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Chance to step on board historic sailing barges

13:57 03 September 2014

Cambria and wherry Albion moored up together in Norwich as the historic vessels came together for the special visit by the Thames barge.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Cambria and wherry Albion moored up together in Norwich as the historic vessels came together for the special visit by the Thames barge. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

The public will have a rare opportunity to step aboard not one but two historic sailing barges when they meet up for a joint open day outside The Reedcutter Inn at Cantley on the River Yare.

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The 120 year old Wherry Albion will be berthed alongside the Humber Keel ‘Daybreak’, the National Historic Ships ‘Flagship of the Year’, from 10am till 4pm tomorrow.

Daybreak, which was built in 1934 for Doncaster flour millers to carry cargo in coastal waters, is making a celebratory tour of the East coast to mark her achievement.

She will be taking part in the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival over the weekend.

Her owner, Tony Woodward, thought it would be a good opportunity for Daybreak to spend a day with Albion, who was the runner up in the same competition a few years ago.

Daybreak, which has been based on the Thames for 38 years, was motorised in the 1940s and restored to sail in 1986. She is a square sailed craft, reminiscent of the sail of the Viking raiders.

Albion was built in 1894 to carry cargo inland along shallow narrow rivers to Broadland towns, villages and the city of Norwich. Albion has a gaff rig which was developed from the Norfolk Keel, similar to the Humber Keel, but which has now disappeared.

Albion left her Ludham base at 7.30am today to catch the slack low tide at Great Yarmouth at 11.30am, before crossing Breydon Water, arriving at Cantley at about 2pm.

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