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1950s History 1950s Memories

1950s Photo Gallery

The following four photographs were submitted to the archive by Alan Wright, and were taken by his parents during holidays on the Norfolk Broads the 1950s.

Norfolk Broads sailing cruiser 1950s

An unidentified sailing cruiser, A694, pictured in the mid 1950s.

Beccles 1950s

“Seiko” from A.J. Yaxley of Belaugh, moored at Beccles in the early 1950s.

Wherry Liberty 1950s

The wherry “Liberty” moored at Brundall in 1956. The pleasure wherry Liberty was built by Ernest Collins at Wroxham but, by the 1950s, she had lost her sailing rig and was being used as a houseboat at Brundall under the ownership of Jim Cole.

Wherry Liberty 1950s

Another photograph of the wherry “Liberty” at Brundall in 1956. Liberty was eventually sold to the naturalist Ted Ellis who sunk her at the entrance to Wheatfen Broad.

The next set of images were photographed by M.Joy during sailing holidays which were taken between 1950 and 1951. You can see more photographs from the collection on this page of the 1900-1950 Gallery.

St Benets Abbey 1950

One of Ernest Collins “Pandora” class of sailing cruisers, pictured passing St. Benet’s Abbey ruins on the River Bure in March 1950.

Pandora 1950 Summer Breeze 1950

Pandora sailing on South Walsham Broad in March 1950. There were four of the Pandora class listed in Blakes 1949 brochure and the hire terms were between £17 and £23 per week.

Also taken on South Walsham Broad in 1950, this is the 27ft “Summer Breeze” which was part of the Southgates fleet at Horning. Southgates yard had been purchased by Herbert Woods - hence the Woods star on the sail. Whilst the sails of the Woods yachts bore the classic blue star, the Southgates sails had a red star.

Sailing on the Norfolk Broads 1951 Sailing on the Norfolk Broads 1951

The sailing cruiser “Grebe 1” pictured on the Upper Thurne above Potter Heigham Bridge in May 1951. There were two of the Grebe class listed in Blakes 1952 brochure which were available to hire from J.Loynes and Sons of Wroxham.

Another photograph of Grebe 1 sailing above Potter Heigham. These 20ft, 2 berth yachts were listed as being “suitable only for the experienced yachtsman” and cost between £10/10 shillings and £15/10 shillings a week to hire.


A lovely set of photographs which were submitted to the archive by Rob Aylott and document holidays taken on the Broads by his parents Harry and Joan Aylott with friends and family between 1953 and 1959.  Further collections from the family can be found in the 1960s gallery, the 1970s gallery and the 1980s gallery.

Brundall 1953

In 1953, aged 17. Harry Aylott (seen on the right) visited the Broads with his cousin Alan Baldwin (left) and their mutual best friend Alan Grodner, hiring the motor cruiser “Droleen” from C.J. Broom and Sons of Brundall. The two lads are seen here on the quayside at Brooms boatyard. The group travelled to the Broads from East Ham by train and Harry remembers that everyone “dressed up” to travel in those days!

Droleen 1953

Y130 “Droleen” moored at an unknown location in 1953. Originally one of a class of five cruisers built between 1929 and 1933, the 22ft Droleen slept three in single berths in an open plan cabin and was powered by a Morris Vedette petrol engine. The cost for a weeks hire in the early 1950s was around £25 per week during the peak season.

Another photograph of Droleen from 1953. The four original sister ships were Rosaleen, Maureen, Eileen and Merleen. At the outbreak of the Second World War, there were just three of the class remaining in Brooms fleet and when the hire industry started up again in 1947 just Droleen and Merleen remained.

Droleen 1953

Alan Grodner and Alan Baldwin pictured onboard Droleen.

Droleen 1953

Enjoying a spot of lunch onboard Droleen in 1953.

View from Stracey Arms Mill 1953

The view from the top of the Stracey Arms Mill. Droleen can be seen moored in the foreground.

Acle Bridge 1953

Y130 “Droleen” moored at Acle Bridge in 1953. Curtis riverside stores can be sen in the background.

On Tow 1953

Being towed in the dinghy behind Droleen - an activity which would be frowned upon today!

St Benets Abbey 1953

The ruins of St. Benet’s Abbey pictured by Harry Aylott in 1953.

Horning 1953

The River Bure at Horning c1953 - The large boat shed which can be seen in the background on the left is that of H.T. Percival. It’s interesting to note that pirate regalia was worn by parties of lads on the Broads in the early 1950s too!

Horning 1953

The mill by Horning Ferry Inn, pictured in 1953.

Barton Broad 1953

Droleen at anchor (or mudweight!) on Barton Broad in 1953.

Barton Broad 1953

Rowing in the dinghy on Barton Broad.

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