Flotilla of historic boats steam out into North Sea as part of regatta
PUBLISHED: 11:18 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 31 July 2018
Picture: REG HOLL
Almost a century of fishing heritage went on show as a flotilla of whelkers, crab and mussel boats took part in a regatta.
The Saturday evening event was hosted in Wells Harbour by charity Rescue Wooden Boats, whose mission is to conserve historic vessels.
Wendy Pritchard, a founding trustee, said the regatta could not have been better.
She said the weather provided a stunning backdrop to the brief voyage into the North Sea.
Ms Pritchard said: “The boats steamed out of the harbour into a squall and then back again.
“We had a wonderful display of the heritage an how important it was to local families.
“I think it was quite moving for people to see it.”
Ms Pritchard said much of the credit for the event’s success should go to David Hewitt, a Stiffkey boat builder, who has restored or worked on many of the four whelkers, 13 crab boats and one mussel flat that took part.
Knot, a whelker, was the oldest boat there, she was built in 1938 by R E Emery.
Knot was manned by fisherman Andy MacCallum.
Whelker Sally, built in 1939, was also part of the flotilla.
The newest boats that were there were crab boat Valerie Teresa built by David Hewitt in 1989 and Auk also built by David Hewitt in 2014.
Some fishermen were aboard in their former boats for the voyage.
Roger Seago, who was there in crab boat Jonathan James, said he was “over the moon” at how the event had gone.
Our Boys, now owned by Robin West, was built by the Emery family in Sheringham.
Jonathan Emery was aboard and said: “My first trip in a family-built boat.
“Our Boys was built 1950 by my grandfather and two uncles.”
The fishermen and Rescue Wooden Boats members also met people by the harbour side to talk about their boats and tell their stories.
Rescue Wooden Boats, which has already restored the much loved former Wells lifeboat Lucy Lavers, is currently fundraising to restore Bessie.
A former whelker built in 1935, Bessie has been officially recognised as a Dunkirk Little Ship.
For more information about Rescue Wooden Boats, visit www.rescuewoodenboats.com.