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 2015

Vincent Pargeter

We were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Vincent Pargeter recently. Vincent and Linda Pargeter made an audacious plan to salvage and rebuild an authentic example of a nineteenth century Norfolk Trading Wherry. In 1981, they raised MAUD OF YARMOUTH from the muddy waters of Ranworth and over the next two decades lovingly rebuilt her. Maud was re~commissioned in time for her centenary in 1999.

Over the years, there has been many people crew on Maud. Informal company is the usual fare for a day’s voyage, with many comforting cups of tea and coffee, or soup consumed on cold days. The making of hot drinks on the little stove, down below in the hold is always a ritual on board, as is the notepad needed to list how crew members like their drinks. Vincent usually drank from his aptly named 'Sage' mug. Everyone on board has the opportunity to steer the wherry, help winching to raise and lower sail, or even go round with a mop if they so wish. Afternoons are spent lunching, drinking tea and yarning, with crew reclined over the decks. The crescendo of the day, if the wind is favourable, provides an exhilarating sail back to base, with perhaps a little customary ‘river rage’ thrown in for good measure.

Vincent’s deep interest of the area was forged when his parents hired cruisers on the Norfolk Broads in the 1950s, usually from Turner’s Boatyard in Horning (where the houseboat was moored for some time).

Professionally, Vincent was a skilled millwright, specialising in timber smock and post and brick tower mills. He was self taught and as with Maud, crafted wood and metal into most of the individual components himself. Vincent was a fountain of knowledge on mills, however he was always modest and willing to listen to other people’s points of view. During his career he worked on numerous mill projects across England and even one special mill in Jerusalem!


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