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  1. 28 points
    We are the new owners of marina quays,and the river front is going to be the first part of the project including moorings for Holliday boats and residential alike. the dredging has already been done along the full length of the site,next is a big clean up new parking electric hook up,and renovating the old control building. hoping to be open for business in the new year.
  2. 26 points
    Susie and I saw that, on Anglia TV last night. Dr Packman, sitting there in a half decker, complacently telling us how much better the Broads are now, and all the problems that have been solved by him , since the bad old days of the 70s and all based on an Anglia exhumation of a film called "No Lullaby For Broadland". I have always tried not to be personal about Dr Packman when talking about the BA but this is a dirty trick. A punch below the belt and I now lose all respect for him. Are you sitting comfortably? I will tell you a story. . . . . Television journalism can be biased in whatever way they want you to see things. In the late 70s there were problems on the Broads - no doubt of that - but the gutter press had jumped on it and blamed it all on the hire boats and the holidaymakers. In other words, biting the hand that feeds you. This was all brought to a head when Anglia TV produced this film. It was adopted by Friends of The Earth (FOE) who championed it as their cause for the "natural beauty" of the Broads. It all came to a head at a public meeting held in Norwich Guildhall in 1980, chaired by someone awfully senior - it may have been the Lord Lieutenant - to discuss the problems of pollution, as well as the bad press which was killing the tourist industry upon which the Broads depended. Standley Bushell attended on behalf of the River Commissioners and I attended as a director of Blakes. Standley and I, in public meeting, succeeded in convincing Andrew Lees of the FOE that they must dis-associate themselves from this film as it was a gross and disgraceful misrepresentation of the truth. We also persuaded him that we were actually on the same side as he was! Lord Buxton, the then owner of Anglia TV, heard about this two days later, watched the film and ordered all copies to be returned at once to Anglia House and destroyed. If you Google it now, you won't find it. But you will find the press cuttings which decried it and vilified it at the time. What was wrong with it? It simply used camera tricks to portray what the film company wanted you to see. Easy to show rubbish strewn on the bank - just get the film crew to throw it there and then film it, in several different locations. Yes, they were seen doing it. Likewise dead fish, floating belly up in the "polluted" water. Just buy some fish from the local eel fisherman that morning, place the same fish in several different locations in the reeds and then film them. How do I know this? Norman Webb, the eel fisherman from Horning, was a friend of mine. he told me about it. Even David Court, the MD of Blakes, complained on TV that he had seen the same dead bird filmed eight times, in different places. The shot of a lot of "rubbish" dumped all over a "river" bank was back-filling for the new quay heading being built in Porter and Haylett's new basin in Wroxham. The film crew must have been trespassing on private land to get that shot, as Porter and Haylett never gave them permission. And what about all the shots of the overcrowding of boats? It may occur to you that these are all long range telephoto shots taken down a long straight river. But do they represent the Broads as they really were? It's easy, isn't it? If you want to show a seriously overcrowded river, just go down the other end of Horning reach with a long range telephoto camera, and film the mixed one-design start of the Three Rivers Race! Sure enough, you will film an overcrowded river. But is it a true and faithful depiction of the Broads as they were? Of course not! Also very easy to show bank erosion caused by excessive wash. Just make the excessive wash with your own camera boat! The point is, that this disgusting and in-excusable "investigative journalism" brought about a drastic recession in the Broads tourist industry, from which it has never even half recovered. Yes, there were other factors, such as dear old Freddie Laker and the "global economy" but for Dr Packman to now grasp this wonderful opportunity to profit from an obvious "leak" by Anglia TV after 40 years, is a cheap trick. So what has really changed? Water quality, is the big one. But this would have been improved anyway, by measures already in place. It had already been proved that boats were not the problem, as pumpout toilets had been put in place (by the boatyards) about 8 years before this film was made. The problem was farm fertilisers and local domestic sewage works. As the water quality improved, so the reed fringe grew back and protected the banks from wash erosion. But none of this was anything to do with the BA! It all happened years before they were created and even today, it is not within their remit. So they cannot glibly congratulate themselves for it. What else has changed for the good? Not a lot really. You can't get under Potter Heigham, or Wroxham, bridges any more, in boats that were designed to do so. The north rivers are just as crowded as I remember them but with less moorings and no more boatyards (discouraged by early BA policy) so no services, very few pumpouts or rubbish bins, very little mechanical repair service - you name it! As I see it, for Dr Packman to sit there in his sailing boat and try to tell us how marvellous it all now is, in this fairyland that he has created for us, based on a film previously banned as being a gross journalistic lie, is astounding arrogance.
  3. 25 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 …..
  4. 25 points
    Monday 14th May This is a tale of my 4 night hire of Brinks Jazz(4) as a solo sailor, which commenced Monday 14th May. I need to preface the account as to how I came to be hiring solo. My wife and I have been holidaying at least once a year on the Broads since 1973 and it's always special for us. Last July I lost her which has turned my life upside down. We were due on Silver Symphony on the 16th June last year. The day before she developed abdominal pains and needed an emergency operation which took place on the 16th. She was recovering slowly but eventually contracted hospital acquired pneumonia, and being so weak following the operation was not able to fight it off. The months since then have been hard but thinking of what's left for me, and taking a little inspiration from ChrisB and others on here, I called Silverline and they agreed to let me solo hire Symphony for a week on the 22nd June. This is still the plan. A few weeks ago I came across a price for Brinks Jazz which worked out at £365 for the 4 nights including fuel and damage waiver for the 14th May. It had been heavily discounted. I had always wanted to experience a dual steer cruiser to get that "upper deck" view. But as Doreen could not swim, I did not like the idea of her clambering on the outside decks to get to and from the driving position so we always hired forward drive cruisers. I agonised over how I would feel without Doreen but eventually decided to take the chance that it would be OK. After all it is only a month or so before the Symphony holiday and I was going to have to face it then. So I booked Jazz 4 and decided as it was only a short break I would travel down from Leeds by train. We used to travel by train many years ago so this would be a change and avoid me making the 4.5 hour drive down twice in the space of 5 weeks. Interestingly I found that the first class fare was just £1 more expensive than standard class. So first class between Leeds and Peterborough with plated breakfast and coffee at my seat, then standard class from Peterborough as there is no first class accommodation from thereon. I arrived at Wroxham station at around 1pm and took a slow walk down to Barnes as I thought I was very early for takeover. By 1.15pm I was in Barnes reception and surprised to find that Jazz was ready for me. Stepping on was mixture of curiosity and sadness but not overwhelmingly so. I unpacked then went back to reception to obtain my life jacket, which was one of the self-inflating types. We have our own at home but clearly it was not an option to bring it on the train - unless I wore it to travel in! It would have been redundant anyway unless someone left the toilet taps running. I was surprised also to learn that the life jacket was not fitted with the auto-inflate mechanism when it gets wet. You have to pull a cord which is less than desirable in certain circumstances. Within minutes the handover chap was at the door to talk me through everything. At around the same time my grocery order I made through Asda was delivered - perfect timing. On learning I was a regular cruiser, the Barnes chap proceeded to inch me out of the little bay that lies just under their Sail Loft. Jazz was the second in of 5 boats going out that day and it takes two people to squeeze the boats out and around other bows. It reminded me of pushing one of those frozen ice lollies out of its wrapping. I did not want to set off for my destination that day (Horning) as early as I was hoping to moor outside Ferry Marina when their takeover boats had departed. So the chap placed me on the outside - riverside - so I could go as I please. At around 2.30pm I departed the moorings using the "flying bridge". It would prove the easiest vantage point to see myself in and out of mooring spaces. That first manoeuvre went well so it instilled me with confidence. You have to consider that this was my first time sailing solo and initially I found it un-nerving. A slow cruise down through Horning brought me to the moorings I was aiming for at Ferry. One boat had just pulled out - obviously still under tuition - which left two spaces, thankfully together at one end. I reversed the boat in, not without the small drama of having to cope with a strong breeze trying to carry me away. The strong breeze was to be a feature of my time on this trip. Safely tied up, the kettle went on and I sat back and relaxed watching the river traffic go by. Later that evening I walked along to the Ferry Inn for a meal and to get off the boat for a while. It seems the Ferry Inn raises different emotions in people but I would always return. It's somewhere Doreen and I returned to each time we were on the Broads. Memories came flooding back but in a nice way. I had the 10oz rump with all the trimmings and it was very nice. I moved nearer the lounge window after the meal and settled into reading my paper and observing the different sets of people before retiring back to the boat. By 11pm I was plum tuckered and retired for the night. Sorry this is so long. When I started it I imagined it would only be a few lines and some images each day, but I thought it right to "set the scene". Anyway, more tomorrow. Norwich Yacht Station - from Norwich train station Brinks Jazz 4 is the last boat pointing towards the Sail Loft
