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Cley Quay in north Norfolk is coming back to life

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:34 14 December 2015

Cley-Next-The-Sea Harbour clearance project organiser Simon Read who's trying to to clear the Quay so that boats can sail around it once again. After years of neglect and the river way slitting up and becoming unnavigable.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cley-Next-The-Sea Harbour clearance project organiser Simon Read who's trying to to clear the Quay so that boats can sail around it once again. After years of neglect and the river way slitting up and becoming unnavigable. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

For years Cley Quay has remained a shadow of its former self.

Now, thanks to the efforts of its community, work to restore it back to its former glory is well under way.

And to celebrate, its parish council has organised a special evening of carols to thank all those who have been involved with the Old Harbour Project, in north Norfolk.

Simon Read, co-ordinator of the working party, who organises regular maintenance, said the project had brought a real sense of community to the village, near Holt, and he was excited to be part of the celebrations.

“It’s brought everyone together,” he said. “We have now obtained full planning permission to dredge the immediate harbour wall from Beau Rivage down to Cley Mill. This will involve dredging the eastern bank back to its original harbour wall.”

Cley by the sea Old photograph of Cley Harbour.Cley by the sea Old photograph of Cley Harbour.

In 1637, Lord Calthorpe built a bank across the Glaven, meaning ships could no longer use the harbour and were forced to use quays in the north of Cley. Cley Harbour is the only surviving port of that period.

Although the bank was later removed, the damage had already been done. The building of the present bank in 1824 continued to cause problems and after this date Cley as a port went into terminal decline. Since the First World War it has only been used for pleasure boats.

The proposals involve dredging the eastern bank back to its original harbour wall to provide a turning circle for boats and improved moorings. Mr Read added: “Our aim is to once again make Cley Harbour a focus for the village and, in a smaller way, make it a working harbour once again.”

Work has already begun on clearing some of the reeds, which causes the stretch of the River Glaven to be unnavigable, 
and the dredging stage is hoped to be completed in early 2016.

As a way of celebrating the achievements of all involved with the project, Cley Parish Council has organised Carols on the Quay. The special evening will also aim to fundraise for the project.

“There will be singers, food, a raffle with some great prizes donated from businesses in the village. We are all really looking forward to the evening.”

Mr Read praised the efforts of parish council chairman, Richard Allen, for “getting the ball rolling” on the Old Harbour Project.

Carols on the Quay takes place on Monday, December 21, from 6pm, and will accompany the lighting up of the tree.

Cley Windmill will be opening its shop till 7pm, serving mulled wine and mince pies. Visitors are advised to park in the Village Hall car park for free and walk to the harbour.

For more information about the Old Harbour Project contact Simon Read on 01263 740987 or email kayeread7603@btinternet.com.



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