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Hi all, just a quick question out of pure curiosity more than anything else...!

Are the Broads still used by any commercial shipping vessels? I'm aware of the Broads Tours 'paddle steamers' and a few other smaller trip boats, but was wondering if any cargo vessels still use the Broads etc?

Thanks! 

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I believe the last commercial shipping on the Yare ceased in 1984.  The last time any "freight" was shipped on the yare  was to Cantley on 17th December 2013 and these, I believe, were the larges

Here's another one from August 82

This gives one an idea of the size difference

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Norwich is still technically at least an inland port, and so navigation to it for commercial vessels should, in theory at least be maintained. The closure of the flour mills and decline of other waterside industries in the latter half of the twentieth century saw a massive decline in commercial shipping on the Yare, and the last regular coastal vessels supplied the sugar works at Cantley. I believe they stopped in the 1990s. There have been very infrequent commercial incursions since but few and far between. Most of the riverside is now occupied by density housing but it would be interesting to see what would happen if a riverside business decided to use the navigation again.

Beccles too was once an inland port, but subsidiary to Great Yarmouth and ended any commercial traffic when the grain mills closed, mostly between the wars. 

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No riverside wharves with access left I don't think and in any case Trowse Bridge is technically able to open but only with an army of engineers in the middle of the night!

You are right about Cantley but they only used to bring the fuel oil for the boilers - not sure how often that was.

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Those coasters were mighty scary the first time I met one. I remember being amazed at how the water flowed out of the dykes when they they came along. Someone once told me that they brushed the bottom when they were full up.

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2 hours ago, StillCruising said:

Someone once told me that they brushed the bottom when they were full up.

A good chum,now deceased, was mate on one of the Rix boats that went up to Colman's. He reckoned a trip up the Yare was worth half a knot once they got back to open water because of the bum polishing. His post from Haven Bridge was up on the bow with a loud hailer 'suggesting' where smaller craft might like to go.

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3 hours ago, StillCruising said:

Those coasters were mighty scary the first time I met one.

My parents always told us how daunting the sight coasters on the Yare were. On family holidays in the 90s, I was always desperate to see one (and a bit wary of the prospect too). Large ships always give me a chill down my spine - no idea why (maybe it was these childhood stories...).

Does anyone have a photo they could share of one of these behemoths cruising down the Yare?My inner child likes to imagine the Exxon Valdez looming over a 30ft bathtub... Of course, I know that won't be the case...

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I believe the last commercial shipping on the Yare ceased in 1984. 

The last time any "freight" was shipped on the yare  was to Cantley on 17th December 2013 and these, I believe, were the largest items ever known to be been transported by water along the navigation.  

DSC_2164.JPG

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4 hours ago, StillCruising said:

Those coasters were mighty scary the first time I met one. I remember being amazed at how the water flowed out of the dykes when they they came along. Someone once told me that they brushed the bottom when they were full up.

Ouch. This reminds me of two years ago when we brought the Denham Owl from Bowling to Brundall. The first bit was from the end of the Forth & Clyde up the River to Clyde Boatyard. I was "somewhat scared" of meeting something rather large and my nerves weren't helped by the engine temperature guage approaching max! Thankfully we only had to wave to a small sailing boat.

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4 hours ago, catcouk said:

Does anyone have a photo they could share of one of these behemoths cruising down the Yare?My inner child likes to imagine the Exxon Valdez looming over a 30ft bathtub... Of course, I know that won't be the case...

Here's another one from August 82

878a Chris Mum Julie Darrell r. Yare.jpg

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5 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Beccles Cut 1957.jpg

Without going off the topic of coasters, the boat in the right foreground is the Four of Hearts, so that dates the photo as 1957 or earlier.

The Four was sunk and written off by a coaster while moored outside the Beauchamp Arms at Buckenham Ferry.

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A few years ago there was serious consideration given to the import of "Cane" into The Outer Harbour and transfering it to Cantley on large Lighters. Cantley would then become a 365 days per annum operation.

It was about the time the ill-fated "Cranes" arrived! 

