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Volunteers produce books on Broads museum exhibits and related topics

PUBLISHED: 15:10 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 02 February 2018

Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Volunteers working at a Broads museum have produced five fascinating books covering exhibits and topics relating to the area.

The Museum of the Broads has produced five books giving fascinating insight into the area. Image: Courtesy Museum of the Broads The Museum of the Broads has produced five books giving fascinating insight into the area. Image: Courtesy Museum of the Broads

The books will be sold to help raise money for the Museum of the Broads located in Stalham Staithe.

Museum trustee Caroline Male said subjects covered in the five books included Maria, the last Norfolk Broads lateener; Falcon, the museum’s Victorian steamboat launch; the Norfolk Keel, a sailing boat which predated the wherry; a book on Broads memories; and sailing on the Broads.

All five are available to buy from the museum for £3 each.

“We decided to publish these books because many people visiting the museum wanted more information on some of the exhibits they had seen or heard about,” she said.

Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

“This allows them to take the information home with them.”

She said the books were produced by the museum’s volunteer documentation team made up of Derek Allday, Sally Kirwan and John Gladwell.

“They give some fascinating information into the topics they cover.

“For instance, a lot of people ask about the Norfolk Keel, the design of which is thought to originate from the long ships of Scandanavia and the book goes into the history of the vessel.”

The Museum of the Broads has produced five books giving fascinating insight into the area. Image: Courtesy Museum of the Broads The Museum of the Broads has produced five books giving fascinating insight into the area. Image: Courtesy Museum of the Broads

One of the museum’s star attractions is Maria, the fastest racing yacht in the 1800s and one of the books is dedicated to her history.

Maria was built from 1825 to 1827 at Brown’s boatyard in Great Yarmouth and is a lateener, having a twin masted design known as a lateen rig.

She was built for John Bellamy Plowman for his daughter, Maria’s 21st birthday.

“We plan to produce another five this year and are looking at other subjects we can cover,” said Mrs Male.

The Museum of the Broads. Picture: Mark Bullimore The Museum of the Broads. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Started in 1996 to ensure an impressive collection of historical items related to the Broads was properly conserved, the museum has just two salaried staff and relies heavily on it’s 80-strong volunteer workforce.

Its collection of items has grown over the years and features exhibits ranging from the formation of the Broads, industry, wildlife, holidays, and a number of boats.

The museum will re-open on March 21 and is open Sunday to Friday and closed on Saturday’s.

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