Winter Newsletter 2020/21


Winter Newsletter from George Parry Hon Secretary

The season has drawn to an end and we now have time to reflect on highlights of the past six months. Winter will allow us an opportunity to plan ahead and put in place those necessary improvements.

Maritime Heritage Centre

Our activities have been severely disrupted by the Covid l9 pandemic which caused us to close down for much of the season. However we were able to open the Maritime Heritage Centre during September and October and a few hardy volunteers put themselves on the frontline to welcome visitors. Our thanks are due to Monica and Alan for organising the volunteers' rota and for their enthusiasm to get the job done. In the end we attracted some income which is helping to keep heads above water. The manning and running of the Centre during these difficult times has been accomplished in line with all the restrictions placed on us with regard to social distancing and traffic flow for the visitors.


In general we were unable to organise our normal timetable of events, such as the annual tea party and barbecue at the Centre with stalls at local events and open days -notably the Wells Carnival and Historic Fishing Boats Regatta. Other than that, we have made some improvements to the Centre and refurbished the window blinds and improved the display lighting.

We are grateful to all our Friends for their support which is helping to keep our heads above water financially, as the usual fixed costs still have to be met


Last year we contributed to a fund-raising event arranged by The Norfolk Hospice (formerly Tapping House) in the form of a Monopoly set which was launched in November using local attractions instead of the usual properties. We hope this will be acquired by holiday lets and B&B's for their visitors and will result in some publicity for ourselves. We may still have a set in the Centre for sale. Otherwise if you wish to impress your friends then do contact the Hospice to acquire a set and see Rescue Wooden Boats featured on the board!

Lucy Lavers Giant Poster

A notable event, well publicised in the local press, was the placement of a giant poster showing Lucy Lavers on the end wall of the centre. This was created by Jack Lowe, grandson of the actor Arthur Lowe of Dad's Army fame. Unfortunately, the Autumn storms have caused severe damage and so Jack will come back in the early Spring of next year with a replacement and try out a different technique to fix it to the gable end

Lucy Lavers

Lucy Lavers now has a new tailored road trailer and we will be bringing her out of the water soon for inspec­tion and maintenance where neces­sary. This will make life very much easier as we shall no longer have to depend on the generosity of others and the availability of their trans­port equipment for longer periods. We are very grateful to the Co-op for their financial assistance.

On The Water

Lucy Lavers has at last been earning her keep this year and has managed to provide some income by giving trips around the Harbour and marshes in Wells-next-the-Sea, in conjunction with Wells Harbour Tours. The bookings in this first, but reduced, season have been encouraging with some capacity sailings and even repeat bookings. Hopefully, next year we will have a clear run over the season

Lucy Lavers Bill of Sale

A bill of sale for Lucy Lavers dated 1969 from the Alderney branch of the RNLI to a Jersey sea pilot has been donated and will be displayed in the Centre by next season.

Other News

The restoration of the Bessie will have to be somewhat delayed whilst we are in the midst of this pandemic but she is our next priority.


We intend to open the Maritime Heritage Centre from Easter, Covid regulations allowing and so we will be looking for volunteers to help us man the place throughout next season. If you feel able to help we would love to hear from you either by email, telephone 07500 616217, or by post to Rescue Wooden Boats, 14 Norton Street, Burnham Norton, Kings Lynn, PE31 8DR

Let us hope that next year returns to something more like normal but in the meantime we send you our best wishes for the New Year.

Our Thanks

Finally we would like to thank all our Friends for their support which has helped us to keep financially afloat and would encourage you to keep thinking of us as we still have the usual fixed costs to meet