Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sails and Sails: the Yare Navigation Race from Hardley Mill

YNR RRockley

IT’S THE Yare Navigation Race on Saturday, the one day of the year when you can guarantee that sail rules the river. The event, organised by Coldham Hall Sailing Club, is open to river cruisers who race down to Breydon and back – the precise destination depends on time and tide. So where’s the best place to be a spectator? Ideally of course you would want to be between Coldham Hall and Breydon with a good high vantage point. …Somewhere perhaps like Hardley Mill says Mill chairman Richard Rockley:

“Our last event of this season takes advantage of our specially design viewing platform (also known as known as the mill) and the fantastic views it offers of the yachts,” he emails.

“Hopefully there will be a brisk wind. There was a sailing event from Cantley last weekend, watching some of the yachts tackling the wind on the bends close to the mill was at times both hair-raising and hilarious.  As far as we could tell looking from the bank, there was no serious damage and no one was hurt but there were several close calls!”

Hardley Mill will be open between 10am and 4pm. Beers will be provided by the mighty Humpty Dumpty Brewery and there’s a barbecue between 1pm and 4pm. The folk quartet Rum Kelter will provide the soundtrack.

Remember though that there’s no public access by road. The best bet is to walk the mile or so from Hardley Staithe. Either that or design an entire Wherryman’s Way 35-miler around this annual classic. With the weather set fine, you could do a lot worse.

* Thanks to Richard for the photo, taken from you-know-where.

* New Big Sky Productions video of Hardley Mill here

Coldham Hall wins pub of the year award

Natalie and George LinderCONGRATULATIONS to the Coldham Hall Tavern at Surlingham for scooping a community pub of the year award from the local council. I well remember peering through the windows of this beautiful riverside building when it was closed, shabby and generally down at heel back in 2009. Stuck to the window was an A4 sheet of paper telling anyone who cared that the pub had been "repossessed by the landlord following forfeiture of the lease by peaceable re-entry". It seems a world away from the vibrant pub you walk into today. Natalie and George Linder (pictured) are the people who have transformed it. And now they’re celebrating both the award and a £1,000 cheque to help them organise a community bash. The judges said they were impressed by their use of “local food, local people and local ales”. That middle category is probably the key.

*Read about their opening day back in March 2010 here.

*Read the EDP article about this award here.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A poke around Polkey’s

DWW12-2A QUICK shout from mills expert Alison Yardy. She and her colleague Amanda will be opening up Polkey’s Mill tomorrow between 1pm and 4pm. The old steam engine house next door will also be open for visitors. The mills form part of the unique Reedham Marshes Mill group which together comprise a complete history of Broads drainage mills. Basic windmill, more modern windmill, steam, diesel and electricity, they’re all here. Alison adds that she now opens them up twice a year, but are always open to requests for group visits on other occasions. Polkey’s Mill is – famously – in the middle of nowhere to the east of Reedham on the Wherryman’s Way. It obeys the first law of the WW too – the more out of the way the attraction, the better it is.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Wherryman’s Way–The Podcast


YOU’VE walked the walk and with a bit of luck I’ve persuaded you to buy the book, so what’s next for Wherryman’s Way fans? Future Radio might just have provided the answer. All week they’ve run a special series of programmes looking at the Way. And they’re now available as downloadable podcasts. ..But if the word podcasts scares you just click here. And congratulations to Terry Lee, the man behind the project.