Wherry yacht marks 100th birthday

Most people would agree that on reaching the grand age of 100, they are probably not looking their most sprightly - and a centenarian who celebrated her birthday in Wroxham this weekend is no exception.

Most people would agree that on reaching the grand age of 100, they are probably not looking their most sprightly - and a centenarian who celebrated her birthday in Wroxham at the weekend is no exception.

Olive, a Norfolk wherry which has spent 10 decades living on the Broads, is in need of a touch-up - a lick of paint, some new wooden planks and a full internal refit.

But as four generations of her builder's family gathered together at the weekend to mark the milestone, there was strong hope that she would one day take to the water again.

The Olive, built in 1909 by Ernest Collins, has been out of the public eye since 2005 awaiting restoration as part of a project by the Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust (WYCCT).


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On Saturday afternoon, at the boathouse at its base on Hartwell Road in Wroxham, the trust held a low-key celebration to mark the 56ft wherry's milestone year.

Joining the party were four generations of the Collins family, from Ernest's grandson to great-great-great grandchildren.

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Gillian Mindham, Ernest's great grand-daughter who was also celebrating her 50th birthday, said she had fond memories of the Olive. She said: "I went out on her a few years ago. They are the most wonderful boats on the broad. Everything else gets out of the way."

Olive is one of three Norfolk wherries being restored by the trust. Hathor is currently on a farewell tour round the county before being brought in for an overhaul, while Norada, also built by Collins, has already undergone exterior repairs and is waiting for her internal refit.

To find out more about the WYCCT visit www.wherryyachtcharter.org, email friendsofwycct@btinternet.com, or call 01603 722251.

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