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YnysMon

Carried Away By A Moonlight Shadow...

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Nah you could’ve but you knew you’d be press ganged! :default_eusa_dance:

I think you two, us two and Mouldy at least, + Warp & Jessica, and any other Forumites, JA??  might make it to The Boat at Stoke Bruerne for a meal this Autumn ? 

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That's a Brilliant (:default_biggrin:!) idea Pauline. Count us in!

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Monday 26th August

I didn’t wake until after 6 this morning, so that was an improvement on yesterday. There was a light mist on the river, with the sun glowing through the haze.

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We didn’t need to rush away this morning, as we were heading for Beccles, and low water at Reedham/ St Olaves wasn’t due until after 2pm.

We took Seren out for an early morning walk before the heat built up again (another scorcher forecast), making our way along the Wherryman’s Way route that took us down B/unclassified roads and across a few fields to Heckingham Church.

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The church was open, though it was just after 9am. It’s one of those churches looked after by the Norfolk Churches Trust. They currently have an appeal going on to raise money to re-thatch the roof. It’s a charming little church, very simple inside with some pretty old memorial stones.

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There was a house across the field from the church with a lovely weather vane...

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We retraced our way back to the boat and I made us a fry-up. It was getting on for 11 as we set off on our way down the Chet, planning to moor at Hardley Cross moorings for Seren to have a run around, as the morning’s walk had been entirely on the lead. Before setting off we made our way to the staithe to take on water.

The journey down the Chet was lovely, we only passed a couple of boats, so a lot quieter than I’d anticipated. We put the screen down as well as the canopy this morning, so as to catch as much breeze as possible.

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However, when we got to Chet-mouth we found all the Hardley Cross moorings were taken (particularly annoying as every other time that we passed during the week there was plenty of room there), so we ended up just carrying on and plugging against the last of the outgoing tide through the New Cut. We still had the screen down at this point, and as a precaution, we put Seren's lead on her, as she was tending to leap from one side of the boat to the other.

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We turned up the Waveney at the end of the New Cut, still plugging away against the tide. We didn’t go far though as there were spaces on the Herringfleet BA moorings. Seren had a bit of a run around though, unlike the Somerlayton moorings, there doesn’t seem to be any access to footpaths from Herringfleet.

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We waited about an hour for the tide to slacken off before motoring on again. We didn’t charge our way up the Waveney but kept pretty much at tick-over until we observed that the tide was starting to flow up more strongly. Even then we didn’t hurry, I doubt that we went any faster than 4mph. I’d phoned the Yacht Station this morning and had been assured there would be plenty of room on the ‘far side’ of the Station.

Some photos taken en-route to Beccles.

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We didn’t get to Beccles until around 5pm, and bagged the last space before the posts (wouldn’t have fancied trying to get in between them).

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I dashed off to Morrison’s, even though I was also intending to go to Tesco’s in the morning. On the way I noticed that a new Lidl is being built on the route between the Yacht Station and Morrison’s. That will be a lot handier to get to once it’s open. In the meantime, Graham took Seren for a walk.

There was an extended family moored next to us, having a wonderful time together (which is great…just what the Broads is all about). It’s just that the grump in me sometimes wishes I wasn’t there for all the shrieking. Maybe a wild mooring tomorrow!

One thing that has slightly surprised us on this trip is the number of people seen taking a dip in the river. Given the heat it must be so tempting. The first day we even spotted a family dipping a bucket in the Yare near Surlingham to fill a paddling pool that was on the bank. Is the river water deemed safe nowadays? I guess the Waveney must be if an organised swim event was held from Beccles.

There was the most spectacular sunset this evening. I was a bit slow getting around to taking a photo of it, so haven’t done it justice.

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Although I had a cool ‘ish shower this evening, it was still so hot outside and on the boat that I felt that I could have done with another one immediately after.

Whew! Though I'm delighted at the good weather, I'm not sure how much more sun I can take!

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Great write up and fantastic photos. Looking forward to the next part! 

