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On 18 May 2017 at 9:39 PM, marshman said:

Come on Vaughan - what do you think???

Sorry to be late replying but I have been having fun on the Broads!

I have never seen anything like this, and I know of no reason that the gaff jaws would be hoisted to the masthead.

There is no way that the mainsheet would let out that far unless it were unreeved partially from the blocks.

As most of the sail is blurred, it must have been flapping loose when the photo was taken. As the wherry is going out to the harbour she may be going offshore to load a ship that cannot get over the bar, and I know that wherries sometimes rigged a foresail when doing this. I am wondering if this is what we see here, and it has been rigged as a simple way to navigate the bridge. What is that lying on the hatch covers? Is it the gaff and the mainsail, with the jaws un-rigged for lowering the mast?

These are just guesses, as I have never heard of this before.

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Hi Vaughan, she is actually headed inland. Your suggestion of a jib being flown is sound. It does look as if there is a rope to the masthead and the carling hatch is open, I'm now guessing that the skipper is nudging up to the bridge, ready to lower the mast with a sail still aloft and to 'shoot' the bridge before raising the mast & sail all in one operation. 

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Just now, JennyMorgan said:

Hi Vaughan, she is actually headed inland.

That might explain why I noticed she is loaded. She may well have been offshore to lighten a ship outside the bar.

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When is a wherry not a wherry? When it's a keel.

Norfolk Keel.jpg

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Sweet little wherry moored on Oulton Broad, 1900's.

Oulton Broad moorings off the old maltings..jpg

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A wherry, possibly the Gypsy, passing through Beccles Swing Bridge pre 1926, the date that the bridge was updated.

Beccles Swing Bridge pre 1926.jpg

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Geldeston Lock. The lock has two cross bars, the idea being to force wherries into having to lower their masts thus reducing the risks of a heavy wherry from sailing into and damaging the lock's gates. Back then it was possible for a wherry to sail and quant up to Bungay, regretfully no longer possible. 

Geldeston Lock and wherry..jpg

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A painting this time, also of Geldeston Lock, by the late Joe Crowfoot, a Beccles artist of local repute.

Geldeston Locks Inn Joe Crowfoot.JPG

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The lock has had some much needed work done this year to stop the walls from falling in. I wonder what the building just behind the cross bars was? There's a lot more trees there now, but no building from memory. The pub looks a lot smaller without it's extensions. Lovely picture.

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2 minutes ago, EastCoastIPA said:

The lock has had some much needed work done this year to stop the walls from falling in. I wonder what the building just behind the cross bars was? There's a lot more trees there now, but no building from memory. The pub looks a lot smaller without it's extensions. Lovely picture.

Whatever the building is, or was, I don't know but here is a picture of the Lock from the upstream side.

$_57cc.JPG

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7 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Geldeston Lock. The lock has two cross bars, the idea being to force wherries into having to lower their masts thus reducing the risks of a heavy wherry from sailing into and damaging the lock's gates. Back then it was possible for a wherry to sail and quant up to Bungay, regretfully no longer possible. 

Geldeston Lock and wherry..jpg

Flatford Lock has the same arrangement, wondered what it was for, Thanks for that.

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Not like me to want to disagree with young Mr PW or indeed question accepted wisdom, but to me, I have never thought them really substantial enough to stop a loaded wherry with its mast up!!! Albion loaded with 40 tons of grain would take some stopping and as the mast is much heavier than those bits of wood, I have always wondered if they had another purpose? Equally why would they lower the mast for each lock - wherryman would have got the hump over that I guess.

If you look closely, the cross bit seems to fit in a kind of crutch enabling them to be easily removed? Or did they just not make them fit to length?

Fascinating to realise that in just 100 years the real reason may just never be known!!

 

 

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Re those beams, I think it was Robert Malster who first made me aware of those beams and the reasoning behind them. Got a feeling that I've also read it somewhere in regard to wherries. Their suggested use also seems entirely logical to me, unless someone has a better suggestion.

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I have always thought it was a true explanation.

A wherry skipper would be likely to try to sail in without bothering to lower, especially in a light wind but as Marshman says, if he got a sudden gust with 40 tons on board, the momentum might well destroy the lock gates. Probably wouldn't damage the wherry, though!

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By the way, if anyone doesn't have it, these photos are from "Wherries and Waterways" by Robert Malster.

An essential accompaniment to "Black Sailed Traders" if you are interested in wherries.

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Seems logical. Before I filled my garage with c4£p I had a tennis ball on a string hanging down. When it touched the windscreen I had gone in far enough. £20+k of car left outside, £50 of rubbish under cover. Need to address it come spring.

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Just now, Vaughan said:

By the way, if anyone doesn't have it, these photos are from "Wherries and Waterways" by Robert Malster.

An essential accompaniment to "Black Sailed Traders" if you are interested in wherries.

Good spot, was available at the handsome cover price of £2.50. I would assume it is now out of print. Seems to be a few available on Amazon used, some rated as like new.

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Did the other Broadland locks have these bars across or was it just a Waveney thing.  What about the Suffolk navigations where other wherries would have travelled such as the Blyth or the non-wherry ones near Ipswich (names fail me). Were they in the earliest of photos of the navigation?

A thought crossed my mind but then I revisited the photo and came to the conclusion I was wrong!  Were they used by the crew to help pull the wherry into and out of the lock - probably not as the bars are too high when a wherry is fully loaded and the wherry would be too heavy anyway?

Was the bar moveable for non sailing craft that might have been about in the last years of navigation?

Were the Waveney locks an unique design or were there other waterways with the unusual sides?

Just thoughts on a wet and miserable day when I have plenty of other things to do but threads with the word Wherries never ceases to get my interest - totally distracted!

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Some, if not all Broads locks had similar bars across them. This one is at Coltishall doesn't. 

Coltishall Lock.JPG

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