The local vicar blest the splendid Victorian gentleman’s racing cutter Leila this past weekend, and hard-working Leila Sailing Trust crew responsible for restoring her showed visitors round the boat in Southwold Harbour this weekend.
I should say that the work has been carried out by Trust volunteers and local yard Harbour Marine Services, with funding support from the National Lottery.
Naturally, they also had a bit of a party at Southwold Sailing Club, not to mention a session in the old Harbour Inn. All in all it was a great outing, as you will have guessed, and it was great to run into Leila Sailing Trust stalward Rob Bull once again, as well as some local music pals.
I’ll put up some more photos of Southwold and roundabout shortly.
For more posts about Leila, click here.
Reprobate pirates celebrating at Southwold Sailing Club
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:
‘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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
One of Southwold’s best attractions for boat enthusiasts is the Alfred Corry Museum, a small museum by the harbour where the main attraction is the lifeboat named Alfred Corry itself.
The Alfred Corry came into use in 1893 and continued in service until it was withdrawn in 1918. Provided by the Lifeboat Institution, it was built at a time when it was customary to discuss the boat’s size, type and sail plan with local lifeboatmen. The result of their deliberations was that the boat should be and improved 44ft by 13ft Norfolk and Suffolk type, non-self-righting, and capable of being both rowed and sailed. It was to have five tons of water ballast (the boat itself weighed 8.3 tons), and 14 oars – though the finished boat actually had 16.
Not surprisingly, perhaps, the lifeboatmen had their new craft rigged like one of the local beach yawls and fishing punts, with a dipping lug on the foremast and a standing lug on the mizzen.
Over the two and a half decades following her launch, the Alfred Corry was launched 41 times on service, and saved 47 lives.
On retirement she had a long life as a yacht until she was abandoned on the Blackwater, from where she was rescued by John Craigie, great grandson of her original coxswain, also known as John Craigie. The Craigies began the process of repairing the boat (see a clip of her sailing as a yacht here); she has since been restored in her original lifeboat form under the auspices of a charitable trust.
The museum building itself has a story worth telling. Built in 1922 it previously stood on Cromer pier, where it was the home of that town’s lifeboat. It is said to have seen over 1000 lives saved and was of course associated with legendary and highly decorated lifeboatman coxswain Henry George Blogg.
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