Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet

News archive 2014

December 2014 - Restoration update
Hathor sailing
C Tate
Winter maintenance is underway. White Moth has been on the slipway to have a few planks replaced, and will receive a new coat of paint on her hull for next season. Hard work on Hathor above decks means that she is ready to be varnished, with new lino able to be laid on the coach roof and decks with some co-operation from the weather! Work on her interior also continues - one task here is to find a suitable woodstain to allow repairs to be made to the sycamore inlay work, and the final result matched to the original.

November 2014 - Dinner and quiz
quiz icon

A slightly belated report on our Annual Friends' Dinner in September, this year at Wroxham Barns, which was a thoroughly excellent evening. From the excellent turnout to the successful raffle, and from the top-quality food to the fascinating (and in places previously-unseen) talk by Peter Bower on Hathor's history, it was a great success. We hope everyone enjoyed it, and we are already making plans for next year.

Another annual fixture, our quiz & supper, saw eight teams battle for first prize, enjoying an eclectic selection of rounds and a hearty sausage casserole. Thank you to Eilish and Tim for quizmastering, and congratulations to Jane and her team on first place. To cap it all off around £200 was raised for WYC. Same time next year, everyone?

September 2014 - Museum of the Broads
White Moth on Malthouse
Katy Walters
This year was White Moth's turn to make the trip to Stalham for the Museum of the Broads' popular heritage and crafts event over the national Heritage Open Days weekend. A peaceful (read: almost windless!) sailing on Friday led to a good weekend with over 250 people on board, some new members, and almost all of our 500 raffle tickets sold. At the time of writing, Moth has sailed to How Hill where she is the focus of a residential wherry course before our Friends' sailings next weekend and some schools visits the following week. On the 29th September we complete our season with a sailing back to Wroxham. It's excellent to be able to report that we sold almost all of our sailing spaces this year, raising a significant amount for our work, and fittingly the 29th is sold out.
August 2014 - Ranworth and St Benet's weekend
Olive on Malthouse
Katy Walters
Our annual trip to Ranworth, to take the Bishop and his party to the St Benet's Abbey annual service on the first Sunday in August, has developed into a rather nice weekend, which we hope will become a fixture. This year it took the form of a sailing from Wroxham on Friday, a stall and short sailings on Saturday, a viewing and the St Benet's sailing (with afternoon tea, as always) on Sunday, and then sailing back to Wroxham on Monday. We also squeezed in a Friends' bring and share supper on the Saturday evening, and were treated to a balmy evening on the broad with a lovely sunset, and a wonderful spread.
July 2014 - Friends' tour of Rosary Cemetery
Rosary Cemetery
E Simak/Geograph
We've had enjoyable and successful Friends socials taking in local history before, and in July we secured a private tour, attended by 17 Friends and guests, of the Rosary Cemetery in Norwich. This was the first non-denominational cemetery in England and is the resting place of several of the Colman family, including Alan Cozens Hardy Colman in whose memory Hathor was commissioned. Edward Boardman designed the cemetery chapel as well as both How Hill house and Hathor's interior, giving the cemetery two strong WYC connections as well as many other graves with interesting stories. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour provided by Jim Marriage of the cemetery's Friends group, after which several of the group had an excellent lunch at the Coach and Horses, Thorpe Road. Both tour and pub are highly recommended! For more information on the cemetery, see the Norwich HEART page on the Rosary or book on one of their free (and very popular) tours during the Heritage Open Days event in September.
June 2014 - Posters available to download and print

We understand that some of our Friends and supporters might be able to help us with publicity, and so we've made a small selection of printable posters available on our support page. Thanks to anyone who can help us spread the word about our work.

June 2014 - Hathor's new rudder

A quick update - a fascinating set of pictures has been added to Hathor's restoration gallery, showing her new rudder under construction. The images are stills from the extensive footage being taken by John Parker of Big Sky Productions as the work progresses. Watch this space for news of the film as it is completed. Thanks as always to John for the updates.

May-June 2014 - Events roundup

Barton House Railway

May brought a relatively busy start to the season for us, with three events in quick succession. Horning Boat Show offered us the chance to raise awareness of WYC with a stall, while the following day saw us back home alongside the dedicated folk from Barton House Railway. Having wherries and the base facilities on view alongside a railway running day seemed to be an inviting combination and we hope we can build on this event in future. Our third outing was with a wherry and a stall at Barton Turf for NWT's Go Wild event, and wild was an adjective perhaps best applied to the weather - squally showers made a wherry trip a less inviting prospect, although those who did go out also got sunshine and even a sun halo at one point!

