Wherry Hathor's tour of the Broads

Angi Kennedy The majestic wherry Hathor is taking her annual tour of the Broads this summer and, as ANGI KENNEDY discovered, a special event is planned to help her and her sisters survive for many more trips.

Angi Kennedy

In the past they were the workhorses of the Norfolk Broads, today they are an icon of the area, but what of their future?

As the wherry Hathor tours the Broads this year, two more of these glorious sailing boats will be spending another summer under cover waiting for enough money to be found to repair them.

The wherries Olive and Norada, built in 1909 and 1912 respectively, need extensive restoration and with boats of this size and age that doesn't come cheap. The Hathor too, of course, needs constant maintenance to keep her in good condition.

She was built in 102 years ago by Daniel Hall of Reedham for the Colman family as a pleasure wherry and has Egyptian-influenced decoration. Her summer tour of the Broads always draws great interest, thanks to a schedule of public viewings and sailings, but money is desperately needed to keep these glorious giants of the waterways afloat.

And so, for the first time, this year will see a special fundraising dinner and ceilidh in support of the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust (WYCCT) that was set up in 2002 to protect, restore and sail the three wherries. The WYCCT is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund but more money must be found to fight the never-ending battle against the deterioration of the wherries.

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The event, on August 17 will be at the Wherry Hotel on Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, and falls in the middle of the charity's annual summer wherry tour. Hathor (pronounced Heart-or) will be moored at the hotel and on view exclusively to those attending the event, while there will also be the opportunity to find out more about the WYCCT's work and all three wherries.

Katy Walters, chairman of the Friends of WYCCT, said: “We are really excited about this event, which is something new for us, and we hope people will come along and enjoy a wonderful evening as well as supporting the Trust's work.

“All money raised on the evening will help us to make sure the wherries, which are hugely important pieces of our local heritage, can be enjoyed by generations to come - we look forward to the day when all three can sail side-by-side once again.”

Organiser Pauline Simpson added: “Mooring at the Wherry Hotel was just too good an opportunity to miss. We are very pleased to have such a superb venue, not to mention a fantastic band in the form of Shindig. We've had a great response so far, but there are still tickets left, whether people want to reserve a table for a large group or book in smaller numbers.”

t Tickets for the event, which includes a welcome drink, three-course dinner, and dancing to the ceilidh band Shindig, are £25 each. Bookings can be made via Pauline Simpson on 01692 630674, or tickets can be bought from the Wherry Hotel in person.

t www.wherryyachtcharter.org; www.broads-authority.gov.uk


The wherry Hathor will be open for viewing at these locations during August and September:

t Sat 2 and Sun 3 August Ranworth, 3-8pm Sat, 10-1pm Sun

t Mon 4 South Walsham, 1-3pm, and Upton 5-7pm

t Tue 5 Upton, 10-3pm

t Thu 7 Oulton Broad Wherry Hotel, 10- 8pm

t Fri 8 Lowestoft, noon-5pm

t Sat 9 to Thu 14 Lowestoft, 10-6pm Sat, 10-6pm Sun and 10-5pm Mon to Thus

t Fri 15 and Sun 17 Oulton Broad yacht station, noon-6pm

t Tue 19 Somerleyton, 10-6pm

t Wed 20 Beccles Quay, 4-7pm

t Thu 21 North Cove, noon-3pm

t Fri 22 Aldeby, 1-3pm

t Sat 23 Beccles Quay, 10-6pm

t Sun 24 and Mon 25 Geldeston Locks, 1-3pm

t Tue 26 Beccles Puddingmoor, 10-6pm

t Wed 27 to Sun 31 Geldeston Locks, 1-7pm Wed, noon-7pm Thu, 10-5pm Fri, 11-7pm Sat and 10-5pm Sun.

t Mon 1 Sept Beccles Quay, 10-4pm

t Tue 2 Burgh St Peter, 10-4pm

t Wed 3 St Olaves, 10-2pm and Waveney Forest, 3-5pm

t Thu 4 Burgh Castle, 10-6pm

t Sat 6 and Sun 7 Yarmouth Maritime Festival

t Mon 8 Yarmouth yacht station, 11-6pm

t Tue 9 and Wed 10 Acle Bridge Sept 5-7pm Tue and 10-3pm Wed

And there are still some spaces available on its sailing schedule (transfers are listed in brackets; spaces available at the time of writing):

t Sat 2 Aug, How Hill to Ranworth (coach) £30

t Sun 3 Ranworth to St Benet's Abbey annual service and return £40 including afternoon tea

t Mon 4 Ranworth to South Walsham (coach) £18 and South Walsham to Upton (long guided walk) £12

t Tue 5 Upton to Yarmouth Bure Park (coach) £30

t Wed 6 Yarmouth Bure Park to Oulton Broad (train) £50

t Fri 8 Oulton Broad to Lowestoft (train) £12

t Fri 15 Lowestoft to Oulton Broad yacht station (train) £12

t Sat 16 various sailings from Oulton Broad yacht station around the broad, £12

t Mon 18 Oulton Broad yacht station to Somerleyton (train) £24

t Wed 20 Somerleyton to Beccles Quay (train + short guided walk) £36

t Thu 21 Beccles Quay to North Cove (bus) £12 and North Cove to Beccles Quay (bus) £12

t Fri 22 Beccles Quay to Worlingham (moderate guided walk) £12, Worlingham to Aldeby and return (including guided circular walk at Aldeby) £12 and Worlingham to Beccles (moderate guided walk) £12

t Sun 24 Beccles Quay to Geldeston Locks and return to Beccles Puddingmoor £40 including lunch at pub

t Mon 25 Beccles Puddingmoor to Geldeston Locks (coach) £18 and return to Puddingmoor (coach) £18

t Wed 27 Beccles Puddingmoor to Geldeston Locks (long guided walk) £18

t Thu 28 Geldeston Locks to Geldeston village (short guided walk) £6

t Sat 30 Geldeston village to Geldeston Locks (short guided walk) £6

t Sun 31 Geldeston Locks to Beccles Quay (coach) £12

t Mon 1 Sept Beccles Quay to Burgh St Peter (coach) £18

t Tue 2 Burgh St Peter to St Olaves (coach) £24

t Wed 3 St Olaves to Waveney Forest then to Burgh Castle, including guided circular walk at Waveney Forest, (coach) £24

t Fri 5 Burgh Castle to Yarmouth South Quay (coach) £15

t Mon 8 Yarmouth South Quay to Yarmouth yacht station (no transfer) £5

t Tue 9 Yarmouth yacht station to Acle Bridge (train) £33

t Wed 10 Acle Bridge to Ranworth (coach) £18

t Thu 11 Ranworth to Wroxham Bridge (coach) £36