Restoration of King’s Lynn boat delayed

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Plans to deliver former fishing boat Baden Powell to Lynn’s Purfleet were overly-optimistic as restoration works will now take until the end of September to complete.

Visitors to the town’s Heritage Open Day will miss out on seeing the final restoration work carried out on board the 116-year-old boat after it emerged the work would take longer to complete than first anticipated.

Ken Hill, who works with the Baden Powell Project, said: “We were all over-optimistic, it’s now going to be end of September when the boat will return from Essex for the rest of the restoration to be completed at the Purfleet.”

The boat, which was built in 1900 by Walter Worfolk, is currently being restored at a boatyard in St Osyth, Essex, with plans to sail it out on the main River Ouse next spring and to eventually use it for cruises on the River Ouse and The Wash.

The original plan was to return the boat to Lynn by August to be lowered into the Lower Purfleet, by the Custom House, in time for Heritage Open Day on September 11, but has now been delayed for several weeks due to the scale of the planking and decking work.

This setback has cost not only summer visitors, but has also made a dent in Project funds causing the group to start fundraising again to pay for the extra month’s work.

Mr Hill said: “The King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust had Heritage Lottery Funding of £76,300 but most of that has gone into the work we’ve been doing to restore the boat in Essex, we now need to raise more for the final work to be completed.

“We need an immediate sum of £5,000 for another month’s work and then to raise further money for the ongoing work until we can start to charge visitors.”

The King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust will be holding a fundraising Ouse Booze night with a live band at Lynn’s Ouse Amateur Sailing Club on September 16th to boost funds.

Tickets and more information is available at www.floatourboat.co.uk and you can also donate to the ongoing work through the website.