The start of June saw us in residence for two days (7th-8th June) at Granary Staithe, by the Hoveton end of Wroxham Bridge. This area has been purchased and renovated by Hoveton Parish Council, and although there are a few finishing touches to be done it's now a wonderful riverside space that is accessible from both sides. We very much enjoyed being there and welcomed well over 250 people on board over the weekend including locals and holidaymakers, old friends and new faces alike. Some of our visitors had personal history involving wherries and it was fascinating to hear their stories. We'll share what we can with our Friends in the next Gaff Line newsletter. Thanks to everyone who came and viewed, joined, bought, donated, or just said hello at our events, and of course thanks to our hard-working volunteers who make them possible.

May 2014 - Welcome back to the water, Hathor

Hathor before and after hull restoration

Another milestone was reached on 6th May - Hathor re-entered the water after 6 months on the slipway undergoing hull restoration. The final stages included steaming some planks to fit them to some tricky curves, and then preparation and painting. She's now at the inner end of the boat shelter, ready for work to continue on everything outside from the planksheer upwards, and everything inside full stop. This of course includes her stunning Egyptian-themed inlaid woodwork. We'll bring you more details and photos as we get them. Thank you as ever to videographer John Parker for sharing stills of the process with us. You can see the full size of this illuminating before-and-after comparison image, and many more, in Hathor's restoration gallery.

May 2014 - Innovation in the boatshed, and an appeal

Hathor's new lead weights on her keel

Hathor had about half a ton of ballast at the stern and under the cuddy floor, to counteract the weight of the mast and its lead. It is a laborious process removing all the ballast every time the boat is hauled out, and even more laborious to paint it all – being pig iron it is very prone to rusting. As we now have metal keels on all the vessels, it seems an obvious place to put the ballast. We had some lead weights specially cast to fit the keel, and team member Robot has sealed these in with metal plates – we should never have to move them again!

We would now like to extend this idea to the rest of the fleet, as it has numerous advantages including better stability, savings of time and effort when boats are hauled out and put back in, reduced maintenance, and less clogging of the bilges (which leads to rot). The only disadvantage is cost - the lead alone for Hathor cost over £1600, and Olive (which we hope to re-ballast this autumn) needs over double the weight of lead. But we are not asking you for money (yet!) – what we need is loads of scrap lead. So, if you have scrap lead yourself or know of a friendly and legitimate source, please contact us. Contributions will help to ensure the wherries' long term future, and save us a lot of money.

April 2014 - A day charter for just £1? It could be you...

raffle tickets

Following the success of our 2013 raffle, we are running another for 2014. Strictly limited to 500 tickets, it offers one winner the prize of a day charter for up to 12 passengers, to be taken in the 2015 sailing season. With the cap on ticket numbers, the odds are fantastic with each £1 stake offering a 1 in 500 chance of winning - so buy £5 worth and it's 1 in 100, or £10 to take it to 1 in 50! Simply contact the Friends to enter, or buy a ticket from us at any event or on a sailing.

March 2014 - Two groups of Friends come together

BHR and WYC Friends

On 15th March the Friends of both Barton House Railway and Wherry Yacht Charter gathered at Barton House for a combined tour of each organisation's facilities. (Click the thumbnail, right, for a larger image.) With the railway and the wherry sheds sharing space very closely, there was a great deal of interest on both sides to find out what their neighbours get up to, and sincere amazement was expressed at how much is packed in to the site! After guided tours in mixed groups we returned to Dickerson's Diner for an excellent spread of tea and cake - huge thanks to all who contributed to the refreshments. We hope that many WYC Friends will be able to come along to the BHR running day on 4th May when there will be wherry and boatshed viewing in addition to all the usual railway attractions.

March 2014 - Hathor's restoration continues

Hathor under restoration

Hathor has been out of the water now since October. Her hull has been stripped of paint, and while areas have been filled and new planks have been let in, the work was not as extensive as may have been feared. Larger jobs have included new frames and replacement of part of the tabernacle, as well as particular attention to planks at the stern and bow - the necessary twists to accommodate Hathor's graceful lines required relatively green oak and some steaming.

Observed on our Friends' day (see above), from ground level she shows evidence of much skilled and time-consuming work on the hull. Look up, however, and it is a different matter, with the cabin sides looking relatively sorry for themselves having received no attention for some time. Naturally, once she is off the slipway we'll turn more attention to matters above the waterline externally, as well as beginning work on her unique interior of inlaid Egyptian motifs. We have a few more photos in Hathor's restoration gallery.

For older news, please visit the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 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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