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April Heads Up

 April 2021

 By the time you read this, we shall be within a few days of a further relaxation of the Covid restrictions. From 12 April 2021, day sailing will be permitted by six individuals or two households – while a single household will be permitted to stay on board overnight.

Some five weeks later, on 17 May, six individuals or two households will be able to stay overnight on one boat. So we are hopeful that we will have something of a sailing/boating season this year.

Visiting overseas, however, still remains fraught. The situation regarding visiting continental Europe is fluid and the danger is that of a change in the regulations relating to re-entry to the United Kingdom with the ever present possibility of a re-imposition of quarantine while members are still away in Europe on holiday.

Carlton Rail Swing Bridge.

This is the bridge juxtaposed Mutford Lock. This bridge has severe ongoing issues which apparently require a long-term solution. It is currently precluded from swinging due to a lack of an operable motor as well as other safety issues. It is anticipated that throughout the whole of the 2021 season there will be no ability for this bridge to swing. The safety concerns are such that there are also delays to the trains which are restricted to under 5 mph when crossing the bridge!

Haven Road Bridge.

This is also subject to severe restriction at the moment and in practical terms will not be able to lift for the foreseeable future. For boats that can reduce their air draft to below say 12 feet, there is considerable scope for passage at low water other than at low water neaps.

Be careful though, because if the tide is running strongly, there is a considerable eddy on the approach to the bridge piers and it can sometimes be quite difficult to align your boat and maintain a course-line to the centre part (greatest air draft) of the arch.

 Dates for your Diary----Proposed 2020 Program





Shakedown Cruise

30 Apr to 4 May 2020

Peter Ward

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4 July to 30 July 2020

Robert Middleton This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Walton Backwaters/Thames Estuary

5 to 28 August 2020

David Evans

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28-31 August 2020

Elaine Ward



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Southwold Dash

19 to 20 September 2020


Laying Up Lunch

31 October 2020


Icicle Cruise

3 to 9 December 2020


Christmas Dinner

4 December 2020



Coffee mornings

We are, for the time being, continuing with our zoom coffee mornings: the next one will be on 24 April 2021 at 1030. A link will be sent to members about a week prior to the event.

Shakedown Cruise – 01 May to 03 May 2021

The object of this outing is to see that our boats are in good order for the new season, with a passage across Breydon Water and a short sea cruise from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft.


Meet at The Berney Arms moorings at 12:00 on Saturday 01 May.

There is a slight complication because Haven Bridge will not be able to lift for us, so we shall have to make use of the tide, dropping radar arches and canopies and going under the bridge at low water. (NB – sufficient crew required for lowering/raising equipment on the move as no waiting facility beyond Haven Bridge). Careful calculations indicate a comfortable window between 15:00/17:00 for a vessel with an air draft of 11 foot (3.35m), allowing for a passage out to sea through Great Yarmouth, and a 10-12 knot cruise to Lowestoft.

Saturday night mooring at RNSYC, noting that catering may not be available due to ongoing Covid restrictions.

Sunday 02 May – staggered departure from RNSYC to coincide with constraints of passage via Mutford Lock, timings to be advised.

Sunday night moorings at Tingdene’s newly extended Broadlands Marina, where outside bar service and catering may be available at the Broadlands Marina clubhouse, with ongoing discussions regarding options for a Covid-secure barbecue there on Sunday afternoon, possibly under cover of a marquee.

On Monday 03 May, we would disperse from Oulton and return by river to our home moorings.

PLAN B (in the event of inclement weather, and with 24 hours’ notice)

Meet on Saturday afternoon at Broadlands Marina, moorings there for 2 nights.

Depending on weather, possibility of a day-return cruise via Mutford/Lowestoft, in smaller groups of 2-3 boats on a staggered basis to align with lock scheduling and bridges etc.

Please register your interest initially with Peter Ward on 07971 320211, or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who will send further information, Booking Form and Boat Data Form for completion.

To date, the following have registered:  Ocean Belle 2, South Cape, Ocean Mia, Foxley Lady, Sea Lady, Aquarius, Annastar, Ikon, Ivory Crown, Isabella.


We have settled on a departure date of 5 July 2021. There is a zoom meeting to discuss the event on 14 April 2021; if you would like to attend either all or part of the event contact Robert Middleton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01406 351373 for inclusion in future discussions.