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Tuesday 27th August

We decided to head north today. More for the ‘doing it’ than wanting to go anywhere in particular on the Northern Rivers (we had spent a week up north in July anyway…see my tale on Lustre). Slack water wasn’t due until 3pm and this time I was determined to wait at least ½ hour after slack water to go through Yarmouth, as the last couple of times we crossed northward we ended up plugging against the tide up the Bure.

The day started with a quick trip into Beccles for me (Tesco), Graham meanwhile taking Seren for a walk and topping up the water. We had a leisurely breakfast and waited for the tide to turn before setting off around 10am. The original plan had been to stop off at Somerlayton or Herringfleet for an hour or two before carefully timing our ongoing journey to Yarmouth. However, we had found over the previous couple of days that it was much more pleasant to be chugging along slowly than sitting around. Being still, on land or sitting on the boat was just too hot.

So, we decided to take our time and did most of the journey at or very near tick-over, taking things very slowly, and having a sandwich lunch on our way and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Waveney. I had Peter's (Jenny Morgan) advice in mind about there being wild moorings available above Somerlayton and managed to spot a couple that we might well try out in future trips.

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We still got to Breydon Water too early though. As we started the crossing, I commented to Graham that this would probably be the slowest Breydon crossing on record, other than in a canoe. Shortly after saying this I spotted a canoe some way behind us in the distance…

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and yes, he did pass us!

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At one point I thought we would be swamped, as a large boat was coming up behind us throwing up a huge bow wave. However, he was really considerate and dropped his speed right down every time he passed another vessel, at the time I took the photo below he was just building up speed again having passed the boat in the distance and then he dropped his speed again to pass us. Good man! 

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As a bit of a contrast...this was our wash. 

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We had a bit of a shock as we approached Breydon Road Bridge as a private boat came though ‘our’ side of the bridge. Thank goodness we weren’t a couple of minutes earlier going through. I did get a photo, but obviously won’t post that here.

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Graham enjoyed taking us through Yarmouth. The Yacht Station looked very busy, with lots of double moored boats.

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Not having been through Yarmouth during the summer months, that sight was a bit of a novelty for us. The journey up the Bure was lovely and quiet, though we did pass about three boats. The tide was just right for us too.

We moored briefly at Stracey Arms so that Seren could relieve herself (she hadn’t been off the boat since Beccles) and then continued up river. Not surprisingly, the Stokesby and Acle moorings were all full. Shortly after Acle, about half way between the Pedro’s moorings and the Northern Rivers Yacht Club hut, we spotted what looked like a good wild (ish) mooring. It had proper key heading and a grassy bank.

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We took advantage of the lovely hot water to have showers before making dinner (lamb steaks this evening). I tried watching ‘Bake-Off’, but the TV signal at Acle was rubbish. Never mind, I’ll watch it on catch-up TV when I get home. We settled down for an early night instead, pretty much tired out after eight hours non-stop cruising.

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Wednesday 28th August

I woke fairly early again today, not surprising after having such an early night. Graham and Seren continued slumbering even though I got up and made myself tea. Each night we have been setting up Seren’s crate on the floor of the aft cabin and folding it up during the daytime. The folded crate also came in useful as a barrier across the open rear doors when we wanted a breeze to flow through the boat but didn’t want Seren wandering off onto the bank.

I wrote up yesterday’s log and started another jigsaw on my iPad. The app I use has a daily free puzzle, and I’ve been storing these up in preparation for the holiday. It was lovely being on a wild mooring, very peaceful and, as the wind had shifted to a westerly, very little traffic noise from the Acle bridge.

Graham got up around 8 and took Seren for a run along the riverbank. Yesterday evening we had been debating whether to go back down south today or Thursday. We had decided it would be today and that we would stay on the mooring until the afternoon and do a circular walk to Upton in the morning, calling in the pub (the excellent community owned White Horse) for lunch. However, by the time Graham got up it had started raining. Nice gentle rain, but still…rain, and it looked like it would continue all morning. We changed our plans and headed up the Bure and then up the Ant.

