Approaching St. Olaves Bridge on the River Waveney. The bowstring girder bridge was
designed by George Edwards of Carlton Coleville and was built in 1847. It replaced
an earlier, three arch stone bridge which had been built c1500 - when the original
structure was demolished to make way for the current bridge, stone blocks found in
the supporting piers were found to be carved with signs of the zodiac which were
believed to have come from St. Olaves Priory.
Another view of St. Olaves Bridge from 1934.
Swabbing the decks whilst moored at St. Olaves.
The crew pose for the camera with St. Olaves Bridge in the background.
Another crew photograph taken at St. Olaves.
The final photograph from the 1934 album takes us to Oulton Broad. A variety of launches
and rowing boats are seen moored here, the maltings buildings can be seen in the
background. An unknown wherry yacht can also be seen moored in the background.
The following set of photographs date from c1910 and are reproduced on here by kind
permission of Kevin Millican and Ashley Marr. They come from a set of glass plate
negatives which were found in the attic of a house in Lowestoft which Ashley once
owned - how they came to be there was a complete mystery! The negatives were scanned
by Kevin Millican who then contacted me about them. Looking through the photographs,
I recognised the faces of the Shields brothers who featured in Donald Shields wonderful
collection of images from 1903 and 1904 which can be viewed here. I contacted Donald’s
great nephew who confirmed that it was indeed his family and , furthermore, he believed
that the photographs were actually taken by Donald. This seems to have been an almost
annual “Lads Week” holiday as a glimpse of a framed set of photos in the background
of one of the photographs shows previous years trips which the gentlemen had taken
under the banner of the “R.A.O.I.” The original titles for the negatives were handwritten
by Donald on the lid of the box in which they were found and are included here.
“RAOI on left” The group pose on the lawn of the Swan Hotel at Horning at the start
of the holiday. The skippers of the wherry “Bertha” are holding the R.A.O.I. Flag
- as yet, I have been unable to ascertain what this acronym stood for. Donald Shields
is pictured standing on the far left.
“Fore Peak moved” The group pose on the fore peak of the wherry Bertha. As two ladies
were present, I suspect that this was also taken at Horning prior to departure.
“Fore Peak at Horning” Another shot of some of the group on the fore peak of the
wherry Bertha at Horning. Bertha was operated at this time by Pallett, Barclay and
Co. of Bacton Wood Mill on the North Walsham and Dilham Canal, but had originally
been owned by the Press Brothers. Bertha was a converted trading wherry and an advert
for the Press Bros. from the 1880s shows that they were offering four other wherries
for hire alongside her - Elsie, Kate, Diligent and Lucy. Initially, the wherries
would have been converted during the summer months for the short holiday season and
would have then reverted to carrying cargo for the rest of the year. As demand for
boating holidays aboard wherries increased, and the holiday season was extended,
they were permanently converted for pleasure use. By the late 1890s, the company
had become Press & Pallett who were listed as being millers, maltsters, cake, corn,
coal, seed and manure merchants at Bacton Wood Mill, Staithe and railway station.
When Edward Press died in 1906 his property, including the canal, were sold at auction
and a Mr Barclay must have bought into the business as by 1912 the company was listed
as Pallett, Barclay & Co.