  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. 24 points
    In light of recent events and to clarify the situation for those asking, the Beccles Wooden Boat Show is an independant event that takes place over Beccles Carnival Weekend, normally the third weekend in August. The event is a private gathering of a group of like minded individuals. There is no intended connection with any organisation, forum or company. There is no entry fee, no club to join, no membership fees to pay, no hidden agenda, no commercial sponsorship and we have nothing to sell. The only thing attendees pay is their mooring fees. On years when a mooring discount able to be offered that is passed directly onto the attendees and when a discount cant be secured the normal mooring fees are paid. The event is financed by me and me alone. That is my choice. It costs me roughly the price of a good meal out for four and lasts two days!!! Why? Well I dont drink, smoke or keep maggots in the fridge. I do, however, have a passion for these old woodies and this is me indulging my passion and, in the process, recreating what Beccles yacht station once looked like the way I remember it back in my youth. A line of glorious boats covered in varnish. I call it a boat show because we encourage those attending to open their boats up for each other to have a look round, to 'show' them. There is also a fun quiz that has a question on each boat attending which again encourages people to visit each other and talk. That way everyone feels involved, part of the show. We attract a range of boats spanning back close to 100 years with most of the major manufacturers of the time represented. And thats about it, so now you know.
  7. 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
  8. 23 points
    Sorry for the late response personally, been out this evening :) So yes, I have passed - with one minor (lane position) where on one of the NDR Roundabouts I did not hug the left lane enough as I went around. However, it could have been worse...I arrived with ten minutes in hand to find a waiting room with just one other person waiting. Within ten minutes there were 7 of us and each person was called forward and taken out to their car - apart from me. I was checking my phone and confirmation email - had I booked the wrong day..? No, it was the 15th at 3:29pm so where was my Examiner? "Hello again buddy" Announced the arrival of my Examiner - none other than the same chap as I had before - what are the chances! He asked to see my provisional license and for me to sign the test sheet, only I signed in the wrong place and this meant he had to go get a fresh sheet and fill the same out - great start Rob, frustrating him already. Once he was back, the form correctly signed it was time to go to the car - the only one in the car park and after the simple eye test and 'tell me' question was out of the way, it was in the car and underway - but no Sat Nav was put on the dash instead I was asked to follow signs for Cromer. I duly got on with this task, and all felt okay - even if I had not practiced this much before as the Sat Nav element tends to feature in almost all tests now a lot of emphasis is placed on practicing following the directions it gives without being distracted. My Examiner then began the chatting just as he had the previous time, many questions asked but it seemed to make things go by faster so I was happy and a lot more confident talking and driving this time around. He told me it was the end of this section (following signs) and I was pleased - so far his pen had not been used so I was confident I had mad no errors. He then threw me asking me to follow signs again - this time to Great Yarmouth. This was harder as one of the signs was missing - you had a large one 1/4 a mile from a junction but when you arrived at the junction only a pole gave a hint of where the sign should be and where one must turn to go towards Great Yarmouth. This section did not last long and we were in an area I had never been to before. Alien roads, so I was ultra aware - speed limits, forward planning, what was around me and so on. We circled residential streets - clearly he was on the look out for a parallel parking manouver but there were no cars to try this with so he instead asked me to 'pull up on the right hand side of the road where safe'. Ahh the new one, good straight road no cars and no people. Doddle. I indicate, pull over and stop. He then asks me to reverse two car lengths. I begin to, and a man comes out of his house with his dog and steps right out behind the car. I of course stop, but now my heart is pounding - did I see him soon enough? Did I stop quickly enough? He got to the other side of the road, re-check my blind spots, proceed again then secure the car before re-checking blind spots and indicating left to pull away and continue. I noticed he had his pen in hand and I thought the worse. You can't get an minor for this it is a serious (and fail). We then drove back along some fast and narrow country roads with some nasty sharp bends and other cards heading almost in the middle of the road only to get over on their side as we approached. Lovely. We got back to the Test Centre, no hint from as to if I had done well or not - silence. He then said would I like my Instructor to hear the results, I agreed and she came out to the car. He made some marks and tutted and and hmmed shuffled his papers and then said: "Well Robin I can say you have passed with one minor" Well I almost screamed lol - talk about drag out the suspense. I got the certificate, handed over my Provisional so he can send the same off so I get my full license in about 3 weeks. I was then driven back to the station by my Instructor - chat chat chat blimey we forgot until the last moment to take my pass photo and then I forgot to pay her for the pre-lesson and car hire. Since rectified with good old Internet banking. Well, I should have got it the first time - despite the break in not driving and only having a couple of catch up lessons I had really no more to 'learn' as to pass the test, a great deal perhaps to now experience and learn but then being older going into this I am already at the stage of 'slow and steady' than 'hot hatch teen racer'. Tomorrow - or Saturday it is off to Cambs to collect the Barge and drive it back to Norfolk - Shiela will be my co-pilot to keep me company so we shall see how that goes.. Sure been a ride, but got their in the end :)
  9. 22 points
    Thank you to all who have supported the stand I've taken - both on this forum and elsewhere. Thanks also to those who haven't simply believed me, but have asked questions. It's a shame that more members of the Broads Authority don't do the same. But sadly, most of them just believe what they're told, without asking the probing questions or checking the facts. If that were true, I would have long since apologised and probably resigned for having made wrongful allegations. The fact is that the allegations were never investigated. The independent barrister was asked to investigate whether, by making the allegations, I had breached the code of conduct. My position was that telling the truth could surely not be a breach of the code. But the scope of the investigation specifically excluded considering whether what I'd said was true. Nobody, other than the Chief Executive, has ever made a judgement on the veracity of what I said. And he simply declared my allegations to be false - and refused to meet me to discuss them. Because he's the Chief Executive, he only has to tell members that he's investigated, and they believe him. He claims to have spent 3 days doing this, but was unable to tell the hearings committee what form his 3 day investigation took. The Authority's own solicitor conceded last month at the Local Plan Examination that the planning appeals and injunction at Thorpe Island did not relate to the river bank, and did not confirm the abandonment of moorings there. This is the exact opposite of what members were told last year and confirms two of my key points - yet the Chief Executive continues to say that there was no truth in my allegations. The barrister was quite clear that the sensible way forward was an informal resolution. This advice was roundly ignored by the hearings panel and, in turn, the full Authority. They even altered the procedure part-way through to remove the possibility of an informal resolution, and refused to meet me. Ultimately this isn't about me. I've never been a member of the navigation committee or the Broads Authority for my own benefit - in fact it has made my life much more difficult. Especially when it comes to dealing with the planners! So I take my removal on the chin, and accept it as a consequence of standing up for the truth. The only harm is to the toll payers and stakeholders who've lost a voice. But more importantly, at what point does someone in government realise that the BA is out of control, and take decisive action? Direct elections have never been more relevant or urgent.
