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Barton Broad wherry race c1930s - the wherries are believed to be Hilda, Lady Violet & Cornucopia

Barton Broad wherry race c1930s

 

Carol

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Wherry%20at%20Coltishall%20Lock.jpg

This looks to be one of the small North Rivers wherries. Interestingly she is having her mast used as a crane to lift what looks to be one of the lock gates at Coltishall. Not the best quality original but I hope some of you find it interesting.

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A long time ago my father told me of a yellow painted wherry that was used as a houseboat and artist's studio, I wonder if this small wherry is the one because she certainly isn't regulation black!

Beccles Staithe.JPG

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1 hour ago, marshman said:

Where did you find that picture then????

E-Bay. Do you know anything about her? 

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We all wait with baited breath whilst you find out!

Apparently she was bought, still yellow, in about 1939 by a friend of my father, a Charlie Day. She proved to be as rotten as a pear and didn't survive the war. I can't substantiate any of that & the old Port & Haven Commissioners records no longer exist so we are unable see what boats Mr Day owned at that time. 

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No promises!! Most are so old they cannot remember what day of the week it is , let alone old wherry names!!!!

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27 minutes ago, marshman said:

No promises!! Most are so old they cannot remember what day of the week it is , let alone old wherry names!!!!

Sounds like the old blighters need a regular & deep infusion of Adnams! If nothing else it'll keep 'em on their toes! 

 

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22 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Beccles Staithe.JPG

I have no idea what her name was but there are some general observations :

Tabernacle has been removed so unless there is an engine, she is just a houseboat. In which case it is a strange place to moor one.

She may be larger than she looks in the photo, but probably smaller than Albion. Say 25 to 30 tons.

Wherries were converted to cabins by putting in higher "shifting right-ups" with windows and then re-fitting the hatch covers, to give more head room. This would leave the aft cabin and the fixed plank behind the tabernacle significantly lower than the new main cabin top and would always indicate whether a boat had been converted to "pleasuring" or was built as a pleasure wherry, like Solace.

In this case the aft cabin seems to have been re-built to the same height. Unless perhaps she started life as a "high sternsheets" wherry, which had no aft well behind the cabin doors, and the skipper stood up on the aft deck. There is something strange about the shape of the stern post and rudder and this may explain that as well. I am told that this type of wherry was only used on the south rivers, and did not carry the white half moon painted on the bow.

Also rather interested in that big sailing barge further down by the bridge!

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26 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

I have no idea what her name was but there are some general observations :

Tabernacle has been removed so unless there is an engine, she is just a houseboat. In which case it is a strange place to moor one.

She may be larger than she looks in the photo, but probably smaller than Albion. Say 25 to 30 tons.

Wherries were converted to cabins by putting in higher "shifting right-ups" with windows and then re-fitting the hatch covers, to give more head room. This would leave the aft cabin and the fixed plank behind the tabernacle significantly lower than the new main cabin top and would always indicate whether a boat had been converted to "pleasuring" or was built as a pleasure wherry, like Solace.

In this case the aft cabin seems to have been re-built to the same height. Unless perhaps she started life as a "high sternsheets" wherry, which had no aft well behind the cabin doors, and the skipper stood up on the aft deck. There is something strange about the shape of the stern post and rudder and this may explain that as well. I am told that this type of wherry was only used on the south rivers, and did not carry the white half moon painted on the bow.

Also rather interested in that big sailing barge further down by the bridge!

On blowing the image up as much as my system will allow I do wonder about this boat. Her planking is wide, as one would expect of a wherry and wider than, for example, a beach boat, a number of which became houseboats on the Broads, I do have a postcard of Beccles somewhere that shows wherry hulls being used as lighters. Perhaps this one had served that purpose prior to being further converted to a houseboat? 

Beccles yellow wherry (2).JPG

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The foredeck looks very "wherry" to me, with a round deck and the two mooring bitts.

The Albion was carvel built because the clinker wherries were getting the lands of the planking hung up in the locks down to Bungay. Possibly this boat was built with a very wide sheerstrake, for the same reason?

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Vaughan - your comments on why Albion is carvel is indeed the oft repeated reason, but I remain to be convinced !  I actually think it could be a bit more about Billy Brighton and what was his stock in trade - building fishing boats and carvel ones at that and that is what he knew best!  There is also some evidence that a some of the planks were not overly long and he merely built it that way because, at the time thats all he had and could get hold of !

The argument about catching on the sides of the locks is fine until you look at her and realise the coverboard and the attached bin iron project a further 3 / 4 inches either side above the sheerstrake  If the planking caught then as sure as eggs is eggs that would have hung up unless the fall in the locks was so small she never dropped down that far - but thats a bit risky!! The truth is in reality we shall never know - but it is interesting speculating!!

Turning to the sheerstrake you will both be aware that generally this was built of heavier timber - off the top of my head I have a feeling it was often 2" as opposed to 1 1/2" further down and that may be what is evident in the photo. Presumably this was because of the loading higher up is greater as it does have to take some of the stress from the main beam and indeed to whole boat.

Turning now to the "mystery" wherry which indeed it seems to be an old wherry of sorts. Yes it looks shorter - probably nearer the 40' or so but again we are all guessing. There is a suggestion it survived into the 50's and was called Cambria but its all vague stuff - thats fine until you try and date the card and that is definitely much earlier and with that in mind, the boat may not have survived that late. Worrying though how much of our past is still disappearing. Everyone who has these old cards/pictures must ensure they are archived properly and annotated accordingly or  even more recent memories will be gone forever. I am still aware of collections not preserved properly - there are plenty of archives which are doing a good job but a lot is floating around with no real home.

