Trustees and Founder Trustees
George and David Hewitt were born and brought up in Blakeney. They were both interested in boats and boatbuilding from an early age, in particular wooden working boats and lifeboats. They built their first pleasure boats in 1976, and their first commercial crab boat Good Courage in 1978. Since then they have built, restored and maintained a great many craft. They are both passionate and skillful craftsmen, and their knowledge of the histories, construction and crafts involved in wooden working boats and lifeboats is second to none. Now Lucy Lavers is complete, George has stood down as an active Trustee but remains a Founder Trustee and Adviser.
Wendy Pritchard has loved and sought out wooden boats and boatyards since her childhood. She sails Welcome Messenger, a crab boat built by Billy May in 1963 for Bennett Middleton, Sheringham fisherman, and since her early teens has also sailed Honey, a 15 ft clinker Firecrest class built in 1953. Both of these boats were restored by David Hewitt. She cares greatly about conserving the stories, skills and boats which make up our local and national maritime heritage, and has charity and business management experience
Simon Garnier spent much of his working life with the National Trust and for 25 years worked in the East of England, with responsibilities across the region including the North Norfolk Coast properties. He was involved in some of the Trust's larger acquisitions of Orford Ness and Sutton Hoo, as well as helping to consolidate the Trust's holdings at Blakeney and Brancaster. Having also sailed from Morston for the last thirty years, he has a good understanding of the importance of this coastline, the traditional activities that it continues to support, and the delicate balance that is required to maintain the special quality of the place. The role of traditional wooden fishing boats is an essential factor in helping to preserve the uniqueness of this coast.
Allen Frary is Wells born and bred, and comes from a background of seafarers; he has worked on the water and beaches of the Norfolk coast for most of his working life.
Joining the Merchant Navy at the age of 16, he travelled much of the world to places such as the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Returning to Wells in 1976, he began a career in whelk fishing, at the same time joining the Wells lifeboat crew. In 1997 he was appointed Coxswain/Mechanic of the station, a post he still holds today.
Serving as a Harbour Commissioner for 16 years he has seen a great change in harbour use, from the commercial vessels unloading cargoes of fertilizer, fish meal and soya beans to predominantly leisure activity. He is also the serving Chairman of Wells Town Council.
Above all else, Allen is keen that this great heritage of our coast needs to be protected and preserved for future generations, whether it be fishing, lifeboats, wildfowling or anything else which has made the north Norfolk Coast what it is today.
Henry Faire has been messing around in boats since childhood, initially in the West Country in a Salcombe Yawl and various dinghies, moving on to ocean racing, yacht delivery crewing, and cruising in Brittany and Southern Ireland, to owning and restoring a very rotten 1934 Tumlare on the south coast. Then, having met a Norfolk girl, he moved his boating activities to Morston, ending up owning the Whelker Knot which was originally built for his father-in-law, and crab boat Auk, built in 2013/14 by David Hewitt and Tom Gathercole. Boating - when not in Norfolk - is racing on the 60 foot 1904 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Mascotte. Working life was 30 years spent in various financial jobs in the City of London. Wooden boats and their preservation have been a constant obsession throughout.
Tim Lidstone-Scott started sailing and canoeing during his early teens when he built his first canoe, in his parents dinning room. He joined the Merchant Navy in his late teens, sailing to both exotic and decidedly mundane places. He left the sea to marry, followed by a short spell as a coastguard and a skipper of Norfolk Scout’s MTB102. Moving to North Norfolk in the mid 1980’s with a growing family, all eager to get on the water, the family began to amass powerboats, sailing dinghies, canoes and windsurf boards. For most of his working life he managed Norfolk’s National Trail, the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path, leading a small multi-discipline team working across physical management, survey techniques and data manipulation, tourism, social media. It was a dream job!
John Wykes was born in Brighton at an early age, John moved to Wells with his family when he was 3 years old. He left school at 14 to be an apprentice at the local Ford dealers. He has spent the whole of his career in the Motor Trade, culminating in the role of Managing Director of Cookes of Fakenham, with 44 staff members. His interests include rugby – he has been involved with Holt Rugby Club for many years – cricket at Holkham, 25 years so far – fly-fishing, motor racing – John used to race in a 7.5 litre Chevrolet –as well as ownership of BC and R Engineering in Fakenham, the biggest commercial repair workshop in the area. These days, he excels in motivating and assisting other volunteers for a increasingly-known wooden boat charity in Norfolk ...
Robin Combe's "...long association with things "watery" began with entry into the Royal Navy aged 13. An undistinguished naval career, albeit a very enjoyable one, was followed by 10 years in Watney's Brewery - at least we lived in a house directly opposite the boat race finish -, then a 10 year stint breeding trout with varying degrees of success.
"A passion for fly-fishing and several sea expeditions followed; the most memorable voyage being a 68 year old deckhand on a trans-Atlantic crossing, on the HM Barque Endeavour, a replica of Captain Cook's vessel.
"Over the last few years my association with the Hewitt brothers, through my purchase of a cockle dinghy (the perfect answer for a geriatric sailor), has led to my enthusiastic support of Rescue Wooden Boats... It is a wonderful fusion of the display of traditional boatbuilding skills with its equally important end-use, the long-term fishing tradition of Norfolk.
"I am very confident that the hard work already displayed by all those involved is going to reach its fruition as one of the jewels in Norfolk's tourist crown, and I am anxious to do what I can to promote their sterling efforts."
Tim Fisher moved to Norfolk at the grand old age of two back in 1976 and since then has loved being on and around boats. Originally an R.Y.A. Senior Sailing instructor, he has since swapped the tiller for a whiteboard and teaches at a nearby primary school. He learnt on a 9 foot lugger and spent nearly nine years restoring a 45 year old Wayfarer - which still needs a new deck. He and his family go dinghy cruising, and have explored the Cornish and Suffolk coasts as well as the lovely harbours of Norfolk.