The launching of Dragon

As regular visitors to the Broadland Memories website will know, there is some fascinating material relating to the pleasure wherry “Dragon” on the site which includes some wonderful photographs and sailing log entries from the 1950s when she was under the ownership of Brigadier H.E.Hopthrow, which were kindly submitted by his son John. There is also a history of Dragon which was put together with the help of Mike Barnes.

Launching the wherry Dragon in 1901

Launching the Wherry Dragon in 1901

I was contacted by John a few days ago about a photograph which had appeared on the “Postcards from the Norfolk Broads” website which showed a pleasure wherry being launched at Wroxham c1900. Brian Kermode, who runs the site, thought that this might possibly have been Dragon …. studying the wherry in the photo closely, and comparing it to photographs of Dragon, I am in no doubt that this is definitely her! I have mentioned before that Dragon does seem to keep cropping up all the time but it is incredible to see an image which captures her launch in 1901. Dragon was built by Fred Press for the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company who were, at the time, based just below Wroxham Bridge, and she spent many years in hire before being bought by the Hopthrow’s. You can see from the photograph on the left that she wasn’t finished at the time of launch – there was no mast and there must have been a fair amount of fitting out to be done I would imagine.

My thanks to Brian Kermode for allowing me to republish the image on here.

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