Friday, 15 June 2012

Norfolk Skiff Club visits Norwich

Thursday 14th June 2012 and Norfolk Skiff Club ventured into Norwich in the company of the new Explore Rowing fleet from Whitlingham Boathouses and our guest Robin de Vere Green, chairman of Beccles RC.

The river Wensum flows through Norwich and is navigable to the New Mills almost three miles from its confluence with the Yare at Trowse. 

From the Trowse (swinging) rail bridge, with its two red flags flying, the river is flanked by industrial buildings and new flats. The aroma of mint sauce indicating that you are passing Colman's factory. Past Carrow Road footballground, home of the Canaries, and under Carrow Bridge, which used to lift in the old days, you are surrounded by the old and the new. To the south, views of King Street and Dragon Hall, the medieval merchants house. To the north the new bars and restaurants of the Riverside development. 

Next comes Foundry Bridge and the Norwich Yacht Station, limit of navigation for hire boats. Opposite is the excessively picturesque flint building Pull's Ferry,  through which can be seen Norwich Cathedral. The river curves around the cathedral close and, once past Bishop Bridge the  scenery changes. With beech trees overhanging the river, it is hard to imagine that you are in the centre of a city.

Near the Swan Pit, where swans were lured in the old days on their way to the bishop's dinner table, we turned for the return to Trowse. We had not reached the head of navigation on this occasion, but the restaurant was booked and although swan was not on the menu, skiff club members were thinking of dinner.

Despite a good head start, the Explore Rowing boats soon overtook the skiffs. We hope to see more of them on all the Norfolk rivers in the future as recreational rowing is reestablished on the Norfolk Broads.

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