Glory days of St Olaves speedboat firm to be recreated on Oulton Broad

They were speedboats coveted by the rich and famous around the world that were made in a Norfolk village.

Luminaries such as shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, actress Brigitte Bardot, comedian George Formby, Dr Who star Jon Pertwee and the Rothschild banking family all admired the sleek and fast-moving Albatross Marine speedboats which were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s in St Olaves, near Great Yarmouth.

About 1,200 speedboats were made by Albatross Marine and the craft were also given the royal seal of approval as one was presented to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954 and another was given to the Prince of Greece.

And to celebrate the graceful craft, more than a dozen Albatross speedboats will be gathering in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, on Monday, August 27 to take part in three races.

People in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire who may have one of the boats or would like to see them in action are being urged to turn up for the day.

As the powerboats plough the Broad's waters, it will also bring back memories of how Albatross Marine, which was set up in 1946 by Archie Peace, ruled the waves in the 1950s and 1960s by exporting models around the world.

The boats, either two and four seaters, became popular as they coincided with the craze of water skiing sweeping the globe and at an average price of �600 they were seen as a reasonable cost for anyone who wanted to race on the waves.

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Next month's races have been organised by enthusiast John Fildes, from West Sussex, who has had a 1960 A1 Albatross speedboat for the last four years, and Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club.

Mr Fildes runs a website called Albatross Marine to help other speedboat owners by offering boat parts, sales information and other details on the boats and the company's history.

He said: 'Albatross Marine speedboats were for the flash men of the 1950s and 1960s.

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for me they are beautiful boats; it is just their shape, engine and how they feel.

'I created my website to keep the memory of Albatross Marine alive and that is why we are also having these races.'

Anyone interested in taking part in the races or wants more information about the day in August should call Mr Fildes on 07899 097615 or email

His website can be found at

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