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

15 November 2014

Pirate doodle

When doing some repairs to joinery in the fo'c'sle, on the lower portion of the port side panelling, some sections of featherweight cedar wood came adrift. In the gap behind under cobwebs, some pencils marks were visible on the reverse side of a vertical panel board, which abuts the mahogany door, leading from the saloon. When cleaned up, a large cross could clearly be seen, possibly denoting where the bottom or top of the panel was to placed. Below this is a crude outline of a skull, with eye sockets and a pair of crossbones.

When the lighter was remodelled into a pleasure houseboat around 1928, it is likely that one of the boat builders of Ernest L Wood's Horning yard, or even the hands~on Ernest himself made the quick doodle, during a spare moment. Ernest was quite a character and a keen sense of humour certainly helps when working in a boatyard. The doodle has probably been hidden for eighty years. ~ if only walls could talk! Pirates and houseboats are sometimes synonymous and it is a running theme of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons books.


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