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© Broadland Memories 2015
1960s Photo Gallery
Thorpe St Andrew pictured in the 1960s, in the distance is the pleasure wherry Dragon moored at the quay of Thorpe Gardens pub. She was bought by Tony Webster in 1959 who lived aboard her at Thorpe St Andrew for a while. Vaughan remembers; “It seems Dragon was not in good condition even then and one night she started making water over the floorboards and Tony had no idea what to do, except pump. Wherries had a canvas pump arrangement in the forepeak, known as a "swipe", and he got going on this and kept at it for several hours as he had no idea what else to do.Dawn came and went and he was getting desperate, when at five past eight there came a knock on the cabin top. Tony went to the hatch and standing there was Russell Newby, the foreman boatbuilder of Hearts Cruisers, ‘with his tool bag in his hand and ready to start work.’ Russell said "’The Commander was up early this morning sir and he saw your lights on and thought you might be in need of a hand’. Tony said that from that day on he believed in the Angel Gabriel! Apparently Russell clambered about in the forepeak for about an hour making hammering noises and emerged to say, in true Broads hire fleet fashion, that ‘that ought to do another week’. In fact whatever he did lasted several years as Tony was a young man working in Norwich and had no money to have her properly repaired. When he went to thank my father later, he was not allowed to pay any money as father said he had no wish to profit from someone else's misfortune.”
Another photograph taken at the launch of Heart Throb in June 1963. The Friend Of All Nations (FOAN) was as a private lifeboat on the East Coast, launched in 1863 and run by the Young Flies Company at Gorleston. Originally powered by oar and sail, by the late 1920s she had been converted into a houseboat and was being hired out by Eastick’s boatyard at Acle. Vaughan recalls: “FOAN was moored in Thorpe from the late 1940's right through to the late 60's and for most of this time was owned by Cyril Fiske, who was foreman painter at Hearts Cruisers. He left to work in Norwich when my father sold the yard in 1966. He always kept her in good condition and she still had the Thornycroft "Handy Billy" engine. She also had a Baby Blake (large bowl) toilet in a compartment, on the door of which was a sign saying : "For best function of this toilet please imagine yourself playing a slide trombone whilst riding a bicycle.”
The final photograph from Vaughan shows the pleasure wherry ‘Solace’ bringing the Bishop of Norwich (traditionally the Abbot of St Benedict's and Norwich) back to Horning Church after the annual service in the St Benets Abbey ruins c1963.
The first of two photographs taken at Thorpe St Andrew in June1963 to mark the launch of the newest addition to the Hearts fleet, ‘Heart Throb’. Just behind, and to the left, you can see the converted lifeboat “Friend of All Nations”. Vaughan says: “You can also see the old layout of the Gardens pub, which had a large boathouse at its western end, with a big dance floor above. In the 1950's this was the base of the Norwich Frostbites sailing club, where they stored their Norfolk dinghies, and it was also the shed used by John Hart, landlord of what was then called the Three Tuns, before he moved his rowing skiff and half-
The following five photographs were sent to me by Vaughan Ashby who grew up living on the former gunboat “Morning Flight” at Thorpe St Andrew and whose father, Commander Ron Ashby, owned Hearts Cruisers.
The first of Vaughan’s photographs in this section actually dates to c1957, but it seemed a shame to split it away from the others so I have included it here. This is the Thorpe Gardens public house (now the Rushcutters) and Vaughan provided the following; “The River Cruisers are, from right to left, Forester (Tony Bentall), Snipe, (Gilbert Aikens), Crystal (my father) and the counter stern seen on the left is the yawl-
A101 “Rock Rose” pictured on the Norfolk Broads in the 1960s. Rock Rose was one of the 32ft, 4 berth “Foxglove” class of cruisers from Eastick’s Yacht Station at Acle. The 1966 edition of Blake’s boating brochure listed 10 boats in this class and the weekly hire fee was between £9 15 s and £15 17 s per person.
Fitted with a Seamaster deisel engine, Blake’s description of Rock Rose in 1958 read: “Finish in modern style with interior decorations in pastel shades. Wide side decks round ship. Easily erected canopy, Helmsman's seat and canvas chairs. Two cabins each with its own washbasin.” The class came with a free sailing dinghy but if you wanted use of the built in radio in 1958 it would cost you an extra 25 shillings per week.
The crew, plus poodle, cruising on the Norfolk Broads in the 1960s.
Two of the holiday party pictured beside Ludham Bridge North Mill. The chap on the left looks as though he is holding a fishing rod.
Rock Rose pictured at Ludham Bridge.
Barton Turf -
Rock Rose at Barton Turf with the houseboat “Linga Longa” seen in the background.
Another shot of the holiday party aboard Rock Rose.
Rock Rose pictured at Potter Heigham in the 1960s.
The final photograph in the set shows Great Yarmouth Yacht Station in the 1960s The iron girder bridge was the Callender-
Another orphaned set of photographs taken from 35mm slides. Once again, I know nothing about the family featured but they were dated to 1961 and appear to feature two motor cruisers which were hired together from Dawn Craft at Wroxham
Thatched riverside property -
As mentioned in the introduction, the group featured in this set of photographs appear to be an extended family group who hired Perfect Dawn and Shining Dawn together. It’s impossible to make out the name or registration on this photograph, but I believe this is B894 Shining Dawn.
Coltishall green with The Rising Sun pub seen in the background. This is Shinning Dawn once again. I’m not sure which of the wherry yachts you can see moored alongside the green, possibly Olive.
The holiday party were moored alongside the Anchor Hotel at Coltishall here.
Fishing from Perfect Dawn at the Anchor Hotel in Coltishall in 1961.
Passing St Benet’s Abbey ruins on the River Bure in 1961.
The River Bure at Horning with the entrance to Turners boatyard seen on the right. Turners was one of eleven boatyards at Horning which were listed in the 1961 edition of the “What to do on The Norfolk Broads” guide book.
This must have been taken at the same time as the previous photograph, from the bow of A596 Perfect Dawn looking back to Shining Dawn following behind.
St Peter’s Church at Belaugh, also pictured in 1961. The ghost of Richard Slater, a employee in service at the local rectory during the 17th century. Slater had reputedly been stealing valuables from nearby houses over the course of several months and had hidden the spoils in the grounds of the rectory. Having amassed a small fortune in stolen coins, gold and silverware, he planned to escape to a new life. He was discovered digging up his treasure by the vicar who was armed with a flintlock pistol. Slater fled across the fields carrying two leather saddlebags of loot with him, his pockets filled with coins. On encountering the river he jumped in, intending to swim to safety on the other side. On entering the water he promptly sank and failed to resurface. The following day, it was decided that someone would enter the water where Slater had been seen to have sunk. It is said that they found his upright body weighed down by the coins and saddlebags and that everything he had stolen was recovered and returned to its rightful owners. One version of the story has it that Slater’s ghost can be seen emerging from below the surface of river at night and then sinking back down again under the weight of his ill-