Between Ludham Bridge and How Hill I started to think that going up the Ant was a daft idea, though until that point we had been really enjoying it, despite the rain. Shortly before How Hill two private boats came around a corner at some speed (at least one must have been doing well over the speed limit), one trying to overtake the other. Neither altered their speed one bit, even though it was clear that there wasn’t enough space for the three of us. I ended up checking my speed and in the reeds. Grrr!

Five minutes later as we were approaching the bend to the How Hill straight a Herbie Woods boat came around the corner on the wrong side, having just overtaken a sailey that was under power. More grrrrrrrs! Graham asked if I had brought my St John’s Wort capsules with me (a Dr had suggested I take it to lift my mood when I was stressed out last year). Well, no…I mostly find The Broads relaxing!

The rest of the journey was blissfully uneventful though. Most people, after all, both private boaters and hirers, do behave themselves!

There was actually a space at Irstead! However, we had planned to get water, either at Gaye’s Staithe or Barton Turf Staithe and then go on to find a wild mooring. Gaye’s Staithe it was, with several spaces being available.

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Seren had a bit of a walk. We filled with water as planned and I made us a brunch, this time trying to keep the frying and oil to a minimum. Sausages, large mushrooms and tomato done in the oven, new potatoes fried with just a light spray of oil, scrambled egg.

We waited for the rain to ease up.

Once it did, we got on our way again, intending to head up the Ant in search of that perfect wild mooring. However, half way across Barton Broad I commented to Graham that it would be pretty boring being stuck on an isolated mooring the whole of the afternoon and evening. We hastily checked the time for Yarmouth slack water and our distance charts and decided that if we headed back down the Ant immediately, we’d have enough time to get through Yarmouth today after all.

So, we turned around and enjoyed another (this time uneventful) journey down the Ant and Bure.

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Graham messing about...

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On the whole it seemed pretty quiet. Wonder where everyone had got to? Maybe it was because I’d be a bit late for slack water, but I seemed to be the only boat heading south.

It turned out to be a pleasant afternoon. The rain dried up and the sun came out occasionally. It was pleasantly warm, rather than hot, but we kept the canopy up. We passed under the Yarmouth bridges about 40 minutes after slack water, which worked out fine. The Bure was only starting to turn and the incoming tide was helpfully pushing its way up Breydon Water. We only passed one boat across Breydon and there were no other boats heading in our direction.

This was our wash this time. A bit more than our crossing yesterday, but I do like how 'civilised' Moonlight Shadow's wash is generally. 

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The evening light was lovely.

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Graham gesturing to me that there was a seal on our starboard side. I did spot it, but wasn't quick enough with the camera.

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We turned up the Yare, thinking that, if all the moorings were full, we would just about have enough time to get to Brundall before dark. We struck lucky at Hardley Drainage Mill though, and got a mooring on the pontoon in a space between a private boat and the Wherry ‘Maud’. As we were mooring up (helped by the chap from the boat in front of us) it started to rain gently again.

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We had another lovely quiet evening. There was a small amount of credit left on the electric post, and we plugged in so that I could use the microwave to make us a quick supper (not the greatest – tinned burgers, tinned veg and instant mash - but at least it was filling and quick).

We actually got a decent TV signal this evening, so were able to watch ‘Who do you think you are?’ with Paul Merton.

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I watched your boat (Whitey) being relaunched at BGM last Friday lunchtime.

Hi Helen, i was cleaning the back of the boat (Whitey) at brundall gardens last weekend and in the Broom scorpio speedboat yesterday evening as you were chilling out on your mooring. You looked very relaxed both times :default_beerchug:


Sent from the Norfolk Broads Network mobile app

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On 31/08/2019 at 16:23, Coryton said:

I've discovered that just looking at a nice picture of a boat on the Broads is quite relaxing...

You've most definitely got the bug ...... you'll be back, of that I am certain!

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1 hour ago, Kron said:

You've most definitely got the bug ...... you'll be back, of that I am certain!

