King’s Lynn boat closes in on its return to water

The Baden Powell Boat arrives back at Terrngton St John after part restoration.
The Baden Powell Boat arrives back at Terrngton St John after part restoration.

The timetable for the installation of the Baden Powell craft on the Ouse in Lynn has been detailed in the latest Worfolk Boat Trust newsletter.

The boat will be in the town’s docks in July, on the river in August and the first sailings are to take place in September.

The double-ended fishing smack built by the Worfolk boatyard in 1900 has been completely rebuilt from scratch in the past years.

It was mainly restored down at a boatyard in St Osyth, Essex, but is now back at Terrington St John.

It will be moved from there to Lynn Docks in July to be craned into the water for the final preparations, such as balancing the three tons of ballast so that she sits and sails properly.

Engine trials and stepping the mast on to its bearer on the keelson will also be undertaken.

When the tide is right in August, the Baden Powell will come through the dock entrance and back once again on to the Ouse.

A naming ceremony will take place at the pontoon near Marriott’s Warehouse on the South Quay.

Invitations have been extended to descendants of the Cook family, who took delivery of the original boat in 1900.

Also invited are descendants of General Robert Baden-Powell. It was his brilliant defence of Mafeking in the Boer War that led the Cook family to name the boat after him.

Local Scouts will also be in attendance to pay tribute to the man who went on to found their movement in 1908.

In September the first passengers, whose contributions will pay for maintenance, will join the Baden Powell at the pontoons and go up and down the river.

The theme of the trip for passengers will be the establishment of Lynn as a trading port from medieval times and famous navigators, including Lynn’s very own George Vancouver, will be celebrated.

Volunteers are still needed to get the project finished on time, including a blacksmith and someone to manage the Friends group, who will be undertaking fundraising for the boat in the future.