A warm, friendly Heather welcome

We are delighted to share Heather, an historic boat and home for over a century, laying on the Broadland 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

29 November 2016

New aquisitions ~ ephemera

New and old familiar objects regularly find their way onto the houseboat. Books and pictures are particular favourites, although they easily add up, creating a great deal of clutter. Some objects are usually displayed on a rotation basis and the rest kept in storage ashore.

A spray and blackboard paint on card head portrait by upcoming Norwich based artist Liam Ashley Clark, purchased from a from a pop up gallery.


During the clearing of Royall's Yard, several objects were found in the dusty lofts, untouched for years. Amongst the treasures was a little pink booklet explaining tables for high and low tides each day on the Broadland rivers and sea ports. Published for the Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Commissioners in 1982, it is unusual for displaying the complete armorial bearings of the much admired, former maritime body. The Port and Haven Commissioners maintained the navigational waterways from 1670 until 1989. Acts of Parliament were granted to enable collection of tolls, principally from commercial vessels and the duties of Commissioners were overseen by a board of locally appointed wise counsel.

The crest above the shield shows a stately galleon in full sail. Anglo Saxon and Medieval graphics on the quarters, or sections of the main shield represent the main towns and counties connected with the rivers and harbours. Clockwise from top left: the Borough of Great Yarmouth, then the City of Norwich, the old Suffolk County arms, (from the Liberty of St Edmund, granted by Edward the Confessor) and the County Council arms of Norfolk, (lower part are the arms of Ralph (Ranulph) de Gael (de Guader), Earl of East Anglia).

Unusually, the motto is QUATUOR JUNCTA IN UNO ~ meaning literally, 'three joined as one'. The phrase dates from the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when England and Scotland were bonded by James I. It is also used by some army regiments and the Order of the Bath. Could the motto refer to the three primary rivers ~ Bure, Yare and Waveney, administered by individual Commissioners?

Noblesse Oblige was gifted to the houseboat collection this year. Published 60 years ago this month, it has contributions by Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and John Betjeman, amongst others.

Inevitably the world has changed tremendously since the cartoonish front cover was made in 1956. Yet, somehow the age old virtues of the multi layered aristocracy maintains stability, continuity and style in the country (albeit when working in a pragmatic fashion, for example the Devonshire family and Chatsworth Estate).


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