Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet

News archive - 2012

November 2012 - Quiz night success

Quiz teams

November saw our Annual Quiz and Supper night return. Ten teams made it the most successful edition ever, and it was a hard fought battle with just one point separating first and second place. Amazingly, Dusting the Fish sneaked first prize yet again, making it three in a row - a feat for which they may have erned themselves an invitation to write next year's questions! A supper of chilli and nachos went down well, and our thanks to chefs Jane and Pauline, as well as to question master Mark and all others who helped. The night also saw our raffle draw, and we're now in the process of getting prizes to our winners.

September 2012 - Events roundup

Norada on view at Stalham
Norada arriving at Salhouse

In September we formally launched Hathor's £100,000 restoration appeal with a pair of public lectures at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Peter Bower spoke about Hathor's history, and Faye Kalloniatis gave us an introduction to the Colmans' collection of Egyptian artifacts, now housed at the museum and the subject of a £10,000 fundraising appeal to produce a full catalogue. This EDP article has more information.

We also participted in the Heritage Open Days event at the Museum of the Broads, Stalham. A hugely successful (and very sunny!) free-entry day for the museum translated into one of our busiest days for viewings all season, and we sailed there and back on Norada with a full complement of passengers. They included our friends from the Broadland Memories blog, who published this lovely writeup and gallery - thank you! We hope to return to the Museum for the Heritage Open Days next year.

Later in the month we enjoyed being part of the inaugural Broads Cultural Heritage Day at Salhouse Broad, forming one end of a timeline of Broads pleasure craft. This EDP article has more details. Despite the weather (we don't have much luck at Salhouse!) there was a good attendance and we did particularly well with raffle ticket sales. White Moth was on private charter but passed by during the day. It's hoped that this will become an annual event and we look forward to the 2013 edition.

Finally, at the end of the month we held our Annual Friends' Meeting and dinner at the Fur & Feather, Woodbastwick, and those able to attend heard a roundup of the year's achievements and activities from the Friends, Trust, and boat restoration points of view. We hope to increase the popularity of this event next year by booking a venue with a private room, and adding a wherry base visit earlier in the day.

August 2012 - Return to St Benet's

Bishop Graham on board Norada

On the first weekend of August we were delighted to once again be able to convey the Bishop of Norwich and his party to the annual service at St Benet's Abbey. Crew member Jane Bryant said, "although wet on the way there the sun came out for the service. After a lovely afternoon tea at the moorings the Bishop of Norwich departed before we returned to Ranworth. We had a beautiful return sail, and it was hard to believe that earlier there had been thunder and lightning".

July 2012 - Everything in the garden's lovely!

Sunshine at the Bishop's Garden

July 22nd saw us running the last open day of the year at the Bishop's Gardens in Norwich. Each week between May and July a different charity organises the afternoon and benefits from the gate and refreshments takings. We were extremely lucky to enjoy fabulous weather and the gardens were looking absolutely gorgeous, to the credit of Head Gardener Simon Gaches. Around 300 people came to enjoy the gardens, see traditional dancing by Golden Star Morris, learn about bees from local beekeeper Kevin, browse our increasingly successful second hand book stall, and of course face the difficult choice between the many varieties of cake donated by Friends. In total we raised around £1700, which is a very significant sum for us, and we would like to express our thanks to our Patron Bishop Graham James and his wife Julie for their kind invitation, as well as to gardener Simon for his help on the day. Our thanks also to everyone who visited, and most vitally to the team of volunteers, comprised of both Friends and friends of Friends (if you see what we mean!) for their hard work on the day to ensure a smooth and enjoyable event. See more photos in this gallery

July 2012 - Learning something new

Photographer and children

On 10th July we made our first foray back into the world of education, welcoming a group from Ludham Primary School and another from the Norfolk Home Education Network. Despite some variable weather, everyone enjoyed their time with us and learned lots about wherries and the science and history behind them. As well as helping the children learn, the day was set up to allow us to take some photos for our marketing publicity (left) - we'll have new brochures out soon.

July 2012 - Norada's Relaunch

Norada sailing

Norada sailing

Norada sailing

Sunday 8th July saw Norada officially return to sailing. She had been out of sailing order for 6 years, and out of the water for much of that to carry out extensive hull repairs. This also means her interior was taken out to allow access to the hull frames, and so it was restored to prime condition as it was refitted. She now gleams inside and out, and the sleek lines of her white hull look as good as new. All that remains is to improve the galley equipment, and we hope to have a new cooker and fridge soon. Until then, she is available for day charters for up to 12 people, and will be used on some of our public sailings as well. What better way to see the Broads?

These photos show Norada sailing at her relaunch event, as well as Albion and Maud who were on hand to welcome her back. There's a taster of her interior, some of the wellwishers who turned out to support us on a grey day, and Norfolk Wherry Brass who entertained us superbly all day. These and more full-size photos can be seen in this gallery.

We were also pleased to have support from Woodforde's, Cakes by Andrea, Coffee Quest, and most importantly Salhouse Broad without whom we could not have put on this event - thank you Tobi Baker and team.

