Trustees

  • Trustees 

      

    David Hewitt, a founder Trustee, was born and brought up in Blakeney.  He and brother George (see below) 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 skilful craftsmen, and their knowledge of the histories, construction and crafts involved in wooden working boats and lifeboats is second to none.

     

    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.

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    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.

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  • Wendy Pritchard, a founder Trustee, 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 until recently 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.

     

    George Parry, BSc, MSc, PGCE began working life as an engineer in industry and, in particular, worked on the design of aircraft cabin air conditioning (Concorde/Trident 3) and, latterly, aero engine control software in the USA. He has spent time in education, teaching engineering subjects in both University and Technical Colleges. He started sailing inland in 1987 and has owned boats from Topper to Mirror, Enterprise, Laser and Comet. Currently he sails an Orkney Longliner at Brancaster and a Twinkle Twelve at Burnham Overy Staithe, and appreciates the traditional design and craftsmanship of this wonderful little dinghy.  He moved permanently to Norfolk on retiring in 2004 and has worked as a volunteer in many local organisations, such as booking agent for Brancaster Staithe Village Hall, Hon Sec of both Scolt Head & District Common Rightholders Association until 2018 and, currently, Brancaster Commons Committee. He is also involved with Deepdale Church, helps to deliver the Brancaster Group Parish Newsletter and represents commoners on the Norfolk Coastal Partnership Forum.

  • John Downing
  • John Downing John's roots are ion the south west coast, in Falmouth, Cornwall.  He came to Norfolk in 1984, since when he has lived and worked in Walsingham as Land Agent on the Walsingham Estate. He is a wooden boat enthusiast and sails a wooden Oyster, built by Billy May, in Blakeney Harbour and also a William Fife Classic 6M on the south coast from time to time

  • Will Darby grew up in Norfolk and enjoyed being at sea from an early age. He now runs Will Darby Marine in Stiffkey where his work includes servicing the Cockle sailing boats designed and built by George Hewitt. Will also looks after Harvester, the 1951 Emery built Whelker donated to Rescue Wooden Boats by Graeme Peart

Christopher Pratt MA  ACIS is the son of a naval officer and sails at Brancaster Staithe. Educated at Uppingham and St Catharine’s College Cambridge he graduated in English and took a post-graduate Certificate in Education in 1965, then became an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators in1968. He spent his career in property and construction, becoming a director of two public companies, before becoming Bursar successively at three Cambridge Colleges, where he was Chairman of the Bursars’ Committee of the Cambridge Colleges 2005-08 and again in 2015.

He was a founder member (1980) of the Council of the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry, was its second Chairman in 1983 and later chaired the CFCI Charitable Trust. He was also a Trustee of the Built Environment Education Trust (Shape-East) from formation in 1989 until merger with CFCI in 2015, serving as Secretary or Treasurer or both for all of that time.  He was President of the Cambridge Association of the Building Employers Confederation in 1979, a member of its National Contractors Group Executive 1979-89 and National Treasurer 1986-89 and a member of the Joint Contracts Tribunal 985-91.  He has been a Trustee of several charities, mainly connected with education, the built environment, music or with sport and has been a Governor of both state and private schools as well as Church treasurer for parishes in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.

  • Kurt Janson


    Founder Trustees

    George Hewitt was born and brought up in Blakeney.  He and brother David (see above) 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 skilful 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.

    Graeme Peart

    Graeme Peart is the fourth founder Trustee who helped to get the charity started. He spent a lot of time and the Boatyard in Stiffkey and together with David Hewitt, tracked down Lucy Lavers. His job then took him to London and he generously donated his whelker Harvester to Rescue Wooden Boats. He continues to sail his wooden crab boat and take an interest in Rescue Wooden Boats.

     


    Patron 2014 - 2021 

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    Robin Combe

    We are very saddened to learn of the death of our Patron Robin in August 2021. He was a great supporter of Rescue Wooden Boats. We will miss him greatly.

    Robin'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."


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