It's interesting...on the train back from London this week we briefly ran alongside the Thames, and I realised I was seeing the river as a way of getting somewhere, rather than something that looks pretty but gets in the way when you want to be on the other side...

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3 hours ago, YnysMon said:

We had another lovely quiet evening. There was a small amount of credit left on the electric post, and we plugged in so that I could use the microwave to make us a quick supper (not the greatest – tinned burgers, tinned veg and instant mash - but at least it was filling and quick).

Must be a nice spot for the night.

We called in there during the day to visit the mill. Unfortunately there wasn't enough wind for it to go round, but it was still very interesting getting to see everything inside.

We didn't have a wherry for company though.

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Not until mid-February unfortunately. That seems a very long time to wait! I think we've had one of the first 'autumn' weeks (last week) and just about the final 'winter' week. Something like that anyway. Actually, we are quite looking forward to experiencing a real winter break. Hoping the weather won't be too bad and it's sure to be nice and quiet.

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3 minutes ago, Coryton said:

Must be a nice spot for the night.

Yes it was. It's lovely and peaceful (that's a term I've been using a lot on this trip). We like being on a pontoon too, no worries about rise and fall of the tide. The only thing is that the guard rails in the middle of the pontoon make things a bit awkward. It would have been better to have been moored either end. 

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6 minutes ago, YnysMon said:

Yes it was. It's lovely and peaceful (that's a term I've been using a lot on this trip). We like being on a pontoon too, no worries about rise and fall of the tide. The only thing is that the guard rails in the middle of the pontoon make things a bit awkward. It would have been better to have been moored either end. 

Yes pontoons are good - but seem to be extremely rare on the Broads.

I did get a bit paranoid about leaving enough rope for tides - I think I tended to rather over-do it.

Then again I saw an excellent example at Great Yarmouth of why it's important to get it right - someone came in after the yacht station closed and tied themselves up. At low tide early the next morning the boat wasn't exactly horizontal, but at least they didn't rip the cleats out. 

 

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I can remember mooring at Yarmouth between the bridge and the actual Yacht Station - the part that's now reserved for yachts, many years ago. We would always aim for a mooring there as it avoided paying the £10 charge to overnight. Of course, there were no rangers to tie the ropes for you so you had to guess the right amount of slack on your ropes. This particular night, I awoke and distinctly felt as though I was leaning to one side. I poured a glass of water and stood it on the table to see if it was my imagination - I had after all just awoken in the middle of the night.

The spirit level glass told me it was not my imagination. I quickly got dressed and expected to see one of the ropes holding the boat tight against the mooring post. It certainly was. The boat wasn't out of the water but it had tightened the rope so much, it was difficult to untie. When I did eventually manage to loosen it, the boat dropped down about a foot, then bounced back up again, which must have been a shock for Doreen inside. I had to tell her all was OK and not to worry. I retied the rope appropriately, and retired back to bed, heart thumping and vowing not to make the same mistake again. I often think now that the £13 I pay to overnight at the Yacht Station, is the best value mooring on the Broads because of the expert rope tieing! 

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9 hours ago, DAVIDH said:

The boat wasn't out of the water but it had tightened the rope so much, it was difficult to untie.

I wonder how many of us have ‘been there, done that’!! I can remember doing exactly the same about 30 years ago at the Herringfleet moorings. I woke during the night and instinctively knew something was not quite right. I can also remember, years ago now, arriving at Berney Arms to cross Breydon and seeing a smallish boat actually hanging from its ropes. All these things help to guide you for the future I think. I too like pontoon moorings, Hardley Mill and Oulton Dyke being two of my favourite places.   

Your first trip was an obvious success Helen, I’m sure February will come around quite quickly especially with Christmas and New Year to enjoy in the interim. 

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10 hours ago, DAVIDH said:

I can remember mooring at Yarmouth between the bridge and the actual Yacht Station - the part that's now reserved for yachts, many years ago. We would always aim for a mooring there as it avoided paying the £10 charge to overnight. Of course, there were no rangers to tie the ropes for you so you had to guess the right amount of slack on your ropes. This particular night, I awoke and distinctly felt as though I was leaning to one side. I poured a glass of water and stood it on the table to see if it was my imagination - I had after all just awoken in the middle of the night.

