Norfolk Broads 1950s

The pictures below were kindly sent to me by Ron Harrison and his son-in-law Tim Oxley. The pictures and reminiscences are all from Ron's holidays on the Norfolk Broads in the 1950s. Thanks also to Craig Slawson for the additional boat information. Craig is currently cataloguing the old Broads boats and also has his own Horning website. (See the link at the bottom of this page.)

Click on any of the images for a larger view & scroll for more pictures

Finewind - Salhouse Broad Vesta - Salhouse Broad - 1956 Yachts  (one from Herbert Woods) - 1957
Finewind (A282) at Salhouse Broad
Vesta (from E.C.Landamore of Wroxham) at Salhouse Broad 1956
Norfolk Broads - sailing yachts 1957

Craig's comments - "Note that the boats are moored bow-on. Salhouse Broad was about the only broad with a shelving beach. Most have vertical sides because of the peat digging, but it was impossible to moor side or stern-on at Salhouse. The left hand boat in picture3 above looks like a Lady class from Herbert Woods (It's certainly from Woods because of the star on the sail). These were beautiful yachts and several are still around today. Most are private, but Royalist & Scarlet Lady at NBYCo are old 'Perfect Lady' class and two of the 'Fine Lady' class still exist for hire at NBYCo.”

Ron says "If you moored up overnight on Salhouse Broad, a man with a dog in a rowing boat would rap on the side of your boat to collect your half crown mooring fee. The majority of the hire boats at that time flew the "A" flag (The Norfolk and Suffolk Boat Owners' Association)"

January 2011 - Website visitor Jackie sent me a picture of Finewind A282 from an album bought at auction. It's dated 1947 and is taken on Ranworth Broad.
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Finewind - A282

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Finewind - Norwich - 1956 Beccles -  1956 Reedham -  1956
Finewind - Norwich 1956
Beccles 1956
Reedham 1956

In the Beccles picture above, note the absence of double yellow lines, traffic 'calming' measures, traffic (!) and modern day 'street furniture' . The final image in the three above is the Lord Nelson public house at Reedham.

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Four of Hearts -  1957 Fairwind - 1958 Admiral - 1960
Four of Hearts (Y404) 1957
Fairwind (A290) 1958
Admiral 1960 - (Y210)

Fairwind was a 39ft long, 10ft beam, 7 berth cabin cruiser. There were 3 separate cabins, 2 toilets, and a bathroom. The craft was powered by a 20hp 6 cylinder Morris Commodore marine engine. Comment from Craig - "Y210 later became Supreme Commander 1"

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Dijack - 1956 Challenger - 1957 Finewind - 1956
Dijack(A283) at Graham Bunns 1956
Challenger (W92) 1957
Finewind - Geldeston - 1956

Comment from Craig - "Challenger as W92, has now long gone. The number has been reused on a new Truman's boat 'Monarch' which went to Richardsons at Stalham when Truman's closed."

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Miss Ellis - Landlandy of The Locks - Geldeston "The Locks" - Geldeston 1958 "The Locks" - Geldeston 2003
Miss Ellis - The Locks - Geldeston
The Locks - Geldeston 1958
The Locks - Geldeston 2003

Ron, and others, remember the landlady at The Locks as being a 'character':-

"Miss Ellis,the landlady of"The Locks" Inn at Geldeston lock was a very likeable and wonderful character. The only lighting was from candles,which gave it a fantastic atmosphere. She used to get the customers to add up their drinks bill for her. Nearly every winter the downstairs got flooded,and she was marooned on the upper floor (her living quarters). However she used to come half way down the stairs daily to feed the coypus that used to swim in!"

Craig Slawson also remembers the landlady well - "I was only a kid, but I remember Susan Ellis - It wasn't a pub to be first in - if you weren't careful you finished up running the pub for the evening while Susan controlled the conversation! All the drink used to be brought up river from Geldeston village by boat, and I don't think there was any water supply or electricity."

Final comments from Ron:-

"I remember the lifting "Toll Bridge" on the new cut,where the Toll collector held out a large fishing net for you to put the half crown Toll in."

"You took your life in your hands if you tried to navigate the River Chet at any other time than high water. Then, as now,navigation stops at the Loddon Mill. There used to be piles of smouldering grain husks on the banks of the River 'till the local authority (I presume) erected a few posts and trained Roses up them,to try and brighten the place up. Much better now,with the basin dug out and the boatyards."

"Goodbye and good riddance to the old "Sea type" toilets that used to discharge directly into the River!"

Sadly Ron Harrison passed away in the early hours of 13th October 2007. Ron's humour and strength of character always shone through in his e-mails and his web postings. If you search the Norfolk Broads Forums for Ronaldo you will get a flavour of Ron's humour and his natural ability to tell a good story!

| Craig Slawson's Horning web site and his boat database |
|The story of Shaft of Light - a 1940s cruiser |
| Blakes brochure 1947 | | Norfolk Broads 1950s and 1960s |