King’s Lynn’s Baden Powell project highly commended

Baden Powell, October 19, 2016, in St Osyth. Photo: Dave Hart ANL-161027-105652001
Baden Powell, October 19, 2016, in St Osyth. Photo: Dave Hart ANL-161027-105652001

“We want to publicly acknowledge the valuable contribution the team at the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust are making through all that they do for the historic vessel Baden Powell.”

So say National Historic Ships UK in awarding the trust a Highly Commended certificate “in view of their unstinting support for the maritime heritage of the United Kingdom”.

“We want to publicly acknowledge the valuable contribution the team at the King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust are making through all that they do for the historic vessel Baden Powell.”

The trust applied for a 2016 Marsh Volunteer Award for Historic Vessel Conservation.

While they missed achieving a cash award for their work, the highly commended accolade is encouraging the team of volunteers to stick with the challenge they have been sustaining now for almost a decade.

The Baden Powell is the last of the wooden double-ended Lynn cockle boats The 33 ft-long vessel was built in 1900 by Walter Worfolk’s company, based on the River Nar.

This is a tricky time for the project. Originally it had been intended that the restoration work would be finished by the end of this summer and she would be returned to the water here in Lynn on the Ouse.

But the Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £76,300 is all spent. The boat that the team thought could be restored turned out to need a total rebuild.

The hull frames, side planking and much of the decking is done, but final painting and adding ballast to make the Baden Powell ready for the water will take until the end of November.

Then she will be coming back to Lynn for the volunteers to complete the job by adding the mast, superstructure, technology and all those things that will be necessary for her new role next year taking passengers for cruises on the River Great Ouse.

New funds are currently being sought to cover these costs, to add to donations being made consistently by a widening core of local people who are keen to see and sail in a historic Lynn boat on the river.

Website www.floatourboat.co.uk has more information about the project, and there’s a link for donations to get the Baden Powell launched and keep it afloat.