  10. 22 points
    It was a funny old day yesterday in Norfolk. Blast me that were hot, I dint know what to do with meself what with her a naggen on an on about all the things that need doin. So I though wot I’ll do is have a little sit under me new gazebo. (My last one blew away last year onto Halvergate marsh somewhere). Well as soon as I got settled that started. No not her, Rodgers bloody combine, I knew suffin was up cos everytime he goes backwards in it a loud siren goes orf to tell anyone daft enough not to stand behind it. Well you never saw nuffin loike it A gret old cloud of chaff come out of the thing…………..and fell on me and me new gazebo, and that’s not all, half on it went in me cup of tea that she hed brought me. Well I sed to her I sed come on together I’m orf to Reedham I sed. And so orf we went. To sit on me wall. Well when I got there I hed to go roight down the end, past the Nelson to park me car, you know the bit nearest the bridge. Well no sooner had I got settled than she sed to me she sed we wunt stop long she said cos we hed got a lot to do. I think that she does it on purpose to wind me up I do. The quay was a full of boats, all shapes and sizes, and the tide that wus a cumin in loike I’ve never seen afore. That wus goin so fast some of them boats goin up river could hardly steer and those goin down river well some on em hardly made any head way at all, at all. Now that what I’m about to tell you is the honest truth. In front of me was one of those here picnic boats I dunt know why they call them picnic boats. How the hell do you have a picnic on a boat, there int no where to lay your rug and everyone to sit round it is there? Oi did not believe me eyes. On this boat there was a load of young uns together with an older women. There wuz 2 boys and 2 girls the rest of em bein in the pub. Well they hed all put their swimmin gear on. Trunks and bikinis and all that malarkey. And that’s not all they all had large rubber rings loike you see on a beach. Well I thought that’s a grand old do. I hint never seen anything loike it in me life. They then started to go down the heading to find a space between a boat to get in the water. Now as I said afore, that tide was a runnen fast, they wont had stood a chance. Fust of all they would have been swept up river as soon as they hed got in. And another thing how would they hev got out? Not on the quay or the reed banks further up river and no man or beast would hev been able to have swum against that tide. It would have been all hell up. I dint no wot to do. So I sed to her I sed I think that I ort to have a word I sed, and she sed “if you wish darling.” I wuz just about to say my bit when a long came that new quay assistant bloke. Now that was fourternut fortinut fortunit lucky, cos he has his lunch break up until two a clock. Now I thought that he would hev bin in a bit of a lather with them a wanting to go for a swim orf his quay. But all he sed to them wuz if you go in you wont get out and I wont go in for you. They started to moan but he dint hev any onit and he sed to them he sed get back on the boat he sed. Now wunt that a rummin!
  11. 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.
  12. 21 points
    Unknown, but not forgotten. Remembrance Sunday On a cold November Sunday morn, an old man sits a while Looking though old photographs, he can’t help but smile They’re all there, all the boys, with hair cut short and neat Uniforms of khaki, strong black boots upon their feet. They met as strangers but soon became like brothers to the end Smiling at the camera, there could be no truer friends. They all took the Queen’s shilling, went off to fight the hun, Soon learnt the pain of loss once the fighting had begun. So many never made it home, lost on foreign shores Many more were injured and would be the same no more. The old man’s eyes mist with tears as he remembers every face Each of his fallen brothers and the killing which took place He proudly dons his beret, his blazer and his tie For today he will remember the ones who fell and died. On his chest there is a poppy, a blaze of scarlet on the blue He steps out into the cold, he has a duty he must do Once at the cenotaph he stands amongst the ranks Of those who marched to war and those who manned the tanks, He bows his head in reverence, as the last post begins to play And he wonders what will happen at the ending of his days Will anyone remember? Will anybody care? About the lads so far from home whose life was ended there? I wish that I could tell him, that he should fear not For this soldier and his brothers will NEVER be forgot We owe a debt of gratitude that we can never pay And this country WILL remember them, on each Remembrance day. Maria Cassee
  13. 21 points
    Thanks for all the comments, he was a incredible person I was lucky enough to spend so much time with , he was an inspiration and will continue to be.
  14. 21 points
    Forty seven years ago I married this young lady. Thank you, Lynn, it's been good! To those who thought it would never last, wrong!
  15. 21 points
    Well, it's all over , a week of wall to wall sunshine , many many fish and many beers with a few whisky chasers aboard the lovely Pacific Diamond from a very family friendly professional boatyard . I will get this bit over with , and try not to reference it too much in my tale ( I will dig out an old thread and explain more later maybe if I feel it's right) but I wasn't feeling my best on the couple of weeks lead up to my MUCH anticipated holiday, and it took a while to relax into broads mode. So that's the negative out the way. Light hearted from here on I promise Ive not written a thing down!! So it's all from memory , so a few mistakes might and will be made I'm sure!!! Myself , the gaffer, and 15 year old lad set off 30 miles north of Edinburgh for the 450 mile journey on Thursday 1900. My 19 year old daughter , despite some serious cajoling, pleading and to be fair emotional blackmail , decided that 19 year old uni " dudes" have better things to do on a summer than go to the broads. Ibiza , parties and boys all came in the way apparently. I'm not sure what this Edinburgh uni is actually teaching her. Strange girl Peterborough Premier Inn was first stop which we arrived around 2330 . A quick half for a night cap and a good night sleep was had , breakfast ( okay for the £9.00 ) was had with lots of fruit juice and coffee and on the road again. Arrived at the boatyard at Loddon around 11.30 , said hello and went back into the village for supplies. The lovely Fiona at the boatyard had said our boat should be ready around 1300 , so there was time to get some fishing supplies and a beer and a game of pool in the pub . I won this game of pool, not the sign of things to come so in future I might just say " we had a game of pool" Back to boat yard , the sun was working hard , car unpacked and pretty much all things stowed when I got the handover . All very professional , not rushed and any questions I had answered with thought and a smile. I've been with this yard once before , and many others before so a trial run was not needed and down the Chet we went about 1400. Is there a happier time than setting of on your first cruise , with the whole holiday ahead , and as a wee Brucie bonus , the forecast of 99% guaranteed sunshine . Beer opened and rods built as big junior slowly and skilfully took us down the narrow wynding Chet . He has been boating a long time and really is skilful knowledgeable broads skipper. A quick stop at Cantley , really just to play with the first time had! bow thrusters , a quick look in the pub and menu for return journey and off into the sunshine we sailed ( or is it cruised technically ) . The New Inn at Rockland was target destination, chosen by the skipper of the day. ( we had made a rule , off the cuff, that who ever was driving, was in charge of the tunes!!) and he remembered a few years ago getting a fantastic burger there! So we cruised past the quiet moorings on the way in, looking for a nice first night fishing ( and reading for Mrs W) into the lovely summer dusk hours. All these seemed surprisingly busy so we thought we would check the other side on the way out. The first of many good meals was had , I would recommend the place . Not super fancy , but value good honest pub grub . It's what you expect . The way out did not not throw up any great mooring offerings and since we all were happy to cruise a little more on a lovely evening, off to the broad at Brundall we headed . Found a lovely sheltered spot , still in the dipping sun and mud weighted for a night of fishing , beer , chilling and taking it all in . A superb start to a time I look forward to so much. The broads hold so many memories for me . From going as a 4 year old in a chalet at potter heigham , to big family boating holidays , to smaller gatherings , to taking my true love ( Mrs W now !!) on her first boat from Astons , to taking my young and then bigger family on chalets and boats and so many other holidays of all shapes and forms , with dear people sadly no longer here, it truly is an emotional place . But filled with so many happy memories . Im sure that's enough for now , your probably all sleeping . More to follow as the days go , I can't type very fast so this takes a while !!,
  16. 21 points
    Despite the fact that I have been around all types of boat, and spent much time on them, both at sea and inland over the last 40 or so years, and even though I am a strong and confident swimmer, I would still confess, that I am somewhat afraid of water. I have always respected water as something that is largely uncontrollable, immensely powerful, and devastatingly destructive. Even so; I have been, like many, one of those who has perhaps let bravado and coolness get in the way of safety; thus, over those many years I have been on boats, I have not allowed myself to adopt the safe practice of wearing a Lifejacket. Even at sea, sailing often with other men, it didn’t seem to be cool to wear a lifejacket, unless the sea conditions became particularly unfavourable. Now a little older, and somewhat more aware of my own mortality, when we bought our own sailing boat last year, I felt the need to make it a rule, that everyone on my boat must wear a life jacket, a decision that I was glad I made over this last weekend, as my wife, a confident and seasoned boater and strong swimmer, misjudged the distance whilst we were mooring, to find herself suddenly overboard in the Broads. Whilst we were thankfully not in fast moving water, the very cold of the water shocked her to the point that she could not actually swim. Thankfully, the self inflating life jacket did its job, and inflated quickly to keep her head above water. Help came quickly from fellow boaters, to whom I am eternally grateful. But the sobering truth is this, HER LIFE JACKET SAVED HER LIFE! So please please hear my plea. It doesn’t matter the conditions, and it doesn’t matter how sheltered your boat is, respect the water, and wear your lifejackets.