Norada sailing Norada sailing Norada sailing

July 2012 - Norada's Centenary Raffle
Raffle ticket

We are running a big prize draw from now until 10th November - tickets are £1 and prizes include a weekend charter, a day charter, and two spaces on a public sailing. They'll be on sale at all our events and sailings, have gone out with our Friends' newsletter, the Gaff Line, and can be requested from us by anyone else (over 16). Mark Walters' details, for ticket requests and return of stubs, payment and unsold tickets, is on our contact page. The draw will be made at our annual quiz night in Wroxham.

June 2012 - Barn dance

Angela Anderson-Cobb

On 23rd June we were invited to carry out the raffle at the Irstead Barn Dance. The attendees supported us magnificently, we gave away 20 prizes, and raised well over £200 on the night. Many thanks to all who bought tickets, and to the lucky winners we hope you enjoy your prizes!

June 2012 - open garden success
Garden photo


By kind invitation of Mrs and Miss Green, we hosted an Open Garden at The Mowle, Staithe Road, Ludham. Home made cake and a secondhand book stall proved to be very successful additions to the main attraction of the beautiful gardens with their many interesting pieces of artwork. We raised £450, and offer our thanks to the garden owners and the volunteers on the day. We enjoyed it so much we are hoping for another look around next year, perhaps as a Friends event.

June 2012 - Five wherries together!

Solace and Ardea

Albion and Solace

Maud and Albion

On Saturday 2nd June we, with White Moth, were delighted to be guests of Norfolk Wherry Trust at Wroxham Broad. Along with Albion, Maud, Solace and Ardea we were there to mark 100 years since the launch of the last trading wherry, the Ella. Glorious sunshine and favourable winds really topped off the day, and we enjoyed excellent sailing up and down the Broad before and after lunch.

Ella was one of the last trading wherries to operate, including on Norfolk's only canal, the North Walsham and Dilham. She was owned latterly by Nat Bircham and John Bircham, grandfather and father respectively of WYCCT Trustee Jane Bryant. When Ella reached the end of her working life, in the 1960s, she was scuttled near Salhouse to close off Decoy Broad - at the time it was thought she might be raised again in the future and restored, but it was not to be.

The photos here are from a set of 61 taken by Katy Walters on board White Moth. You can view this story and gallery on the EDP website. There's also a video of the day by John Parker of Big Sky Productions and a video slideshow by Lord Paul of Sealand.

May 2012 - WYCCT returns to sailing!
Wherry dog Sam takes it easy

From the 2nd to the 9th May we sailed a mini tour, taking White Moth to Whitlingham and back for the launch of the Broads Outdoors Festival. On the launch day itself we raced runners from Tri-Anglia Triathlon Club in a re-enactment of the Billy Bluelight legend. The runners, despite going twice as far, won handily thanks to unfavourable winds (as you can see from this GPS track - spot the tacking!) but we had a lovely sail regardless and really enjoyed the event. The sailings to and from Whitlingham were a very mixed bag in terms of weather, with some days more like March than May, but the best days were absolutely stunning. At times we did enjoy sunshine and the tranquil kind of atmosphere best enjoyed from the deck of a wherry under sail. It was also good to get to know White Moth (who sails beautifully) and to be back on the water again.

You can see photos online from Katy Walters, Sue Hines, Pauline Simpson. We also posted information and photos to Facebook and Twitter which are easier to update "on the go" than this website. (Anyone can view those pages, you don't have to be a member of Facebook or Twitter to do so.)

May 2012 - Norada on the sliway/dt>
Volunteer Jerry Simpson with Norada

There are some final repairs to Norada to be carried out ahead of her official relaunch in the summer. Thanks to Pauline Simpson for photos of her on the slipway - click here to visit the full gallery.

April 2012 - christening the slipway

Norada on the slipway

Norada on the slipway

Norada on the slipway

In mid-April, water levels were too low to get Norada out on to the new slipway safely. It seems hard to believe now as we wait for the river to recede after record rainfall! Anyway, we needed some help which came from the generous people at Fendercare, in the form of large inflatable fenders to support the boat as she was winched out. You can see her here on the move and safely propped under the frame for the new slipway cover. Thanks to volunteer Charles Bartram for the photos and for this video of the manoeuvre, and to John Parker for another video.

February 2012 - a guest for our fleet
White Moth

At last we can share some exciting news: this summer we welcome wherry yacht White Moth to our fleet. Previously operated by the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company, White Moth recently changed hands and has been offered to us for chartering purposes by her new owner. All existing bookings for this season will be honoured, and we welcome new enquiries. Full chartering details can be seen on our bookings page, and we also have a press release with more information about the move.

White Moth's availability is excellent news because it gives us the chance to earn income, to be put towards our restoration work. With Norada also scheduled for sailing this year, and Olive's restoration coming next thanks to funding support from the Rural Development Programme for England, we are also in the happy position of looking forward to reuniting all three remaining wherry yachts on the water.

At present, White Moth is undergoing some work at Southgates yard in Horning, under the expert hands of Maynard Watson. Once this is complete, we look forward to getting used to her and doing some crew training, and of course taking some photos to share with our supporters. All being well, she should be sailing soon after Easter.

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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