Albion News Archive 2014

30/11/14: Albion Returns Home.

A team of bleary-eyed crew assembled at 0645 on this foggy Sunday morning to drive to Oulton Broad Yacht Station for the passage back to Ludham. We were greeted on our arrival by the ever-helpful Harbour-Masters as we prepared for departure. Our tug, Badger had been delayed so we pushed off under the power of our trusty Honda & its "not so trusty" handler, meeting Badger halfway up Oulton Dyke. With Badger in place we moved steadily down the Waveney with very few vessels to be seen apart from a pair of double sculls & the Spirit of Breydon out for a pleasant Sunday morning stroll. Once the fog had cleared we were greeted by the sun & were soon scudding across Breydon Water arriving at the bottom of the Bure at 1130.

Once through Yarmouth the run up to Ludham seems to take forever & this was worsened by some steady rain coming through from Stokesby to home. All part of the pleasures of being on Albion. We dined on carrot cake & turned into Womack dyke at 1440. It's good to be home!

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24/11/14: Albion Launch.

With crew arrivals around 0830 the dinghy was launched & the props were knocked out ready for launching. A good high tide was expected at 0949 but by 0935 Albion was down the slip & we were checking her for take up of water. All being well we pulled back off the dollies, contacted Mutford Lock & slowly made our way up Lake Lothing. A sunny morning with still air helped us. Once at Mutford we lay alongside the pontoon for a suitable time for the road bridge to be lifted. Once in the lock it was a straightforward passage into the Yacht Station where she lays alongside unril Sunday 30th November. Our thanks as always for the help given by the Yacht Station staff.

Albion being prepared for launching.
Albion passing through Mutford Lock.

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05/11/14: More of Albion & Daybreak.

We've received some additional photos of Albion and Daybreak's day at Cantley in September, this small selection covers their departure, thanks to Ian Scowen, Bob Carman, Tony Woodward and Pat & John Merrett for supplying the photos. (Hover for individual credits).

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14/10/14: Work Continues.

Our volunteers are hard at work preparing for the hull inspection, first the ceiling screws have to be removed - everyone wants a go at this !

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09/10/14: Slipping News.

Albion had been taken down to Oulton Broad the previous week and today was the first opportunity to get her out of the water. There was quite a delay before the work could start due to mechanical and technical problems. High water was at 10.20 and the tide was ebbing before the cradle was lowered into the water. Once the work started everything went very smoothly.

With Albion now ashore the team of volunteers went into action. A ladder was erected onto Albion for access, then three teams were formed; the first led by Paul Reynolds shored Albion securely in place; the second led by Phil Hubbard sorted out the dinghy and stripped off the outboard, whilst the third emptied Albion of all the equipment needed during her stay on the slip. Whilst all this was going on Kim Dowe started to pressure wash the hull. We were pleasantly surprised to find little marine build-up this time.

Cradle being lowered into the water while Albion is lined up off-shore.
Cradle submerged. Albion manoeuvres into position.
Albion's tender pushes her between the cradle uprights (dolphins).
Albion successfully in the cradle.
Securing Albion to the uprights (dolphins).
Cradle being winched out of the water.
Albion's bow out of the water.
Albion clear of the water and on the slipway. Kim keeping an eye on proceedings.
Albion continues up the slipway.
Safely in the yard, let the work begin !

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25/09/14: End Of Season

Our charter season came to an end this week so once again it's time to enter maintenance mode.
We have rather a tight schedule as Albion is scheduled to head south on the 2nd October for a hull inspection. Fortunately the weather was kind and our volunteers turned out in force so we made very good progress.
The major tasks of de-rigging and removal of ballast are well under way and whilst we don't have the proverbial kitchen sink we did remove the cooker !
We carry on the preparations over the next few days so with a fair wind and many hands all is looking to be on schedule.

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05/09/14: Open Days

Our regular Open Days finished yesterday at Cantley (although our base at Ludham will be open on 11th September as part of the Norwich HEART project). Due to holidays our webmaster has been a bit remise in updating our News section of late so here are a few photos as a "catch up" !

