Well, September was quite a month for Wherry Maud Trust.

We started gently with a very pleasant day trip to Ranworth and back on the Saturday the 3rd.

Things were about to start getting busy!

The plan was to sail Maud to How Hill on Friday 9th September. You may remember the heavy rain and flooding that day. Had it not been for our appointment to sail on Barton Broad with Pleasure Wherry Hathor the following day we might have been tempted to cancel. Nearly all those who had booked on the trip managed to get to Womack in time for the afternoon departure. The skies looked “interesting” but the trip passed with only a few spots of light drizzle.

There was a memorable time spent listening on the radio to our new King’s message as we neared How Hill.

On the Saturday Maud left for Barton before Hathor. The wind was “on the nose” and the crew quanted for a while before the skipper Neil decided we could use the tender to push Maud up the Ant and onto Barton, where we had a pleasant sail round. The crew of Hathor had no such luxury, they quanted all the way and did not arrive on Barton until lunchtime. We rafted the two wherries together and enjoyed some time on each other’s boats. After lunch the two wherries sailed together as planned. We must try to do that more often.

The Trustees of Wherry Maud are always keen to support Heritage Open Days and for the first time two wherries built by Halls of Reedham, Maud and Hathor, were open for viewing on the same day, Sunday 11th September. In the morning willing volunteers arrived at How Hill Staithe to find that Wherry Yacht Charter had already erected their gazebo and were preparing to sell coffee, teas and cakes to all our visitors. That was much appreciated by our volunteers as well as the visitors. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had a steady stream of people who demonstrated great interest in our two lovely wherries, each one fitted out for a completely different purpose. Maud stayed overnight at How Hill.

Group of visitors in Maud’s hold, learning about her history – photo by Hilary Edmondson

The destination for Monday’s trip was the Museum of the Broads at Stalham. Once again, we negotiated the narrow river up to Barton and had a sail round before the skipper noticed the black clouds gathering and decided that we should hasten to moor up at the Museum before the rain started. Just in time. As we finished packing up the first drops of rain fell.

On the 14th and 15th September we were open for the visitors of the Museum. It was relatively quiet but that meant we had time to discuss wherries, sometimes at length with some people. The Museum is closed on Fridays and Saturdays and so our next Maud viewing was on Sunday 18th. On that day both the Museum and Maud were open as part of Heritage Open Days and we were much busier. We gained some new members who then booked on Tuesday the 20th trip back to our base at Womack.

A few days after Maud’s return to Womack the last event in September was a Man Overboard course for 12 members of crew. It was a valuable practice session to ensure correct rescue techniques are learnt and practised.