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

16 May 2013

A cruise in the 1960's

Eagle eyed archivist Carol Gingell has found a colour film of a Broadland cruise dating from the early 1960's. The Ramsay family made the film while on holiday aboard CLOVER OF LIGHT; a smart Herbert Woods centre cockpit motor cruiser. Note the ingenious retracting 'gullotine' type wheelhouse ~ one of Broadland 's many innovative contributions to the marine sector.

Most of the film can be seen from the continuous perspective of just above deck level. Beginning near North Quay in Great Yarmouth, the family cruise up the Bure or North River past the village of Horning. At around 6 minutes, Horning Ferry Reach comes into view. Soon after, there is a fleeting glimpse of Heather, laying at Turner's Boatyard. The houseboat is seen nestled amongst sister craft. The regular appearance of neatly white washed quay capping and bollards mark the high standards during the era. A few seconds later, a row of cream houseboats at the old Chumley and Hawkes boatyard come into view. Weather boarded versions still serve as holiday accommodation here. It tails off at the former HT Percival's yacht station, further up river. The recent success of the first Horning Boat Show highlights the village as one of Broadland's great ports of call.

Suddenly the film cuts to show the once charming Broads Tours and the restaurant pavilion (now Riverside Park) at Hoveton St John. This long established tour boat company was mercilessly asset stripped, then completely pulled down in the late 1980's. Looking downstream to King's Staithe in the distance ~ Heather's occasional mooring base. Here the lofty industrial Barclay and Pallett flour mill can be seen. Today, the site is more hospitable and composes the Old Mill Restaurant building and a range of other shops. The footage ends on Breydon Water and the Lower River Waveney. Looking at the film, it is quite startling how over a half century, riverside properties have developed from rather muted, rusticated architecture to more intense urbanised structures. Whether people will record on camera these new additions for posterity, remains to be seen.

The photograph above, looking up to Wroxham Bridge was taken in 1964 by the Hooton family of Lower Brampton, Derbyshire. It captures a lost world of low key boathouses and grassed moorings. On the extreme left, J Loynes yard's famous pennant flag of a white star on a blue field can just be seen flying atop their gaff rigged flagstaff. The Barclay and Pallett owned mill and large black granary Store on the Staithe is seen right of centre. Courtesy of Maureen Hooton (nee Foster.)


Grateful thanks to Carol for embedding the film.

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