Sailing on the Norfolk Broads: 1948

Norfolk wherry, ‘Albion’ is one of just two survivors of the 300 ‘black-sailed traders’ which once carried cargo on the waterways of the Broads. Our photo by Mike Page, of the Norfolk Wherry Trust, shows her crossing Breydon Water with  ‘Maud’ on 28 June, 2019.

Look back 70 years and take a look at this delightful archive silent footage from the Pathe Newsreel archive for a glimpse into what sailing on the Norfolk Broads was like at the end of the 1940s, when ‘Albion’ was first relaunched after her restoration in 1949.

We see yachts tacking and drifting along quiet backwaters and the Australian Mr. Nobbs cranking sails on a wherry. There’s a fleet of Internationals racing, views of the riverbank, wherries and cruising yachts with crews from all walks of life. There’s some motorboats and a cruise boat, possible the ‘Sparkling Foam’ with a shot of Jack Powle, Norfolk Broads Boat owner waving goodbye.

Created at the beginning of the 20th Century by the Pathé brothers, the newsreel was the world’s first televised news platform. Pioneering the technology and methods of cinema, British Pathé stayed at the forefront of filmed news for decades. Releasing three newsreels a week during that period, British Pathé was the way the people of Britain experienced world events until the advent of television. 

Norfolk Wherry Trust