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Hobro's Dyke


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We have a copy of an 1834 map of the Brundall area and there is no sign of Hobro's dyke. The cuts up to the Yare Hotel and what is Bells yard are shown.

Is it man made? If so when?

I am sure someone must know and this is best place to ask.

I have tried the Brundall records but nothing seems to be mentioned about it.


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No-one seems to have answered this, so I will have a try from what I remember.

J.S. Hobrough & son were the company who did all the civil engineering works on the Broads, contracted to the River Commissioners and dating back to the early 1900s.

Dredging, bank work, quay heading, etc., were all carried out and their base was at the big works on Griffin Lane in Thorpe. They were bought by May Gurney & Co sometime in the early 40s when James Hobrough retired. I believe May Gurney also had a works near Trowse Eye in Norwich.

They bought a large number of old wherries when they became too old for trading, stripped their gear off and used them as dredging lighters. When these got even older, they were simply sunk along the banks of the Yare between Postwick and Bramerton and also on Surlingham and Rockland Broads. Many more of them, however, were grounded and later burned, in "Ho'Bros' Dyke".

This was not in Brundall but just to the east of the May Gurney yard, where the boatyards now are. It was just a long dyke then, not like it is now but more or less on the site of City Boats and underneath the present day Norwich southern bypass bridge.

In Brundall, there was a dyke leading up to the Yare Hotel, to the east of Broom's yard, which was later incorporated into their expansion and is now part of their marina. There was also the long dyke which started opposite Coldham Hall (at Harvey Eastwoods) and contained a long row of small boatyards. I assume this must have been dug out just before, or after the War.

I can't remember when the second dyke was dug, but it must have been sometime in the 60's and I remember that the preserved MTB 102 used to moor in there.

This is now known as Ho'Bros' dyke but I don't know why, as it was never there in the time of Hobrough & sons.

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