Passengers using new ferry service across the River Bure will be serenaded
- Credit: Maurice Gray
A classic ship's lifeboat has been turned into a new ferry for a connection across the River Bure at the Ferry Inn at Horning.
Dave Scragg and his partner Linda have refurbished an old ship's lifeboat known as 'Stanley Arthur11' and given her a repaint, arranged seating for up to 12 passengers and organised facilities for dogs, children and cycles.
The Ferry Boat operates a regular service seven days a week during the summer season and will save cyclists a long trek of up to 14 miles via Wroxham Bridge and Salhouse.
Mr Scragg, 62, a member of the Norfolk Lowland Search and Rescue (NARSLAR), Swift Water, and First Flood Response Team, saw the need for a connection between the Ferry Inn at Horning and Woodbastwick as well as Cockshoot Broad.
He has spent four decades in the music scene, playing trombone with orchestras and groups and intends using his musical talents to 'serenade' his ferry passengers.
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He said: 'We love people so a little bit of entertainment goes well with holiday makers and cyclists in particular. 'We have to raise funds to keep the ferry going so by having more passengers, the more the merrier.'
Prices are £1 per person per trip, cycles 50p and dogs are free.
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The service is fully authorised by the Broads Authority.
A ferry used to run at the crossing for hundreds of years, however it was discontinued in the mid 1970s.
Subsequent attempts to get one up and running again have failed until now.
North Norfolk councillor Paul Rice, a member of the Broads Authority, attended the launch of the new ferry and said it would provide a valuable service.
Mr Rice has recently set up the 'Broads River Watch' with its own Facebook page for sharing and reporting Broads related information.
He said: 'We are experiencing a spate of misbehaviour and speeding on the Broads which needs policing, although we want everyone to enjoy themselves, there has to be rules to confirm to.
'Skippers have to be responsible for their crew and passengers and anti-social behaviour causes all sorts of problems, including safety issues.'
A proposal by Mr Rice that a short-term working group be set up to look into anti-social behaviour on the Broads was recently accepted at the annual meeting of the Broads Authority.
The ferry can be contacted on 07393 458 682.