From the Daily Star
WHEN I was a child, the classic tale Swallows And Amazons made me dream of disappearing into the wilds with nothing but a boat, a tent and a big pointy stick.
While so much tech and TV dominates the downtime of kids today, I wanted to give my two a proper adventure and the graceful rivers of the Norfolk Broads provided the ultimate escape from modern life. And the graceful waters of the Norfolk Broads provided the ultimate escape from modern life. Despite my meagre sailing experience, I was assured by Andy and Anne at Eastwood Whelpton, one of the oldest and most respected boatyards in Norfolk, that this was no obstacle to an amazing Broads holiday.
The yard was established by Tim and Anne Whelpton in 1959. Tim is an ex-Olympian and boat builder who created and crewed Crossbow I & II, which held the world record for speed sailing in the 1980s at over 40mph. He also built many of the beautiful traditional boats rented out from the yard. Over the week I heard many tales from locals about this inspiring pair, who enthusiastically shared their knowledge and skills with sailors and boat builders across the Broads.
Eastwood Whelpton now have six traditional Norfolk sailing boats for more experienced sailors, and two Bermudian boats for those who need something easier to handle.
By coincidence, to mark the launch of the latest Swallows And Amazons movie based on the Arthur Ransome book, the superbly crafted sailing boat Swallow from the 1974 film was visiting the yard when we arrived.