Sunday, 5 October 2014

Broads minded!

It was in 1954 that a young chap aged 9, stood with his family and gazed across Oulton Broad to a beautiful motor cruiser moored at one of the boatyards. Its varnish gleamed in the Spring sunlight and he could scarsely believe that he was to spend a week on board that beautiful craft, cruising the Norfolk Broads.

Our boat was hired from Jim Hoseason, who had taken over this small boatyard at the southern end of the Broad, from his father Wally B. Hoseason, and was in the early stages of developing further the family firm's hire fleet and booking agency, now a household name in the field of boat and cottage rental in this country and abroad.
The first sight of 'Mary Bridget' moored at Jim Hoseasons yard at Oulton Broad
Built by Herbert Woods in Potter Heigham, the 'Mary Bridget' had been privately owned and we were the first people to hire her since her acquisition by Mr Hoseason. To this day I can remember the excitement I felt on going aboard.
1954.....9 years old
I have always had a keen interest in boats,  I guess, springing from the fact that all my family on my father's side were from Brixham in South Devon and were closely associated with the sea, either working on the Brixham sailing smacks or in the navy, and it was at that moment, in 1954, that my love of Norfolk and the Broads was kindled. And it is to the Broads that both my wife and myself have returned regularly.
A peaceful afternoon on Belaugh Staithe by the River Bure
The last occasion was a week ago when we spent a delightful week in Barn House Cottage in Belaugh (pronounced 'Beela') between Wroxham and Coltishall on the River Bure. We chose the cottage from as an alternative to our usual practice of hiring a motor cruiser and it proved to be delightful, providing a good base to visit parts of the region we had not visited before.
Coltishall Common...a short walk from our cottage
However, we did get afloat on two occasions during the week by hiring a Day Boat from Martham to cruise Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad and a second craft to cover the River Waveney from Burgh St Peter to Beccles.
Our Day Boat moored at the 'Pleasure Boat' staithe, Hickling

View of the River Ant from How Hill
We had a wonderful time and were able to view the Broads from a different perspective. It was while doing this at a well known house called How Hill overlooking the River Ant, on which we have cruised on countless occasions, that we spotted a lady painting the scene. To cut a long story short, we are buying that painting, once the paint has dried and it is framed, providing a lasting memory of that special moment in yet another wonderful return visit to my beloved Norfolk 

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