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

24 March 2012

What lies beneath

In the saloon and the heads (water closet), some of the narrow, vertical cedar boards and softwood battens behind, were found to be worn. The crew have removed the nineteen twenties cedar panelling, to reveal the outer teak boarding and various timber battens, which have not seen the light of day for over eighty years! We are recording this hidden woodwork by photographing, measuring and drawing them.

The conversion of the boat shows a curious mash up by Ernest L Woods. Instead of using new wood, where possible, Ernest utilised every spare piece of timber; yet still completed a professional fitting out. It appears Ernest's techniques meant austerity measures were prevelant in the 'golden 1920's'. Some pencil marks show a boat builder's working~out measurements.

The softwood battens are heavily worn, although the original teak sections have suffered little decay; some of these could have been stout gunwales, fitted around the edge of the flush decked barge. Several small escutcheons for relatively small rollock plates can be seen. The remains of orange etch primer and grey enamel paint are believed to date from her original build in the Netherlands. The original layout and purpose of the former industrial barge is still unknown. We will treat the woodwork, renew the battens and replace the cedar boards in the coming weeks.

The sunny weather this week encouraged us to remove the all~over awning and air the boat. Pictured amongst the reeds on the River Ant.


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