At Norwich on 13th August we were joined by the Thames Barge Cambria for a very busy Open Day.
The weather was kind at Beccles for the Carnival Day on 17th August where we were visited by Caroline Topping, the Lady Mayor.
At Cantley on the 4th September Albion once again had company, this time it was the Humber Keel Daybreak, what a splendid site they made.
Thanks to Lyn @ The Reedcutters for making us welcome.

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21/07/14: A Touch of Adventure ?

As part of the ITV "Countrywise" series their film crew and adventurer, author, broadcaster and writer, Ben Fogle came aboard Albion for the day. For the filming Ben wanted to try his hand at as much as possible and quanting seemed the perfect start! Suitable instructions were given by crew Henry and Dave before Ben was put to the test. He didn't fall in so there must be a wherryman in the making there! There were a few extra hands on board as the film crew (bless them!) invariably wanted the sail lowered/raised - just one more time. The weather was lovely so the practise will have done the crew good!The results of everyone's efforts will be screened around January next year and we'll update you when we know the date. Ben published a brief account of his day in The Telegraph which can be found by clicking here.

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30/05/14: In the company of a Lady !

We are indebted to two of our charterers (Susan Cartwright & Tim Daniel) for providing a set of photographs from a recent trip in which Albion was being followed by Maud for much of the morning. It's not often we're able to see these wonderful craft sailing together and despite the overcast conditions we hope you agree that they make a fine sight. (Hover for individual credits and click for larger images).

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01/05/14: We're Off !

Our first trip of the season was a May Day special to celebrate the "launch" of a newly brewed bitter ale by Green Jack Brewery, named "Jenny Morgan", who is of course the lady on the wind vane atop Albion's mast. Albion carried a cask of Jenny Morgan from our base at Ludham to Malthouse Broad at Ranworth. On arrival she was met by a side of Golden Star Morris Dancers who escorted the ale across to The Maltsters public house where the ale could be sampled aplenty. Green Jack will be donating a portion of the takings on the sale of this ale to our funds so please sup up !


Click here to read the EDP Article covering the event

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17/04/14: Almost There !

The first two photos compare well with our previous entry below and show the progress over the last month with Albion's mast fitted, the gaff almost in-situ and rigging under way under the watchful gaze and guidance of Paul Reynolds. We're looking good for the start of season.

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14/03/14: A sunny day.

After a foggy start to the day the sun came out, burnt off the dew & warmed us all up. Albion was pulled out of the wet shed & painting was the order of the day. The work boat was called into play to get paint onto the underside of the planksheer, whilst the back of the cuddy, the deadhatch, winch posts & part of the standing rightups were also painted. Although Albion still looks far from finished we are now on the downhill slope to completion.

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07/02/14: Latest news from the winter maintenance team.

With a very wet winter so far, the biggest surprise has been the number of very low tides in the area. Lucky, we hear you say! However, it does mean that Albion has been sitting in the mud occasionally & when working on her plankways you do have to bend over a long way.
In our previous report we showed work being carried out on the refurbishment of a hatch cover. Since that time several others have been refurbished & repainted. In addition the ends of the hatch stringers are be repaired to improve fit.
We have just received back the blocks that have been away to have new sheaves & bearings fitted. We use lignum vitae for its strength & durability & the work was carried out for us by TS Rigging of Maldon, who were responsible for the new rigging on Cutty Sark.
Out in the wet shed the re-fitting of finished parts has begun ready for the new season, whilst stripping of the standing rightups is underway. We are taking these back to bare wood to continue with our change in paint systems. With the safety boat just receiving its finishing touches we are on course for completion in good time this year. Or was that wishful thinking?

The hot air guns have a dual purpose. Team working hard showing hold partly replaced.


Deadhatch side & standing rightup stripped out. Selecting more oak for 2016 work in January.
Stripping off begins. Early February.

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