Several hands made up the crew aboard the former Trading Wherry Maud, on a chilly and blustery Easter Saturday, for her first journey of the season.
We had an exhilarating sail from Womack to just below Horning and then returned to Maud’s home base at the Norfolk Wherry Trust at Womack. Maud and Albion are two locally distinct, surviving trading wherries ~ hard working heavy goods vehicles of their day. When there is no wind to sail, special long quants or punt poles are used on deck to push the wherry along. Invariably, a helpful motor tender boat is pressed into service, pushing nose~on from behind.
Thirty years ago, Vincent & Linda Pargeter stoically salvaged the derelict hulk of Maud from the shallow depths of Ranworth Broad and rebuilt the boat to her 1899 state. Maud was recommissioned nearly a hundred years later. She shares a similar build date and functions to Heather, albeit in a very different form. There are numerous connections between the Low Countries and the Broads; including the gaff rig of the wherry, adopted from the Dutch some two centuries ago. The wherry is listed on the National Historic Ships Register. Maud’s slender, double ended hull cutting through the water and her large blackened sail towering above the marshes is a splendid sight.
If you have chance to sail on board one of the majestic trading or pleasure wherries; it is well worth doing and a fine way to appreciate the Rivers and Broads scenery.
Beckie and Chris