A warm, friendly welcome on board

Heather is a traditional yet quirky houseboat, laying on the Broads Waterways of Norfolk and Suffolk. Maintained by friends, she has been home to artists, holiday visitors and mariners for generations.

See on board the houseboat, visit the touring shop and relax on the riverside.

Public Staithes

Public Staithes

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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