Flotilla marks 70 years since the ‘Invasion of Black Horse Broad’

The flotilla is led by organiser Chris Moffatt, in the small open boat, from Hoveton to Horning to t

The flotilla is led by organiser Chris Moffatt, in the small open boat, from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

It came to be known as the 'Invasion of Black Horse Broad', and it opened up a Norfolk beauty spot for recreation.

Organiser Chris Moffatt (cap) in Black Horse Broad to mark the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrie

Organiser Chris Moffatt (cap) in Black Horse Broad to mark the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

And boating enthusiasts have now marked a special milestone - 70 years after a barricade barring the entrance of the privately-owned Hoveton Little Broad (also known as Black Horse Broad) was removed.

A celebration was held on Sunday, April 28, and featured a flotilla of boats travelling from Wroxham and other Broadland ports to the entrance of Hoveton Little Broad, near Horning.

Guest of honour was Alan Lee, grandson of Herbert Woods, who led the campaign to remove the barricade.

There was also a historical display of old images and information about the 1949 reopening of Hoveton little Broad at Wroxham Hotel.

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th an

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019


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Kerry Walker, who helped organise the event, said: 'There were 15 boats in the flotilla when it left Wroxham and other boats joined, from Horning, and we met at the broad.

'The weather was rubbish on the Saturday and we thought about cancelling, but it was lovely on Sunday.

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'There were all kinds of boats taking part including green tugboats, open boats and hire boats.

'We were given a good send-off from Wroxham bridge. I was in the boat with Alan Lee. Going down the river with him was hilarious, really fun.

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th an

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

'We got to the edge of the broad, and he said that you can now smell the woodbine, as, historically, they smoked in the past.

'Everyone was telling old stories and it was a real privilege to be there. We said we would do it again in 70 years' time.'

Chris Moffatt, who led the flotilla in his small open boat, said: 'It was marvellous. It was a cobbled together event - an independent event, as it would have been 70 years ago.

'Back then, the Broads were nearly closed off. The landowners wanted to reclaim them and use them as private parks.

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th an

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

'What they managed to do by removing the barricade was keep the Broads open.'

The celebration of Broadland boating, conservation, and cooperation was originally scheduled for March 17, but heavy wind meant the plans had to be changed.

The flotilla leaves the Black Horse Broad after celebrating the 70th anniversary of an illegal barri

The flotilla leaves the Black Horse Broad after celebrating the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Chris Moffatt, centre, organiser of the 70th anniversary flotilla to Black Horse Broad, with Derek G

Chris Moffatt, centre, organiser of the 70th anniversary flotilla to Black Horse Broad, with Derek Gibbs, left, who used to work at Herbert Woods, and Alan Lee, Herbert Woods' grandson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th an

The flotilla makes its way from Hoveton to Horning to the Black Horse Broad to celebrate the 70th anniversary of an illegal barrier being removed to allow the public to use the broad. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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