Norfolk Broads at 21

Its been a while since I updated

Ive been catching up on a series called Jericho. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after season 2, but its pretty ace, so if you get a chance, have a look.

Well, an old friend from years ago, got back in touch recently, and sent me scans of these photos from a barge trip many year ago.

We went on a few other adventures, including a camping trip to Llanberis and a rented cottage in Llanwrust. Still, our most ambitious adventure, was the barge trip,  you can see some pictures bellow.

Its a while ago now, and I cant remember that much about it, so the naration may be limited.

Norfolk Broads 1

One of the great things about my youth, was that cider was less than a pound a pint. Another great thing about travelling on a barge, is that each evening you stay over in a different destination, so its like several holidays in one.

On the left, is my brother David, next to him is the illustrious “Mac” in the center of the picture, is Frank (more about him later) next a girl called Janeen, who Caz picked up from somewhere (Caz is taking this picture) then Me, then Lee.

Norfolk Broads 2

The barge actually had a maximum number of occupants, but we were young then, so we just chose to ignore it.

We  had friends sleeping in the kitchen, on the sofa in the main cabin, and just about everywhere else.

Norfolk Broads 3

The actual boat from the trip. Traditional longboats might look more romantic, but they are more expensive, slower and an absolute bugger to turn around !.

Norfolk Broads 4

As we travel across Bradon water, you can see that it was a very choppy section of open water.

At one point, smoke billowed from the engine and it appeared that we might be in distress. As it was, we were okay, we simply poured a can of coke over the engine, and everything seemed to be alright

The engine was probably scrapped later, but we weren’t around for that.

Norfolk Broads 5

Showing just how small and pokie the rooms were. The jumper I was wearing was a Jo Brown sweatshirt.

Lee had seen me admire it in Wales, and bought one by post for my birthday. Even when we were young and skint, we were always kind.

Norfolk Broads 6

This is a one off picture of the cottage we stayed in at Llanwrust. I only stayed for the weekend, as it was New Year, and I was starting a new job.

I remember around the town square, we got a bit drunk, and actualy offered some Police Officers a fiver to take us back to our cottage (it was about 2 miles out of town) they said that ordinarily, they would, there were just too many people about.

I believe later in the week, Caz got drunk, fell down the stairs and ended up coughing blood, but he was okay in the end.

Norfolk Broads 7

Back to the barge trip, we had moored up for a pub lunch, and since we were only just finding out feet with the controls, ended up driving away and Lee had to run and catch us up, after unhooking the boat.

The first of the main adventures on the trip, when Frank drove the boat away, without uncoupling, and damaged the boat (a piece was ripped off, I was sat in the barge at the time, and I felt the boat “stretch” 3 feet).

Later,  the excellent Janeen, dropped a kitchen knife in the water (never to be seen again) while trying to “disgorge” the landing rope from the Jetty.

Norfolk Broads 8

The 2nd adventure, involved being stopped for speeding. Apparently 7mph is the fastest a boat may go on the Norfolk Broads, as the wash from the boat damages the broads.

But we didn’t know that, so after a brief warning, we were stopped and fined more than £100 (at the time, a kings ransom).

I also remember Frank going to negotiate with the River Policeman, wearing Union Jack boxer shorts. Not surprisingly, his plea for clemency fell on deaf ears !.

A brilliant trip, and a defining moment in my life. Thanks to all of you that came.

I have some of my own pictures from the original barge trip here.

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