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About the Baden Powell Project

  • Pictured post war (we think) and today

The Baden Powell Project is the restoration of a unique and marvelous fishing smack. She is unique – the only double-ended vessel of her type in existence. The plan is to make the Baden Powell seaworthy, move her to the waterfront of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and use her for cruises in the River Great Ouse and The Wash. This is a wonderful opportunity to save an important part of the maritime heritage of King’s Lynn and use a local boat to tell passengers about the town’s history of fishing, trade and exploration from a river perspective.

How Baden Powell will look next year with the sails

This is a major project, as she was in a sad state of repair. The project will require more money than was originally thought. Even with Heritage Lottery Fund support, more will be needed to complete the restoration and finance the subsequent maintenance programme.

Do you have any personal interest in boats and fishing, or any friends that may be able to help? If so contact us and offer your support.

The History of the Baden Powell

The Baden Powell was built in 1900 in a boatyard on the River Nar by Walter Worfolk.

Walter-Worfolk-sHe had arrived from Stainforth in Yorkshire with his young family the previous year, staying at The Hulk, in Bridge Street, with his wife’s uncle, William Lancaster. Walter already knew that Lynn had no boatbuilding company to service the fishing fleet, and he put the skills he learned in Stainforth to immediate use by building the 33ft Baden Powell for Harry and William Cook, for £50.

It is a double-ended cockling boat. The Cooks were so pleased with the workmanship that they gave Walter an extra fiver, and presented his wife Lily with a cruet set for the table. Walter’s sons Gerald (10) and William (8) were apprenticed to their father and continued building wooden boats in Lynn until 1981, when Gerald died. William lived to just past his 100th birthday in 1994.

Passing the customs House on Heritage day. photo David Ashfield