Hopefully the "Re-newables" industry will keep the outer harbour viable. There were such high hopes for the development in the early stages, never to be realised. One such promise about 2004/05 was a RoRo service to Hoek van Holland once the harbour was completed. This latter proposal was very instrumental in North Norfolk being our chosen area to settle for the first half of our retirement.

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1 hour ago, Vaughan said:

Without going off the topic of coasters, the boat in the right foreground is the Four of Hearts, so that dates the photo as 1957 or earlier.

The Four was sunk and written off by a coaster while moored outside the Beauchamp Arms at Buckenham Ferry.

 

7 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Grain ship to Beccles, over to the left. Of course the Beccles bypass bridge prohibits anything really high.

Beccles Cut 1957.jpg

The other Broads hire cruisers are L to R. Pearson - Barbers (Pearson Marine) "Golden Nymph", H. T. Percivals "Panther", a C. J. Brooms "Commander", possibly a Martham B & D Co. just showing her bow and H. E. Hippersons "Rest-A-Whyle. Golden Nymph dated from 1955, so narrows the date to 1955 / 1957.

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I once worked with a man once who was employed in lowestoft building fast boats for the military during world war II. He claimed that when testing on the river as the throttles were opened the water was moved enough to expose the muddy bottom. It could be an old boatbuilder's tale. I wonder what the wash was like!

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9 minutes ago, pastboating said:

 

 

 

 

From the early 80's. Plato passing through Reedham railway bridge and passing us further down the quay. I do not know where her destination would have been.approaching.thumb.jpg.c24945bcb87beaee240067bc9b122a12.jpg

arrived.thumb.jpg.aa32b3fc44c9dfec0658a4eff243f425.jpgapproaching.thumb.jpg.c24945bcb87beaee240067bc9b122a12.jpg

How on Earth did the helmsman see past that bow?

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Here's my contribution from the 1960s - all been posted before

You could hear a coaster coming long before you saw it.  Then the water would start to be sucked out the dyke where you were moored - eg Rockland or Brundall Dyke.  I would try to run to the end of the dyke to see it pass!  There are still a few signs saying don't moor on bends along the Yare (or were the last time I went south!)

Liz

Aurora 60s.JPG

Friederike 60s.jpg

Norwich1 60s.JPG

Norwich2 60s.JPG

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23 minutes ago, LizG said:

Norwich2 60s.JPG

The one bows on in the photo is moored alongside Boulton and Pauls.  She is empty and will have turned in the basin just further up on the bend.  Probably waiting for the high tide before going back down river. The one with her stern to the camera is unloading at Thos. Moy's coal yard. In the foreground are Reads flour mills and in between is the Youngs and Crawshays brewery.

 

30 minutes ago, LizG said:

Friederike 60s.jpg

 

This one will be on the way to Jewsons Timber yard which was further up the port towards Foundry Bridge, in between Watneys brewery and Stephensons steel yard.

 

32 minutes ago, LizG said:

Norwich1 60s.JPG

I used to gaze out of the window of my classroom at Langley Junior School in Thorpe and watch those electric grabs unloading the coasters and going round the rails to the back of the power station where they dropped the load.  One of the electric winches from those crane trolleys was bought by Hearts when the gantries were demolished, and installed in the boat sheds for hauling boats up the slipways.  When I was last there, it was still in place and still working!

These colliers are much larger "centre island" ships of about 1500 tons, which were too big to go up into the port of Norwich itself.  They used to turn in Trowse Eye, at the junction of the Yare and Wensum.

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55 minutes ago, floydraser said:

How on Earth did the helmsman see past that bow?

A real problem with low height wheelhouses designed for  bridge clearance in rivers. There should be a lookout posted in the bow in radio contact with the bridge.

This was unfortunately probably the main cause of the Marchioness disaster. The Bowbelle's wheel house were unaware of the Marchioness until they hit and their forward lookout had been given no concise, clear instructions.

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1 hour ago, floydraser said:

How on Earth did the helmsman see past that bow?

We used to get small 'feeder' vessels into Felixstowe - 30 or 40 boxes, usually over shipped from Rotterdam that spent most of their time on the Rhine. The bridge was on a huge hydraulic ram, raised for berthing and manoeuvering then dropped for bridges or if things got a bit lumpy. 

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