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Ice Yachting Wroxham Broad Winter 1963


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I managed to get a quick bit of film editing in this week and have uploaded the final film from Vaughan to the Broadland Memories YouTube channel this morning.

This is super - ice yachting on Wroxham Broad during the winter of 1963. Vaughan's parents are seen along with Leslie and Tricia Landamore and their daughter Anna. Many thanks once again to Vaughan for allowing me to share his family films.


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Great stuff, I remember it well. My 'ice yacht', if you could call it that, was somewhat more basic. Like a number of others it was basically a modified, upside down dinghy trailer only in my case powered by a lugsail. Huge fun and yes I did tow folk on skates however, after a few days, its demise came when I ran over a mooring buoy, capsized and broke a perfectly good mast, my father was not entirely sympathetic! Fast, wow, not so close winded as the Wroxham ones but great fun! A friend's father subsequently had a 'proper' ice yacht built, the remains of which still exist besides what was his boatshed, and we all took turns on that one, with strict orders to be sensible which wasn't quite so much fun!

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Leslie Landamore was a great innovator and he made this up from a dinghy trailer, going backwards, with skates instead of wheels and the rear skate steered by a tiller. The rig was from his National 12 dinghy. In his youth he had been an Olympic trials helmsman on the National 14.

When Easter came that year, the river was thawed out, but any still water off river was still thickly frozen. Leslie made a catamaran raft with planks in between. He then got a circular saw from the machine shop, mounted it upside down on the planks between the skids and attached a long electric cable. With a lot of ropes and a lot of manpower they then literally sawed up Daisy Broad into chunks and pushed it all out into the main river.

That was the only way that all the boats in Daisy Broad could go out on hire for Easter!

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Trailer going backwards, so that's where I went wrong! To be truthful I'm not sure how I set it up now, it was largely down to guesswork, but it went forwards which was all that mattered. We didn't have Google back then. My friend's set up was based on a photo of a Canadian ice yacht and knocked up at Truman's boatyard so the expertise was there.  

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Back then, Lulu, Oulton Broad's ice was regularly checked by the Harbour Master and it exceeded 20" if I remember correctly. We have skated on the Broad several times since then.

I believe that I am right in saying that before our local authority condones skating the ice has to be at least 6" thick.

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