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Jill Thwaites


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I've just read the sad news that Jill Thwaites has passed away. It was announced on Barnes Facebook page and website. I only met Jill once (she and a husband were a guest of Vaughan) and she came across as a warm, friendly and energetic lady. I'd like to her acknowledge the significant impact she had on the Broads hire industry. My condolences to her family.


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A great loss to Broadland. To the hire industry. To the community.  To us all. In particular to my family. William Granville Jenner and our extended family loved and respected you. 

A sad day for me  a very sad day. 


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Those who hire with BBC or who know the yard, will have noticed a framed photo of Brian Thwaites, on the wall in reception.  I guess that her photo will be joining him there before long. 

I accompanied her occasionally, to Wroxham Church on Sundays and I know that in her deep Christian faith, she will be with him again now.  God speed.

I have two lots of memories of Jill : In later years we had wonderful times when she and Peter came on holiday to their cottage in Marseillan, on the Etang de Thau.  I would "borrow" one of our hire boats for a few days and we had some great cruises on the Canal.

But I also remember those difficult times of the 70s, when all of us on the Broads were striving to stay in business and Brian and Jill had the Barnes yard in Wroxham.  Brian decided to diversify and set up Barnes Marine Units, re-building BMC engines to sell to boatyards and private boats.  My first trip to the south of France was to go and fit one for him, in a yacht in Cassis.  In those days, Jill could re-build a diesel engine almost as well as Brian!

She was a wonderfully happy and cheerful person to meet, but also a lady of very great courage.

Susie and I are very sad since yesterday, but we have our memories of a great and dear friend and of great times together.


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Thank you Vaughan.

There were two very influential ladies in Broadland who I was privileged to know personally. 

Jenney Simpson, Jill Thwaites. 

Both magistrates. They were close friends.They both owned boat yards together with thier partners. Well, their partners did, there is always a power beyond the throne. Together they both made an enourmous contribution to the Broads. 

It went beyond hiring boats. They supported the disadvantaged, Children with learning difficulties. Taught them how to sail. Adults in wheel chairs, sailing a boat, how cool is that.

Never, ever, did they mention. They just did it.

A great loss. 


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I have a happy memory, Vaughan, of that sunny afternoon in 2018 when you kindly invited Mel and myself to join you and Susie outside your hired cottage near Wroxham Bridge. I met Jill and Peter for the first time. We'd arrived that day in a Richardsons hire boat and what makes me smile is that Jill must have been a sharp business woman. "Have you thought about hiring from Barnes Brinkcraft?" she asked me very politely with her Norfolk accent. She evidently wasn't one to miss a business opportunity! I don't remember the conversation after that but she must have influenced because I hired from Barnes the two years following. 

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