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Historic fishing boat Baden Powell returns to King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 08:37 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:37 03 August 2017

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

She harvested shellfish from The Wash for almost a century. Now she’s returned home to King’s Lynn after 10-year rebuild.

Baden Powell back in the Fisher Fleet from cockling in the 1950s with, from left, J. Solly, H. Fisher and R. Fisher. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY Baden Powell back in the Fisher Fleet from cockling in the 1950s with, from left, J. Solly, H. Fisher and R. Fisher. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Volunteers are putting the finishing touches to the cockler Baden Powell, which is back afloat in the Bentinck Dock.

The vessel has been almost completely rebuilt from the keel up by the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust.

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration.  Picture: SONYA DUNCAN The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Originally built by in Walter Worfolk’s boatyard in South Lynn, in 1900, she was commissioned by the Cook family, who liked the vessel so much they paid £55 - £5over the asking price, and threw in a cruet set for Walter’s wife Lily.

From then she fished the estuary until the mid 1980s, before she was laid up in the Fisher Fleet.

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

In the 1990s, she was given to the True’s Yard fishing museum. She sat on Boal Quay for the next 10 years or so, her larch hull exposed to the elements, before Lynn jeweller Tim Clayton took her to a barn at Terrington to get her under cover.

In 2006, what was originally conceived as a restoration project got under way, under the auspices of the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust.

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

“Restoration turned into a rebuild because of the state of the planking,” said trust information officer Ken Hill.

Baden Powell was taken to St Osyth, in Essex, on the back of an artic to have her rotting larch replaced with African hardwood iroko by boatbuilder Brian Kennell.

The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCAN The Baden Powell, an old wash fishing boat, has been rebuilt by volunteers and is back in the water at Lynn Docks for the final stages of its restoration. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

None of this work came cheap. The trust has raised more than £100,000, while work has been part-funded by a £67,300 lottery grant. Once the hull was sound, the boat returned to Terrington, where volunteers led by project leader Mr Clayton got to work on fitting her out.

“We have had a hard core of six or seven volunteers who over the years have worked on her one day a week,” said Mr Hill.

Now afloat in Lynn Docks, Chris Ward, Dave Jennings and John Buckle are putting the finishing touches to Baden Powell before she sails up the Great Ouse next month, where she will be moored near Marriott’s Warehouse.

Visitors will be able to see her during Heritage Open Day on Sunday, September 10.

Each summer, she will offer boat trips to give Lynners and visitors an insight into the town’s proud fishing and maritime heritage.

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