Hi I hired a number of boats during the early to mid seventies and recently became interested in The Broads again, mainly as result of watching videos on you tube. Maybe the time has come for a comeback, but I thought it only fair to tell the tale of my first trip to the Broads. let me start by saying this is not a story to be proud of, especially in a community such as this where its I obvious that good manners. Correct river etiquette and a community spirit prevail. I hope by way of this confession, I will be allowed to contribute to your friendly community Sometime around May 1971 a group of 6 sixteen year boys, myself included, somehow managed to hire a boat for a week via Hoseasons. We collected our boat from Burgh Castle Marina on a Saturday and after a short training lesson, we were let loose on the Broads to spread havoc. Now we may have caused a number of the problems that I will tell you about now, but hopefully, the hirers learnt their lessons and nowadays would not permit hiring to a group of teenagers. The boat in question was called Lady Sandria 3. A six berth boat with front and back cabins and a central sliding canopy. Being just south of Breydon we decided to head south for our first evening. We eventually passed a pub with moorings and decided to turn the boat around and moor up at the pub. Unfortunately this ended with the boat aground front end in a bank of reeds. Two of the crew were thrown overboard to push the boat back afloat. Although we succeeded, the two members were left aground unable to get back aboard. Two very muddy and very unhappy lads staggered into the pub sometime later. the next day we somehow managed to traverse Breydon Waterand found our way to the Northern Broads. We were obviously very inexperienced and naive about etiquette etc and although we managed to avoid damaging anything, I do remember a few angry fists being raised at us, particularly from the sailing community. Quite how it happened I can't remember (I suspect just being naive). We somehow found ourselves passing successfully under Wroxham Bridge. It wasn't until we moored up that one of the crew pointed out the plaque on the dash stating that the boat would not pass under Wroxham or Potter Heigham bridges. I can only assume we must have been very lucky with the tides because when we attempted the return journey we became stuck under the bridge. We somehow managed to push her through mainly by manually pushing against the underneath of the bridge. By the time we cleared the bridge a decent crowd had gathered and we were told that the police had been informed . We beat a hasty retreat and spent the next few hour terrified we were criminals on the run. On one of the broads we attempted our first stern on mooring, which we somehow achieved. However a helpful soul at the mooring suggested I threw him the mooring rope. Unfortunately I dropped the end in the water and it was consumed by the propellor. We we then headed south and moored up sideways on, on the river just outside Oulton Broad. We walked into the town found ourselves a watering hole and proceeded to drink 3 or 4 pints. A considerable amount at lunchtime for 16 year olds. When we returned to Lady Sandria we found her sitting much lower in the water than all the other boats. She was in fact being kept upright by the mooring ropes and appeared to be sinking. The inspection hatch for the engine compartment was afloat and we were clueless what to do. Four of the crew were assigned to bailing out duties and myself and a friend, ran into the local Hoseasons office in Oulton Broad. From memory it was quite a jog and we arrived totally out of breath. We gasped out our story to the office manager dressed in a 3 piece suit. He drove us to a boatyard where we met with a mechanic and the four of us headed out on a small dinghy with an outboard. All the way out to the stricken vessel we told the two guys of the valiant efforts of our friends to keep Lady Sandria afloat. Unfortunately when we caught sight of her, they were all tired and wet and had decided to relax on the top deck.. Not good. A Pump was set up and was manned by three of us. The Hoseasons manager was working the pump, I was holding the hose and my friend was holding the end of the hose over the side of the boat. The mechanic had adorned a snorkel and was head down in the engine bay trying to investigate the problem. It was at this time that a truly funny sequence of events occurred . You really had to be there to see how funny this was. My friend holding the end of the hose had decided to place his finger in the end of the hose and squirt some bugs floating in the river. At this moment the mechanic surfaced slowly removed the face mask and uttered the unforgettable line" what do you think you are a xxxxxxxx fireman". One by one we all roared with laughter. if I remember correctly the rope I had dropped onto the propellor had damaged the prop shaft and water was seeping in when the engine wasn't running..we spent a day or so in dry dock before returning the boat to its home dockyard the next day. just to put icing on the cake as we attempted a stern mooring, we hit the bank to hard, and the two bolts holding the sliding roof in place to shear off, causing the roof to slide off. Needless to say we lost our security deposit. this was nearly 45 years ago and it's obvious that we should never have been allowed to hire the boat in the first place. Hopefully we didn't cause too much distress and it's probably a little late, but belated apologies to anyone who may have been affected by us. i did return to the broads 2 or 3 times after and am pleased to report much better behaviour. So so my sorry tale ends and I hope one day to once again enjoy the beauty of the Broads.