Topic: Thorpe Boatyards

Stationerystill    -- Aug-10-2015 @ 4:25 PM
  I am researching boatyards in Thorpe for the Thorpe History Group. I believe there have been up to 16 yards here.The Town Council Archive has details of the most famous ones, Jenners,Hearts and Wards. What I am looking for are details and photgraphs of the others. Can you help please? These are the names Bravecraft,Corig,Reliance,Ferras,Foster,Harmony,Classic,Clarke,Thetford,Harradine,Hazell,Loweth,Maidencraft,Martins and Girlings.. If you have information or photographs post them here or p.m. me.

Malcolm Martins

boat-mad    -- Aug-11-2015 @ 5:44 AM
  Hi Malcolm,

You might find some info on here. Cheers

Kind Regards

skippermike    -- Mar-8-2016 @ 11:45 AM
  Another boatyard at Thorpe was Stephen Field's Yard, this yard was situated at the start of of the new cut Thorpe Reach. To get to this yard you go down Girling lane next to Rush Cutters PH. cross the railway line and it is the first gate on the right, the slipway is still there. Stephen Field once had the yard in Water Lane, around the 1870s(later this became Jenners Yard). Stephen Field started his career in boat building at Carrow, he had a yard next to the old Carrow Bridge. He moved Water Lane census 1871 then  to the yard I mentioned above around 1872/3 he was at the yard in Girling Lane up to 1893 when he sold it to Harts Boatyard who were on the island just before the death of his son Stephen Field Jnr who was also a botbuilder.  Stephen Field Senior was my Grt Grt Grt Grandfather.  He built the steam wherry Alexandra in 1865 the first boat propelled by a Screw (prop).   Best wishes Mike.

Stationerystill    -- Mar-8-2016 @ 10:20 PM
  Thanks Mike. I was aware of Stephen Field but have him as being on the island, so this is useful information. The wherry he built as a steam wherry was never operated under steam.This may have been because of explosions locally on some steam boats.Do you have any information on this?I believe he became skipper of the wherry John Henry for Hobrough's after selling the yard.
regards Malcolm Martins

Malcolm Martins

This message was edited by Stationerystill on Mar-8-16 @ 10:22 PM

woodwose    -- Mar-8-2016 @ 10:30 PM
  I wonder if Brundall Local History Group have any information. It might be a bit outside their area but you could ask. They are not so very far away.


skippermike    -- Mar-9-2016 @ 4:09 PM
  I should have said first screw prop on the river Yare. Alexandra was powered by steam reference  ' Idles of the 1880' when she carried passengers on a trip out of Norwich to Coldham Hall on Whit Monday. Reference Stephen Field the wherry skipper of the JOHNHENRY this was my great Grandfather born 1873, he was son of Stephen Field Jnr (1855-1893),Stephen Field Snr (1829-1904). Stephen Field also built the wherry EMPRESS she was intended for steam, but later rigged for sail by Halls of Reedham.  

Mike Sparkes

Stationerystill    -- Mar-9-2016 @ 8:06 PM
  Thanks Mike. I have been researching, but the difficulty I have had was they are all called Stephen. There is a plot for sale on the island now which is described as Fields Boatyard. Is it possible that he had a yard on both sides of the bridge? The Thorpe archives have a note that the Field family built boats for 200 years

Malcolm Martins

skippermike    -- Mar-9-2016 @ 9:51 PM
  Reference the 200 years, this was said in a book about wherries, Stephen Fields Father came from a village close to Halesworth in 1826 to St Stephens new parish of Lakenham. Stephen Field learnt boatbuilding down at Carrow at Britchers and Girlings yard Carrow Abbey. This yard in the early 1800s was  building large sea going vessels. He was building 5 ton broads sailing boats in the 1860s. I would certainly be interested reference the land sale, I found a news advert of land for sale by Field but sadly it was not very clear to read. There was a large early yard on the island, also Cattermoul’s yard at Thorpe built sea going vessels early 1800s, Cattermoul also had Thorpe Gardens PH.

Mike Sparkes

Stationerystill    -- Mar-9-2016 @ 10:25 PM
  Interesting you mention Girlings because there was a Girlings Boatyard at Girlings Lane just over the railway line next to the yard run by your ancestor. I wonder if they moved from Carrow.

Malcolm Martins

skippermike    -- Mar-10-2016 @ 5:53 PM
  Girling had many generations in boatbuilding from the early 1800s till 1900s. There was certainly a Girling using the boatyard site of my ancestor in the early 1900s, strangely this was after it was sold to Harts. Early Girling yards were at Carrow first on the Abbey side, later on the opposite bank. As the banks became industrialised at Carrow no doudt the young generation of Girlings moved east down river to Thorpe.

Mike Sparkes

Stationerystill    -- Mar-10-2016 @ 7:41 PM
  Thanks Mike,
That is very helpful to my research.

Malcolm Martins

skippermike    -- Mar-11-2016 @ 4:13 PM
  Best Wishes.  Mike

Mike Sparkes

SandS    -- Mar-13-2016 @ 1:45 PM
  George Thetford's yard was at 10/11 Bungalow Lane.  The Yare Valley Sailing Club was formed there in 1948.  George was still there in 1961 but I don't know when he gave it up or sold it.  Today the land is private but little changed from its boatyard days.  
On the attached map the yard is shown edged red. The BA dockyard abuts the right hand edge of the map.
I hope this helps your researches.

Stationerystill    -- Mar-13-2016 @ 8:51 PM
  The houseboat he had is still there but on dry land.

Malcolm Martins

mpe    -- Oct-29-2018 @ 12:22 PM
  That 'boat' was actually a WW2 landing craft (LCA I think). It was converted and occupied by a pioneering surgeon from Norwich hospital until purchased by the present occupant.

It is still a permanent home; the current occupier has been there over 20 years.
The cabin on the west side (number 10) is a holiday chalet that was hired out for many years.

There is another 'shack' that another family lived in full time with several children until the 90's I believe.

This message was edited by mpe on Oct-29-18 @ 6:11 PM

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