Wherry Yacht Charter
Caring for the Broads' last wherry fleet
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News archive 2015

Now operating our reunited fleet of wherries, we have lots of news to share - and you'll find it first here.

November 2015 - annual quiz

Our season was rounded off with our annual quiz, a friendly and well fought competition with a home-cooked supper. And after that, everything begins again as we finalise our main plans for next year!

Work continues at the base, with Norada out on the slipway for winter maintenance, and the arrival of a new floating boat shelter for a fifth wherry, to relieve the pressure in the wet shed (designed for three!). We have also learned that the DVD of Hathor's restoration, by our friend John Parker of Big Sky Productions, is finished - with great reviews from the volunteers who have seen it. You can buy a copy for £9.50 by contacting the Friends.

September 2015 - Heritage Open Days and a successful Norwich tour

Our first trip to Norwich since Hathor's 2009 Farewell Tour saw an incredible 1600 people come on board while we were at Pull's Ferry. Being part of the nationally organised (and locally very active) Heritage Open Days events certainly paid off and we look forward to returning next year. Our thanks to local author Steve Silk for his talk on Riverside Norwich on our last evening, and to the stalwarts of Girlguiding Norfolk who provided excellent refreshments at Pull's Ferry. Our sailings to and From Norwich were also sold out thanks to the brilliant HOD publicity.

Our Annual Friends' Dinner, once again at Wroxham Barns, was a very enjoyable evening, featuring a talk on Ardea's history by Peter Bower. We also drew the winners of the two completed 500-entry draws: Richard Cox and Anna Green, both of Norwich. Another draw that was part-sold at Pull's Ferry will continue next year, to be drawn when 500 entries are sold.

August 2015 - St Benet's weekend, and chartering peaks

Our annual visit to the St Benet's Abbey Annual Service saw Hathor return to her traditional duties transporting the Bishop of Norwich to the service and back, this year accompanied by White Moth. Rounding out the weekend were short sailings and an excellent evening gathering of Friends, who brought supper dishes to share on board the wherries. Apart from a viewing of Norada at Granary Staithe in Hoveton, that completed our public events for August, leaving the rest of the month for chartering. We hope that all our charterers enjoyed their time aboard, and look forward to welcoming them again in future.

July 2015 - White Moth's centenary

White Moth's turn in the spotlight came on 11th-12th July, with a weekend at Ranworth around a special concert at St Helen's Church. Renowned composer Patrick Hawes brought together a group of talented performers for the world premiere of a new piece composed in honour of White Moth. We are delighted that the event sold out and gave so many people the chance to enjoy the wonderful music, and that generous support meant that all proceeds went towards WYC's work. Thank you to all involved, and to those who have let us know how much they enjoyed the event.

June 2015 - Special interest events

After the excitement of Hathor's weekend, June was a quiet month. Our second wherries and wildlife day was a success, and a number of Friends enjoyed a fascinating tour to the Wind Energy Museum at Repps. This intriguing and quirky museum deserves to be more widely known, and we recommend their upcoming open weekend at the end of July.

May 2015 - Wherry weekend passes in style

Dress flags on Hathor

© K Walters

On 30th May, our five wherries sailed together on the River Ant to welcome Hathor back to the fleet. "Together" is stretching the term a little, as conditions on the day were a bit windier than we would like and related minor problems spread us out along the river. However, all five did sail in to How Hill with many people lining the banks to see and photograph the incredible sight. Were you there? Please do share any photos you took. You can find some of ours on Facebook and Twitter (no login is required, and the photos can be seen larger and more easily than adding them to our own site!). There is also video footage, from a drone, of Ardea turning earlier in the week. We'll update as more official photos and footage come in.

May 2015 - Our season gets underway

Hoveton Great Broad

© K Walters

Despite a less than favourable weather forecast, passengers enjoyed a return trip to Hoveton Great Broad nature trail on our first sailing of the season, including a guided walk with the ranger there. Butterflies, terns and a multitude of plant life were all in evidence at the reserve, and there was time for lunch before returning to base at Wroxham. We hope to bring you a report from one of our passengers soon.

