Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet

News archive - 2011

July 2011 - Friends' base visit, and Norada's restoration continues

Despite the best efforts of the British weather to put a dampener on things, many Friends came to the wherry base on 16th July to see the very nearly finished facilities (just the slipway remaining - top photo), step aboard Norada to see the progress on her restoration, and enjoy the Barton House Railway, with whom we share our site. With trains running, the signal box and museum open for visitors, and the diner open for us to ply our guests with tea and cake (second photo), the BHR made us very welcome.

As well as giving us an overview of the base works, Peter Bower also updated those present on the state of Norada (third photo). Work continues below decks, with the forward cabin almost finished, and a new toilet installed. The well area, which acts as both the skipper's position when sailing and a seating area for passengers when moored, is (re)gaining space due to the removal of the protruding casing of the old diesel engine - the new electric motor is very compact indeed (bottom photo).

Above decks (just!) work is focused on the linoleum covering, a surface which gives excellent grip and waterproofing when treated with linseed oil. We had hoped, quietly, to have Norada sailing (if not complete down below) for the annual St Benet's service, but were advised that the current arrangements for gas bottle storage would not meet the Boat Safety Scheme. Any changes may require a different arrangement of hatches through the lino, and so rather than risk unnecessary cutting based on hasty decisions, we decided to take time to work out the best solution. We'll therefore work towards a grand relaunch of Norada, in fully working order from mast to rudder, inside and out, in Spring 2012.

To top off a successful day, we raised over £120 from sales of refreshments, merchandise and second hand books. Thank you to everyone who came. Members will get a further report in their next Gaff Line.

April 2011 - Wherry base opening ceremony

April 19th saw around 40 people gathering on a beautifully sunny afternoon to celebrate the official opening of the refurbished wherry base. Following a short speech from John Ash, Chairman of the Trustees, Frances Clark raised a "wherry sail" to unveil a memorial plaque to her late husband Aitken, our founding Chairman whose vision for the three wherries drove the founding of WYCCT. Also speaking was Roy Swanston, regional committee member for our major funders the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as those assembled enjoyed tea and cake on the lawn, WYCCT Patron Roger de Freitas announced a new Aitken Scholarship to support the sharing of knowledge between organisations with which Aitken was involved. Invitees also had the chance to explore the new facilities, seeing all three wherries under cover in the boat shelter.

Our grateful thanks to Hazel Boothman for baking and serving a wonderful spread of cakes, Dawn Atter for additional help with refreshments, and Barton House Railway for the use of Dickerson's Diner.

You can read news stories about the day from the EDP and the BBC.

Photos from top to bottom (click for larger versions):

1 - Norada and Olive in the boat shelter. Hathor is beyond, but not visible.

2 - Norada, and in the background the new admin office

3 - The workshop within the boat shelter

4 - Apprentice Jake at work on a dinghy in the covered work area

5 - Wood and other parts awaiting use on Norada

6 - "Not in use"...

7 - Frances Clark and John Ash

8 - John, Frances and Roy Swanston from HLF

9 - Roy, John and apprentice Jake Stock

10 - The memorial plaque

Don't forget that we're having a Friends' event on 16th July, where Friends and their guests will be able to visit the base and have a tour of the new facilities (seeing how far we've come since last September's event!), as well as experiencing the Barton House Railway in action.

March 2011 - Norada's restoration continues

As the structural work on the base nears completion, more progress is being made on Norada - not least thanks to the appointment of our new wherry apprentice, Jake Stock. Jake splits his time between the base and a boatbuilding course at Lowestoft College, and his appointment marks a significant milestone for us. Welcome, Jake! Thanks to base volunteers Ian Overton (photos) and Jerry Simpson (text) for this update.

Photos from top to bottom (click for larger versions):

1 - Apprentice Jake stripping lino from the deck of Norada.

2 - New volunteer Terry Taylor applying paint to the doorframe of the main entrance door to the wet shed. Norada is in the background with Peter Lines standing on the ladder.

3 - Jake sawing wood with Peter Lines behind, standing on the deck of Norada. You can see through Norada's door how much of the interior has been stripped out.

4 - Interior shot of wet shed showing Norada in the foreground and Olive behind her. Note Norada's mast suspended from the roof beam, and old lino piled on her roof.

5 - Volunteer Andy Beaumont stripping out the heads on Norada. Andy has been volunteering 2 days a week for the past year.

February 2011 - Waitrose support

Throughout February 2011, WYCCT was one of three charities benefiting from a share of £1000 through Waitrose's Community Matters scheme at their branch in Eaton, on the southern side of Norwich. We were "up against" the RNLI and the Norwich Sea Scouts - RNLI obviously have national recognition on their side, and received the lion's share of customers' votes, but we still managed to gather £166. Thanks to Waitrose and the Norwich Community Matters co-ordinator, Sally West-Lindell, for this opportunity.

January 2011 - work begins again on Norada

Jerry Simpson, base volunteer, writes: Currently on the base we are frantically painting all the interior chipboard walls with white emulsion to brighten it up and give a little protection to the surface. Work has begun on Norada (Hooray I hear you say!). First we had to remove all the clutter from the top of the roof such as wooden planks, quants, oars, old ship's cats, etc. before we could give her a good sweep down to remove all the dust, leaves and other detritus which has accumulated whilst she has been in temporary storage.

We then had the task of removing the mast and boom from the deck which is not as simple as it sounds. The two hoists which are fitted to the underside of the wet shed roof beam had to be carefully moved into position to make sure the weight was balanced. The mast has to be gently hoisted upwards keeping it straight to prevent it twisting so that we can then tap out the large metal pin which holds the mast in place in the tabernacle. After several trial runs we eventually lifted the mast clear of the decks and out of the way. Tim Waters then had clear space to work on the boat, and has set about removing all the lino from the top of the roof after first taking off all the edge fittings. He has also carried out some repairs to the wooden coaming around the well.

For older news, please visit the 2010 and 2011 news archives.


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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