Saturday, 20 November 2010

Wherries and Waterways–the film premiere

Archive wherry image

THE WHERRY is heading for Wroxham Bridge and yet its mast isn’t even half down. A major collision seems inevitable. The audience gasps. And then with unhurried, practised steps the crew step the mast just in time to slip underneath the arches. It’s just one image of several from last night’s “Wherries and Waterways” film show in Norwich in aid of the Wherry Yacht Charter charity ..which is why the gasp was so audible. These guys love their wherries. And there was lots from the East Anglian Film Archive to enjoy.  Probably my favourite was an Anglia TV Bygones film from 1973 which sees the Wherry Albion take to the sea – from Yarmouth round to King’s Lynn – in order to reach a festival at Ely. You also get to see famous wherryman Nat Bircham in action (he’s virtually horizontal as he quants the boat through a difficult manoeuvre) and there were plenty of plummy TV accents singing the praises of the Broads in a very 1950s way. (Sample clip: Camera shows young woman fishing, narrator says “I wouldn’t mind being caught by that angler”.) The show comes to Holt and Beccles in March. It’s a must for all wherry anoraks. Full details on the WYC website.  The photo comes from there too.

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