With Christmas out of the way, and the website up and running in the new software, I have now turned my attention to getting through the last of the backlog of photographs which I have to add to Broadland Memories. Amongst them are a set of six images dating from June 1938 which were sent to me by Edith Hudson. They belonged to her parents, Tom and Annie Ralphs, who took a weeks holiday with two friends aboard the motor cruiser “Lady Rhona” which was hired from Sandersons at Reedham.
The photograph on the left is from that set and shows three of the group standing beside Lady Rhona whilst moored at St. Olaves – Johnson’s Yachting Station can be seen in the background on the left. The four friends were all cotton workers from a small mill town in Lancashire – Tom was a warehouse manager at the mill whilst Annie worked as a weaver. It is quite an interesting illustration of how boating holidays on the Broads were becoming affordable for the working classes at this time, rather than being the preserve of the wealthy and middle classes as had been the case during the earlier years of the 20th century. As I mentioned in a previous blog posting on the 1920s/1930s, the introduction of statutory paid holidays for workers meant that many people who had never had the opportunity to take time away from work before could finally do so. Lady Rhona was a 24 ft, 4 berth cruiser which would have cost around £10 to hire for a week in June 1938 …… quite a large sum compared to the wages the four friends would have been earning at the time! Tom and Annie fell in love with the Broads during their visit and had planned to return the following year, however, the threat and eventual outbreak of WW2 in 1939 denied them the chance of taking that second holiday. It would be 40 years before they finally came back to Broadland to relive some of the fond memories they had, paying a visit to Sanderson’s yard at Reedham from where they had begun their holiday in the 1930s.
I hope to try and get the rest of the photographs onto the main website by the end of next week, along with a small collection from the 1920s/1930s belonging to the family of Jack Robinson (brother of Leo Robinson) which feature some of the boats in his fleet at Oulton Broad and a couple of the speedboats he raced. I also have a few more photographs from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s which should go on at the same time.