owt. My reasons are not scientific but they are my reasons, opinions and I'm entitled to them all the same. I do not expect others to agree with my opinions, just respect my right to voice them whether they are agreed with or not. I'll list a few of my reasons to continue with the closed season on the rivers of the Broads in no particular order. My list is not definitive and I maintain the right to add to it as I see fit:- 1) It gives the banks / fauna a respite. 2) It gives nesting birds a respite. 3) It give none nesting birds a respite. 3) It gives all riverside wildlife a respite. 4) It gives the fish a respite. 5) It gives boaters a few precious weeks of not having to keep a wary lookout for bank anglers camouflaged or otherwise. 6) It gives the rag-n-stick brigade full use of the river without having to worry about anglers. 7) It removes any potential arguments with regards to mooring / angling for a few precious weeks. 8) It gives no end of partners a respite from the Angler onboard a vessel choosing a mooring based on the prospect of fishing. 9) It gives non fishing partners the opportunity to 'Get Stuff Done' by their Angling other halfs. 10) It sometimes gets my blood pressure up witnessing out of season fishing but a chance to 'Do the right thing' - Report them! and finally 11) I like the closed season Griff
  49. 18 points
    Not a wedding anniversary or anything like that, but 46 years ago today, Doreen and I hired our first boat on the Broads, Sanderling No4 from Sandersons in Reedham. I remember it cost £29 plus the extras. We had never been to Norfolk before, let alone hired a boat so this was something completely new to us. Infact this was 18 months after we met and Doreen still lived in London at the time. To be honest, I just regarded it as a love-nest which was far from the madding crowd, well parents and nosey brothers anyway. We both loved it, probably for the uninterrupted time we had together, not to mention the new adventure we were on. It was so memorable I can still remember the "itinerary", which I have detailed below. Later that year Doreen asked if I would like her to buy me a new swish radio/record player for Christmas, but I declined and asked instead for a second week on the Broads, in November aboard Santa Lucia from Harvey Eastwood in Brundall. much better present! That was the start of the "addiction". It's funny how things get into your blood. The Broads has played a big part in my life, not just holidaying but working as well. Yet some people go once then never go again, or perhaps leave it for another 10 to 20 years. Saturday 3rd March. Reedham to Yarmouth Yacht Station We arrived at Reedham Station around 2pm thinking there would be a queue of taxis to take us to Sandersons. No such thing. It really did feel as though we have got off a train in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully someone gave us a lift down to the riverside. The 20ft Sanderling looked huge as we pulled up. I had read about the tides at Yarmouth and to be careful and as luck would have it, low water was at 4.15pm (about) so we arrived without mishap. I always think it's because we did Breydon etc on that first trip, that the fear you hear other people have of crossing over, never bothers me now. I can remember we went into the White Swan on the quayside for our night and there was a darts match on so it was packed out. It was a good night and we partook of the sandwiches and pork pies which were offered free of charge! Sunday Yarmouth to Wroxham We moored outside the Kings Head so we must have gone under Wroxham Bridge, though I don't remember that. Monday Wroxham to Neatishead. I can remember cruising down Lime Kiln Dyke standing with my head out of the canvas hatch above the wheelhouse, holding an umbrella above me. There were passing boats, even in March and quite a few laughed at that sight. Tuesday Neatishead to Acle (ended up at Upton Dyke) I have told the story before of how we ran out of daylight, mis-turned up the Thurne when heading for Acle, before turning around at Thurne Dyke and coming to a halt at Upton in the driving wind and rain - no mooring posts so rhond anchors. What a miserable night that was! Wednesday Upton to Oulton Broad Yacht Station There were no dramas crossing Breydon. I do remember arriving at Oulton Broad Y.S and seeing that two houseboats had been moored against the quayside. I asked one of the attendants where we could moor and he said at the floating jetty. We did so and I can recall accidentally dropping my earlier mentioned umbrella into the water and it disappearing into the depths when we were returning from a night at The Lady of the Lake, I think it was. Despite fishing for it with the boat hook and the fact that it was still erect when it went in, I could not retrieve it. It could still be there if anyone is short of a brolly! Thursday Oulton Broad to Brundall We moored outside the Riverside Stores which used to be at the head of the dyke leading to Brooms basin. I remember plenty of other hire boats there at the time. We spent the evening in the Yare Inn, which looked nothing like it does now. It was still big with two bars. We occupied the tap room/public bar or whatever it's called as that was where the jukebox was. I remember we had chicken in a basket with chips - one of the few meals we could afford to eat out. Friday Brundall to Loddon to Reedham We just went down the Chet to see what Loddon was like, spending a few hours there before returning to Reedham where we moored at Sanderson's yard. Cannot remember much about this day. Saturday Reedham - Home. Just to say that traveling by train, as many other people did at that time, involved changing trains at Norwich and Peterborough to get home to Leeds.
