Norfolk Broads Cruise (Easter 1961)

Which boating holiday? Jumpers on, must be Easter.

Norfolk Broads Cruise, Easter 1961


MID-AFTERNOON on April 8th, and nine rather squashed and crumpled boys and two masters arrived at Stalham, the most northerly village of the Broads, after travelling the one hundred and thirty miles from school. The weather had been rather overcast when we set out, but the sun had gradually broken through the clouds as we approached our destination and now everybody was eager to see our boat, Merlin V, and set off on our cruise through the Broads.

After a quick and approving tour of the cabins and galley (its size makes one wonder how Mr. Jefford, the chief cook, managed to cook at all) and only a few doubts as to how we were going to fit eleven people into a nine-berth boat, the stores were loaded on and packed away and we were soon ready to weigh anchor to the accompaniment of the pensive farewells of the parents who had driven us up.

Our aim was to see as much of the Broads as possible in the one week of our holidays, and to ensure this 'Captain' Tully kept an eye on the engine and our tendency to use the rivers and broads as a race track.

The first night was spent parked outside the Stracy Arms and we took this opportunity to go out in the dinghy and to exercise our new-found sea-legs in a short walk on terra firma a practice which became a nightly habit. This evening, like the others to follow, was rounded off by coffee, cheese and pickled onions and so the unfortunates who slept in the saloon had to do so in the lingering odour of onions and cold coffee.

During the rest of the week we cruised round the broads and rivers, each group of the crew taking it in turns to steer, help with the cooking and do the washing-up. None of us ran the boat aground, but there were some near misses. The only real error was that once we tied the boat up without enough slack in the mooring lines and as the tide went down the boat began to tip over. This was in the middle of the night but quick action by the two Captains remedied the mistake.

During this week we visited many of the well-known places like Oulton Broad, Horning, Wroxham, Beccles, Great Yarmouth and Norwich (where we left the waste bucket behind without realising the loss until we had left the city). By the end of the week we had achieved our aim, except that we had not visited Hickling Broad as the boat was too big to go under Potter Heigham bridge.

The holiday was most enjoyable and at Barton Turf on our last night we held a celebration dinner. This was repeated in greater luxury, but with no more culinary skill, at the Red Lion Hotel on the journey back home.

Thus ended a marvellous week for which we would like to thank Mr. Jefford and Mr. Tully who made it possible.


1960-61 School Magazine



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