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1950s History 1950s Memories

1950s Photo Gallery

Dayboats at Wroxham Kings Head 1950s Wroxham Kings Head dayboat 1950s Wroxham Kings Head dayboat 1950s Broads Tours Passenger Launch at Wroxham c1957 Back bar of the Kings Head Wroxham c1950

A small set of photographs from the Pleasants Family. Geoffrey Pleasants was the landlord of the Kings Head Hotel at Wroxham between 1948 and 1956. From there he moved to the Maltsers where he was the proprietor until 1962. He also took on the lease of the original Wayford Bridge Arms in 1957, purchasing from the Steward & Patteson brewery when it was de-licensed in 1967 to make way for the new Woodfarm Inn (now the Wayford Bridge Hotel) in 1967. It was from the site of the old Wayford Bridge Arms that Geoffrey began hiring out boats under the name of Allweather Boats, going into partnership with John Linford in 1967 to form the Wayford Bridge Boat Company.  This selection of photographs dates from his time at the Kings Head in Wroxham.

The back bar of the Kings Head Hotel at Hoveton/Wroxham c1950.

Whilst he was landlord of the Kings Head, Geoffrey Pleasants hired out motor launches and rowing boats. This photograph shows some of those, undercover in the boathouse at the hotel. Doug Pleasants identified  A549 “Harlequin” and A550 “Columbine” which were apparently built for him by Jack Powles.

A549 “Harlequin” pictured at the Kings Head Hotel in Hoveton with the boatshed seen in the background.

Another photograph of A549 “Harlequin” at the Kings Head. The day boats moved to the Maltsters at Ranworth with the Pleasants family, and later to Wayford Bridge.

One of the Broads Tours passenger launches pictured at Wroxham c1957.

Norfolk Broads c1940s The Norfolk Broads late 1940s The Norfolk Broads c1940s The Norfolk Broads in the late 1940s Ludham Bridge North Mill c1949 Dancing Light Norfolk Broads c1949

The ladies are seen alongside one of the “Dancing Light” class of cruisers from Herbert Woods boatyard. These 4 berth cruisers were 32 feet in length and were described in Blake’s 1949 brochure as being “Attractive, double cabin craft with excellent internal arrangements affording the maximum comfort and convenience. Separate toilet with additional W.C. And wash basin in aft cabin. Sunshine roof and sliding windows give full light and ventilation. Sideboards, ample drawer and locker facilities. Built in Marine Radio available at small charge. Of unrivalled manoeuvrability, the helmsman has a clear view in all directions, with instantaneous command over speed and direction. The collapsible canopy over the central cockpit ensures comfort in all weathers.” The cost of a week’s hire during the peak summer period was £32 10 shillings.

Norfolk Broads c1949 Norfolk Broads tearoom c1949 Norfolk Broads tearoom c1949 Regal Star Norfolk Broads c1950s Regal Star Norfolk Broads c1950s Regal Star Norfolk Broads c1950s Fishing on the Norfolk Broads c1950s Norfolk Broads c1950s Regal Star Norfolk Broads c1950s Regal Star Norfolk Broads c1950s Regal Star at Oulton Broad 1950s Oulton Broad in the early 1950s Oulton Broad in the early 1950s Top Next Prev Pages 11 on >>

The following collection of photos span at least four or five holidays taken on the Broads by a middle aged couple and were purchased as an undated album. It’s difficult to be sure of the exact dates, but the clothing and hairstyles indicate that they may actually start in the late 1940s and run over into the early 1950s. Because of  the uncertainty, and because I would prefer to keep the collection together, I decided to include them all in the 1950s gallery. As is often the case, the couple and the family and friends who accompanied them are all unknown.

The first photograph in the album shows the couple who I presume the album belonged to on the right and left, with a friend or family member standing between them.The clothing and hairstyles seen in these earlier images certainly look very 1940s.

There seem to be two different motor cruisers seen in these earlier photographs - as yet I haven’t been able to identify the one seen in this image. Sadly, the name on the life ring is unreadable.

Another photograph taken during the same holiday - once again, I can’t quite make out which boatyard the burgee belongs to.

The ladies take to the sailing/rowing dinghy which would have been included within the hire fee.

This is a particularly interesting photograph as it shows Ludham Bridge North Mill which had been converted for use as a pillbox/lookout post during the Second World War alongside the other defences at the bridge.The mill was already derelict at the start of the war, but you can see that the old window openings had been adapted for use as gun ports and a balconied gallery complete with a wooden, cap shaped hut was added to the top. A blast wall was erected beside the entrance to the mill and a spigot mortar gun emplacement was built alongside, the remains of which can still be found today, as can those of a second spigot mortar base on the opposite side of the river. Ludham Bridge itself, along with other Broadland Bridges, was fitted with chambers to hold explosives which could be used to destroy the river crossing should other defences fail. A “Flame Fougasse” was also placed near to the road approaching the bridge, a device which could be remotely detonated and would project burning liquid (petrol) at a target. The field opposite Ludham Bridge boatyard is also rumoured to have been the site of an Alan Williams turret (a rotating, metal pillbox built over a pit).


Another of the earlier photographs in the album.

One of two photographs taken at a tearoom at an unknown location on the Norfolk Broads.

The ladies seated at one of the tearoom’s outdoor tables.

Taken  during a different holiday on the Broads, the couple are seen her on board B985 “Regal Star” from Jack Powles boatyard at Wroxham.

The holiday party on board “Regal Star”. The four berth cruiser was one of the “Star” class from Jack Powles and had two cabins, each with a toilet and wash basin, plus a spacious saloon with a sunroof over.

Another shot of “Regal Star” with Acle Bridge seen in the background. During the summer of 1952, a week’s hire of one of the Star class cruisers cost £37 10 shillings.

Indulging in a spot of angling on the Norfolk Broads in the early 1950s.

Messing around on the water!

“Regal Star” once again - in the background you can see the stern of B51 “Flame of Light” from Herbert Woods fleet.

Another photograph of “Regal Star” taken at Acle Bridge.

“Regal Star” and crew at Outlon Broad Yacht Station in the early 1950s. The Wherry Hotel can be seen in the background. A 1952 advert for Oulton Broad claimed that it possessed the “finest yacht station on the Broadland Rivers” with “Berthing, stores, supplies, baths, reading and rest rooms available”.

This was also taken at Oulton Broad, in the playground area behind the harbour masters office and ancillary buildings. In his 1953 book “Quays Without Locks”, Harry Griffin described Oulton Broad as a “happy place” where everybody seemed to enjoy themselves but bemoaned the “crescendo of screaming speedboats” and a surfeit of amenities catering for the holidaymakers.

The boating lake at the rear of Nicholas Everitt Park at Oulton Broad - the park bandstand can be seen in the background. The park was the scene of fetes and carnivals during the summer months and the 1953 edition of “What To Do On The Norfolk Broads” lists the park as having an open air swimming pool, baths, tennis courts, bandstand, bowling green and children’s playground.

St Olaves Bell Inn c1950s St Olaves Bell Inn c1950s

This was taken in the beer garden of the Bell Inn at St. Olaves, which the 1953 edition of “What To Do..” described as being an old-world inn with good moorings and accommodation with garaging available. Teas were also served during the boating season.

Another photograph taken at the Bell Inn which claims to be the oldest pub in Broadland. One 1950s guide to the area mentioned that the original building was erected using stone which had been robbed from the nearby Augustinian priory.

Horning village c1950s Rowing on the Norfolk Broads c1950s

The gentlemen of the holiday party in the dinghy.

Horning in the early 1950s, with St Benet’s Church Hall in the background.