'Summer holiday!': When Sir Cliff Richard brought youth group trips to the Norfolk Broads

Cliff Richard on holiday in the Norfolk Broads in 1969

Before he was knighted, Cliff Richard on holiday in the Norfolk Broads as a leader for the Crusaders' Christian youth group. Dated: 1969 - Credit: Archant Library

He has sold over 250 million records globally in a pop music career that has spanned decades.

And Sir Cliff Richard is still going strong. He is due to embark on The Great 80 Tour later this year in October after postponing it due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions.  

Cliff Richard concert at Blickling Hall in 2004

Cliff Richard concert at Blickling Hall. Dated: 2004. - Credit: Archant Library

Many of Sir Cliff's fans will fondly remember his Norfolk gigs at the likes of Euston Hall in Thetford and the Blickling Hall Estate. But did you know that Sir Cliff is no stranger to visiting Norfolk as a tourist too? 

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Sir Cliff took at least five summer or Easter holidays on the Norfolk Broads.

Cliff Richard relaxing on a cruiser during a Norfolk Broads holiday in 1969

Cliff Richard relaxing on a cruiser during a Norfolk Broads holiday as a leader for the Crusaders' Christian youth group from north London. Dated: April 7, 1969. - Credit: Archant Library

He came on these trips as one of the leaders for parties of up to 30 north London schoolboys who were members of the Crusaders' Union, a Christian youth and bible study group.  

Sir Cliff began these breaks in villages like Wroxham and Potter Heigham and is known to have popped into Lathams and other local Norfolk shops to buy supplies during these vacations.    

Cliff Richard at Potter Heigham in 1972.

Cliff Richard at Potter Heigham. Date: April 1, 1972. - Credit: Archant Library

Sir Cliff Richard at the helm of a cruiser on the Norfolk Broads in 1970

Sir Cliff Richard at the helm of a cruiser on the Norfolk Broads in 1970. From the EDP archive available online at localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library


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The Crusaders and leaders would hire cruisers to embark on a voyage around the Broads and surrounding areas. They sailed in the day making occasional trips ashore followed by singing, religious instruction and bible study in the evenings. 

In 1969, a spokesperson for the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company said: "They were very well behaved in every single way and they seemed to enjoy their holiday very much."

Sir Cliff Richard stands on top of a cruiser waving a brush on the Norfolk Broads in 1968.

Sir Cliff Richard stands on top of a cruiser waving a brush on the Norfolk Broads in 1968. From the EDP archive available online at localrecall.co.uk. - Credit: Archant Library

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When asked about what comes to mind when he thinks of Norfolk and Suffolk, Sir Cliff said: "Easter-time on the Norfolk Broads. As a member of Finchley Crusaders way back in the seventies we used to take a bunch of kids cruising and sailing. Great memories!"

Have you ever bumped into Sir Cliff or other celebrities on the Broads? 

Contact benjamin.craske@archant.co.uk if you have and would like to share your memories. 

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