Adventurer’s legacy to Wells

He was a man who loved adventure, loved Wells and loved others sharing in his passion for the sea.

And a touching legacy from world famous sailor Frank Dye was handed over to young adventurers of the future on Saturday in the town which became his home.

Intrepid Frank Dye travelled tens of thousands of miles around in the world - including across the North Sea to Norway and Iceland - in the four 15ft 10inch Wayfarer sailing dinghies all called Wanderer he owned during his career.

He experienced mountainous seas, and gales up to force 11 and numerous capsizes and broken masts.

Mr Dye - who was born in Watton and settled in Wells after falling in love with the town - died in May aged 82 and in his will left the last of his Wayfarers to the Wells Scouts Group and money to have it fully restored.

And the youngsters who will be able to learn in the vessel got their first sight of it as it was delivered on Saturday.

Strong winds meant it could not be launched but it will help train young sailors for many years to come.

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Trevor Carr, group Scout leader at Wells, said: 'Frank was passionate about sailing, passionate about adventure and loved Norfolk. Adventure is at the core of Scouting and this fantastic legacy of Frank's Wayfarer will help us carry forwards Frank's spirit of adventure to more young people.

'The Wayfarer is a brilliant boat to teach children how to sail in.'

Many of Mr Dye's expeditions were shared with his wife Margaret, who lives in Norwich, and she watched on Saturday as the young Scouts climbed aboard the Wanderer.

'I hope the kids have as much fun in it as we did and I am so happy seeing them in it. Aren't they lucky? Frank would be really touched and proud.

'He would not say anything as he was a quiet and private man but he would be really touched.'

Mrs Dye - who was known as 'Frank's Crew' - added: 'Frank was very keen on young people learning about sailing and it gives them respect for conditions and self reliance. 'She is a wonderful, incredible boat and we had wonderful times in her. She has done thousands and thousands of miles and she was a home as we travelled.'