  17. 20 points
    Is there anybody there? Is there anybody there? Keep your fingers on the glass!" said Madame Zaza. "You don't think for one minute my digit is leaving my beer glass sweet lady?" asked Maurice Mynah. "I've telled thee...spit it art yer thieving tyke!" yelled Griff wringing the last drop of beer from the gnat that had inadvertently landed in his pint. "It's no good!" wailed Doug. "It's like being in the mafia!" "I say! Steady on!" said Maxwellian in between sips of his Shirley Temple. "Well, it is!" Doug continued. "Like a National Park!" Jenny Morgan put in. "I beg to differ!" said BatraBill "hang on, what is?" "No, it's really like the mafia. Once you know secrets they'll never let you leave! Doug moaned. "What you mean...like the Masons all secret handshakes and rubber chickens?" asked Maurice Mynah. "I don't know what you mean!" said WildFuzz rolling his trouser leg down before resuming his seat quickly which produced a squeak. "No...being a boat builder. Once they find out you can fix things they never let you go!" "I don't want to rock the boat or anything chaps but who is this Madam Za-za?" asked Maxwellian. "She was supposed to bringing the cake trolley out when she tried to purloin my beer!" said Maurice Mynah trying to wrench his pint glass from the hands of the waitress without spilling a drop. "What? There's cake?" asked Doug forgetting his worries. "Any ice cream?" asked Dave. Well, that's bout number three of pneumonia this year over and done with. I feel like a three-day-old kitten...all claws and fuzz and liable to swing off various bits of curtaining and anatomy...but I'm back up again. They pulled out the fancy drugs this time but it seems to have worked. Give me over the weekend to get rested up and I'll be ready to rumble! I suppose not so much a rumble as a whining droney sound with a Lincolnshire/Yorkshire accent. Anyone miss me?
  18. 20 points
    I really don't see what the problem is here, a bunch of like minded people getting together on the water, catching up over a drink and a laugh, unofficial or official. I hope the person who had to step back is okay, nothing too serious, I wish them well I also don't see how the forum name has been sullied across Broadland because a meeting between friends has become 'unofficial'. Attempts at causing friction is more likely to sully reputation Have a great time everyone Grace
  19. 20 points
    'You're having a few drinks in the garden with your friends, or a family BBQ, when a load of pesky wasps arrive to spoil the party. You haven't seen them all summer and then suddenly they're all over the place, annoying everybody, causing panic and helicopter hands. Sound familiar? August is the time of year when people start to ask 'what's the point of wasps?' The answer may surprise you. Did you know that there are approximately 9,000 species of wasp here in the UK? These include the parasitic wasps, some of which are so diminutive they are like pin heads. Of the 250 larger wasps which have a stinger, the majority are solitary and cause no upset to humans. However, when we talk about wasps, we're almost certainly referring to the our nation's nemesis, the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris). To understand why these wasps become really annoying this time of year, you first need to understand their life cycle. Common wasps live socially like bees but, unlike honey bees, they haven't evolved a way of storing food to allow the colony to survive the winter. In fact the only survivors are the young, fertilised queens who hibernate over winter. They emerge in the spring to build little walnut sized nests where they they lay around 20 eggs. The queen feeds the resulting larvae until around May, when they mature and become workers. Then she focuses on more egg-laying and the workers get on with feeding them, enlarging the nest as they go along. By this time of year the nest has grown to around 40cm in diameter, often larger, and that nest can contains up to 10,000 wasps! Then, in mid August and September, a dramatic change takes place. The queen quits her egg laying (save a few that will go on to be future queens and males to fertilise them) and no longer releases the pheromone that causes the workers to work. Basically, these workers are made redundant, and are left jobless and disorientated. And the problem for us is that, although adult wasps are insect predators, that meat is to feed the larvae not themselves. In their adult state wasps are not able to digest solid food and need sugary liquid to survive. Now, with fewer or no larvae to feed, they become uncontrollably and insatiably hungry. Wasps love easy food such as over ripe fruit and your fizzy drinks. Towards the end of their brief lives, their hunger drives them to search for easy sugar at exactly the time when we are more likely to be using our gardens and outdoor spaces for eating sweet things. The timing couldn't be better for them or worse for us. So why are those who panic and try to swat them away more likely to be stung than those who remain calm? Well the problem is that these redundant workers have their own pheromone, which helps protect the nest from attack earlier in the year, and that's essentially a chemical rallying cry to other workers that the nest is under attack. So when you swat that annoying wasp and it feels under attack, that rallying cry will go out. Suddenly it all kicks off, and loads more wasps will start arriving in aggressive 'red-mist' mode, fired up and ready to defend their nest. This is why the best advice is to stay calm. Think of it this way, from May that wasp has been working its socks off helping to keep things nice on planet earth. Now it’s going to die. So why not give it a break, save your swats, put a bowl of sugary drink somewhere out of your way, and let it go out on a nice sugar rush :-) At the very least don't kill it. What's the point of wasps? Without them it’s likely that human life would not survive because, in the absence of their role as predators, our planet would be overrun by even more damaging insects such as aphids, ants and caterpillars.'
  20. 20 points
    Quick update on RT’s progress, She has had 3 coats of undercoat and 1 coat of cream gloss, the green antifoul has also had 1 coat with the line taken further down the hull instead of tar varnish that she had before. The engine is now back in and mostly connected up. Next up is a coat of stain and varnish for the top sides and finish of the trackmark. launch date is getting close.
  21. 20 points
  22. 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!!
