Norfolk Oak for a Norfolk Wherry

Press release by Mike Barnes 21 March 2019

Part of the press release below was used in the online version of the Eastern Daily Press and then in the printed copy on 27th March.

“The Wherry Maud Charitable Trust has recently secured a large stock of oak in readiness for their next round of hull maintenance, due to commence in July of 2020.

An appeal to the Trust’s patron, Sir Richard Jewson KCVO JP, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, led to a meeting with Edward Brun of the Clackmannan Woodland Trust, who was able to offer a prime sample of English oak recently felled in the process of normal estate management of the woodland around Sandringham.

Mike Barnes, a Trustee for Wherry Maud, selected the timber and arranged conversion of the log into sawn boards 1½ inches thick, that will be left to partially air dry until ready for use next summer.

Taking the First Slice off the Log
Taking the first slice off the log.

Examination of the annular rings of the log, revealed the tree to have been planted in the reign of King George III around 1775, but of particular note was a very tight collection of annular rings that were identified as occurring around 1816.  This was known as the year without a summer, consequent to what has latterly been termed a volcanic winter event, caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies.  The effects were felt throughout Europe and gave rise to amongst other things, the Irish potato famine.

The Level Surface Created to Facilitate Sawing into Planks
The level surface created to facilitate sawing into planks.

The log was expertly sawn by Neil Richardson, who recently took over the saw mill at Edingthorpe on the death of his father, Kenny, at the end of last year.”

The shorter one of the resulting stacks of sawn timber. The other stack is 20’ long.
The shorter one of the resulting stacks of sawn timber. The other stack is 20’ long.