As promised, the second film from the Battersby family collection has been uploaded to the Broadland Memories YouTube channel this afternoon. The black and white footage was also shot on 16mm cine film and dates from 1947 when Geoff and Babs Battersby took a holiday on one of the Vesta class of motor cruisers from E.C. Landamore’s boatyard at Hoveton.
The first four of the Vesta class were built in the late 1930s but the outbreak of war in 1939 saw the holiday industry put on hold throughout Broadland. Production of the Vesta class recommenced after the war and, according to John Yaxley who wrote the excellent “Elanco Story – 75 Years of Landamores” book, the original four Vestas were gradually sold off to raise finance to expand the fleet. The 1947 entry for the class in Blake’s brochure (see left) shows numbers 4-8 as available, but by 1952 numbers 5-12 were listed for hire. The 32 ft Vesta class slept four people in two cabins and were painted in the trademark Landamores colour scheme of grey and white. Petrol was still rationed in the early post-war years, indeed Blake’s made mention in their 1947 brochure that Broads users were restricted to a maximum of 120 miles cruising per week. There were just two different price bands this year – from the first week in July until mid September a week on Vesta cost £28 10 shillings. This reduced to £24 10 shillings for all other weeks.
In 1947 Blake’s promoted “The Holiday that is Different” with an opening line which sums up the attraction rather nicely: “Have you ever fallen in love with a river? Or lost your heart to a boat? Well, that’s the risk in taking a self-skippered holiday afloat on the Broads of Norfolk and Suffolk. Every season hundreds of cabin yachts and motor-cruisers sail Broadland’s sunny waterways, nosing through 200 miles of picturesque lakes and rivers. It’s a holiday that brings unforgettable memories.“