Baden Powell back tomorrow at Terrington St John

Shaun White working on the Baden Powell at St Osyth boatyard in Essex ANL-161128-130511001
Shaun White working on the Baden Powell at St Osyth boatyard in Essex ANL-161128-130511001
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She is coming home ... after months away being completely rebuilt, the Lynn-built fishing smack the Baden Powell is heading for West Norfolk.

The unique, double-ended cockler made at the Worfolk boatyard by the River Great Ouse in 1900 has been in Essex since March.

There at the St Osyth boatyard it has had all of its timbers removed and replaced.

But tomorrow it is coming back to Terrington St John, where it will undergo its final fitting, including installing an engine and fitting the radar and other modern communication devices demanded by law these days, ahead of returning the boat to the Ouse by next April.

It is hoped the boat will arrive on a transporter at Terrington tomorrow about teatime after coming up the A10 and A47.

The plan had been to reuse some of the original timbers and replace the rest with Norfolk larch. But in the end none was salvagable and imported iroko wood had to be employed.

Ken Hill, of the Baden Powell Project, said: “We have known for a couple of weeks that the boatyard had another job to do and wanted the building back.”

Mr Hill said some people had queried if the extent of the work had been a restoration or the creation of a replica.

He said he did not think it was a replica but did point out that “any boat which is 115 years old is going to have a lot of holes to block up”.

He said: “All the wood needed to be replaced. The original plan had been that we might save 25 per cent of the original timbers but that did not prove practical.

“The wood we thought we could save had rot on the inside, which we did not know about until we started to take it apart.”

The total cost of restoring the Baden Powell is likely to be in the region of £200,000. The project has been given a grant of £76,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mr Hill said: “We have got a fairly good range of donations regularly coming in. We are full of hope, if not full of money.”

Mark Hazzelden, from the College of West Anglia’s engineering department, is due to join volunteers as a reconditioned engine is installed in the boat. But more help is needed. Mr Hill said: “Anyone who is good at woodworking would be useful as this is not specialised work now. If you can put a cabinet together you would be a help to us.”