Sailing at last: Baden Powell hits the river

Baden Powell boat back on the river after restoration
Baden Powell boat back on the river after restoration

The reconstructed Baden Powell carried its first passengers this week as the long-running heritage project took another step forward.

The vessel sailed down the River Great Ouse from the docks to the South Quay for a re-launching ceremony on Tuesday, following trials.

The Mayor of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Cllr Carol Bower and her consort Mr Simon Bower prepare to board the 'Baden Powell' on Tuesday.

The Mayor of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Cllr Carol Bower and her consort Mr Simon Bower prepare to board the 'Baden Powell' on Tuesday.

Dozens of people gathered on the quayside to see the boat, which then carried a number of passengers on short trips along the river, including borough mayor Carol Bower.

Another of its passengers, historian Dr Paul Richards, paid tribute to the volunteers who have worked on the project and predicted it will make an important contribution to the town.

He said: “To see it on the river really makes a difference to Lynn’s maritime identity.

“It’s about making the most of the past for the future. It’s restoring Lynn’s maritime identity and looking to the future to make use of it.”

Baden Powell boat back on the river after restoration

Baden Powell boat back on the river after restoration

Tim Clayton, one of the volunteers who has worked on the project over many years, described it as a “red letter day.”

He said: “I’m very, very pleased. I’m always the one who gets pushed to the front, but if you do a project, you’ve got to have different people doing things and all the rest of it.

“The team have been brilliant. They are what has made it work.”

Supporters also had the chance to win a trip on the boat by entering the ongoing competition to guess her weight, which will be revealed during Heritage Open Day next month.

The nearest estimate will win £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.