BOC members can log in to see more articles

October 2021 Heads Up

October 2021

In this issue:

  • Introduction to Peter Ward (nominated as Regional Coordinator)
  • Late October East Coast cruise (24-30 October)
  • Drinks Reception at Royal Harwich Yacht Club (29 October)
  • Cruising the Baltic Seminar (30 October)
  • Coffee Morning (30 October - cancelled)
  • Future Coffee Mornings
  • Laying Up Supper (06 November)
  • Xmas Party (04 December)
  • Icicle Cruise (tba)

Introduction to Peter Ward (Ocean Belle II - Broom 42)

After a lifetime of holidays on the Norfolk Broads, in 2012 Elaine and I bought our first ocean going boat - a 1978 Broom Ocean 37 called Ocean Belle. On entering her into the pageant celebrating Broom’s 115 years anniversary in 2013 we were introduced to the Broom Owners Club, and life would never be the same again!

In 2014 we joined a Norfolk Yacht Agency novices’ cruise to Lowestoft and Southwold for our first cruise at sea. A cruise to Wells-Next-The-Sea in 2015 with our new BOC friends (Ikon and Gentle One) was the catalyst for an upgrade to a more modern and faster boat, Pelican Buoy, a 2004 Broom 39. From our home mooring at Brooms in Brundall, we have enjoyed the Norfolk Broads and numerous sea cruises on the East Coast, plus a trip to London in 2016 (accompanied by Lady Carolyn) and subsequently two cruises to Northern France.

We were delighted to tell our story in a picture book entitled “Broom Owners Club through the eyes of new members”, which in 2017 earnt us the honour of winning The Martin Boom Memorial Trophy.

In 2020 we exchanged Pelican Buoy for a 2001 Boom 42, which we have named Ocean Belle II. In 2021 we arranged an early season shakedown cruise for the Eastern Region, and, following our 2021 summer holiday, a 500nm cruise to the South Coast and Isle of Wight (accompanied by Aquarius), we were pleased to arrange the Eastern Region’s annual rally at Beccles.

Having recently retired after a career in the logistics industry, Elaine and I are looking forward to spending more time on Ocean Belle II and “giving something back” by supporting BOC and the members in the Eastern Region.


Late October East Coast cruise (24-30 October)

Ocean Belle II, in the company of Aquarius and Elsie May, are planning a cruise down the East Coast to Southwold, Woodbridge and Woolverstone.

This is NOT a BOC event, but anyone interested in our in itinerary who may like to follow and/or meet up during the cruise is welcome to contact me for details (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07971 320211)

Drinks Reception at Royal Harwich Yacht Club (29 October)

If elected to represent the Eastern Region, I would like to expand our legacy focus and embrace those members who moor on the Deben and Orwell, as well as the Norfolk Broads.

To this end, I have arranged an evening Drinks Reception at The Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Woolverstone for 6.30pm on Friday 29th October.

This will be open to all Broom Owners and friends, when I hope to introduce myself and provide an opportunity for some social networking and knowledge sharing across the wider region. I encourage you to make the journey to Woolverstone by boat or car, for what promises to be a pleasurable and rewarding evening. Following the drinks reception, attendees are welcome to dine at the RHYC.

To book your place, please drop me a line by email or text (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07971 320211) and I’ll be pleased to provide any further information required.

Cruising the Baltic Seminar (30 October)

Forging links and building on our relationship with The Royal Harwich Yacht Club, BOC members are invited to join the Club’s all-day seminar on Saturday 30th October about cruising in the Baltic. A full line up of expert speakers will share their experiences – the full agenda, menu choices and booking details can be found at

A few places remain, priced at £40 for RHYC members, £45 for non-members. If interested, please book directly with RHYC through the above link.

October Coffee Morning (30 October) – and ongoing coffee mornings

I am proposing to cancel the October Coffee Morning, originally scheduled for 30 October, due to its proximity to the recently arranged Laying Up Supper the following week, plus the lack of attendance at the September coffee morning.

