Joe Farrow asks about a fishing boat restoration at Southwold

Southwold fishing boat restoration photographed by Joe Farrow

Southwold fishing boat restoration photographed by Joe Farrow Southwold fishing boat restoration photographed by Joe Farrow Southwold fishing boat restoration photographed by Joe Farrow

Just when I was thinking we’ve been a little low on restoration projects lately, these photos and their accompanying enquiry arrived from Joe Farrow. They’re from the fascinating little harbour at Southwold, which today seems to me to be just the same as it was when I first visited as a kid with my father, four and a half decades ago.

Here’s what Joe says:

‘Hi Gavin,

‘Long time no speak! Today while walking down the harbour at Southwold I spotted something which I hope will interest you.

‘Basically, it’s an old fishing boat, which I suspect many years ago was a sailing vessel. She came out of the water, looking particularly sorry for herself some time ago now. It appears someone is gradually rebuilding her, in so much that they appear to have grafted in two new planks on the port side, and scarfed in new sections of the frames around the bulwarks.

‘I was fascinated, and wondered if anyone knew anymore about her, and so took lots of photos. If they are of use to you and your blog, please do use them!

‘Cheers, Joe’

With that elegant stern I think Joe may be right. Can anyone help him with the background of this boat please? If so, please email me at or use the Comment button below.

For more posts relating to Southwold including the wonderful 19th century gentleman’s yacht Leila, click here.

And finally – if you have a story you’d like to share, do please let me know!

PS – Check the comments link below to read an informative comment on what’s happening with this boat, which turns out to be a bawley (for more posts mentioning bawleys, click here). Also, the photo below is one of the same craft some time ago.

Bawley at Southwold





5 thoughts on “Joe Farrow asks about a fishing boat restoration at Southwold”

  1. In the second photo, there's a ominous length of timber that looks suspiciously like a mast in the making!

  2. This is the 'Alpha' owned by Dick Baldwin, who was a fisherman from Leigh on sea. The Alpha was a bawley form Mersey, used as a fishing boat with big Gardner engine.
    Unfortunatly Dick does not have enough money to pay for restoration. he does it himself when he has the funds. he has replaced lengths of frames and bulwarks, cut new curved deck beams . A number of larch planks have been replaced. We made a steam box, from timber off the beach, first used for the mahogany planks for Leila, and then Dicks. He has succeeded in getting the boat registered on the national Register at the maritime museum.
    Also of interest Dick is now skipper of the 'Excelsior' a restored Lowestoft Trawler.
    Dick needs help to get her back in the water as a sailing bawley!
    First we need to have shipbuilding skilled volenteers to help finish Leila.! Also funds ! Please look on our web site.

  3. Thanks very much Rob!

    I met Dick recently at the Excelsior birthday party.

    Is there anyway you can list your website in a comment for us to see?



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