I’ve finally done it !!
Done what I hear you ask?
Well, I’ve acquired my very own copy of an important book. Ever since I started looking at the Aylsham Navigation I have been aware of a book described by those that know as the definitive work on the Norfolk Wherries and Keels that traded the Broads. The book is “Black Sailed Traders” by Roy Clark published by David and Charles in 1961 and my copy is a second impression from 1971.
I found my copy almost by accident by perusing a secondhand book site on the web. Finding a copy in this area is near nigh impossible. Mine came from the Sussex coast and, don’t let the dealer know, cost less than I was prepared to pay. Now I have to make an admission; I’ve had the book a few days and have barely looked at it let alone read it – how sad is that but in my defence I have been very busy at work and have been very tired. I did however do what I suspect every new owner of this book does and turned to the appendices where every Wherry and Keel is listed including those actually built in Aylsham. So in one go there is plenty of material for later blogs; the difference between a Wherry and a Keel being one and boats built in Aylsham another.
The title may intrigue but there really is a simple explanation and that is that invariably the sails were black and they were traders – simple. Now let’s look at a black sailed trader in action.
So what can we see here. She’s a black sailed trader at an unknown location although my gut feeling is that this is on the Bure. She’s under sail but look carefully and you’ll see she’s also being quanted to help her make the bend. Note the fishermen in the small boat, presumably recreational – I wonder if they caught anything?