It still sits in its rightful place nestled quietly alongside the river bank even today,and in the long bright summer of 1956 on a forgotten hot day of the week,and month ,it was this houseboat of corrugated iron that first stirred up a little boys wide eyed imagination as if his dead keen interest were in fact a silver spoon stir, for like magic it held up a wide thicket of thatch roof. The first he`d ever seen,and with the silence that comes along with age in fondly looking back he realized then that he knew an awful lot of nothing.
From the little chug-along boat,he gazed at such a thing and thought it to be a great wonderment,at no mistake,yes indeed. "Mom.i will draw a picture of it when we get home."
( Whether he did,or not,for the life of me i cannot remember for vivid memories of pictures do not come readily for recall after years and years of hundreds and thousand of them had been drawn.)
However upon that day trip of long ago sitting alongside his dear Mother,and older Brother,soon he had dismissed it from his tiny mind,a thing that did need an awful lot of filling up with something, as there were unopened rooms a plenty inside it,but facts were taught finger wagging downwards to shallow little lads in those far off days,and in his own wisdom he thought little of them as being important to anyone,least of all to him. So all those rooms stayed shut up and iron bolted as tight as could be.
i guess being seven he needed the welcomed stimulation of interesting things most foreign to him. For him upon the green of that long winding river while trailing his hands in the water as the small boat headed downstream to Great Yarmouth, it was for certain the first real fun adventure he`d ever had. As if towering waves upon some salty sea ,his greedy ears,swallowed up whole and in double helpings,the great sound of rushing reeds. Both sides of the river were full up with sways of them. Flax comes to mind,and Fresh winds of exhilaration,they were that for sure,and he had never experienced it before,or even heard of such a thing,____let alone that word.
An Afterword or Two
My Mother Grace Liddy Howes, bringing up us two boys on her own,was invited by a friend at work to come on a day trip in her husbands small boat,and of course we my Brother and i,were included in that invitation too.There are vivid parts of that pleasant day out i do recall,but most has been forgotten on the ever shifting sands of time.
The little boat under 30 ft was moored upon the River Wensum, just past the moorings of the yacht station near the iron bridge leading to the Victorian railway Station in Norwich.
Sadly though the boat that had an engine that smoked its way up river,never made it to Great Yarmouth.So turning around it headed toward Norwich and our home.i cannot remember the name of the lady or her Husband,or Son,but i do recall their kindness to us on that first perfect day. As the little tired out boat that had chugged along for the best part of 30 miles was being docked at its mooring there was a slight jolt as the front end hit the wooden jetty. We later learnt it had been holed and sank during that night. It lay in the brown green water for ages,but was raised up later ,and was given to the Local Sea Scouts who fixed her up fine and dandy. The little boat served their needs on The Broads for many a year right up to the early 1970`s.
Sixty One Years on and inspired by Mrs B`s,memories of Mrs Triggles (Cambridgeshire.) i began to make Hillcreast Cottage where Mr and Mrs Triggles lived. i also began to pen a few unpublished story`s too loosely based upon our shared memories,and my poetic licence.
While doing that and other stuff,while surfing the incoming waves of the www web,i came across this picture of a boathouse on the Broads near Norwich. i being very young at the time have written of it,but i am not 100% for certain if it is the one i described,but i have a feeling and a warm one of remembrance that it is the same one with slightly changed surroundings from the Summer of 1956.
My Version of A Thatched Houseboat Follows
Scratch built by little o`ll me. Just follow along if you are pleased to do that.
All The Pieces Make a Something!
Doors will open double wide and a Hoist will lift the Boat out of the water and by way of a Overhead Rail will slide the Boat outside for Maintenance.
Rolling The Shape
A Knife Handel Without a Blade!
Fixed in Place
The River Base
AIRFIX Figures Out of The Box for Fresh Air
The Water Level is Shown by the Paper
Cutting The Roof Angle
Grubby But the Required Look is Getting There
A Window is Added
Once A Great Iron Chain Stretched Out Across The River from This Point
And Set Into Base
The Thatching Tool Makes Light Work Copyright BB
The Hi Tech Tool_____________A Piece Of Card
Dip & Tap
If You Try This And Need Help Ask A Child
A Slight Color Wash To See Stages of The Work And What Needs Doing
White Inside Like in The Picture
Once It was Part of a Massive Fortress the Ruins Converted Into What You See.