Wednesday 19th of June 2024

One of the members of my local photography club is involved in maintaining an old wherry – boats which were used to transport goods around Norfolk before trains and cars became common. I and some other members of the club were offered the chance to spend a day on one of the wherries, the Albion, with the provisio that we provide the Norfolk Wherry Trust with a few pictures each for promotional purposes.

Getting the Albion ready for the day.

The Albion crew having a chat.

From the storage dock we raised the sail and headed towards the River Thurne, there turning to the north east and following along the river for several miles.

The mast, ready to be raised.

Inside the wherry, facing the stern.

The weather was very warm, the air hazy, the sky virtually cloudless. This meant plenty of water traffic, but also a very sedate sailing pace, requiring frequent use of a motor dinghy to keep us moving.

The Albion’s skipper signalling to another boat.

Various boats moored next to a windmill.

Part way along, a couple of us went out on the dinghy to get some ‘exterior’ shots of the wherries.

Albion (front) and her companion Maud.

A shot from the dinghy as we passed Maud on the way back to Albion.

After a few miles along the Thurne, we turned north on to Candle Dyke, heading towards Hickling Broad, where we would stop for lunch. In addition to some food, I rather foolishly only brought along a tiny flask of water for the whole day, which was woefully inadequate since the water on the wherry was unsuitable for drinking cold.

Turning to port into the narrow Candle Dyke.

Securing the two wherries together for lunch.

After lunch it was time to head back, and we soon got a bit of relief from the heat: a few clouds appeared, and the wind picked up slightly.

Albion’s sail catching a little wind, at last.

Finally, as we neared home base, it was time to lower the sail get the boat ready for storage again.

Lowering the mast ready to tie down the sail.

One of Albion’s crew preparing to secure the mast and sail.

Pulling the wherry back into its storage dock.