The Pleasants Family Collection

As mentioned in my last blog post, I’ve been taking stock of the submissions to the Broadland Memories Archive which are still awaiting my attention. I had managed to work my way through quite a bit of the backlog during the early summer, but still have several small collections of photographs and Broads related ephemera to sort through to add to the main website. In the meantime, I’ve also been sent some further new items of interest!

Amongst the latest goodies to arrive in my inbox are a lovely collection of photographs which have been sent to me by Douglas Pleasants, whose family have a long association with the Norfolk Broads. Doug’s father, Geoffrey Pleasants was the proprietor of several Broadland public houses between the late 1940s and early 1960s, he also established the Allweather boatyard at Wayford Bridge in 1962 and was one of the co-founders of the Wayford Bridge Boat Company in 1967. Doug himself raced powerboats at Oulton Broad during the 1980s. There are some very interesting photographs amongst the collection which includes a fabulous set featuring holidays taken by Geoffrey and his friends on the Norfolk Broads in the early 1930s. A selection of these will be published on the main website during the autumn and winter months, but I thought it would be nice to give a sneak preview of a few images here on the blog in the meantime.

The photograph above dates from 1932 when Geoffrey Pleasants and his friends holidayed on the Wherry Yacht Olive which had been hired from Ernest Collins boatyard at Wroxham.  The bathing costumes are just wonderful!

Another photograph from the 1932 holiday which shows the group sitting beside Olive at an unknown location. The large vessel seen in the background was the motor cruiser Pauline which was owned by Miller’s boatyard at Oulton Broad. Pauline was a Thames barge which had been converted into a luxury, floating hotel by Fred Miller in the 1920s.

The third photograph dates from the 1950s and was taken in the boat shed of the Kings Head pub at Hoveton which was being run by Geoffrey Pleasants at this time. The two wooden day launches in the background, A550 Columbine and A549 Harlequin, were built for Mr Pleasants by Jack Powles and were originally let from the Kings Head, then from the Maltsters at Ranworth which he ran between 1956 and 1962, and later from the Wayford Bridge Inn – this was the original Wayford Bridge Inn as opposed to the Woodfarm Inn which later became the Wayford Bridge Hotel. Doug informed me that the Wayford Bridge Inn was delicensed by Steward and Patteson in 1961 when the Woodfarm Inn was opened. His father purchased the building and it was from here that he ran  Allweather Boats. In 1967, he went into partnership with John Linford (of Aquafibre fame) forming the Wayford Bridge Boat Company Ltd.

The final photo was taken outside the Maltsers at Ranworth c1960 – the gentleman seated on the far right is Commander Ron Ashby who owned Hearts Cruisers at Thorpe St Andrew.

My thanks to The Pleasants Family for allowing me to share these wonderful photographs on here, and to Doug Pleasants for taking the time to scan and send me the images. There will be more of these to come on the main Broadland Memories website when time allows!

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