  23. 19 points
    With apologies to the Clean Bandit song, which seems appropriate under the circumstances, here is my tale of a week aboard Silver Symphony from the 22nd June 2018 Friday 22nd June Unlike the trip to the Broads last month where I travelled down by train, this time my journey from darkest Yorkshire is by car so all the “necessities” will be accompanying me. So non-stick frying pan packed “tick”. I set off at 7.30am and after a pretty uneventful journey including en-route stops at McDonalds and Morrisons in Norwich, I arrived in Brundall around 12.30. I had called Silverline earlier in the week so I was aware I was too early to take over Silver Symphony. So I had lunch in the Yare (The pub not the river). This is one pub Doreen and I visited every time we were in Brundall so over the years we must have been in there for a meal around 50 times since 1973. That’s possibly more regular that some regulars! I plumped for the Chicken Pieces in Batter, which was very nice. Soon after it was time to make my way to the yard. I was their first arrival, which was pleasing as I wanted to be out on the river a.s.a.p. to head for Reedham, which I considered might be busy on a Friday evening – a boat hand back day. As I stepped aboard Symphony I couldn’t help but remember the last time I was on her was a wholly happier affair with Doreen two years ago. We had a great fortnight then and I was wondering how I would fill a week on my own. It was a windy day and memories of my trip last month on Brinks Jazz reminded me how difficult solo sailing can be in those conditions. Colin, the yard owner asked me where I intended to stop for the first night. When I said Reedham, he advised against it as the wind would be driving down the moorings. I told him I needed to be in Reedham tonight or risk not getting to Yarmouth early tomorrow. I said I would be fine (not sure I believed it though!). So all loaded up and hand-over completed I tentatively made my way out of the yard and down the dyke to the freedom of the River Yare. Eventually, first the chain ferry, then that large pyramid shaped crane passed me by before the quayside at Reedham came into view. The moorings were quite full but there was still enough room for around 3 more boats so I settled for a space just after the Lord Nelson’s own moorings. The tide was flowing in so the manoeuvre was straight forward, approaching slowly and allowing the “stream” to push the boat to a halt alongside. I ran out of the door, gripping the rope as I went by and secured it around the forward mooring post. The current was keeping the back of the boat alongside, so there was no panic to get to it before it careered out into the river. So all tied up, I went back on-board and realised that the wind had dropped to a breeze and that’s why there had been no mooring shenanigans. I was grateful that I had hired a boat which I was familiar with. As I had already eaten “out”, I set about making myself a sandwich for the evening before popping out to The Ship for a pint and to read my paper. I only stayed for an hour or so as I wanted to get back for a “relatively” early night. Tomorrow was going to be quite hectic and involved another daft o-clock (for a holiday) rise. More on that tomorrow.
  24. 19 points
  25. 19 points
    I'm new to NBN but not the broads, I've been going on the broads since I was only a few years old. My parents bought Judith 2 from Martham Boats back in about 1992. We had her in the family for a good few years till they regrettably had to sell her. After 20 odd years and coming back to the broads we have been lucky enough to find her again and purchase her back from the family we sold her too. She has been in a shed for a good few years and now the restoration is underway. Martham Boats are sorting her hull and next year the upgrade of the inside will start! The NBN seems the ideal place to ask questions and share experiences along the way. Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
  26. 19 points
    Thanks for all the comments and likes. It's good to know people are reading it. Saturday 23rd June. Sorry – this is a long one. The alarm clock awoke me at 6.45am (what?) Today’s list of events included launching the drone to get aerial views of Reedham, a cruise down to Yarmouth, a train journey to Wroxham via Norwich and a viewing of Goosander, a syndicate boat. Now you know why I was up at 6.45am! Bleary eyed, I put the kettle on so I could at least have a cup of tea before I launched the drone. By 7.15am, I was down The Ship end, pleased that nobody else was about. The drone was sent on its way probably oblivious to my heart being in my mouth. It did its thing then returned back to me on command. The aerial views of Reedham below have come out well so the early start was justified. I made my way back to the boat where my thoughts turned to breakfast. There would be no time for a fry-up as I needed to get underway by 8.45am. So the compromise was a bacon sandwich, which turned out to be more than just a consolation prize. Soon it was time to leave. There was very little wind and the tide was slowly ebbing so a quick burst on the bow thruster was all that was needed to get me mid-stream. My train from Yarmouth was at 10.41 so in order to give time to get to the station and to buy a ticket, I considered an arrival at the Yacht Station anytime before 10.15am would be good. However, I did not want to arrive before 10am in the event I may be charged twice – once up to 10am and then from 10am. Probably unlikely but I was not going to take chances, so I had a 15 minute window for a comfortable arrival. So the journey down was just trying to guess the correct speed to arrive in my “comfort window”. By the time I got to Breydon, I thought I should open the throttle a little and according to the on-board gps, we were doing around 9mph. As Breydon Bridge came into sight I called the Yacht Station to check I had enough room to get under the bridges and to ask for assistance with mooring. Symphony needs 6ft 8in clearance under the bridges and at the head of Breydon, the height gauge was reading 6ft 6in, so I thought I had better ask the question. The attendant told me there was currently over 9 feet of clearance so clearly the gauge at the start of Breydon is incorrect. I advised my position and that I expected to be at the Yacht Station in around 15 minutes – which I duly was. I was alongside, ropes professionally tied by 10.15am. So no time to waste as I needed to make my way to the train station. Thankfully there was no queue for tickets and I was sat on the train ready to depart with 10 minutes to spare. The train in question is that combination of diesel loco– three carriages – diesel loco. I have seen it many times before but riding it was a first. I have pictured it below for reference but would love to know (and I am sure this has been asked before but I cannot remember the answer) why does such a short train require two massive engines? I assumed one of them would detach and have many more carriages attached at Norwich before it went somewhere more exotic but that did not happen – it just returned to Yarmouth. Surely it’s not that in the absence of a multiple unit railcar, a loco is needed at each end to avoid uncoupling and moving to the opposite end at Norwich? Surely it’s cheaper to operate a diesel multiple unit than to keep these monsters guzzling fuel all day long? Having said all that, it was a really interesting ride, plenty of acceleration where needed and comfortable coaches! At Norwich I had a 30 minute connection for Wroxham, in which I arranged to call Dawn, the lady whose share in Goosander was for sale. She had volunteered to collect me from Wroxham Station and bring me to Goosander in Horning, as the likelihood of getting a taxi at that time of the day was pretty slim. So I called but there was no answer – it went to voicemail. No problem, I thought I would try again when about to board the train. Again no answer so I left a message saying what time I would get to Wroxham. I expected a call back at any time but it did not happen. I ended up stood on Wroxham Station forecourt hoping vainly that someone would be looking for me (perhaps with a little card with my name on like at the airport?) Anyway, no card and no reception committee! I called the number again but got the same result. I thought what should I do now? This could be awkward. Anyway, I thought I should attempt to get a taxi and make my way to Boulters in Horning, where Goosander lives. Dawn and her husband had arranged to meet some other people there between 10 and 12 midday so they should be on-site. There was a list of taxi numbers at the station so I set about calling them. The first did not reply – theme developing. The second did answer and said he could be with me in 15 minutes, which I accepted. No sooner had I finished the call, than a text flashed up from Dawn saying that she had missed my call and that when she tried to call me back I was engaged. Was this developing into a situation comedy? Where’s Rodney? I called her back and this time she answered. She had listened to my voicemail and was en-route to the station. Apparently the oft mentioned Horning data black-hole was to blame. I frantically called the taxi man back to avoid him having a wasted journey within 20 minutes I had been picked up and was now sitting comfortably on Goosander. Well, I was not going to let on so early but yes, a deal was going to be done. She is a lovely boat and has been kitted out with several features which assist the humble solo sailor. It has a reverse view video screen – you know what I mean. It has a centre cleat making it easier to secure the boat when mooring and of course in has bow-thrusters. So soon enough, I was being transported back to Wroxham where I could withdraw a £300 holding deposit with a view to paying the rest when I got home. Job done! So after a celebratory McFlurry in McDonalds, I made my way back to the station for the return journey to Norwich where my carriage (and two great thumping diesels) awaited me. I got back to the boat around 5pm and just chilled out (warmed down in football speak) until around 6.00pm. I had planned to fly the drone at this time to take images over the Yacht Station area. Pleased to say it went without a hitch and some of the results are shown below. Straight after, I visited the Kings Arms. I sat in the beer gardens at the back – it had been a hot day. I ordered the cottage pie which was delightful. It came with lots of gravy and various vegetables. By 8pm I was done and made my way back to the boat for the rest of the evening. What a day! Reedham That train Goosander Yarmouth Yacht STation
