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    Categories: AttractionsHistory

Historic vessel prepares to launch onto the Great Ouse

An historic King’s Lynn vessel is preparing to moor close to the Custom House in final preparations for a permanent launch onto the river.

The Baden Powell, built in 1900 by Walter Worfolk, is currently having some
professional attention to her hull in a specialist boatyard in St Osyth, near
Colchester, paid for with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. In August she will be
brought back home by road to a temporary mooring close to the Custom House.

The final work on her superstructure will be carried out there in full public view, before she sails out into the River Great Ouse in 2017 to moor at a buoy nearby.

Then the Baden Powell will start a programme of sailings up and down the
river with paying passengers. For the first time, people will be able to learn from the best possible vantage point how Lynn’s maritime history played such a major role in the development of the town as a trading centre.

She will also be available for sail training by local youth organisations, and
play a full part in river activities.

The King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust is expanding its trustee team to prepare for the
arrival of the restored Baden Powell in the Outer Purfleet in August. New trustee Julie Williams becomes Secretary, while Ken Hill will continue with publicity and newsletters.

Julie brings a lot of experience to her new role, and has already been a great
help in our fund-raising events. Four years ago she took voluntary redundancy after
thirty years in banking, and is a volunteer fundraiser at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Julie Williams

Tim Clayton, Project Leader, and Dr Paul Richards, Chairman, stay on
board to helm and navigate, while Ron Gray, Dave Hart, Chris Ward and John
Woodford continue to make the new parts that will complete the restoration over the
winter months, with guidance from ex-Worfolk apprentice Vic Pratt. College of West
Anglia engineering lecturer Mark Haizelden has also volunteered, to oversee the
installation of the renovated Thornycroft diesel engine that will provide the power
option for the Baden Powell out in the River Great Ouse and The Wash. Her first
engine was installed in the 1920s, and the Thornycroft is an identical model of the
engine that powered her in her last years as a working boat.

The boat’s first owners, the prominent Cook fishing family, gave her the name
Baden Powell because he was a major national hero at the time, following his
exploits during the Boer War, including the Relief of Mafeking. He went on to start
the Scout movement in 1907.

The recent Baden Powell Is Coming exhibition at the Custom House attracted
628 visitors, and raised £376.71.

 

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