Winter 2015 Selection from Our Archives. (Prev Dip)   (Next Dip)

We adopt a seasonal wintery theme for this "Dip".

Winter work passing through Yarmouth, one of Thain's wherries carrying beet to Cantley c1950s.
Winter veiw of Carrow Works from the bridge c1930s, artist unknown.
Albion leaving Oulton Yacht Station on February 4th 2009, after her winter refit at Excelsiors Yard Lake Lothing.
Trading wherry sailing away from Geldeston Lock (click for larger image and see more info from our archivist below).

Certainly an interesting winter scene of a trading wherry sailing away from Geldeston Lock. The crew have set the sail scandalised (gaff not fully raised). The skipper has pulled in the main sheet block to tighten the foot of the sail, still allowing the curve in the front of the sail to drive the wherry forward. Keeping the sheet blocks pulled in also stops the block that is attached to the sail from dropping down off the main hatches on to the side deck.

The main reason for setting a scandilised sail is to spill as much wind out of the sail's high peak as possible, thus allowing the wherry to be in control and ready to turn into the tight approaching bend. If you tried to sail with a fully raised sail it's unlikely you would make it round the bend. Notice how the wherry is making lee by the trailing wash (the stern of the wherry is sliding towards the bank). If the sail was fully raised the wherry would be pressed onto the lee shore before it got to the bend.

On the foredeck to the left of the mast the mate is standing, ready with the 24 foot quant pole (wooden ash pole for pushing the wherry by hand). Once round the bend the wherry will be head on in to the wind, so will need to tack (tacking is when a vessel sails at an angle to the wind allowing the sail to fill). As the wherry approaches the near side bank after rounding the bend, the mate will throw the quant pole into the bank and shove the bow of the wherry out into the stream. Once the bow is round the sail will fill again and the wherry heads across the stream and tack again off the other bank. The skipper and mate will work together tacking the wherry until the wherry free's off on to a sailing reach, then the sail can be raised fully. However due to the stream being narrow from Geldeston to Beccles no doudt they will leave the sail scandilised for that short distance.

Mike Sparkes Archivist Norfolk Wherry Trust

Admin note : A colourised version of this postcard was shared on our Facebook page on 8/12/15.

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