A warm, friendly Heather welcome

We are delighted to share Heather, an historic boat, artistic refuge and home for over a century, laying on the ancient Broads Waterways of Norfolk.

It is our aim to preserve the distinctive character of Heather, enabling future generations to enjoy her charms. We welcome you to explore the houseboat and bountiful riverside beyond...

Andrew, Timothy and Christopher

28 October 2011

Yes, Bure Commissioner

A very special motor launch with uncannily similar teak upper works to Heather requires new owners to care for her. 'BURE JACK' is an original Bure Commissioner's launch built in the 1920's by Ernest L Woods. Bure Jack, Broads Registration number B 277 has a forward drive helm in a spacious open well and a splendid cabin with ample settee berths. 

Each Broadland river had an individual patrol launch and dedicated River Commissioner, later Inspector. A sister WENSUM Commissioners' launch is proudly on display at the Museum of the Broads at Stalham. These 'old school' official craft were so perfectly suited to the waterways, they remained in service until the mid 1970's; when they were replaced with glass reinforced plastic launches, moulded from River Thames examples. It is debatable which are superior for looks, handling, practicality and economy. Although the new replacement launches, operated by the Broads Authority since 1988, lack some facilities on board.

Some say the ethos of 'Rangers' (as American national parks officers are so called), differs from that of the honourable River Commissioners. Resplendent in their uniform of a peaked cap and double breasted blazer with brass buttons, the Commissioners respectable character usually displayed genuine authority with care, knowledge and humour. They were often recruited by the board of the Great Yarmouth & Port Haven Commissioners (1670 ~ 1988) from retired ex service personnel. 

Bure Jack is a fine example of Broads floating heritage, still laying on the 'weedy Bure', immortalised in Sir John Benjamin's renowned 'Norfolk' poem. She is a member of the UK Vintage Wooden Boat Association.

For the particulars of ML Bure Jack please see www.topsail.co.uk/boat.php?refnum=1622

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King's Head Staithe, Hoveton, pictured from Wroxham public Parish Staithe