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Historic Norfolk Broads boathouse restored to former glory

PUBLISHED: 21:09 19 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:40 21 August 2014

Restoration of the Victorian boathouse at Fairhaven Water Garden is finished.
Louise Rout with Lord Fairhaven.

Picture: James Bass

Restoration of the Victorian boathouse at Fairhaven Water Garden is finished. Louise Rout with Lord Fairhaven. Picture: James Bass

One of the last traditional thatched boathouses on the Broads has been restored thanks to strong support from the public.

The £35,000 restoration of Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden’s 19th century boathouse is complete, just xxx after garden trustees launched an appeal to save it.

Yesterday, trustees, staff, individuals and organisations who contributed to the project, whether they helped promote it or donated cash to buy new reed, gathered in the garden to celebrate the project’s successful conclusion.

“It’s a dream come true to see the restored building, which will last at least another 50 years before re-thatching is required,” said Louise Rout, garden manager.

“Our key aim at Fairhaven is to preserve the garden for future generations, and it is wonderful that the boathouse’s future is now secure.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported our appeal to restore the boathouse and our contractors A & R Kelly who have done such a fantastic job. “We have wanted to restore the boathouse for a number of years and have gradually been raising funds.

“We would very much like to hear from organisations and individuals who could help contribute further donations towards the project, or support our autumn tree planting campaign.”

Just over £30,000 was raised for the boathouse project. Supporters included New Anglia LEP, Geoffrey Watling Charity, John Jarrold Trust, The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich and Fairhaven Primary School, who ran a special fundraising day. Individuals have also contributed to the appeal by sponsoring sheafs of local Ranworth reed, sedge, or hazel brotch pins for the roof and buying ‘boathouse cakes’ in the tearoom.

Donations can be made online at www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/fairhaven​ or in person at Fairhaven Garden, School Road, South Walsham, NR13 6DZ.

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