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Lord Roberts


AdnamsGirl

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The Lord Roberts was indeed given to the Norfolk Wherry Trust in 1969 by May Gurney and, as you say, they didn't have the funds to carry out the restoration. She was moored at Womack (in Hunters Dyke or nearby I believe) and later sunk. She was raised c1983 and was then taken off to Royall's yard and, as far as I know, now lies sunk in a private dyke somewhere in Wroxham.

Whether there is enough of it left to be able to salvage and restore I don't know.

The picture below comes from a newspaper article c1983 when she was raised and taken to Wroxham.

Carol

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Sadly Carol you are bang on!!!!

She is still in the dyke but restoration is a bit like giving credence to a campaign to restore the Keel which surfaces now and again!!!!

The hull is of historical value and perhaps something will happen someday but I doubt it. It is not a burden the Wherry Trust can shoulder. What the Trust can and still does is ensures that Albion is kept in very good order and sailing but to spread its resouces too thinly would be a disaster. You have only to look at the Wherry Charter Trust to see that happening. Hathor still sails but for how much longer?

The Albion is in good heart at least and will be around this year as usual and available for charter - now thats a good idea for 12 good men and women from the NBN !!!!!!! Or 24 if you want 2 days out!!!!!

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It's always sad to see these fine old ladies decaying although they do make most atmospheric subjects for photography. However providing detailed plans and measurements are made from their remains they are not really lost as at some time in the future they can be reconstructed .. when finances are available. I suspect their would be little left of the original "Lord Roberts" should a restoration be attempted.

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My friend bought a very interesting book when we visited the Museum Of The Broads in September - I think it was produced just for the museum. I cannot remember who the author is (I'll find out), but I believe he has had something to do with the restoration and maintenance of wherries. He wrote a book detailing how he believed that wherries were built and including his own drawings and plans ..... we just need to find enough decent trees and a strip of land to construct it on now!! :lol:

For anyone that is interested in the history of wherries and the life of the wherrymen, then I can highly recommend both Robert Maltsters "Wherries and Waterways" (published 1971) and also Roy Clark's "Black Sailed Traders" (1961). The list of known keels and wherries at the back of the latter is extremely fascinating .... there were once so many of them trading on the rivers and even heading down the coast on occasions! Both books are now long out of print, but copies do turn up on Ebay every now and again. I bought my copy of Black Sailed Traders on Ebay for around £10.

It's incredible just how many were still around prior to the First World War ... I have a photo from my own collection which I haven't got onto Broadland Memories yet which dates from c1905 and features 13 wherries all crossing Breydon together. That must have been a sight to behold!!

Carol

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The sad fact is that a lot of Wherry owners sank them on purpose as a way of preservation with a view to to future restoration and re-use on their return before going off to war, many then never returning having been killed in battle, leaving the Wherries sunken in the broads and lost forever, as their families often didnt have the cash required to raise them, having lost their main breadwinner :(

julz :wave

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The wherries can be divided into several types - and yes, there are now 8 in existence in various states or other.

The Albion and the Maud are both examples of trading wherries and both pretty original. The Albion is owned by the Norfolk Wherry Tust and is the one who usually takes up all the room on the moorings, still being very active primarily around the Northern Broads being based at Ludham. Please remember you can charter her - she needs your support!!!!

Similar but not the same is Maud. Maud is clinker built, Albion the only ever carvel built wherry. Maud is privately owned and was restored about 20 years ago. She lives at the Wherry base Ludham and usually goes up to the Museum at Stalham as a summer exhibit. Still a fine example of a Norfolk Wherry.

Moving on their are 3 Wherry Yachts built to look like traditional wherries but with a cabin superimposed. Solace as been mentionned is in private ownership and lives on Wroxham Broad. Ardea is the more modern addition having been brought back from Paris some 5 years ago having been a houseboat on the Seine. This accounts for the 7 incresed to 8 now about!!!!! She is very nearly restored to her full former glory with more work going on this winter at Horning - see NBYC webcam site. She is based at Wroxham usually moored on the main river. She is varnished and the costs of restoration huge - thank goodness for people with money!!!!

Hathor is a traditioal type wherry yacht as above and is owned by the Wherry Yacht Charter Trust . They also own the more modern style Wherry yachts Norada and Olive. I do not want to say too much here but this is very much the province of a guy called Peter Bower who bought all three. Hathor is not used for charter but for promotional tours - mainly supported by the BA but seems to be going down hill!!! Norada is slowly being restored ,with slowly being the operative word and Olive awaits restoration. The Trust do have a lottery grant but seem unable to match fund it. PM me if you require more info or work it out!!!