Introduced by Robert, the coffee morning concept has been well received, and prior to the disruption of COVID they were popular occasions to meet. COVID introduced us to Zoom, which may be a more practical format during the winter months when less people are visiting their boats, with a return to the in-person events during the Spring/Summer months. Again, these ought not to be confined to the Southern Broads, and I’m open to suggestions of where we might hold coffee mornings at alternative venues that will be equally convenient for our friends on the Northern Broads, as well as the Deben and Orwell rivers.

For the time being let’s keep this under review and discussion, and to formulate a plan that works for the upcoming winter and next boating season.

Broom Owners

Laying Up Supper (06 November)

Following my circular dated 30th September (please let me know if you have not received or mislaid and would like me to re-send), so far we have around 20 booked in for the gathering on Saturday 06 November at The Ram Inn, Brundall. Anyone wishing to join should book directly with The Ram on 01603 712569 – just give them a call and let them know you wish to join the Broom Owners party.

Xmas Party (04 December)

We are delighted that 20 have booked in for the Xmas Party on Saturday 04 December at The Wherry, Oulton Broad.

This is a reminder for those that have booked and not yet advised their food choices, or paid the balance owing, the cut-off to do so is 30th October.

For anyone interested in joining us at the Wherry’s Glitz and Glamour Party Night, please drop me a line by the end of October and we’ll check availability for our booking to be extended.

(The details of this event were first sent by email on 18 September, please let me know if you would like me to re-send)

Icicle Cruise (provisionally proposed 03-09 December)

Due to little interest, nothing has been arranged as yet by way of an Icicle Cruise. If anyone is interested in a December cruise, or even between Xmas and New Year, David Evans will be pleased to hear from you and put some ideas together – please drop David a line atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Closing Comments

By now you should have received your 2020/21 Annual Report and Financial Statement of the Broom Owners Club, together with voting form. You will see that the AGM will take place by Zoom on at 10am on Sunday 17th October, with the counting of votes during the following week.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Robert Middleton for his sterling efforts over the last three years as Regional Coordinator, and in thanking them for their friendship also to wish Robert and Mary the very best in their future adventures afloat.

Finally, I’d like to thank those members and friends for their confidence and support in encouraging me to step forward and nominate myself to take over this significant role. If elected I look forward to fulfilling this non-trivial duty to the best of my ability and to continuing the great success of BOC in the Eastern Region.

Peter Ward, October 2021


Broads Bridges - new contact details

P.S. to September Heads Up

Contacting Swing Bridge Operators:

I have just been informed by Tom Waterrfall, Senior Communications Officer of the Broads Authority, of some positive news concerning  the establishment of direct phone links with the operators of the swing bridges on the Broads. 
He reports that Network Rail have installed direct and dedicated contact numbers for these bridges. You can now use these numbers to speak directly to the bridge operators, for information on the operational status of the bridge.

For Oulton Broad swing bridge: Tel 0330 852 5351.

For Reedham Swing Bridge: Tel 0330 858 4655.

For Somerleyton Swing Bridge: Tel 0330 858 4656.

Contact to the Swing Bridge operators is also possible on VHF Radio Channel 12.

More information about navigating the bridges and opening times can be found on the Broads Authority website:

Let us hope this development improves communication and reduces frustration!


Heads Up - September 2021

September 2021

Next Coffee Morning will be held on 25th September, starting at 10:30 hours at East Hills in


We have, thanks to Simon the Manager, our own room in the restaurant.

Northern Rivers Cruise 18th to 22nd September.

David tells me that he currently has 4 takers for the Cruise. If you wish to be included please let

David know as soon as possible (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )--A booking form is attached

Full details of the Cruise and the Booking forms were published in the July/August issue of

“Heads Up”

Program for the remainder of 2021

Northern Rivers Cruise          18 to 22 September David Evans

2021                          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laying Up Lunch                   31 October 2021         TBA*

Icicle Cruise                          3 to 9 December 2021 TBA*

Christmas Dinner                  4 December 2021       TBA*

TBA* all Covid dependant.
From the Admiral.

