Wherry Leaving Acle Bridge
Photographer: Jennings, Payne (1843 - 1926)
Medium: Photographic print
This is the seventh of 12 views published in 'Photographs of Norfolk Broads and Rivers' by Victorian photographer Payne Jennings. The letterpress descriptions below accompany Plate XLII and Plate LXXXIX from the second edition of ‘Sun Pictures of the Norfolk Broads’, published by Jennings in 1892 and written by Ernest R. Suffling.
“‘Express’ Wherry leaving Acle Bridge. – With a fair wind she is about to traverse the 12 miles of river which lie between Acle Bridge and Yarmouth. For flat marshland, with its hundreds of cows, it would be difficult to match this dozen miles of water-way in all England; for its companion picture one must cross the North Sea to Holland, where its counterpart may be seen in very many places.”
“...The wherry is peculiar to Norfolk waters. It is a kind of barge of great carrying capacity, frequently stowing cargo of the dead weight of from 25 to 30 tons. One huge wherry, the 'Wanderer,' has been laden with as much as 75 tons of wheat. Usually they are from 45 to 55 feet long, with a beam of from 10 to 12 feet. The mast is stepped extremely far forward, and can be lowered or raised at any time by means of a chain and winch. From the heel of the mast to within ten feet of the stern is her enormous hold, and aft of the hold the little cabin in which the two men live, cook, sleep, &c. They only draw from 2 ft. 9 to 3 ft. 6 of water, and it is claimed for them that in skillful hands they will sail nearer the wind than any other vessel under the sun. They carry only one huge tanned sail; but in light winds supplement this by hoisting the sail as high as possible, and lacing a 'bonnet' along the foot, which gives them an extra four feet of height to their sail, and a proportionately greater rate of speed.”