The idea is to have 10 days to a fortnight of proper holiday (i.e. the boats remain on a berth for the duration) and then wander slowly home back to Lowestoft and, weather permitting, do some sightseeing on the way.

Walton Backwaters – 5 August 2021.

The intention here is to have a holiday cruise along the East Coast and, weather permitting, spend time on the anchor. If you like wildlife, seals et cetera this is the cruise for you. We have at least two boats signed up. We had a dry run at this last year and it was one of the best cruising holidays ever. There was a complete absence of hustle bustle and must do, and when the sun was shining, we simply laid on the boat decks and sunbathed. We had lots of barbecues, read lots of books, sat on a lot of mud and drank literally gallons of wine; we also visited one or two interesting marinas and harbours. This is very much a laid-back cruise with minimal organisation so that we can react to changing weather conditions which generally makes for a much more relaxed cruise. The intention is to be back in the Broads area a few days before Beccles. If you are interested, contact David Evans on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Beccles Rally – 28 – 31 August 2021.

Beccles Yacht Station is still in the grip of Covid paralysis. Elaine Ward has kindly taken on the organisation of this event. The intention is that the pattern of the event should follow that of previous years but we anticipate that some changes will be necessary.

Elaine will need volunteers to assist – if you are coming to this event and are prepared to help please contact Elaine on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Eastern Region Heads Up - March 2021


March 2021.

From the "Admiral"

I have decided to retire from my position as Regional Coordinator and as Club Vice-Chairman with effect from the AGM in October 2021. After three years in office, I feel it is time for a younger generation to run the affairs of the Region. My team and I are all in our mid-80s and we all agree that it is time for a change.

The question of the Vice Chairmanship is a matter for the main committee of the Broom Owners Club but the position of Regional Coordinator should be filled by a member of the region. If anybody is interested in taking up this role, please let me know. In order to ensure a smooth changeover, it would be preferable for the appointment of my successor to be sooner rather than later so that they may be included in the planning for 2022.

I should like to thank you all for the opportunity to serve you as your Regional Coordinator; Mary and I have enjoyed the experience immensely and we have had the opportunity to meet a large number of very interesting people and to forge new friendships.

Best Wishes to You All



The Good News!

The government's roadmap for unlocking the nation has pencilled in the date of 12 April 2021 as the date when overnight stays in self catering accommodation is permissible. This means that staying overnight on your boat will be possible from that date, subject, of course, to the government confirming this date in light of the then-existing situation with the Covid pandemic. We are still awaiting the update from the Broads Authority, who have not issued any further guidance; the guidelines currently on the Authority website is in respect of the national lockdown announced on the 6 January 2021 which currently remain in force.

Last Saturday Monthly Coffee Mornings.

Read more: Eastern Region Heads Up - March 2021

January Heads Up

A Happy New Year to all our readers. Most of us were pleased to see the end of 2020
and looked forward to the New Year. By the time you have read what follows, most
of you will be reminded of the old axiom “Be careful what you wish for”!

The turn of the year 2020/21 is a momentous time for the boating community. We
have new Covid regulations which effectively close the Norfolk Broads and the
Eastern Region Harbours to pleasure boating.
And we have Brexit!


The easy bit is Covid, the present position is neatly paraphrased by the following
from the Broads Authority.
Activity Guidance

Overnight stays on boats
Tier 4
Essential travel only - travel on waterways and overnight
stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent
residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar
reasons. You should stay local where possible and not
travel outside of a tier 4 area.

Boat maintenance

Tier 4
Travel to maintain your boat is not permitted in tier 4.

Overnight stays in
holiday lets

Tier 4
No overnight stays outside of local area, unless necessary
for work, education or similar reasons.

Canoeing, kayaking,
paddle boarding, sailing,

Permitted in tier 4 subject to social contact rules. Outdoor
recreation or exercise should be done locally wherever

Activity Guidance
angling and other

possible, but you can travel a short distance within your
Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an
open space).

