Huge turnout of Norfolk-built boats at Beccles Quay

A huge turnout of Norfolk-built boats lined up at Beccles Quay. Picture: Courtesy of Broom Owners Cl

A huge turnout of Norfolk-built boats lined up at Beccles Quay. Picture: Courtesy of Broom Owners Club eastern region - Credit: Archant

An annual rally has attracted a fine turnout – with more than 20 motor cruisers showcasing a passion for Britain's oldest boat-builder.

One of the largest gatherings of Norfolk-built Broom boats descended on Beccles Quay over the Bank Holiday weekend, when enthusiasts from the Broom Owners Club eastern region met for their annual rally.

With pennants, bunting and flags flying on the 24 motor cruisers, more than five decades – ranging from classic 1960's wooden craft to the latest sleek ocean-going models – were showcased as the boats provided quite a spectacle to visitors to the quay.

All were built at Brundall by Britain's oldest boat-builder Broom Boats, which has operated from the site near Norwich since 1898.

Jane Neale, a spokesman for Broom Owners Club, said: 'We have had an excellent weekend with lovely weather. Our club loves Beccles. Its a great place to moor, the quay has just been upgraded and it is an excellent place to see 24 boats.

'If put end to end, the Beccles line up would stretch 300 metres (1000') and includes boats which have travelled from as far away as Holland. Our love of boating and the Broads bring us to this area.'

After a tea party on Sunday afternoon, members celebrated with the ceremonial cutting of a specially decorated Broom cake, made by member Jo Haigh from Stalham. There was also a chance for members to see the Waveney Stardust cruiser over the weekend, and the Broom Owners Club will be supporting the Waveney Stardust charity with funds raised at the club's AGM raffle.

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This year was the third annual rally, and already plans are in the pipeline for next year's gathering.

'We are hoping to book 28 boats for next year,' Ms Neale said. 'It is a pretty unique group, with boats of various shapes and sizes, and it really lovely when they are all together for the public to see.'

The club has been in operation since 2004 and as well as providing an opportunity to showcase the boats in the eastern region, the annual rally included a first aid session and a talk from an invited guest during an end-of-rally meal.