April 2015 - Gearing up for the season

Hathor sailing

© C Tate

With our programme of events now live and bookings coming in for both public day trips and private charters, work continues at the base on preparing the boats for sailing. Norada is first out of the shed this year, for a day charter in late April, but the focus really is on getting Hathor ready for her grand arrival at the end of May. Just to keep things interesting, White Moth is also having her galley refitted!

Excitingly, kingfishers have been seen around the nesting bank we prepared earlier in the year... fingers crossed that they will become resident.

March 2015 - A new arrival: welcome Ardea

Ardea on Wroxham Broad

© K Walters

We're excited to announce that Pleasure Wherry Ardea has joined our fleet, bringing to five the number of wherries now owned or operated by Wherry Yacht Charter. Ardea was built in 1927 at Leo Robinson’s yard in Lowestoft, and is unique amongst the surviving wherries, not only because of she is built of teak, but also because she spent part of her life in Europe, including many years in Paris being used as a houseboat. Visit Ardea's page for more details of her history.

2015 is already a busy year for WYC with both the re-launch of Hathor and the centenary celebrations for White Moth, but we intend that Ardea will on show at a number of events in the coming months.

February 2015 - Volunteers visit the base: could you join us?

It was lovely to welcome several volunteers to the base on 28th February, for an overview of the coming season and a look at the ongoing restoration. In particular, great admiration was expressed for the work underway on Hathor's interior, bringing her inlaid woodwork back to vivd life after years of fading in the sun. More photos can be found here.

A number of our regular volunteers were unable to join us, and it highlighted just how reliant we are on relatively few people. With so many sailings and viewings this year we would really like to welcome some more volunteers on board, to help our visitors learn about our wherries, and (we hope) encourage them to become a Friend and support us into the future. You don't have to be prepared to winch or quant, or to have enyclopaedic knowledge of wherries, just a desire to share these wonderful boats. Volunteer days and times are flexible. Please contact us for more information on how you can help us.

February 2015 - Sail with us this year

Hathor sailing

© D Edleston

2015 is a very special year for us: four wherries sailing together again thanks to Hathor's restoration, plus White Moth's centenary, Hathor's 110th anniversary... We are delighted to offer an extensive programme of sailings and events in celebration, several of which are held jointly with our friends at How Hill Trust. There are several opportunities to see three and even four wherries sailing together, as well as informative talks and guided walks. More will be added in the form of exclusive Friends' events and further public viewings and sailings. Please join us!

If a boat to yourself is more your style, why not book a skippered day or holiday charter? We have reduced our day charter rates and maintained our other prices for this year, making a wherry a perfect way to celebrate your special occasion or enjoy a family break with a difference.

January 2015 - Restoration and base update

Restoration of Hathor's interior inlaid woodwork

As always, work is ongoing at the base over the winter, with special focus on Hathor's Egyptian-themed interior woodwork this year. As the inlaid wood is dyed, rather than surface painted, the faded top layer can be removed - the same technique was employed when Peter Bower first acquired her after her houseboat years. This comparison image shows (bottom) her saloon woodwork in 2001 (since when it had faded still further) and (top) the results this winter of gently sanding it back to reveal the original colour, then applying a coat of varnish. Click on the small image for a larger version, which is in Hathor's restoration photo album with more photos of various elements of the work.

Another, more unusual piece of work this winter has been to create a kingfisher nesting bank by the basin in the centre of the wherry base, as well as clearing some of the overgrown trees and shrubs. We've had nesting kingfishers in the past, so fingers crossed they will find their new haven and move in.

For older news as far back as 2010, please visit the archive.

Wherry Yacht Charter is a registered charity (as Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust), number 1096073

WYC is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, RDPE, Geoffrey Watling Trust, Town Close Estate Charity and others.

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