Legendary water bike replica takes to the water at Royal Norfolk Show

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story - Credit: Archant

A replica of a famous Canaries-themed vessel that once pedalled the Broads will go on display at the Royal Norfolk Show.

A replica of the famous Canaries mascot that pedalled the broads will be on display at the Royal Nor

A replica of the famous Canaries mascot that pedalled the broads will be on display at the Royal Norfolk Show. Picture:Museum of the Broads - Credit: Archant

With its bespoke design and Canary colours, it was hard to miss this water bike - named Nutty Slack - as it glided its way along the waterways.

Members of the Museum of the Broads have created a working replica of the legendary boat to bring to the Royal Norfolk Show between June 26 and June 27.

Nicola Hems, curator at the museum said: "The Nutty Slack II will be shown for the first time at the Royal Norfolk Show.

"She may be pedalled on the lake in the Broads village, if the water is clear enough.

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story - Credit: Archant


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"The museum's replica will have a pleasant life, promoting the museum and its aim to bring the story of the Broads alive."

After years of gathering dust in a storeroom, the original water bike underwent a major restoration project, allowing its history to finally be told.

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The Museum of the Broads, based at Stalham, was given the unusual item by Norfolk County Council three years ago.

A group of volunteers have been working carefully on its repair.

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads i

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham which received a grant from the association of Independent Museums to bring back to life the bike of the well known Broadland character and Norwich City football fan. Pictured is Bernie Clark and Sally Kirwan Photo by Mark Bullimore

A volunteer from the museum said: "We received a grant from the Association of Independent Museums to enable us to conserve the water bicycle and bring it up to display standard.

"Our volunteers are working closely with a conservator from the Norfolk Museums Service.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to conserve the bicycle and to learn metal conservation skills which we can apply to other items in our collection."

Bert 'Nobby' Clarke was a ferryman from Thorpe who worked a river crossing at Whitlingham.

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads i

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham which received a grant from the association of Independent Museums to bring back to life the bike of the well known Broadland character and Norwich City football fan. Photo by Mark Bullimore

He bought part of the contraption in Wroxham in 1947 and made it his own.

He created vessel which for years was the talk of the waterways. It was entirely pedal powered, with bicycle parts turning two rear-mounted paddle wheels. A steering wheel was fitted onto two floats.

Nobby also worked as a diver for the police and his water bike was apparently used in the recovery of 31 bodies from the river between the 1930s and 1960s.

The Museum of the Broads is interested in finding a relative of Nobby Clarke to help at the official launch at 1.30pm on June 26. Any relatives should contact Ms Hems on 01692 581681.

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story

Nobby Clarke pictures for Rosa McMahon story - Credit: Archant

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads i

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham which received a grant from the association of Independent Museums to bring back to life the bike of the well known Broadland character and Norwich City football fan. Pictured is Bernie Clark Photo by Mark Bullimore

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads i

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham which received a grant from the association of Independent Museums to bring back to life the bike of the well known Broadland character and Norwich City football fan. Photo by Mark Bullimore

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads i

Restoration of Bert 'Nobby' Clarke's water bicycle - The Nutty Slack - at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham which received a grant from the association of Independent Museums to bring back to life the bike of the well known Broadland character and Norwich City football fan. Photo by Mark Bullimore

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