The above guidance has been collated from official Government sources.
In short, therefore, the overall message is stay-at-home and stay away from your


It’s all about Europe and it is, therefore, exceedingly bureaucratic. Europe is now,
once again, an overseas or "foreign" country so far as boating is concerned. This
means a return of the old rules of returning from Europe, flying a yellow flag and
clearing customs outbound and inbound.
If you keep your boat in Europe or in the Mediterranean then the change in status of
Europe will affect the VAT position of your boat. Brexit will also mean that you can
only spend 90 days in any 180 day period in the EU. Note that the 90 day period is a
rolling period, which means that it's any 90 days in the preceding 180 days. This
effectively stops you having a back-to-back 90 days. The rules are complex and we
attach below a number of links for you to browse.
For all boat owners, however, the location of your boat at 23:00 hours UTC on the 31
December 2020 is absolutely critical. You need to know and be able to show where
your boat was at this time and you should be careful to preserve evidence to that
effect. If you are thinking of purchasing a boat then you will need to enquire very
carefully as the VAT status of the craft and knowledge its location at Brexit hour will
be essential.

The following links may be useful: – › sitecollectiondocuments › legal › VA... › current-affairs › Pages › brexit-what...
This is probably just the start – Brexit is going to affect all of us in the boating world
so it's time to start doing the homework now.

Coffee Morning 30 January 2021 at 1030.
We will hold our usual virtual coffee morning as above. Please contact Robert
Middleton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an invitation. Suggested subjects for
discussion are, the situation with regard to the broad bridges (believed to be
improving), the effect of Brexit on foreign travel, and events for the summer.

Future Events.

Our proposed programme for 2021 was set out in detail in Heads Up for November
and December 2020. At the moment, there is considerable uncertainty surrounding
Covid-19 and it is difficult to make any firm plans. The hope and expectation is that
things will have eased by the time we get to late spring and that we will be free to
move about again and go boating.
We are continuing planning for Whitby – at least we won’t have European
complications – we hope! It is all a little uncertain because we do not know what is
likely to be available to us when we get there. If you are interested in this event, then
please let Robert Middleton know (email address as above).
We are also planning to run the Beccles weekend at the end of August. WE NEED
VOLUNTEERS TO HELP. Assuming the BUNDALL BOAT SHOW takes place, we
shall also require volunteers to attend to man our stall and assist with committee
In the meantime, please follow the official Covid advice and stay safe. It has been
suggested that we have a post-Covid party or get-together to celebrate the
resumption of boating activities. This could be a discussion subject for the
forthcoming coffee morning.
January 2021

Brundall Boat Show a great success

Brundall Boat Show.         18th May 2019

A rather good show spread over both the Norfolk Yacht Agency and Broom Boats sites. The Club had a stand at both sites, manned by a super team of people.

The marquee was erected on Friday afternoon by Mary and Robert Millington and then on Saturday morning the team (David Harrison, Gill Oldham, Keith Rowe, Paula Caton, Michael Caton, Linda Varney, Stuart Crowther, Don Walker, Alan Bell, Chris Bell, Ken Foster, Jane Neale. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone.) arrived and without fuss the necessary photos, leaflets and paraphernalia were set up.

Brooms themselves laid on a very large Boat Jumble. Virtually all their unused items were on display, from LED light fittings through Boat signs to Table tops and Wiper motors. Some serious bargains were to be had.

We were able to talk to old friends and a number of new members were signed up.

A band helped the afternoon along and the show ended at about 4:00pm. The owners club, ever looking for an excuse, carried on into the evening with a Pop Up BBQ, brilliantly organised by Jane Neale. Thanks are due to Peter and his team for taking the BBQ tent down on Sunday.

The dairy date for the next Brundall Boat show is 16th May 2020

Reedham Rail Bridge Closure

Norwich to Yarmouth & Lowestoft Rail Line

Please note the following notice that has recently been drawn to my attention:

Swing Bridge Closure - 23rd March to 1st April.

Network Rail are delivering a signalling renewals project along the Norwich to Lowestoft railway line and will be undertaking signalling commissioning activities during a 9 day track blockade. Works will commence on Saturday 23 March through to Monday 1 April 2019.

During the first weekend (23 - 24 March) Reedham swing bridge will be under the control of the signalling tester in charge (TIC), this will require the swing bridge to be locked down in either the open or closed position depending on the testing activities being carried out. During this testing the bridge will be out of use to the river traffic users for a 12-18 hour period, this will be mostly over the night time period.

More detailed information will be shared as and when it becomes available, but vessels wishing to access under this bridge need to make advanced plans during this project.

Best wishes,

Robert Middleton

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