  50. 18 points
    Sunday 3rdFebruary We were awake by about 06:00 on Sunday morning – I’m usually up at about 04:30 and the wife by about 05:00 during the week, so sleeping in is unusual for us both. I got up, put the kettle and immersion heater on and peered out of the windows. It was a cold, frosty morning and the sky was clear, so hopeful of a photo-worthy sunrise, I pulled some clothes on, readied my camera and waited to see what developed. Debbie had taken Harley for a walk, leaving me to my own devices and as the sun rose above the horizon, I ventured outside, being extremely careful not to slip on the icy decks. The river was still as I wandered about, snapping happily away, until the first of many rowers passed by. The rising sun was casting some interesting light over the trees on the far side of the river and additional digital images were committed to memory card. The wife and the dog returned and went inside to warm up and I followed shortly after. We had breakfast of buttered crumpets and tea, before taking it in turns to shower and dress, ready for the day. I suppose it must have been around 09:30 when we started Moonlight Shadow’s engine and cast off, heading for Norwich. There were plenty of others on the river as we headed up the Yare, but only kayakers and rowers. The journey was uneventful and we cruised slowly into the ‘Fine City’, or it was until we reached the bridge at the Yacht Station. Unbeknown to me, there was an angling competition in progress that morning. I moved as far too the left hand side of the river as I could, trying to avoid the branches of the weeping willows as I went and headed very slowly past them. I hope I didn’t cause too many issues, though. We moored at the far end, between Pulls Ferry and Bishops Bridge and readied ourselves for the walk into town. It was a cold, crisp winter morning and even with the sun shining down, the pavements were still slippery from the overnight frost. Taking our usual route along the Riverside Walk and turning towards the Cathedral behind Pulls Ferry, we made our way carefully there. I wasn’t intending to go into the cathedral on this visit, but had a quick wander around the cloisters, and entered the building near the copper font and was greeted by the sound of the magnificent organ, still being played after the morning service had ended. I had a quick mooch round before going back outside to re-join the wife, who was decidedly put out by the fact that the bench she usually waited on, by the Edith Cavell memorial had been taken away. There were a couple of photographers with heavy duty telephoto lenses mounted on tripods aimed at the spire, so I wandered across to have a quick chat. It turned out that the Peregrines were out, taking in the sun. I chided myself for not taking my long telephoto with me, but took a few shots with my zoom compact camera, which does have a long telephoto lens (without resorting to digital zoom) and had to satisfy myself with the results. We carried on into the town, stopping at Greggs for some cakes (and a couple of sausage rolls – well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it) before heading for Tesco. The city streets were busy with shoppers and several buskers, some of whom were very good, were playing in various locations. Shopping done, we sauntered back to Moonlight Shadow, retracing our steps past the Cathedral, along Riverside Walk and back over Bishops Bridge. I stopped to take a few pictures of the Cathedral, across the deserted school sports field, looking magnificent in the winter sun. Debbie made some rolls for lunch, with some ham bought from Tesco and we cast off, heading for our overnight moorings at The Ferry House, Surlingham, via the boatyard for water. It was a pleasant cruise back along the Wensum and Yare, with no anglers remaining at the Yacht Station to deal with. We chugged back to the kiosk at Brooms for water, only to find that the hose had been turned off. A sign indicated that water was available near the boat hoist, so we carefully passed the expensive craft that were moored nearby and manoeuvred close to the hose to top up with water, before heading the short distance back to the Ferry House to moor. I had booked the mooring earlier and had been told that it would be okay to moor side on, where there is usually only stern on mooring allowed and connected to the electric post. There was a substantial amount of credit on it, for which we were grateful. It was only then that I spotted a water hose at the pub, at the opposite side of the seating area and later, when we went in for our meal, I checked how much they charged to use it and was told it is free to patrons. A point well worth remembering. I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while, before I went out to take a few photos of the setting sun. Dinner was booked for 19:00 and as ever, lived up to expectations – a warm welcome in a cosy pub and great value food. With the meal over, we left the warmth of the bar to take Harley along the lane to the village, before returning to the boat for the night. We watched Vera on TV, before making a hot drink and retiring to bed at about 22:30.
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