The hoveller fishing boat used by Cromer’s legendary lifeboat coxswain Henry Blogg this week arrived at Stalham for restoration by volunteers working with the Museum of the Broads, Stalham.
Old Henry was heavily decorated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and like all RNLI lifeboatman was a volunteer – he made his living catching the famous Cromer crabs.
The hoveller fishing boat differs from other fishing boats as it had a small deck at the bows enabling the fishermen to carry a small stove to boil water and make tea – which is of course essential for any boat belonging to Englishman, particularly if they’re working on the cold North Sea.
The boat is named the QJ&J – Queenie, Jack and Jim – and was named after Henry’s family members.
There have been a number of attempts over the years to save the historically important boat made from ash, larch and oak. Sadly, by the time it reached the museum, the stern was too bad to restore.
The plan is to restore the bow and return her to her Cromer home for exhibition next year.
This Thames lock-keeper’s punt was a featured of Chris Partridge’s childhood and having come down to him through his family, he’s sorting it out ready to put back on the water.
I must say I’m intrigued, as it’s a boat type I haven’t been aware of up to now. Read about it here – and no doubt in later Rowing for Pleasure weblog posts as Chris’s project makes progress.
Professional Essex boat builder, restorer, travelling boat maintenance man and enthusiastic weblogger Simon Papendick (read his stuff here) is setting up a register of vessels built by the Whitstable firm of Anderson, Rigden and Perkins, and is calling for owners to get in touch.
Contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The boat photographed above is Simon’s Anderson, Rigden and Perkins-built Gadfly II before its current refit.
Part of the the aim is to demonstrate the range of yachts that Anderson, Rigden and Perkins built, and to provide a forum for yacht owners to get in touch with each other, piece together bits of history, help each other with technical issues and so on.
The company is the subject of a book by Faversham boat builder Alan Staley, but I gather there are gaps in the history because many of the records were burnt in a fire at the boatyard, while other material was destroyed after a local library was unable to provide a home for them.
Looking around the World Wide Web, I notice that there’s this article from The Whitstable Times that neatly summarises the Anderson, Rigden and Perkins’ history – which includes motor boats, vessels for the Admiralty and a lot of repair work during World War II. However, it likely dates from before the period of its success with the well known fibreglass Anderson 22 lifting keel sailing cruiser and racer.