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The problem with post cards is that the timing of the postmark can be well adrift of the time at which the photograph was taken. I still see postcards for sale in shops some forty years after I took the photograph!

The other, such as with this wherry, is that the detail can be quite incidental to the picture as a whole. 

Lastly many people do not see the present as being the history of tomorrow. For example my uncle was a guest of the Japanese during WWII. He never told any of us what he went through, as few of his generation ever did. All I do now know for certain is that he was within the blast area of one of the atomic bombs, working in a mine, hence the skin cancer that plagued him for the rest of his life.

My father was medically unfit and also in a reserve occupation during the same conflict. Once again I was not told what he'd been through. Since he died I have discovered that he took a boat to Dunkirk and that as a member of the Royal Observer Corps he volunteered and went to the D-Day beaches on an American Flak ship. His view was that others had done so much more, that others had made the history.

My Gran was born in the 1870's, I even bought a tape recorder but could I get her to tell me, in her broad Lowestoft dialect, something of her life, it wasn't history to her. Who would choose to be a budding historian?

What chance then that the history of a mere houseboat be recorded then?

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Marshman, I agree with you about the reason for Albion's carvel build - I have also wondered how this would have helped, since the planksheers and the binn iron project out from the hull. All the same, it is the reason that historians have always given us. One thing I did notice in the photo is that the boat has a pronounced sheer line - no sign of hogging - and this may be due to the extra width of the upper strakes.

Peter, I also agree about historic photos. We have memories of things we knew as boys, which we never realised would become so historic, years later. Nowadays, everyone takes photos, on their phone, and posts them on the forum. We should not lose track of these as, in 50 years time, they will also be historic, for our grand-children.

 

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Re Billy Brighton building Albion as a carvel hull, it's on record that Billy built several carvel built coal barges for use in Lowestoft harbour for bunkering steam drifters. Those were about the same size as a wherry, one of which is still afloat and called Jester. Jester is seen in this photograph at Oulton Broad:

Oulton Broad Post Cards7.jpg

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OK this is a sincere plea to the likes of Jenny Morgan, Vaughan, Marshman and Carole...and any of you other old reprobates (excluding Carol she's not a reprobate), please, please please can you start writing this stuff down? It's incredibly important to the history, identity, community and also the future of the Broads and it's visitors that this history of the Broads, its craft, landscape and most of all it's people is preserved. Please guys put pen to paper, start typing, drawing maps of where things used to be or tell us in voice or video recordings? 

If I think about it there are grants available from both the Oral History Society and the National Lottery for the recording of Local Oral History.

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Timbo - one of my favourite themes!! 

However two things to bear in mind - its not just a question of money! Even if you have the money,its often time which is a decider. It all takes time, time and more time to set all these things up and if you have to do it, and or use volunteers to help, it is still a massive job!! We have been working on a computerised record but its not just the digitalising but the cross referencing that all takes the time! You are right money helps but it is still an issue to sort it all out, and those doing it do not always see the immediate benefit - thats for others later!

if you have wherry records you need recording you know where we are!!!!

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Well here's an offer for folks with 'a story to tell'. Historian/archaeologist with skills in research/publishing/editing/film making & editing/sound recording/illustration/3D modelling/web design...will, once his boat is restored and back on the water...be floating around the Broads with a locker full of equipment to help record that story.

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3 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

I have been doing quite a bit of research on Ezekiel Blomfield if that helps. :) 

is he the one with the white cat? - head of Smersh.

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He's from North Walsham. Blofeld was from Great Yarmouth, hence the attitude problem.

(Blofeld was head of SPECTRE) :) 

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I'm working on a set of photographs of the Broads from the 1880s at the moment. A very well to do, probably extended family group with youngsters in tow. They clearly visited the Broads on more than one occasion and an invite to the Norwich Angling Club annual dinner of 1885 suggests fairly strong connections with the area. There are a handful of other photos within the collection from the Belgian and Dutch canals and also London where, I suspect, the family hail from.

I have around 20 Broads photos, c1885 to 1889 I believe. There are two wherries which feature along with a large and presumably sea-going steam vessel called Phoenix. The wherries were The Eagle, which looks to be a converted trader, and Gladys which has a look of converted trader about her but she has a rather nice counter stern. Not a wherry I have heard of before. More of Gladys when I have got a bit further through the photos.

This was The Eagle with holiday party on board. As I said, they seem to have been accompanied on both trips by a large steam vessel, hence so many people here who couldn't possibly have all been accommodated aboard the wherry. There is some pretty amazing head wear being sported here by both the women and the men.

bm1880s_group01_sml.jpg.ce9489a12860f28b510d604c3cdeb6a6.jpg

 

Carol

 

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Fantastic photo Carol. I'm amazed by the quality, its in remarkable condition. Must have been a reasonable lens on the camera too as the foreground is in sharp focus but the background has a softer effect. Really looking forward to the rest! Many thanks for sharing with us. cheersbar

And yes, dig the head gear! Makes Donald Shields and Co look tame!!

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Hi Howard

The photographer clearly had some nice equipment and knew what he was doing. Shame the kids wouldn't keep their heads still !!

Actually, the photos had sadly suffered a bit and are needing some restoration. They were stuck on to album pages - the old animal glues have attracted moulds and they have buckled and wrinkled a bit here and there. It's time consuming but I like to try and bring out as much detail as possible. I still can't quite get my head round the fact that these people were holidaying on the Broads 130 years ago !

 

Carol

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