Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet

News archive - 2010

11th February 2010 - Work continues on the boat base
Sam at the new HQ building in the snow

© Peter Bower

At the beginning of 2009 we embarked on an ambitious fundraising exercise to ensure sufficient funds were in place to commence phase two of the base building work, including dredging, piling, quay heading and replacement of workshops and sheds. Our target was £100,000, so with HLF match funding of 38.5% this meant securing approximately £72,200 ourselves. We achieved this as follows: The Wherry Tour was very successful, bringing in a total of £45,000 by various means (see below), and we received further donations of £22,000 and offers of loans from two Friends, allowing work to begin as planned.

So far, two sheds and an important covered work area have been replaced, the boat basin has been dredged, and piling and quay heading are continuing. The boat shelter and workshop are now being replaced, and the old slipway has been removed and fabrication begun on the new steelwork. Work is scheduled for completion in mid 2010.

April 2010 - Aitken Clark, 1936-2010
Aitken Clark

© Bill Smith

We are sad to announce the death of Aitken Clark, Chairman of the Trustees. He was instrumental in the formation of the WYCCT and has been a charismatic and influential Trustee; his vision for the future of the wherries will continue to help steer our work. Our thoughts are with his family.

Obituary (The Guardian)

June 2010 - 2009 tour report extra
Hathor on Hickling Broad

© Cheryl Tate

While we don't have a wherry tour this year, we can look back at last year and remind ourselves what we are working back towards. Here is a report from Peter Bower, skipper of Hathor's 2009 Farewell Tour, which despite our best efforts we just couldn't shoe-horn in to the last packed issue of the Gaff Line newsletter for our Friends, especially as it contains plenty of photos. So, here it is for everyone: 2009 Tour Report. (1.2Mb PDF)

August 2010 - Boat base nears completion
Installing the slipway

© Peter Bower

Work on the wherry base is progressing well. Piling and quay heading have been completed, and the slipway steelwork has been fixed in place and is awaiting concreting. Foundations have been laid for the workshops alongside the boat shelter, and the shelter's steelwork has been welded and painted ready to receive its cover. We are nearing our goal of having the site in a state to host more volunteers, which will be important for Norada's interior restoration as well as the future work on Olive and Hathor.

November 2010 - 2010 events round-up
Norwich film show

© Ellen Fernau

Our events for the year have drawn to a close with a successful archive film evening at the Assembly House in Norwich. The East Anglian Film Archive put together an interesting and entertaining selection of footage of wherries and the Broads, much enjoyed by the audience. If you missed this showing, fear not - we will be repeating it in March 2011 in both Beccles and Holt, in an effort to broaden our reach and find new supporters. Details are on our events page.

A Wherryman's Walk group

© Katy Walters

The film show was a new departure for us, as was our series of guided walks over the summer taking in parts of the Wherryman's Way. This route from Norwich to Great Yarmouth is not as well known as its long distance Norfolk cousins, the Peddars and Weavers' Ways, but is well worth a visit either for the full distance or one of the circular walks which use it. Local author Steve Silk has written an award-winning guide book about the route (which certainly came in handy for some of our walk leaders!), and also helped us to raise funds by giving a fascinating talk at the Surlingham Ferry back in June.

Afternoon tea is not a new thing for us, and many of our Friends will fondly remember the superb teas in Pauline and Jerry Simpson's garden over the past couple of years. However, catering for 800+ was certainly a step up this year when we were lucky enough to be offered one of the few open days at Stody Lodge Gardens. By chance it ended up being the peak weekend of the season for their rhododendrons, and the sun shone on a very successful day for us.

As well as our own events we have been here, there and everywhere with our information stall, from local history days and village fetes to model boat displays and water frolics. Our volunteers have, as always, done sterling work over the year in setting up and staffing these displays, and we are extremely grateful for all that they do.

Finally, a mention for our Friends' social events this year. We enjoyed a fascinating private visit to the excellent Radar Museum at Neatishead, followed by a pub lunch, and the autumn quiz and supper made a welcome return with nine teams competing. Keen to showcase and celebrate progress on the wherry base, we also held an open day there for Friends in September which was very well attended.

December 2010 - update and a visitor at the base
An otter on Olive's rudder

© Clive

Our base volunteers were surprised to find a furry visitor perched on Olive's rudder - it was only possible to snap a few images on a mobile phone camera, but you can click on the picture for an enlarged version. Three wherries makes things a bit snug, but there's just about room at the inn for an otter too... Merry Christmas!

As you can see, all three wherries are now underneath the wetshed canopy so they are protected from the elements, and Norada is in a position where the volunteers can work on her in the dry with illumination overhead. The temporary shelter which had been covering Olive and Norada has been demolished, so the basin looks much more like it should do. Work is progressing well on the interior of the wetshed with the stud walls all up and in the process of being panelled out. Base volunteer Jerry Simpson said, "it was great to see all 3 wherries together again and it was the first time I've ever sailed (?) on all three in one day, even if it was only for a few yards!"

Hazel's lovely Christmas cake
Hazel Boothman, one of our Friends, kindly made a Christmas cake for the base volunteers featuring a picture of Hathor moored at Pulls Ferry. The cake was very much enjoyed - thank you Hazel!

All charter customers receive complimentary membership of the Friends of WYC.

Wherry Yacht Charter is a registered charity (as Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust), number 1096073

WYC is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, RDPE, Geoffrey Watling Trust, Town Close Estate Charity and others.

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