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

28 February 2015

Pamela Moffatt

In January, Pam Moffatt, much loved mother and grandmother passed away. Pam was of the Swallows and Amazons generation and her life was no less colourful. The following tribute was kindly written by Chris's Aunt.

Quadratic equations, the Times cryptic crossword, Jools Holland, sunshine, Brixham, tennis, ginger, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Pepys, mint creams, the sea, the Proms, Venice, Grayson Perry, clematis, University Challenge, painting, the Beatles, arithmetic, spelling, Latin, ocean liners, Question Time, violet sweets, Brian Ferry, Lake Maggiore, roses. These are just a few of the things that Pam was passionate about.

You had to keep up with Pam. She was wickedly swift at mental arithmetic, partly I think because before she moved up to high school she learnt her times tables up to 20 by heart, and was then quite bewildered when no one tested her on them – it seemed a given that she would need them. She read avidly and knew everything there was to know about Thomas Hardy. She knew the names of flowers and trees and was constantly amazed at what nature presented us with. She knew the titles of classical music - which always stood her in good stead for University Challenge – we would regularly compare notes on the scores we managed and complain that they answered far too quickly.

We three kids all benefited from Pam and Jim’s openness to bringing us up, offering us choices and opportunities as we went. They trundled us off to the south pacific at a time when no-one readily travelled to the other side of the globe – this was witness to the fact that they were prepared to get the most out of life and take us along on the ride. 

Pam took parenting seriously. She took Trina and me to ballet lessons when we were small – although we didn’t continue with this particular activity. In Fiji, when the tropical afternoon rain crashed down, she would shoo us out into the garden in our school knickers so we could feel it on our skin. Those rain baths were wonderful. You could take everything from the kitchen to set up shop outside. She made our clothes when we were little. Alec played with his chemical set dangerously near the house. We were always doing stuff and mucking around, as she would later say is what all children should be given the opportunity to do.

Pammy rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous in the various countries she lived in. She worked for the Governor of Fiji doing code and cypher, a job she loved. She and Jim were given a lift in President Bhutto’s private plane in Karachi. (She undertook a risky overland trip from Karachi to Kabul at the height of the Pakistan-India war in 1972, with my cousin at the wheel of their Land Rover.) 

She spent time at the Sultan’s palace in Brunei, drinking sweet tepid tea while making small talk with the Sultan’s wives. She entertained photographers from National Geographic and so-called British trade envoys in reality MI5 agents. In Lesotho, she generously hosted Donald Woods and his family when they escaped from apartheid South Africa, an episode of her life that was immortalised in the film Cry Freedom. She became friendly with Ruth Williams, wife of Sir Seretse Khama, first prime minister of Botswana.

One of her more racy stories was of when she was a young girl in London, gadding about town, being invited to all the parties. It was at this time that while at the Chelsea Arts Ball she danced the night away with the film director John Huston. 

And then she met Jim! He didn’t make films, but he took her to France and they sipped their morning coffee from large green and gold cups. Something to do with falling in love.

Pam’s life was full of adventure. She embraced change during her life, maintaining her joie de vivre as long as she could and she adored her family and friends. She wasn’t very good at sitting around not doing much. But she told a mean story. I will miss Pam to bits. She was a wonderful mum.

Liz Moffatt

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