The following small collection of photographs date from 1961 and were taken during a holiday on the motor cruiser Royal Oak by Audrey and Len Wright. Audrey was the sister of Harry Aylott who’s collection of photographs taken during holidays in the 1950s can be found here. Many thanks to Rob Aylott for submitting them to the archive.
B540 “Royal Oak” seen moored in the Broads Haven basin at Potter Heigham in September 1961. The 42ft, 8 berth Royal Oak was built by Eastick’s at Acle in the late 1930s and was on hire with them up until the 1960s when she was sold and became part of the Herbert Woods fleet at Potter Heigham.
Taken just upstream of Potter Heigham Bridge, this photograph shows Len and Audrey Wright with their baby nephew Tony Cooke.
Another photograph taken at the same location which shows the old boat sheds which once lined the river between the two bridges. Len and Audrey are joined by Harry Aylott Snr.
Joe Cooke and Audrey Wright, pictured in the wheelhouse of Royal Oak whilst cruising on the river.
The Berney Arms Mill, pictured in September 1961.
A busy Oulton Broad Yacht Station with Waller’s restaurant and stores seen in the background. Of the boats moored at the yacht station, the first seen on the right was Y407 the 34ft “Two of Hearts” from Hearts Cruisers of Thorpe St. Andrew which was later renamed “Gay Heart”. Next to it was A281, one of the Fairwind class from Windboats of Wroxham. I’m not sure what the third boat is, but fourth along is one of the original “Admiral” class of cruisers from C.J. Broom of Brundall which became the “Supreme Commander” class c1970.
The three sisters, Audrey Wright, Ann Aylott and Doreen Cooke pose for the camera in some rather interesting straw hats on board Royal Oak at Oulton Broad Yacht Station.
The whole family on board Royal Oak, also photographed at Oulton Broad in 1961.
Harry and Florrie Aylott pictured with their three daughters at Oulton Broad Yacht Station..
There has been a long tradition of school parties and other youth groups holidaying on the Broads. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, John Austin was a senior scoutmaster who accompanied a group of sea scouts on their annual visit to the Norfolk Broads during the Easter week. The group always hired multiple boats for their trips from Heart Cruisers at Thorpe St. Andrew and John has fond memories of both the boats and Commander Ashby who owned the boatyard. The following set of photographs were taken by John during some of those trips.
“Motley Crew” - The Sea Scout Group pictured on Thorpe Green, opposite Hearts Cruisers, at the start of their Broads holiday.
Some of the Hearts fleet being prepared for hire at the Thorpe St. Andrew boatyard. Thanks to Vaughan Ashby for identifying the boats seen - from left to right: Five and Six of Hearts, then Princess of Hearts on the diesel quay, with Seven and Eight of Hearts moored stern on in front of them. In the background is the MGB “Morning Flight” which was home to the Ashby family.
Another photograph taken at the Hearts Cruisers boatyard. Vaughan Ashby said: “Princess has been filled with diesel and will now be moored in the basin; the Seven has been moored stern on beside the Eight and the Knave is now moored in between them”.
John Austin recalls: “Because of our policy to always return a Boat in better condition than when we started our trips, The Commander often would let us have a Brand new Boat for trials at reduced rates, we usually had 3 boats at a time, often The Queen, King and Ten, or other combinations. One year we had horrendous storms, and returning to base, had a few minor breakages of crockery, for which we apologized and offered to pay, to which the Commander replied, “Bunny” my boy, we’ve had 5 boats sunk this week, the only ones I haven’t had to worry about, were the ones you had, No Charge.”
Commander Ashby’s MGB “Morning Flight” at Thorpe St. Andrew.
Y408 “Queen of Hearts” with Y574 “Princess of Hearts” moored alongside.
Another photograph taken at the same location. In the foreground is Y474 “King of Hearts”, and in the background are Y408 “Queen of Hearts” on the left with Y574 “Princess of Hearts” alongside.
Another of the Hearts cruisers hired by the sea scout group - Y406 “Ten of Hearts”
“Too full to Talk” - Tea time onboard one of the boats in the group.
Some of the Sea Scouts pictured at the Locks Inn, Geldeston with landlady Susan Ellis. John recalls: “Susan was a stickler for keeping to licensing hours even in her isolated position, she would not serve you even a cider out of hours.“
The River Waveney at Geldeston - you probably don’t want to try this with as many people!
Approaching the Berney Arms Mill c1960.
Heading towards Breydon Water, the group pass the Berney Arms Mill and public house.
Approaching How Hill on the River Ant, with Turf Fen Mill on the left.
The final photograph from John’s collection shows the wherry “Lord Roberts” passing on the river.
The next four photographs were taken by Mick Middleton in 1969 during a holiday on “Dawn Tempest” with his brothers. Mick first visited the Norfolk Broads in 1958, returning for further holidays with friends and family and also bought his own small boat in 1961, bringing it by trailer to Broadland for two weeks each year. In 1969, Mick purchased a Freeman 22 on the Broads and has owned boats here ever since. Photos from Mick’s first holiday in 1958 can be seen here.
A wonderful photo of Mick and his brother in the matching jumpers and hats which were knitted for them by his wife as “going ashore” dress. Their collection of boatyard burgee badges can be seen in the hats too.
Another photograph taken on “Dawn Tempest” as they cruise through Horning.
Approaching St. Benet’s Abbey on the River Bure in 1969.
The fourth and final photo taken by Mick Middleton during his holiday in 1969 was taken at Percival’s boatyard in Horning and shows B12 “Lynx” being craned in or out of the water.