Oulton Broad Motor Boat Club
Another brilliant turnout of 17 boats – the same number as at Loddon in May!
Weather was a little drizzly, cloudy most of the day – but not much wind on Saturday, and not cold.
We all moored around the Mill end of the long moorings, easy at lunchtime at high Springs tide but awful later at very low tide for us with low boats – difficulty in clambering off at BBQ time! (note for diary - I’ll have to arrange any meeting at the Berney at NEAP tides?) Most boats were all tied up by 2pm, some having been there since Friday evening, so it was then time to put up the gazebo.
The grass area around the rear of the Mill was perfect, recently cut and trimmed, and the gazebo was erected with all members pitching in – under the guidance of Dawn, who is getting very adept on these occasions. Also, another special mention for Dawn, for cutting & sewing some colourful pole-bags made from her own curtains (her bedroom ones I think – poor Dave probably has all the neighbours peering in at bedtime!). We then erected our new Club flagpole, kindly donated by prospective new member Dennis Hart, which had been brought up from Beccles YS on “Maytime”. Thanks Lee.
What a laugh, all standing around and saluting whilst Bob hoisted the flag – just a square standard flag had to do – but we have ordered a full size one for future occasions. We quickly filled the gazebo with our tables and chairs before it was time to visit the Mill itself.
The door was opened by key-holder Jim, the local RSPB warden, who was tasked with giving a quick Elf ‘n Safety lecture before giving us free rein to roam at our leisure in small groups. What an interesting place, and the views from the top (after all, it is the highest Tower mill in Norfolk) were stunning. Check out the photos on the website!
We all contributed to a small collection for the Mill, in addition to the £50 already promised to English Heritage, but later decided to give that to the RSPB via Jim, for him being so helpful to us and telling us the story of the Berney estates – now mostly owned by the RSPB. Did you know that the area here, and over at Burgh castle, were the sites of thriving brick & cement works throughout the 19th.century, and the Mill was used to grind the clinker as well as draining the marsh? The Berney Portland Cement Company was big business then, using Wherries to bring up the raw materials and taking away the finished product! There was also a sawmill and timber yard on the site, producing herring barrels for the Gt.Yarmouth trade. A busy industrial area, sadly, now all gone.
It was then BBQ time, but as usual the heavens opened up and proceedings were delayed until 6pm or so when the sun shone again.. We all cooked individually near to our boats, on the quayside, and made our way over to the gazebo just after 8pm. In the meantime, little “Four Seasons” had moored up late – but Ray & Molly couldn’t get off. “Annville” also arrived late, after a holiday up the Northerns, but John & Ann also couldn’t leave the confines of their low boat. Pity, because they missed a fantastic music night in the (by now) crowded gazebo.
As the beer and wine flowed, Bob, Bim and John played their hearts out and Kath joined in for quite a few songs as the evening progressed. Highlight was Jen, Sandra and Jackie trying to emulate the “crossover-step” moves of the “Shadows” whilst Bob &John played that group’s well known tracks. Such a good night, and we didn’t wind up until near midnight.
Sunday was a little wet and warm – humid in fact. We took the gazebo down pretty quickly just after 10am., as the sun was shining and just before a stormy squall hit the area. Lucky!
A few had left early, such as Steve & Angela who caught the early bridges at Yarmouth for the start of their 2 week holiday up the Northerns, but most stayed on as rumour had it that the pub was to open it’s doors at lunchtime – first time for nearly a year? At the appointed time, a sign was brought out of the pub promising real ales etc., then it was turned around to explain that a rare bird had set up nest in the doorway and they couldn’t open for fear of disturbing said bird. A lovely excuse – save that our friendly warden Jim knew nothing about it? Ah well, their loss – perhaps it will open this weekend?
Nothing left for us to do but leave on the top of the tide and meander back to our respective marinas.
The end of another lovely weekend.
Well, time flies, halfway through the season already and the days draw back in. Let’s all make the most of it and come to the next event – The Summer BBQ at Bramerton This year it's on Saturday 18th.July. Unfortunately, I can’t attend this one – on that day we will be just returning from an exotic (I don’t think so this time?) Round-Britain cruise. Never mind, see you at Beccles in early August! Ken 26/06/2015
Midsummer Meet - 20th June - Berney Mill - Report