Nancy Blackett is next year’s cover star

One of the most ubiquitous and widely recognised publications in south Suffolk is to feature Arthur Ransome’s Nancy Blackett on the front of its 2017 edition.

The Harwich Haven Authority’s Yachting Guide to Harwich Harbour and its rivers is widely distributed to yacht and sailing clubs, chandleries and all sorts of other places where sailors could pick up a copy free of charge. 25,000 copies are printed each year.

The Authority’s decision to feature Nancy Blackett followed a suggestion by one of the Nancy Blackett Trust’s newer members, Simon Jackson, who worked there as a river pilot until his recent retirement. The Authority enthusiastically took up the idea, and set up a photo session with its own photographer Gary Heath, and the use of one of its pilot boats to provide him with a platform.

On a fine day at the end of August, Nancy Blackett, with skipper Neil Brooks, Simon Jackson, and Trust President Peter Willis aboard, sailed down the river to rendezvous with the pilot boat near Fagbury buoy at the boundary between the Harwich and Ipswich ports.

There followed about two hours of posing and pirouetting (Nancy Blackett, not the crew) in a helpfully light Force 3, and against the various backdrops that Harwich Harbour and the Felixstowe container port can offer, before they tied up at Halfpenny Pier for lunch, and a chance to look round the pretty impressive pilot boat.

The 2017 edition of the Harwich Haven Authority’s Yachting Guide to Harwich Harbour and its Rivers is now available from local yacht and sailing clubs, chandleries and other sailing venues.