Continuing the tour of the southern rivers taken on board the motor cruiser “Pauline” in July 1938.
“Leaving Beccles” - Despite it being July, the clothing suggests that it was a slightly chilly morning when the party left Beccles. In “Through Broadland by Sail & Motor,” published in 1930, Arthur Patterson was less than complimentary about the town: “I’m not certain whether Beccles really makes yachting folk welcome; they have a miserable ‘station,’ but it is capable of being made into an excellent one with very little outlay or labour. Fenced in, as at Yarmouth, to keep the place from over-kind urchins, eager to sell milk and things, but who should be regulated rather than turned away, Beccles Yacht Station would be an asset to the town.”
“Pushing off at Beccles” - Some rather glum faces here!
“All hands on deck” - Pauline leaves Beccles - the old road bridge can be seen in the background.
“Geldeston Weir” - A stop off at Geldeston Lock for a picnic. Navigation beyond the Lock up to Bungay had ceased about four years earlier.
Washing up in the galley - I presume that this must have been the stewardess and cook for the week. Meals consisted of “good homely catering.”
The cook gets some assistance with the drying up. In the background you can see the large jugs which were used to fetch fresh water supplies for the boat.
“Typical company No: 1” - a passing yacht is photographed. Look at those lovely ‘cheesed’ ropes on deck.
“Typical company No: 2” - This looks like one of the five berth “Southwind” class from the Windboats boatyard at Wroxham. A week’s hire in July 1938 cost around £14.
“Under Haddiscoe Bridge” - As previously mentioned, Haddiscoe was the only Broadland Bridge where a toll was charged to pass through. In 1938 the toll was two shillings which was dropped into a bag held out at the end of a long pole. The money collected contributed to the costs of dredging and upkeep of the New Cut.
“Norton Staithe” - A wonderful photograph showing Norton Marsh drainage mill with its sails still intact. Built in the 1860s, the former mill was converted for use as a holiday home in the 1980s.
“The windmill Norton Staithe” - From here, the holiday party could have walked the short distance to the crossing point for Reedham Ferry, past the former Cockatrice pub which had been a notorious haunt of smugglers in its day!
“Leaving Norton Staithe” - The crew cast off to continue their journey along the River Yare.
“Pauline leaving Norton Staithe” - The farm building in the background no longer exists but were advertising eggs and milk for sale.
“Getting an appetite No: 1” - A spot of keep fit for the holiday party. The location must be indentifiable by the mill seen in the background?
“Getting an appetite No: 2” - A fitness craze spread across Britain in the 1930s as fears for public health during an era of austerity grew. The Women’s League of Health and Beauty was at the forefront of the movement and, by 1937, had over 160,000 members.
“Doing nothing” - sunbathing on deck.
“ Sunbathing near Cantley” - you can see the tower of the sugar beet factory in the background. Of the journey along the River Yare, Arthur Patterson wrote: “Passed we through charming woody bends, where stunted trees stood leaning as if looking at reflections of themselves; others with roots submerged, their foliage touching the stream. Dotted here and there among the trees the red-bricked hotels of Buckenham Ferry, Coldham Hall and Bramerton broke the unvaryingness, but scarce a sailing craft or motor boat drew up to them, as in the days when ‘good liquor’ was cheap and idlers more plentiful.”
“Stop me and buy one” - a floating Wall’s ice cream salesman pictured at an unidentified location on the southern rivers. Sadly, I can’t make out the lettering on the building in the background.