The spirit level glass told me it was not my imagination. I quickly got dressed and expected to see one of the ropes holding the boat tight against the mooring post. It certainly was. The boat wasn't out of the water but it had tightened the rope so much, it was difficult to untie. When I did eventually manage to loosen it, the boat dropped down about a foot, then bounced back up again, which must have been a shock for Doreen inside. I had to tell her all was OK and not to worry. I retied the rope appropriately, and retired back to bed, heart thumping and vowing not to make the same mistake again. I often think now that the £13 I pay to overnight at the Yacht Station, is the best value mooring on the Broads because of the expert rope tieing! 

Curiously enough, this is where the boat I was referring to had tied up.

We were at the upstream and of the yacht station. The offending boat passed us after sunset, and we did go to try to warn them about being careful to tie up, but couldn't find them.

The next morning I discovered them beyond the yacht station. 

They must have slept through the whole thing, or maybe not even made it back to the boat that night?

Seeing the boat at such an angle to the horizontal was quite an impressive sight.

The rangers aren't just useful for tying up - advice/help on untying is good also. On our way back North, we passed a cruiser where they had made the mistake of taking the wrong rope off first, and were having great difficulty sorting themselves out. 

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11 hours ago, YnysMon said:

Not until mid-February unfortunately.

I think I mentioned before, wonderful time to be out Helen! There could be Nogs about however :default_icon_e_surprised:

I'm sure Fireman Sam once mentioned that weeks do go begging in the winter, so you never know if you fancy an earlier break. 

Great write up and photos BTW - many thanks for sharing :default_beerchug:

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You would have to beat fireman Sam to answer and bag the week though.

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Hope there will be Nogs about!

Whilst writing up this account I kept thinking that I must apologise to the Nogs and Jay about the distinct lack of pub visits on this trip. Graham and I were on an economy drive with a vengence! We didn't eat out once, apart from breakfast on our way to Norfolk. Made it a really cheap holiday though.

:default_hiding:

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Keep your eyes peeled Helen! :default_icon_e_surprised::default_biggrin:

       Sorry about the lack of pubs but quite understand! I'm sure you'll make up for it in February! It's not cheap, I've never added up our bar bill, I'd rather not know!!!!!! 

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Wonderful write up and photos Helen. Did you find the boat as comfortable as you hoped it would be? :)

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Hi Jean,

Yes it was. Graham has had an issue on most of the hire boats with not finding the sofas particularly comfortable. He was fine with Moonlight Shadow's seating. We also found the beds in the forward cabin very comfortable. It also had nice think cushions, so next time we won't bother with taking our own. 

We really liked the shower too, good and powerful and plenty of hot water. We decided to use the main loo but for showers use the ensuite shower off the aft cabin. We didn't need to get a pump out all week, so that was a bonus too. We haven't had a boat that has a warning light on the loo before, so that was handy.

The galley, though compact, was really well stocked with pots and pans, crockery and utensils, with a really good quality frying pan (again, no need to bring my own in future). 

All in all, we were very pleased.

Helen

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Thursday 29th August

Health warning - I've gone more mad than usual with photos in this post. In fact, I couldn't post them all, so have had to split this day into two posts.

By the way, apologies to those uninterested in historic churches, this tale is turning out to be a bit of a church-fest.

This morning, after a light breakfast, we went for a 'longer' walk with Seren. From Hardley Mill we walked along the bank towards Hardley Dyke.

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There was a lot of 'tractoring' going on. These three photos were taken from the same spot, all different fields:

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This was taken at the end of Hardley Dyke:

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From there we turned ‘inland’ up towards Hardley Church.

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Naturally, I took the opportunity to have a look inside the church. It’s chiefly remarkable for having mostly escaped the Victorian craze for church restoration, so gives a sense of what a pre-Victorianised church was like. It had a couple of medieval wall paintings, a very large one of St Christopher, complete with fishes around his ankles and a heron to the right of his knee, and a smaller one of St Catherine with her wheel.