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 18 points
    Hi Jono Having just read of your first visit to the Broads in 1964 on Broadwave, I cannot believe the parallels to my first visit to the Broads in May 1964. I lived in Blackpool at the time and together with 2 friends we caught the bus to Lower Moseley St bus station in Manchester and like you took the overnight Robinsons coach to Wroxham arriving at circa 6am. We couldnt afford a taxi so we walked to Coltishall suitcases and all. As we arrived a man dressed in nautical gear together with hat and pipe was walking down the road. We asked the way to Clfford E Allen's boatyard and he replied I'm Cliff Allen follow me.When we arrived he asked which boat we had hired,we replied Broadwave 1, That should be ready as it was not hired last week, Cliff said so after our instuction and do,s and dont,s we set off on our first Broads adventure- The time was 8.15 am and all we had to eat was what we had brought-tinned salmon & peaches and cream, sat on the deck and cruising down what in my opinion is still the most beautiful stretch of river on the Broads. I vowed then if I could ever afford it I would buy a boat and in 1995 I was lucky enough to purchase a 4 year old Alpha 35 centre cockpit cruiser I named Sandpiper which I still have 23 years later. I have watched Broadwave's restoration over the years but will never forget that first Broads holiday on her which lead to my love of the Broads Boycee
  30. 18 points
    Tuesday 31st July Two weeks that should have begun on Saturday, was unfortunately delayed due to lack of staffing at work, leading me to lose my leave and have to impatiently wait until Tuesday morning to be able to begin to travel to Norfolk. So finishing at 8 a.m. it was time to head home to collect the car which was sat bursting at the welds loading up the last few bits and eventually getting to set off to Brundall at around 1020. The simple fact that the exhaust had decided now was the right time for it to snap on its bracket as I began to pull out of the workyard (something goes wrong with the car ever single time i head to the boat) wasn't going to put me off. A quick temporary repair with a couple of jubilee clips and some cable wires was sorted and in the now warming sunshine it was time to set off. The journey was slow and uneventful, the later departure meaning the traffic was busy but we arrived at 1330 to beautiful Norfolk sunshine. After unloading the car, talking to our neighbours for a short while and then unpacking our things we finally was able to set off at 1445 heading down the Yare river towards Reedham with a pint of Ghost Ship at hand. There was a number of boats, both motor and those weird flappy things, along the river as expected in July and August and the mooring were all very busy, spaces at Cantley and a single space at the Reedham Ferry. Speaking of the ferry when we were approaching the chain ferry which had just docked, there was a hire boat heading towards us, despite travelling with the tide I held station as they slowly fought the water and crossed over the chains just as the ferry raised it's ramp and prepared for departure. A cheery wave and thanks from the hire boat was returned whilst I looked for a signal from the ferry attendant, nothing was shown, did I hold my position and wait to see if he started his crossing? Did I decide to head across the chains, risking the embarrassment and potential boat damage we have seen recently, surely two boats in one week taking on the ferry and it's chains couldn't happen could it? Could it??? No. Not yet anyway I set off, and crossed with no issue and looking back the ferry began his journey across river shortly after. The pub looked nice and had one spot left but I hadn't been moving long enough to be really tempted so continued on through Reedham, which did tempt me to stop as there was one space left for me. Travelling with a strong tide however I needed to travel through the bridge (loads of room) turn around and return back, as I prepared to do so a lucky Richardson's boat coming in the correct direction already stole my intended mooring and so I continued on down the New Cut instead. With the sun being out and enjoying being back on the water the cut didn't seem as long or mundane as usual, passing a few boats along the way and enjoying another pint too. When I reached the River Waveney we took a right turn and fought the tide towards Beccles. As I passed the Herringfleet moorings, spaces we available between the 3 boats already there but I continued on planning on returning if Somerleyton staithe was full. Whilst it was fairly busy at Somerleyton there were numerous moorings left and so I moored up and tied off at around 1735 Before I headed off up the lane to the Dukes Head for a well earned (in my opinion anyway) pint or four. As the sun set I headed back to the boat for a quick easy pizza and then headed off to bed for a much needed early night after a wonderful day back on the broads.
  31. 18 points
    Sunday 22nd July. It was turned 7.00 am when I awoke; I left Tan in bed whilst I checked my messages and performed my forum duties and yesterday’s blog. I prepared the cereal and fruit this morning, today will be hopefully a day of relaxing, it is currently overcast but the pundits are tipping around 31 degrees later today. Breakfast over we took down the canopy top and tidied up the boat, pots done and warps unfastened we slowly proceeded to the marina entrance. I had to hold the boat awaiting many small yachts that always seem to race on Sunday morning, sadly there was not even one nod of acknowledgement of my holding station for the 18 or so boats all on the wrong side of their marker buoys. Tan let me helm all the way to Bramerton Common, we managed to get into one of the spaced available almost opposite one of the electric posts much to our surprise, we had been told that there was double mooring here last week by one of the owners off of Southern Crusader. We arrived at 11.30 am and loads of people were already on the green, families picnicking, playing games or walking their dogs on this popular area. It was with dismay to see that a couple of black bags had been left by the dog waste bin; one of the bags had its contents scattered by animals. Sadly this is one of the effects by removing services that should be provided in all tourist areas. We intended to stay overnight so we had a light lunch and settled in and played a few games of Rummikub. I had called an enquiry that had left a message on our website regarding was the syndicate still running and were there any shares available. It turned out that the enquirer was from Brundall, we talked for a while and we arranged that they would visit Ranworth Breeze whilst we were moored at Bramerton. Visit over after showing them around the boat and talking more about the syndicate over the wine they had brought with them as a present, they left to think over the proposal. Tan now after a couple of glasses of wine was beating me hands down on the game we had started and had overtaken me on the weekly tally of the games won. We stayed in the lounge with all the windows and hatches open to get a through breeze, it was too hot for Tan, I could have sat on the upper deck watching all the boats go by all afternoon, but kept Tan company now she was on a roll of getting her own back. I let the all-day breakfast cook in the oven whilst we played and cooked the eggs, tomatoes and beans when the rest was ready. Tan loves my cooking but always says that I use too many pots in my preparation, in this case 3 trays, two pans and a small frying pan. I do the cooking Tan does the pots that fare. At 7.00 pm I put up the TV aerial and tuned in the TV, Tan was not impressed that I could not tune in the BBC channels for Poldark, we will have to use catch up at home. This was the first time we have watched the TV rather than a DVD, I have to say we have not missed it. Coffee and bed at 11.20 pm.
