Delight as Baden Powell returns to the water at King’s Lynn docks

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.
The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

She hasn’t seen water for more than two decades, but years of painstaking work have now paid off for volunteers behind the restoration of a historic Lynn fishing boat.

The Baden Powell was lifted into the town’s docks yesterday afternoon and could be just weeks away from sailing on open water once again.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing to install its mast.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing to install its mast.

Tim Clayton, one of the volunteers who has worked on the project, said: “She’s back where she should be. It’s a great day.”

The boat was brought from Terrington St John, where much of the restoration work has been undertaken, to the docks on a lorry before a crane lifted her into the water.

After checking for leaks, the boat’s engine was tested before the mast was raised.

It has taken six years to restore the vessel, which was originally built around the turn of the 20th century.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

Among those watching the historic occasion was George Solly, who recalled sailing on the Baden Powell as a boy.

He said: “It’s wonderful. I’ve been to see it being worked on from time to time.

“My father was sailing on it 60 or 70 years ago. It’s our history, our heritage.”

Vic Pratt, who worked on the original boat, added: “They took it on and they’ve done a good job with it.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

“A lot of hard work has gone into bringing it back to how it is.”

The restoration team are now hoping to undertake sea trials, with a view to having the boat back on open water towards the end of this month.

She will remain docked at Lynn until Heritage Open Day in September, when a welcome party is due to take place at the pontoons near Hanse House.

Mr Clayton thanked the Lynn dockmasters for their support of the project and paid tribute to all the volunteers and supporters who have backed the project since it began.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

The Baden Powell at King's Lynn Docks Preparing for it's launch.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts for the project are continuing with a competition to guess the weight of the boat.

The lorry transporting her was weighed when it arrived at the docks and again when it left. The actual weight is set to be revealed on Heritage Open Day, with the nearest estimate winning £30 and a seat on one of the first river trips.

Entries are £1 each, or £5 for six attempts. Estimates, with cheques made payable to the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust, should be taken to the trust’s office or posted to 23 Chapel Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1EG.