Royal Harwich Yacht Club
Before we arrive at Pin Mill where the river is wide and shallow and, apart from the dredged channel which enables the deep draft ships to come and go from the port of Ipswich, there is an ideal place for yacht moorings.
The marina at Wolverstone services these moorings and the yachts that use them. Many of the owners of these trim vessels are members of the Royal Harwich Yacht club which lies close to the marina. This club is one of the oldest of its kind in England and Queen Victoria was an honorary member.
As its name implies it was first in Harwich but moved to these more tranquil waters following a disagreement between the Club members and Harwich Town Council, a move which they do not regret now that the Harbour is so taken up with the comings and goings of the shipping fleets of the world.
Adjacent to the club house is a small cottage, painted white, known as the Cat House. It earned this name in the 18th century when smuggling was a way of life for almost the entire population of the villages bordering the Orwell. The then owners of the cottage were the fond possessors of a fine white cat. In due time the feline died and was stuffed, and, no doubt, continued to be much admired. Even more so when a use was found for him. Whenever the coast was clear of Excise men he was placed in the window of the cottage and the smugglers knew they could shift their contraband without having to look over their shoulders.
One of the last recorded captures by the Excise men was of the Ipswich Yawl ~Daisy~ at Levington Creek in 1817. Forty eight tubs of spirit were found aboard and the owners protestations that he had trawled them up out of the sea off Languard Point fell on deaf ears. It is worth mentioning here that the novel ~Margaret Catchpole~ by Richard Cobbold would come wonderfully alive for anyone who has sailed these waters and is interested in the days of free trading when so much smuggling took place.
leaving the RHYC we see
The Grog Buoy taking its name from the famous
© 2010 Orwell River Cruises Limited
March 16, 2015