  32. 17 points
    I have used my drone to take images of 11 points on the Broads over the last 12 months and have posted some of them on here as part of my holiday tales. I have managed to get some more stills from the video produced and together with the originals, you can see 61 images on a carousel linked below on a web page on my site. The originals are now orientated better and in some cases enhanced where they were either too dark or too light. Each location is taken from separate pages on my website so not all are captioned on this one long rolling carousel, which is not for general public viewing. To stop on a particular image, just hold your mouse over it. Needless to say, they are best viewed on a laptop, tablet or PC. The link: https://www.norfolkbroadsboathire.biz/map_viewer.asp
  33. 17 points
    Monday 4thFebruary We woke on Monday morning to a pretty miserable day. It was raining and the wind was quite strong. The wife pulled on some clothes and took the dog for her walk and I turned on the immersion heater and kettle. I made a cuppa and looked out of the window. What a difference from the sunrise the previous day. Debbie soon returned, rather disgruntled. She had somehow turned the wrong way just as a particularly strong gust of wind had blown up, which had inverted her favourite umbrella. I was obviously concerned, or tried to sound it, however the thought of attempting to remove what was left of it from a sensitive part of my anatomy curtailed my chuckles!! We had toast and marmalade for breakfast and once again, took it in turn to get showered and dressed. Before casting off, we topped up with water, using the hose at the pub. My intended destination was Oulton Broad, so we headed back through Brundall and along the Yare. The wind was blowing quite hard and the wiper on MS proved absolutely useless in clearing sufficient of the screen to see clearly the river ahead. Still, it wasn’t exactly busy – I think we only saw one other boat between there and Reedham, which was deserted as we cruised through. I turned down the New Cut. Anyone who thinks the Bure between Stracey Arms and Yarmouth is monotonous, needs to go along the New Cut which really is monotonous! It was already lunchtime, so Debbie heated some soup, which went down well with a couple of slices of bread and butter. As we turned onto the Waveney from the New Cut, the weather began to improve a little. The wind had dropped slightly and the rain had eased. We easily passed under the bridge at Somerleyton and still hadn’t seen another boat on the river since much earlier in the day. Debbie put down her cross- stitch, which had kept her engrossed for much of the journey and stood near the helm, watching out of the window. She pointed to a shape swimming, ahead and to the port side, thinking it was an otter as we approached the turn into Oulton Dyke. By the time I looked where she was pointing, it had disappeared, but it resurfaced again and I saw it was a seal. I slowed down and we travelled side by side along the dyke until the river turned sharp left at the entrance to the Broad and managed to snatch a few photos as it surfaced and dove back down again. And that proved to be the only excitement of the day, really. We chugged across the Broad and found our mooring on the outside of the pontoon that we had reserved by phone earlier in the day. With the boat secured, I set up the aerial and we watched TV for a while. By then, the weather had calmed down considerably and it had turned into a pleasant evening. The sun began to set and I went for a walk with my camera whist the wife took Harley for her evening walk. It was soon dark, so the oven went on to prepare dinner and we enjoyed a glass or two of wine whilst we waited and another glass or two as we ate. Such decadence!! With the resulting washing up done, we settled down to watch TV until it was time for bed. Granted, the weather had been inclement, but in reality we had relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings, which is what it’s all about when you’re on the Broads.
  34. 17 points
    Just to let you all know that today I forwarded £1000.00 in cheques to the Neuro Care Charity in Sheffield from family and friends in memory of Tan. Regards Alan
  35. 17 points
    We the mods of NBN are, Reading all your posts from afar, Jokes and opinions, (BA posts, the sticky 'uns) Smoothing the things that jar.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one,  Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun.  Christmas comes but once a year, it's the season for good cheer, Post of boats and cheery notes Of quarrels we'll steer well clear.  Ooohh watch that post, the naughty one, Just too far that joke has gone. Shall we hide it? Let it ride? It's Bound to cause a lot of fun. The Forum's in a holiday mood, Lots of gifts and plenty of food. Friends we recall, God bless us all Mods wish you a great New Year.
  36. 17 points
    Saturday 27th October Having finally finished work at 8 o'clock Saturday morning, I went home in order to pick up the kids and load the car well over it's maximum limit, and then it was time to begin our journey back to Brundall. It was a dreary grey morning as I set off, and a temperature of around 2-3°C but as we proceeded along the heavens began to open and saturate the landscape. Nothing was going to ruin my anticipation of another couple of weeks on the rivers though, the first with the kids and then finally all by myself for the second week. I arrived at Brundall at around 1145 to find the water topping the moorings and quickly unloaded the car, dumping the essentials in the fridge and the rest of the bags wherever they fell as I launched them from the aft well into the cabin. My version of unpacking sorted (If only someone would sort all this packing and unpacking for me ) we had a walk round to the Yard pub to get the kids a bite to eat and for me to start my liquid diet. The kids had a chip butty followed by Apple pie and ice cream, whilst the boys had a sundae. Healthy diets don't exists when we visit the broads I would never put that rubbish in my body so I enjoyed a few pints whilst the kids ate their dinner. After a quick trip up to the shops in Brundall for a few bits id forgotten, and to take a look see if the flowers on display were good enough to buy it was finally time to head back to the boat, jump over the obstructing bags of clothes and stuff and set off heading down the Yare river towards Reedham. The heavens opened up along the way once more and we even had a spot of hale but with beer in hand and music in the background we trundle along regardless. Now I'm sure everyone is already aware of this and it's a centuries old tip would never the less, due to the weather the windows were condensing up and visibility was pretty poor, normally I'd have my head stuck through the roof but with the kids moaning about it being cold with the window open I was stuck inside unable to see, so the aforementioned top tip you'll all know. Shaving foam. Smear shaving foam all over the windows and then rub off, ta dah, perfectly clear windows that don't steam up. It's the detergents breaking up the water tension blah blah blah Anyway the cruise was lovely but uneventful, Reedham was fairly empty but it was still too early to stop so I headed down the cut eventually arriving at Somerleyton in the dark at around 1815 After mooring up we headed up the lane to the pub and had a few more beers over a few games of exploding kittens, before returning to the boat where the kids headed off to bed and I sat talking to the little lady until it was time to head off to bed.
  37. 17 points
    I accept everything everyone says but still my idea of heaven is just to sit on the back deck in, say, Black Horse Broad and soak it all up. On and off I have been around the Broads for well over 60 plus years and I doubt I will ever tire of them. The boat is getting harder to sort every year but probably have a year or so left? Until then I will continue as before - the changes have come and gone, of course it is different but the appeal will not fade until I do!! What is funny is all the things people moan about, particularly the busy bit - you should have seen it in the early 70's! We expect a lot for our buck and the landscape continues to change (the trees! ) but it still holds for me, a special and unmatched appeal.
  38. 17 points
    Normal for Norfolk! An evening lifted by a flock of starlings murmerising against the setting sun. Well worth a waddle to the waterside. Just to let you know what you are missing!
  39. 17 points
  40. 17 points
    Well I thought I'd add my experience on arrival at Richardsons yesterday as it was both positive and negative. I am solo, having hired Crown Gem from them for a week every year since 2000 on my own. They accepted that I had been honest in my booking and hadn't fudged it with a second name or even putting me in twice. They also accepted that whilst the need for 2 was always in their T&C's they had always told me in the past to ignore this, so I would have had no warning. Wouldn't let me have the boat of course, just a full refund. That's the negative. What they did do, to my surprise, was spend nearly an hour ringing round looking for alternatives for me and found me Brinks Peace from Wroxham. They didn't have to do that but in so doing they reduced my stress somewhat and moved me from a lost customer to one who will consider them again for any non-solo cruises in the future. We spend too much time grumbling in general I think so felt this worthy of a mention. Brinks were excellent too, I arrived there at 2pm and despite them not expecting Peace to be going out it was serviced, cleaned, loaded and I pulled out at 3.15. Will def use them for future solos. And as an added bonus because it was a last minute booking from their viewpoint I got the week for the short- break price too!
  41. 17 points
    Sadly the forum lost it's ethos. Last Summer it was a real pleasure to be a part of the fun that was the forum, then it seemed to get hijacked by people always ready to see insult where none was intended and responding with aggression, treating differing opinions with contempt and responding with gratuitous sarcasm etc. all of which served to totally spoil what was a thoroughly enjoyable outlet. The effect was that people like myself (I haven't posted in almost a year) and Gracie felt uncomfortable making contributions. Fortunately, some of those responsible for this shift have it seems moved on thus it may be possible to recapture that which was lost as a lot of the "good guys" have stayed with it happily. Let's wait and see. regards, Carole
  42. 17 points
    I love the closed season, no fishing kit spread out all over moorings. No moorings blocked off. No rods half way across the rivers. No grumpy faces on the riverbanks. I know most fisherpeople are considerate and pleasant but we always seem to come across the exceptions! I hope nothing changes.