Finally there is the Wherry owned by NBYC available for hire - she like Norada and Olive is a Wherry Yacht with that wonderful counter stern.

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Hi

The book I mentioned earlier which is available at the Museum Of The Broads is called How a Norfolk Wherry was built c1825 and was written by retired boatbuilder Mike Fuller. Mike apparently began working for Herbert Woods in the 1940s, later built boats at Maycraft and was involved with the Norfolk Wherry Trust where he helped to maintain Albion and other wherries. He now helps out at the museum and was responsible for building the replica of Albions cuddy which is on display there.

To find out more about Albion and the Norfolk Wherry Trust you can visit their website:

http://www.wherryalbion.com/

Similarly, to find out more about Hathor, Olive and Norada you can visit the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust on the link below:

http://www.wherryyachtcharter.org/trust.html

There is more about the appeal for match funding on there ... it appears that to get the £492K HLF grant they must find another £2 for every £1 on the grant!

It would be a real shame to lose any of the remaining wherries. At the beginning of the 1950s there were other wherries which still survived and were sailing. There was the pleasure wherry Dragon of which you can read extracts from the 1950s sailing logs written by her then owner, Brig H.E.Hopthrow on Broadland Memories ... follow the links from there to see photos of her and other wherries taken in the 50s:

http://www.broadlandmemories.co.uk/page38.html

Whilst the Hopthrow's kept Dragon beautifully maintained, sadly her subsequent owners let things slide and she ended up in a poor state after being used as a liveaboard in the 1960s. It was an era when very little historical value was put on these traditonal Broadland vessels and she ended up being sunk on Oulton Broad c1970, forming part of the foundations for a jetty! It's hard to believe when you see the photos of her from the 1950s that she could have been beyond restoration by 1970 .... but those were different times.

Claudian (also pictured on BM during the early 1950s) was another pleasure wherry which was owned at the time by Claude Hamilton .... sadly she was destroyed at Lake Lothing in the 1953 floods.

Going back through my notes, the pleasure wherry Rambler was available to hire through Blakes as a static houseboat until 1961 .... her mast and rigging had gone by this time. She ended up sinking at Barton Turf at some point during the 1960s. There is a picture of her eventual fate in Robert Maltsters Wherries and Waterways book.

Bramble was another pleasure wherry which was available to hire as a static houseboat, initially though Blakes, but she continued to be available to hire at Martham through Bradbeers until 1967. I am not sure what happened to her after this or where she ended up, but presumably was sunk somewhere.

Then there was the beautiful wherry yacht Golden Hinde which, I believe, was still sailing in the 1950s, but lost her mast and became a houseboat at Oulton Broad during the 1960s. I need to check when she was sold, but she moved down to Pin Mill on the Orwell and apparently ended up being crushed between two concrete lighters ! :cry She was still at Pin Mill when Maude's owner was looking for a wherry to restore ...... what became of her in unknown but if anyone has any information then I would be extremely grateful! I suspect that there is nothing left of her now, but I may well take a trip along the Orwell in the spring on one of the pleasure cruises which run out of Ipswich just in case!

Carol

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I meant to add ... there are more pictures of the Lord Roberts c1983 which were taken at Wroxham (after she was moved there from Womack) on Another Forum, taken by Pete Sanders. Just do a site search on there for Danny's "Wherry pictures anyone" thread. Those pictures were taken after she had been sunk for around 13-14 years so I do wonder just how much would be left after a further 25 years of being submerged.

Carol

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The trouble with old boats is that they take a huge amount of upkeep - just keeping the Albion going is an enormous task and commitment by volunteers.

At the moment we seem to be ticking along nicely but just finding crews to cope with charters 5/6 days a week is hard!!!! It is never easy but we have around 6 skippers qualified to sail her, another 4 in training and mates and trainee mates, all part of a comprehensive training scheme.Fund raising is another real problem and without charter income it would be especially hard.

I know money is tight everywhere but I would urge you all to remember that Albion is unique but requires money!! If you have the opportunity join the Trust, go and have a sail on her, and if you see her around moored up on one of her open days, please come and see her and learn more from the crew about Albion, one othe Broads most recognisable landmarks. Oh and put some money in the tin please!!!!!

And Carol I am very pleased to tell you that Mike Fuller is still around, living in Ludham and remains an active participant in Albions running.