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The pews are pre-Victorian and have some interesting graffiti. The local kids must have been obsessed with boats, as they feature prominently.

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There were small sections of medieval stained glass tucked away at the top of some windows.

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On our way again, we took the road toward Hardley Hall, turning off just before the hall onto the Wherryman’s Way. This is Hardley Hall.

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We followed the path down to the bank of the Chet.

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Rush hour on the Chet.

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We made our way along the bank to Hardley Cross...

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...and then along the Yare and around Hardley Dyke back to the boat.

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When we got back to the boat, there were several people doing various jobs around the mill, including this chap who looked precariously perched. When I zoomed the photo I was reassured to see that he was wearing a harness. 

The plan for the afternoon was to go the Reedham and have a bit of a wander around there. As mentioned, I'll post the rest of the day in a separate post.

:default_smile:

 

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Thursday 29th August - Part 2

Obviously, it didn’t take us long to get from Hardley Mill to Reedham. We managed to get a mooring at the far end of the BA moorings nearest the bridge. The bridge was working today, the previous few days some of the bridges that we had passed under had been stuck closed until the evening.

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Although it was another beautifully sunny day, the temperature was a bit more moderate than it had been over the weekend. Mind you, I did manage to leave a footprint in melted tar on the road, so it wasn’t that cool!

Having wandered along the river front we made our way up the hill to the shop. Graham got a Snickers ice-cream and wandered back to the boat with Seren whilst I went to check out the church (I know…yet another church!). It was a good 10 minutes or so walk from the village to the church via a footpath signposted as the walking route to Pettitt’s Animal Adventure Park. This took me across the railway bridge that overlooks the swing bridge...

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...and then on a path alongside the railway cutting. All along the path were reminders that, despite the hot day, autumn is just around the corner.

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I found the road leading to the church is almost opposite Pettitts.

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It seemed a very welcoming church, with visitor’s being invited to make themselves tea or coffee and to help themselves to biscuits.

Perhaps because it suffered a major fire in the 1980’s, the vibe in Reedham church seemed a lot more relaxed than most churches. Areas for kids to play were prominent. It has very modern (and to my mind, stylish) pews and two modern stained-glass windows, with the rest of the windows being mostly plain glass.

The new windows are mostly abstract, one depicting three crosses and the other shades of yellow (for Christ) and blue (for John the Baptist) meeting in the middle.

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The plain glass in each window is etched with maps. The main (yellow and blue) window with a map of the area around Reedham and the other with a map of the Holy Land.

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There are some surviving older memorials, mostly commemorating the Berney family.

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The churchyard is pretty large and has been extended. Some interesting names on earlier headstones e.g. ‘Obedience’, ‘Providence’ and one I’ve not come across before – ‘Barzillai’.

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I made my way back to the boat along roads this time, Church Road, Mill Road. It was a lot further to walk than the footpath route, and this time I had a three-bottle pack of beer to carry, as I had popped in to the Humpty Dumpty Brewery shop to get a thank you present for son Harry, for watering the allotment whilst we were away. Humpty Dumpty brewery is near the church too, just next door to Pettitts.

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We whiled away the rest of the afternoon, waiting for the tide to turn. Although low water was around 5.30pm, it was well after 6 by the time the flow slackened. We then headed upriver, aiming for Cantley or Langley Dyke. However, the same space that we occupied last night was free again. As it was getting on for 7pm, we thought it unlikely that anyone else would be looking to moor there this evening, do mooted there for a second evening.

We had Sainsbury’s Duck Legs in a fruity sauce (can’t remember what exactly) with new pots and veg this evening. Watched Great British Railway Journey’s, as it featured the area around Taunton, and we’ll be near that area for our next annual May-time holiday with my cousins. After that we watched a DVD that we had found on the boat about the history of the Norfolk Broads.

Lovely sunset again this evening.

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