  43. 17 points
    And the pictures Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app
  44. 17 points
    BG is afloat at last. Received the call this morning that there was no sinking over night, and the window person will be fitting the new windows in the sliding roof tomorrow. However, the actual glass for the said windows has not yet arrived. Apparently there was a delay of some sort caused by something or other, none of which really made sense to Madam Captain who took the call on her way to attend to her flock. I doubt if it would have made sense to me either. We are packed and ready to head off early doors which is almost as exciting as this momentous event coinciding with a certain football match. On arrival at Somerleyton, it will be hands to cleaning stations while the stoker de-winterizes and fresh waters ship. Little doubt there will be the usual gurgles and burping sounds from the somewhat antiquated and complex water system. Never mind, this is being replaced next year as it has serve the boat well for 60 years. Heaven knows what is at the bottom of our fresh water tanks, I am sure all will be revealed in the restoration reports next year. If all goes to plan we will have a short shakedown cruise on Sunday or Monday, this will depend on how well the planks have taken up, and if any defect rectification is required. We are reluctant to head across Breydon Water because it is the start of the silly season, we will more than likely stay on the south side until September. We intend to come to the meeting in August and put in an appearance at the wooden boat weekend. The latter event being very much subject to there being space at Beccles. If any friendly readers happen to see us please give us a wave, we might even wave back!
  45. 17 points
    CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7186 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr Untitled by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7459 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7413-Edit by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7391-Edit by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7325-Edit by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr CC9J7174 by Jeff Cranwell, on Flickr
  46. 17 points
    Having been to several of these events this has to be the best. Not only was it actually hot and sunny but we had a really good turnout and it was nice to see how other members here, who may only know each other over the year as' usernames' got the chance to meet in person and have a good time. We had cakes and a quizz, an R.N.L.I talk on safety and throw lines, a new Forum Idiot, 'Crew Indy' got their amazing plate hand crafted by our own Stuart. With music (some of it live later) through the sunlight and BBQ smoke sat on the grass it was just perfect. It made me see what a great team the NBN has to help organise things, to muck in and help out both with putting up things like the Tent, to helping clear it all away the following morning and not leaving any rubbish. As a real community we should be proud of what loving the Broads and boating can bring together. The Cruise in Company came together perfectly too, and these are great times where people on the shore or passing boats tooting their horns and waving can enjoy the spectacle of dressed boats cruising in a neat line down the river. Thanks for all who came and made it such a good event to be part of
  47. 16 points
    A late start to work today so had the girls out for a walk around Salhouse broad. I thought it would be fairly busy as it’s half term but lovely and peaceful. The calm before the storm in a few weeks. John
  48. 16 points
    Someone who knows which way round a boat should be when going under a bridge. :-)
  49. 16 points
    Saturday 17thNovember When we bought into the Moonlight Shadow syndicate, our first allocated week, which had been drawn at the AGM in 2017, was due to be in February next year. The wife and I felt a bit like children who had been given Christmas presents and told we couldn’t open them until June. However, at the AGM in October, we managed secured an unwanted week, but due to holiday restrictions at work, was only effectively (for us) a long weekend commencing 17th November, which gave us the opportunity of experiencing the boat for ourselves. I had been anxiously watching the weather forecast on the BBC to see what was in store for us weather-wise and much to my amazement, it was looking promising for Saturday and Sunday at least, so with the car packed, we left our house at about 08:40 on Saturday morning. The weather was grey and gloomy, not the bright sunshine that had been forecast, but we were heading for The Broads and our first trip on the boat we had a share in, which made up for it. I was in two minds about the route – with roadworks expected to last until 2022, on the M1 from Junction 15 to 13 and works in progress on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge, I had pondered which would cause the least problems. I chose to go A45 to Thrapston, then the A14 and was making good progress until just before the junction with the A1, when the overhead gantry signs warned of the closure of the A14 between Junctions 26 and 29. I was not best pleased, so turned right onto the A1 to Eaton Socon, before turning onto the A428. All was going well until we hit traffic that had been diverted off the A14 by the closure. The sat-nav came up with an alternative route, which it said would save me a lot of time, so I followed it through some unfamiliar lanes and eventually came back out on the A428 and familiar territory. The diversion had cost us about half an hour, but the predicted eta on the TomTom was still 11:30, so not too bad. My mood was improving with the weather, which was becoming ever better the nearer we got to Norwich. The rest of the journey passed without further delay or incident and we arrived at the boatyard pretty much on time and in bright sunshine, just as forecast. Having viewed Moonlight Shadow in August, we knew where she was moored, so drove to her berth and tried our keys for the first time. We let ourselves in and had a look round – all was clean and tidy, ready for our arrival. We were met a few minutes later by the representative from BCBM, who officially showed us round, pointed out a few bits and pieces, but realising that we had hired many times previously didn’t go into unnecessary details. We were quickly signed off and we were left to get on with unloading the car and preparing to start our first cruise. The wife sent me to the Co-Op to get a couple of breakfast essentials for the following morning and I called into the chippy in Brundall for some lunch, whilst she made up the bed unpacked our clothes. I drove back to the berth, parked the car and we had our fish and chips (which were very tasty indeed), before starting the engine and casting off. I have always been careful with every hire boat we’ve been on in the past, but was doubly cautious as I went astern, knowing that it was I was at the helm of a craft that was jointly owned by our fellow syndicate members and us. Realising that it would be dark by about 16:00, in bright sunshine we turned towards Coldham Hall and set off for a comparatively short trip to our overnight stop at The Ferry House, Surlingham, where I had booked a mooring and a table for dinner. We turned off the Yare and across Bargate, before re-joining the main river towards Bramerton. Despite the lateness of our visit, there were still some leaves clinging to the trees, creating some wonderful colours on either side of the river. The river levels seemed quite low, a fact born out by something we witnessed on Sunday afternoon. There were a few private boats about, but not many as we headed up to Bramerton Common, before turning round and finding our mooring at The Ferry House, right by an electric post. I checked, but there was no credit on it and was advised by someone on a nearby craft that the cards were available from the pub and that the BA cards didn’t work in them. I went in and bought one, before hooking up the cables, setting up the aerial and settling down to watch some TV. It was getting quite cold, so we were grateful that the heating fired up and soon warmed the inside of the boat through. I broke out the camera and took a few photos as the sun began to set. We have visited The Broads for years, but usually during late April, May, June, September or early October. The mainly bare branches of the trees and shrubs in the light of the setting sun revealed views that we had not previously experienced. The traffic problems that had blighted the early part of our journey seemed a million miles away as the sun disappeared and I went back inside Moonlight Shadow to resume watching the TV until it was time for dinner. We went to the pub shortly before 19:00 and once seated at our table, made our choices from the menu – prawn cocktail for the wife and whitebait to start for me, followed by lasagne, chips and side salad for each of us for the main course. As usual, the portions were generous and tasty, so much so that neither of us could manage a dessert. We finished our drinks and returned to the boat to watch TV a little longer before having a hot drink and going to bed, tired , happy and looking forward to the adventure continuing on Sunday.
  50. 16 points
    Can I just say , that those who are lucky enough to make the "unofficial " meet , I hope and I'm sure you will, all have great time . I'd like to think , that I will make it along to one , where I will look forward to saying hello , and sharing a wee whisky with some good people. I can see , on this thread for example, how being a mod/tech on here , could be a tedious thankless task. Well , I take this opportunity to thank you all. IMO it's still inhabitated by very very good people in the majority.
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