And on sunken wherries; believe or not that actually helps preserve them!!!! Dig them up and they deteriorate more quickly exposed to the air. That does not mean the Lord Roberts will ever be restored but never say never!!!! However the burden would be enormous and I think that to keep existing boats afloat will be the first priority and there are enough concerns there!!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came across another article about the Lord Roberts yesterday, dating from June 1984, which I thought might be of interest on this thread. It would seem that the Wherry Trust very quickly realised that they were not going to be able to do anything with her as all their funds were needed for Albion. In 1984 the trust offered the Lord Roberts to the Broads Authority as an exhibit for the (then) proposed Broads Museum.

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I can't much to this thread other than as you come into Wroxham by river there is a house on the right with a wherry mast in front of the house. This is the Lord Roberts' mast I think I am right in saying that Nigel Royall was involved in trying to raise funds to restore her, the dyke she is sunk in could well be next to the wherry mast as the house belongs to Nigels dad.

As for Solace she is owned by Mr. Rudd of Berry and Rudd wine merchants of St. James London,when he is on board she flies the white ensign as he is R.Y.S. not often now as I believe he is not too well.

White Moth was restored in the eighties by Colin Facey at the old Turners yard in Horning, as you can see from the picture she has had a few changes.

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We see White Moth regularly Barry as she lives in Horning. She does certainly look a lot different than to your picture. :grin:

Hi Barry

yes the stern looks more curved today than taken in that pic Barry

Jonny ice sliceice sliceice slice

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Hi Barry,

where was Turners yard? I have been in Horning virtually all my life but never heard reference to it :oops:

do you know where Norada and Olive are being stored? I hope something happens with them soon as we all know what happens to wooden boats which are shut up and left :(

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Hi Clive

Sorry a little late I assume Carol has found Turners for you. Its all houses now but it was on the right as you turn down fery road right on the corner. Spray a very distinctive motor cruiser was one of their hire fleet, she now lives just up river from her old yard near where the Beardshaws house is/was.Talking of which do you remeber Janca the old Craigmore, she was the beadshaws boat I think, she was used for the BBC Arthur Ransome film they did on the Broads, she was the Hullabaloos boat. She is now at Wayford in rather a sorry state I believe awaiting restoration. Funny thing this rambling on with things past, but I can't remember an appointment made a week ago. :?

Age perhaps. cheers

Jonny the main difference I think is in he windows they are now round portholes, I don't believe they have changed her shape other than maybe she was a little hogged. cheers

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On a much more positive note I am delighted to say that Albion is alive and very well and is shortly due to be relaunched and returned home to Ludham.

This winter has seen another extensive period of work with two complete new planks and a new stem - including bits attaching thereto. Work has also involved replacing part of the deck and the bin iron as well. Those who spotted it last year may have noticed the sheer was back in her lines following the keel replacement and if anything, the work this year has improved it further, albeit marginally.

Following her return to Ludham she will be refitted ready to resume chartering in May - we desperately hope the downturn will not affect chartering but i suspect it may well have some impact. Chartering is vital to that iconic vessels wellbeing and very existence!!!!!

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We certainly did notice how good Albion was looking after all her work last year! :)

As for chartering her ... maybe it is an idea for a NBN get together, if twelve like minded souls were interested then it would only cost between £25-30 per person for a whole day's sailing ..... or if one of them happens to be a member of the trust then it would only be £20-25 per head. You would apparently even get the chance to try sailing her yourself! :o

http://www.wherryalbion.com/page2.htm

Carol

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We actively encourage our charterers to" have a go!!!!" It does of course depend on the Skippers discretion and the conditions but the more help there is putting the sail up and indeed quanting, the happier we are!!!!!

To be fair to all you sailies you have not really quanted until you have tried the Albion!!!! If you think too that tacking is hard work, wait until you have had to tack Albion - no wonder the wherryman used to wait in the pub until the wind shifted and/or the tide turned!!!!!

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Hi thanks for the info, I know now where Turners was. I dont know of Janca, but I did know Spray, she lived in our wet shed for years, we did a fair bit of work on her in that time, she was owned by two doctors if my memory serves me correctly, she was very well looked after then.

My Mums house was used in Swallows and Amazons, it was the house where the twins Port and Starboard lived, the BBC painted it from blue to black and it has been ever since. they also filmed some kind of court room scene in one of the rooms, you can tell as the door handle opens upside down! The white rat or hamster or whatever it was lived there for the duration of the filming!!!

That was a long time ago, I have never seen it since it was on telly as we didnt have a video!

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