Friday 5 August 2011

"Hathor" Forget Me Not.

Yesterday I called in to see an old friend, she is one hundred and six years old.      I last saw her two years ago when I shot some film of  her on the Norfolk broads, she was very sprightly for her age and fun to be with.   When I called at the home she shares with two other Edwardian ladies I was shocked to she how she had deteriorated.  Her decking was cracked, her varnish had peeled and she looked very, very sad.   I am writing about  the pleasure wherry "Hathor".

Two years ago I spent the summer shooting a documentary of  "Hathor's" farewell tour across the Norfolk rivers and broads.  During that summer as I followed "Hathor"  I became more and more attached to her.  The sleek graceful lines seemed out of place for what was originally a robust cargo design.

"Hathor" is a silent witness of a time when local craftsmen created things of lasting quality for very little reward.  She is also a reminder of the enormous social divide that existed in England during the Edwardian period.  A time when the affluent, unashamedly, enjoyed their wealth and the rivers and broads became their exclusive playground.  For the working classes who served them it was an existence, measured by long days of  hard work and very few pleasures.

"Hathor" is a very special craft with a fascinating history.  She was built by Daniel Hall of Reedham in 1905 for Ethel and Helen Colman daughters of Jeremiah Colman (Colmans Mustard).  In 1897 the Colman family travelled the Nile on an Egyptian river boat named "Hathor",  during the trip Alan Colman became gravely ill and died in Luxor.   Seven years later the Colman pleasure wherry was named "Hathor" in Alan's memory.  The interior is inlaid with Teak and Sycamore creating an Egyptian theme throughout the saloon and cabins. 

It is now two years since "Hathor" sailed  the rivers and broads and she is likely to be absent for the foreseeable future.  A friend in need is a friend indeed and "Hathor" is in urgent need of  friends.  Considerable funds are needed to restore her to sailing condition.   Please visit the WYCCT website to learn more about this wonderful old wherry and,  if you so desire, sign up as a friend.

"Forget me not" 
     or you can use the "My Favourite Links"  on the right.

I have included some clips from "Hathor's" farewell tour which can be seen on Youtube.
     click on the Youtube link in "My favourite Links" on the right.

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