A small collection of photographs which date from the 1920s.
This was Midge, one of a class of three 22ft sailing cruisers which included Midget and Middy. Built by Ernest Collins at Wroxham, they were listed as being “built of light and strong material, and their rigging is light, making them very easy for a lady or gentleman to handle by themselves.” Hire charges started from as little as £4 per week out of the main season in1929.
This is Radio which, along with sister ship Aerial, was built in 1924 by Leo Robinson at Oulton Broad. These 25ft, sloop-rigged yachts slept four and had “everything necessary for living and sleeping in board. Excellent cooking and provision lockers in well.”
Horning Ferry Inn which Annis’s Guide to the Rivers & Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk, published in 1927, described as being a “comfortable hotel with its quaint old-world ferry, working from either side of the river on chains.”
Wood’s Dyke at Horning, with Ernest Wood’s boat building business just about visible at the far end. Ernest Woods was Walter Woods younger brother, and Herbert Woods uncle. He had served his boat building apprenticeship with the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company at Brundall before going into partnership at Cantley as Newstead and Woods. He then established his own boat yard which moved to Horning during the 1920s.
Approaching Swan Corner on the River Bure at Horning. There is a pleasure wherry moored alongside the Swan Hotel, but the houseboat on the right looks as though it could have been built on the hull of an old wherry too.
The Swan Hotel at Horning and its ever popular riverside garden. A 1921 guide to yachting on the Broads, published by Jack Robinson of Oulton Broad, described the village as being a popular haunt of anglers and yachtsmen. “Near the Swan Hotel is a well stocked provisions shop, a good place to replenish yacht stores.” The proprietor at this time was Cecil Frederick Healls and, a 1929 advertisement shows that it must have been one of the first properties in Horning to have a telephone connected, its number being Horning 4.
Dydler’s Mill, near Horning, pictured fairly soon after conversion for residential use by the American author Drew Miller. Having been gutted by fire during WW1, the Miller’s fell in love with the derelict mill. In “Seen From A Windmill” he wrote; “Making the place habitable was a bigger job than we had anticipated but, with the hearty co-operation of workmen from the neighbouring village, we reclaimed the marshland around the place and converted the ruin. We put in windows and floors and erected a glassed studio on top, making it resemble a lighthouse; although this was quite unintentional.”
The view looking upstream from Wroxham Bridge with the Kings Head to the right. The two passenger launches seen moored alongside in the foreground were possibly two of William Littleboy’s fleet, although 1920s advertisements for the hotel listed “Launches, yachts and row boats for hire. Motor Garage and Motor on Hire.” The proprietor at the time was Arthur William Johnson. The Horse Shoes Hotel beyond were also advertising the availability of boats for hire.
Another view from Wroxham Bridge showing the Kings Head and Ambrose Thrower’s boatyard on the opposite bank from where motor launches could be hired too. A 1920s LNER guide to The Broads described Wroxham as being “The Metropolis of Broadland”. The guide continued; “Every year large numbers of pleasure-seekers make it their cruising starting point. Wherries, yachts and motor-boats can be hired from well-known boat yards, and all requirements in the shape od angling outfits and provisions can be obtained in the village.”
Cruising on the River Bure, with Ernest Collins boatyard at Wroxham seen on the the right.
Bure Court at Wroxham, pictured in the 1920s although I’m uncertain as to whether it had become a hotel by this point or was still a private residence. Sadly destroyed by fire in 1974.
The name “Golden” can clearly be seen on the transom of this river cruiser and what may be “Dawn”. Golden Dawn was available to hire from Oswald King at Wroxham and cost £10 per week to hire in August 1929.
It’s impossible to tell what boat the photographer was holidaying on as you only see small glimpses of it in shot. Here, the little dog was presumably the interest as they passed this half-decker.
B503 Pirate, which survives on the Broads to this day. Pirate, along with sister ships Corsair and Buccaneer,were all made at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Co. at Potter by George Applegate under the management of Walter Woods. By the 1920s, they were being hired out by H.C. Banham at Horning. The 1929 edition of Blake’s Yachting List described her as sleeping up to five in three berths in the cabin, one on the floor, and one under the awning in the well or in the forepeak. A week’s hire in August would have cost £8 and 10 shillings.