Tag Archives: Norfolk

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.

Day trip from Womack to Ranworth and back

7 May day trip

Well, who would believe such a change in the weather since our last trip on 17th April?

The 17th April photo of people on the foredeck showed us all in nice, warm clothing, but 3 weeks later there we were in brilliant sunshine, wearing tee shirts and even with a touch of sunburn by the end of the day.

On board the wherry Maud, May 7th 2016.

We left Womack at about 10.30 and had a gentle sail round to Ranworth, arriving on the Broad sometime after 1pm for shore leave. Soon we heard the wonderful sound of the bells of the church ringing out for a wedding and learnt that Neil Thomas’s wife Nikki was one of the team ringing.

On the return trip to Womack we were helped by the tide but hindered by a head wind on some reaches. We left the sail up and used the engine in the tender to push us when needed. As often happens we had a fair wind on the last reach before the entrance to Womack and were sorry to have to lower sail.

There was an experimental element to the trip. We do have quite a few members who are dog owners and whose pooches are quite happy on board boats. So, with the consent of all those on board, Tom was allowed to bring Pip and Mollie with him.

Mollie the Collie on board Maud.

Mollie the Collie (above) enjoyed all the attention from dog-loving members and didn’t tire of chasing a stick thrown a short distance for her in the hold.

Maud passenger Pip the dog

Pip, a much larger dog, was quite happy as long as Tom wasn’t far away.

Other members will be sending photos and they will be put onto our website once received. Watch this space.

Rigging Out

Rigging out

On Sunday 20 March volunteers gathered together to put Maud’s gaff back on board and to re-rig.

Nobody present had rigged a wherry before! A copy of David Bray’s instructions were produced and followed and each stage, once correct, was photographed for future use and to put in our manual. Once assembled, all components were diligently tested by the “A team” and pronounced ready for use.

After lacing the sail onto the gaff and making some final connections we were ready to have a test sail. There was a good wind and we had a brisk sail down to Clippesby. The following day there were pictures to prove it on Facebook. Not many wherries are out sailing in March. It’s our ambition to be the first in the year whenever possible.