The only way is Essex for historic King’s Lynn boat

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094739009
Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094739009
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It has had to travel a 100 miles but for the Baden Powell a trip down to Essex means a little piece of Norfolk history is that much closer to restoration.

The Norfolk cockle boat is heading to a boatyard in St Osyth, near Clacton, for the latest stage of its £100,000 refit.

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094944009

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094944009

It was built in 1900 and is believed to be the last surviving double-ended cockler.

The King’s Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust hopes to get the boat sailing again on the River Great Ouse and The Wash.

The 34ft wooden craft was one of 600 built by Walter Worfolk’s company in Lynn. Walter’s sons Gerald and William continued building wooden boats until 1981, when Gerald died.

Ken Hill, secretary of the Trust, said the departure of the Baden Powell on Tuesday from its home at Terrington St John was somewhat bitter-sweet.

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094956009

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094956009

“It was a bit sad going out of Norfolk as it is a very Norfolk boat. The only saving grace is that is usual local Norfolk wood.”

Those crucial planks of larch could be seen under the boat as it was transported on Tuesday.

Volunteers had started using planks of larch donated by a West Norfolk landowner (who wishes to remain anonymous) to build the hull but soon realised that it was just too big a task to accomplish on their own.

“They realised that at the rate they were going it was going to take about two years,” said Mr Hill.

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094933009

Baden Powell Boat being moved after getting a lottery grant to help it be restored. ANL-150904-094933009

The key moment came last year when the Trust finally secured Heritage Lottery Funding of £76,000.

This enabled them to search for a boatyard to install the 40 planks on the hull.

Mr Hill said: “We looked at yards in North Norfolk and Lowestoft but we liked the approach of the people at St Osyth, One of the key things was that they were happy to have our volunteers come along and help out.”

It was originally hoped that the Baden Powell would be back in Lynn and on the Purfleet by the Custom House by mid-September for Heritage Open Day.

That now seems unlikely but it is hoped that in nine months’ time, the Baden Powell will be home, painted black and receiving its finishing touches.