After nearly 3 years as the Regional Coordinator and two as Club Vice-Chairman, I have decided to retire from these positions at this year’s AGM. Although Mary and I have sold Ivory

Crown, we shall continue as members of the BOC. We are now looking for a “river boat” which is more suited to the needs of a pair of increasingly "senior" citizens!

I should like to thank you all for your support and encouragement. Looking back it has been a happy time and I have received much help and advice from members of the Region. In this context I wish to thank all of the people who have helped in organising events for the region in particular:-

Keith and Carole who walked us around and under Norwich.

Jane and Richard who did Beccles for a number of years.

Alan and Chrissy who sorted the detail of Christmas Dinner and the Raffle.

Peter and Elaine who managed the Shakedown cruise and Beccles this year.

David who created “Heads Up” and does a lot of work each month to get it out on time. (He

also looks after my computer.)

Knowing me as I do it is almost inevitable that I have forgotten to mention some-one.


From the Editor

I was astonished when, in early 2019, a kindly and rather forthright 80-year-old took on the job of Coordinator for Eastern Region of the BOC. It was quite an undertaking for anyone never mind someone in their 80s, since the job involves not only the direct responsibility for the affairs of the region, but also the expenditure of a considerable amount of time and energy on the affairs of the Club at a national level. Early on Robert Middleton organised the first "coffee morning" which came to provide a regular focus for the membership, and the rest, as they say, is history.

All of us owe Robert (and Mary) Middleton a huge vote of thanks for taking up the position in the first place and for all the work and effort they have put in over the past 3 years. We wish them many happy years with their river boat--just make sure it's a BROOM!


Read more: Heads Up - September 2021

July/August Heads Up

July/August 2021

From the Admiral.


Our Coffee Morning at the end of June an opportunity to meeting after a long absence. The arrangements for the Club at the East Hills Bistro in Brundall were I thought a considerable improvement on the previous and the discussions of who was going where this summer were soon in evidence.


Our next coffee morning is at the East Hills Bistro on 31 July 2021 at 10:30 and Mary and I look forward to seeing you there if you are not on the water going somewhere.


Peter Ward and Elaine have got the August Bank Holiday Rally sewn up. There have been some cancellations, a quick phone call or e-mail to Elaine if you would like to be there. There is also the possibility to attend the Sunday Night supper at £15 per head. Again, if you would like to attend a call to Elaine. More complete details are in the E-mail sent out by Peter.


Members contemplating attending from the Northern Broads should look at the tides for passing the Gt Yarmouth Bridges to make sure you can return to the Northern Broads when you want to.


Whitby did not occur. Several boats dropped out mainly for health reasons and concerns over Covid in the North East. However, in early July, several boats were seen leaving Lowestoft and turning South. I understand that we presently have boats on the South Coast, in the Medway, the Walton Backwaters, and the Thames. I am sure that details will appear in Sweeping Statements in due course.


Our programme of events for the rest of the year is as follows: –

Read more: July/August Heads Up

Heads Up - May edition

May 2021

From the Admiral.

Our first boating event of the season over the early May bank holiday was well attended and extremely successful. My thanks to Peter and Elaine Ward for all their efforts in coordinating the cruising aspects and organising the barbecue.

Our programme of events for the rest of the year is as follows: –

Event                                                       Dates                                                         Contact

Whitby                                                            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

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

Beccles                                                            28-31 August 2020                     Elaine Ward

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

Southwold Dash                                            19 to 20 September 2020           TBA

Laying Up Lunch                                          31 October 2020                         TBA

Icicle Cruise                                                  3 to 9 December 2020                TBA

Christmas Dinner                                         4 December 2020                        TBA

As the hospitality industry is well on the way to opening up to something approaching normality, we are hopeful that all of the above events will take place. As ever we need volunteers – particularly someone to organise the "Southwold Dash" --.names to me please.

