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

10 February 2012

Wintertime repairs & reflections

All but the essential contents were removed from the houseboat. Heather was then towed to Horning by MV Mishtari, skippered by Timothy Hallam. Heather's crew will continue her scheduled repairs, concentrating with carpentry and re~furnishing on board.

The winter period allows the crew time to delve into the history of Heather. We also aim to research the wealth of lost and surviving types of houseboats and their locations throughout the Broads landscape.

Both pictures appeared in the January 2012 issue of Harnser, the Broads Society magazine.

Above: A series of Broads houseboats drawn by naturalist, historian and conservationist, Arthur H Patterson (John Knowlittle), from 'Through Broadland by Sail & Motor', published in 1930. Arthur Patterson was a great advocate of 'life afloat' and all aspects of Broads culture. Many of the houseboats appear simply moored to posts in the Venetian fashion. A chimney poking out of the roof is a notable feature of some houseboats ~ smoke swirling from a blackened chimney across the low fen lands can be a wondrous sight.

Below: This sketch depicts the vast, timeless, muddy waters of Breydon, near Great Yarmouth. The boat on the right is an interpretation of a Breydon houseboat ~ houseboats were features of Breydon until a few decades ago. These characteristic vessels were often converted from old ship's boats. The houseboat illustrated was modelled on Heather and lays beside a pollarded willow. A 'Breydoner' is pulling in his nets, whilst a heron or 'harnser' in Norfolk tongue looks on ~ the harnser is the apt emblem of the Broads Society. Image: Courtesy of the Broads Society. Copyright 2012.

The crew would like to discover details of historic Broadland houseboats. Please share your memories for future generations and keep this important custom of the Broads alive.

Andrew & Chris

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