Norwich’s famous floating restaurant has left the city

Vagabond after being moved from her longstanding mooring in Norwich city centre. Picture: Tom Barret

Vagabond after being moved from her longstanding mooring in Norwich city centre. Picture: Tom Barrett / Broads Authority - Credit: Archant

Norwich’s floating restaurant has left its city centre mooring after more than 30 years.

Vagabond being towed down river by two large tug boats. Picture:Tom Barrett / Broads Authority

Vagabond being towed down river by two large tug boats. Picture:Tom Barrett / Broads Authority - Credit: Archant

Last autumn it was revealed that the floating restaurant, the former Thai on the River, would be moved out of the city.

It was initially hoped the boat, which used to be called Vagabond, could be moved towards the end of 2019 but the move failed to go ahead and the relocation was postponed.

The move was then scheduled to go ahead on March 12, but high winds and subsequent safety concerns led to the relocation being postponed for 24 hours.

Now, after 34 years in her city centre location Vagabond has been towed out of Norwich.

Vagabond being towed out of the city centre under the cover of darkness. Picture: The Broads Authori

Vagabond being towed out of the city centre under the cover of darkness. Picture: The Broads Authority - Credit: Archant


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The move, which was a combined effort from The Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council and Network Rail took place on Friday, March 13.

Vagabond left her mooring at about 11pm, and was towed through Carrow Road Bridge followed by Trowse Rail Bridge by two large tug boats, which were required to help guide the boat along the river.

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After passing through Trowse Rail Bridge she completed her journey at the Deal Ground in Trowse, where work to remove the structure on top of the main vessel will take place.

From there, Vagabond will be towed to Great Yarmouth, where her seaworthiness will be inspected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency before she is allowed to pass through Yarmouth.

Vagabond being towed down river by two large tug boats (pictured) operated by contractors, along wit

Vagabond being towed down river by two large tug boats (pictured) operated by contractors, along with Broads Authority rangers who were also involved to complete the escort. Picture: Broads Authority - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for The Broads Authority said removing Vagabond from the city had been a “complex operation” which had required “a number of factors to align including tide, weather, availability of equipment and ability to safely open the bridges to provide passage”.

They said: “Plans to move the vessel had been rescheduled twice, once falling through due to operational difficulties and secondly on Thursday (as the winds were too high to allow the bridges to safely open).

“Despite the complexities, the operation went smoothly overall and we now await the work being completed at the Deal Ground before Vagabond’s further journey down river.”

A traditional Dutch barge, Vagabond was brought to Norwich in 1986 by the Kemp family, who are still based in the city.

Do you have any memories of Vagabond from over the years? If so we would like to hear from you email your memories to sabrina.johnson@archant.co.uk

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