On the subject of coffee mornings, we are currently looking at venues in the Brundall area. We have taken as our brief, a venue that is no more than 10 minutes in the car from Brundall. For the time being we shall continue with our Zoom coffee mornings which will be at 1030 on Saturday, 22 May 2021. Please note the date – we have brought the coffee morning forward so that it does not clash with a Bank Holiday weekend.

It has been a difficult time for everyone, but in Eastern region we have managed to stay active and enthusiastic about club activities and as regional coordinator, I would like to thank everyone who has helped in this over the past 15 months.

I have been tasked by the Club’s main committee to find a home for the club’s marquees. There are 2: in my opinion some 2 cubic meters of space is needed. The main items are 2 roofs, 8 sides, all the associated poles and ropes. These items really need to be kept in the local to the Norfolk Broads area.

Does anyone have space in their barn?


Whitby 4 to 30 July 2021.

We currently have four boats booked for the cruise from Lowestoft with another two expected to join us in Whitby from other regions. If any of you would wish to join us we shall be pleased to have you.

The cruising program is somewhat as follows although this will depend very much on weather conditions: –


Leg 1 Lowestoft to Wells

Mon 5 July 2021 ETD Lowestoft 0900 ETA Wells Fairway 1430

Leg 2 Wells to Grimsby

Tue 6 July 2021 ETD Wells 1300 ETA Grimsby 2040 (Spurn Pt Anchorage 1940)

Leg 3 Grimsby to Whitby

Wednesday 7 July 2021 ETD Spurn Head 0600 ETA Whitby 1330


Leg 4 Whitby to Grimsby

21 July 2021 ETD Whitby 0900 ETA Grimsby 1700
Leg 5 Grimsby to Wells

22 July 2021 ETD Grimsby 1000 ETA Wells 1515
Leg 6 Wells to Lowestoft

23 July 2021 ETD Wells 0700 ETA Lowestoft 1100

So what happened to 30 July? Well there is a generous allowance for bad weather, OR an opportunity to explore the Humber and the Wash on the way home. The intention is to stay in Whitby for at least 10 days and enjoy the shore-based entertainment. It is understood that the Admiral has in mind a bus ride and a vintage train journey and a significant amount of alcohol digestively assisted by adequate quantities of haute cuisine. We will arrange a zoom meeting to discuss the details. If your name is not yet on the list please let Robert know (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and he will remedy that omission!

Walton Backwaters – 5 to 28 August 2021.

There is no detailed programme for this cruise – the plan is to meet up in the RNSYC Marina in the early part of August and then, weather permitting, wander down the East Coast. This will be a laid-back leisurely cruise much of which will be spent at anchor. At the moment, we have three boats taking part and we are quite happy to have a further one or two join us. We do not expect to burn vast amounts of fuel and we do not expect, either, to spend vast sums of money on marina fees. If you like your sunbathing and your peace and quiet this is the cruise for you. If you would like to be put on the list please contact David Evans This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The arrangement will be that we will have an extended skippers meeting in the RNSYC Marina prior to setting off.

BOC Eastern Region – Beccles Rally – 28/30 August 2021

We are planning to resume the Beccles Rally this year over the August Bank Holiday weekend – the moorings at Beccles have been reserved.

The line-up of activities will broadly follow the conventional and proven schedule, with a DIY barbecue on Saturday afternoon/evening. On Sunday afternoon we are planning some maritime-related activities, prior to a social gathering on Sunday evening.

We are pleased to have found a new venue for this, which will include a buffet supper, entertainment beforehand and after-dinner speaker – at considerably less cost than previous years.

Plans are progressing well for what is expected to be a popular event, and booking forms, together with a detailed programme and costs for the whole weekend package, will be circulated at the end of May for reservations on a first-come, first served basis – against payment in full.

Look forward to seeing you all on the water.


May 2021

Article archive

From cruising the Rhine, to replacing teak decks, you'll find it all in our magazine article archive

Join the Club

Join the owners club for just £25/year. Open to owners worldwide. Find out more...

BOC shop

Get your burgees, badges and BOC clothing in our club shop.


Follow us