Arthur Ransome’s Nancy Blackett entered the Norfolk Broads on Saturday (7th July) for the first time in over 20 years, as part of her East Coast summer cruise.
She passed through Oulton railway swing bridge and the lifting road bridge, and then Mutford Lock at about 11am to enter Oulton Broad. Then, with Japanese Ransome fan Tomoko Sakagami among the crew – and equipped with the correct Broads paraphernalia (mud-weight, rond anchors and a quant pole) – she proceeded, partly under sail, up the River Waveney to spend the night at Beccles.
Nancy Blackett is planning to spend about a week on the Broads’ southern system. She was last here in 1996, when the Nancy Blackett Appeal was raising funds to buy her, and Nancy Blackett Trust founder Peter Willis, and Andy Morley, one of the present crew, visited her at the Vintage Wooden Boat Association’s rally at Brundall Bay Marina.
Nancy Blackett’s journey to the Broads was a particularly challenging one; it may have appeared lovely weather ashore, but along the coast offshore there were strong winds, the effects of a strong sea breeze, and a flood tide against them.
The crew managed to get Nancy Blackett to her planned destination, whilst also enjoying visits to the rivers inbetween, including Waldringfield on the Deben, Orford on the Ore, and Southwold.
Full details of this and Nancy Blackett’s other voyages are in the newsletters which we sent to the members of the Nancy Blackett Trust. You can join the Trust here and also have the chance to sail Nancy Blackett herself.
– Peter Willis and John Smith