Lynn fishing boat could soon set sail

In another year or so, a historic Wash fishing boat being restored by volunteers will be ready to set sail again.

The King's Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust, which has just been granted charity status, is renovating the Baden Powell.

The 33ft wooden shellfish boat was built in Lynn in 1899, by Walter Worfolk.

Jeweller Tim Clayton and fellow enthusiasts are replacing parts of her hull, using oak they have been given by landowners from fallen trees - including some timber from the Royal Estate, at Sandringham.

A new keel was fitted over Christmas, and a new stem post will soon be joining it.

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'I don't think we'll be on the water for 12 months or so,' said Mr Clayton. 'There's a long way to go yet but we are moving forward.

'We've got the keel in place and we're now looking at the stem post. It's all volunteeer work, we're having to do the work and fund raise at the same time.'

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While some of the boat's wooden frames will need to be replaced, others may now and some of her original frames could still be there when she is re-launched. Designed originally for sail, the Baden Powell had its first engine fitted in the 1930s, and will need power in order to navigate safely.

But the enthusiasts who are restoring the vessel hope to switch her engine off and see what she can do under sail once she is back on the water again.

Built by renowned Lynn boat builders the Worfolks, the Baden Powell is double-ended, meaning she has a bow at either end.

She was built for cockling and the design meant she could easily be grounded on a mudbank, so her crew could jump over the side to rake in the shellfish.

When they had finished fishing, the boat could easily be pushed off the bank and refloated for the return journey to Lynn.

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