A quirky snapshot of the houseboat with guests aboard taken around 1955 whilst laying at Turner's Boatyard moorings. This is only the second known personal photograph of Heather, before the boat ceased to be hired out in 1984. The newly enclosed forward, kitchen end is on the right. Courtesy of John Royal Esq.
For the past two years we have been part of the Broads Picnic in the Park event, therefore we had no reason to believe we couldn't be part of this years celebrations, staged at idyllic How Hill, Ludham on 29th July. We had hoped to moor at the ancient Staithe (a Broadland name for a port) and purely exhibit the boat. Here, goods of every description had been exchanged in the age of the wherries, keels and other trading craft. A distant time when nature and commerce worked in relative harmony in Broadland. For special gatherings, the Vintage Wooden Boat Association also used to book official 24 hour free moorings in advance, but can no longer do so. A week before the event, we were informed by the Broads Authority that there wouldn't be space for Heather.
To kick start the celebrations to mark sixty years since the houseboat was first placed for hire, Heather will join Wherry ALBION, along with other boats and stalls on the riverside Common at Coltishall on Sunday 26th August from 12pm to 5pm. This is a special commemoration of the infamous 1912 floods and the subsequent closure of the Bure Navigation, which operated between Coltishall (a short distance above the Common itself) and the town of Alysham. The event has been the culmination of over two years dedicated hard work of the voluntary Bure Navigation Conservation Trust. A classic 1959 Bedford bus will shuttle visitors from Roy's overflow car park, next to Hoveton and Wroxham railway station to Coltishall Common. For further details please see: