Drama! When the barge Matilda Upton hit Southend Pier

Percy Blandford’s favourite Broads hire cruiser

David Goodall has been in touch to tell us about Tearose, his Norfolk Broads cruising yacht. It’s a nice story…

‘In 2011 I bought an abandoned Norfolk Broads River cruiser that at an earlier time had been owned by Hearts Cruisers of Thorpe, Norwich, under the name of
Three of Hearts. She has been Tearose since she was sold out of hire.

‘At the time, little did I know she had once been a hire boat favourite of Percy Blandford (apparently he hired her several times).

‘I still find this an astonishing coincidence, as I’ve been a devotee of Mr Blandford ever since I was at school, after my woodwork teacher encouraged me to read him.

‘After I bought the boat a friend happened to mention that it was known for appearing in some old woodworking books.

‘I asked around the Broads for a couple of years, and finally it turned out that Three of Hearts had appeared in books by Percy Blandford, of which I still had 12… Looking through them, I found two photos of her in Holidays Afloat.

‘As I look around, I suspect she’ll probably turn up in other books of Blandford. 

‘The irony of is that I bought Tearose while old Percy was still alive, but didn’t know it. I only recently saw your article for his 100th birthday. (It turns out I also shared his birthday, the 26th October.

‘I would have loved to let him know Three of Hearts/Tearose was going to be saved, for she was in a sorry state. She has needed a new hog, floor beams, some planking, timbers and seemingly endless sundry jobs to get her in. She’s still a work in progress of course. 

‘I’m guessing he took his family sailing, and I wonder whether his granddaughter ever went aboard? 

‘Anyhow, here is the picture of Tearose from his book. I hope nobody minds!’

Thanks David!