Sailmaker joins crew restoring historic Norfolk fishing boat

Volunteers restoring the Baden Powell, a unique 'double-ender' built by the Worfolks of King's Lynn, hope to bring her back to the town's waterfront in the New Year.

As work continues on her wooden hull, at a barn in Terrington, a specialist sailmaker has been engaged to construct her canvasses.

Steven Hall, who is based at Tollesbury, near Maldon in Essex, has made enormous canvasses for restored Thames sailing barges.

His business doesn't have a website, while his workshop runs without computerised aids, relying on pencil, paper and a measuring tape, followed by needle, thread and vintage sewing machines.

After measuring Baden Powell's hull, Mr Hall has now gone back to his drawing board, to come up with a suitable sail pattern for the vessel.

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The craftsman, who owns a boat built by the Worfolks and has sailed in one of her sister ships, said: 'There's another Worfolk boat, the Lily May, down here in Essex. I've sailed in her and remember her well. Those Worfolk boats – there's a bit extra about them.'

Baden Powell was built in 1900 to fish The Wash for cockles. Her design meant she could ground on a sandbank at low tide, while her crew would dig up the shellfish and load them into the boat for the journey back to Lynn.

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The Worfolk Boat Trust hopes to restore her to a seaworthy condition, so she can take passengers up and down the Ouse to learn about Lynn's rich maritime heritage.

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