How lovely to come across a cruiser where the owners have taken the trouble to track the history right back to the nineteen thirties and even more delightful is the fact that she bears the name which she had on her first launch in August 1937. Two friends own this boat and have taken good care of her over their years of ownership. They tell me that they have had loads of fun and the photos clearly show this to be true.
The Port of Yarmouth Appropriation Book shows that Glitterwake was registered on on 11th August 1937 as a motor boat of 10 tons. The Official Number, 164175, is carved into one Glitterwake’s cabin roof timbers. She is also shown in the 1937 Mercantile Navy List as an addition with no details other than her weight.
Her first full listing is in the 1938 MNL which shows the owner as John W Eastick of Acle, Norfolk. The details show her to have been built at Wroxham in 1937 and having a length of 31’ 1’’, breadth of 10’ and depth of hold of 4’ 2’’. The engine power is shown as 16 BHP. She is also listed in the 1938 Lloyd’s Register of yachts which shows Jack Powles & Co. as the builder and her engine as a 4-cylinder Wolseley petrol motor.
Although Jack Powles built many Star class boats, as they were known, for his hire fleet with a folding canopy wheelhouse typical of many Broads hire cruisers at this time, her name suggests that she was built for a private owner as all the hire boats bore the name Star somewhere in their title.
The original owner was a JW Eastick, himself a builder of sailing yachts and a hire fleet owner in Acle where he rented out sailing boats to the general public. Perhaps he fancied a motor cruiser for his own meanderings on the Broads with retirement in mind since just two years after Glitterwake was built she is registered as a houseboat moored on a Powles Staithe with John Eastick recorded as a retired yacht builder.
We catch up again in 1947 thanks to the MNL and Lloyds Register at which point Jennie Nichols of Norwich is registered as the owner and the boat has by this time a 6 cylinder Austin engine. Bizarrely Lloyds shows a Mr Clifford W King, also of Norwich as the owner both in 1947 and 1953. Boats can be useful for 'illicit friendships' (pure conjecture on my part).
The 1956 Lloyd’s Register shows another change of ownership to Leslie R Roberts, again of Norwich. Ownership changes again in 1964 when the MNL shows the owner as David B Cranmore of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. The Lloyd’s Register of 1964 continues to show the owner as Leslie Roberts but changes to David Cranmore in the 1965 edition.
It is assumed that David Cranmore moved Glitterwake to the River Severn as he is a member of the Severn Motor Yacht Club. In 1970 David Cranmore is living in Cardiff and Glitterwake’s home port in the Lloyd’s Register is shown as Lawrenny where there continues to be a Yacht Station on the Carew River, off Milford Haven.
The last published in 1976 MNL also shows David Cranmore as the owner and that he is still in Cardiff. Private documents relating to Glitterwake after 1976 provide some information about owners after this date.
On 11th June 1977 she was sold to Mr R Johnson of Hoveton, near Wroxham, as “one damaged Motor Yacht Hull Glitterwake”. The bill of sale is signed by T. L. James but there is no address or company stamp so it is not known whether she was on the Broads.
Although there is no record of the work carried out, it appears that she was restored by Mr Johnson of Hoveton, Norfolk and that the work was completed by 1979 as she carries the Broads registration number M639. Four years later Glitterwake was sold to a Mr J Smith of Norwich who changed the name to Olly May. Then in the late nineteen eighties the name reverts to Glitterwake under the new ownership of the Cunninghams at which point a BMC 2.5L diesel was installed presumably during the Knights Creek restoration recorded by a plaque in the wheelhouse.
A letter dated January 1992 from the NRA (now the EA) refers to an inspection that took place at Bushnell’s boatyard in Wargrave and it appears that she spent at least some time on the Thames during 1991/1992 under the ownership of a Mr. Wagstaffe.
A photograph of Glitterwake was included as part of an article by Guy Thomas about the 50th anniversary of Hoseasons holiday company in Motor Boats magazine in December 1994. The article describes Glitterwake as being typical of the cruisers offered for hire on the Broads after World War Two. It also refers to Neil Hunt of Knights Creek boatyard as being responsible for the reconstruction and this ties in with the plaque on the boat dating from 1991. The article quotes Neil Hunt as saying that Glitterwake was for sale. The photograph shows Glitterwake with the same fixed wheelhouse as now.
Mr Wagstaffe sold Glitterwake in March or April 1995 when she was bought by Peter Eccleshare whose address at the time was in Tewkesbury and shortly after this sale she was moved to Bert Allen’s Boatyard at Bredon in the West Midlands. A survey was carried out by McGeary Marine of Birmingham in March 1997 and in 2002 a further survey was undertaken by George Reohorn at the Wooden Hulls Boat Yard, Diglis Dock Road, Worcester.
Glitterwake was featured on a commemorative calendar for 2002. This includes a photograph of her with a handwritten note saying Upton-on-Severn.
After 2002 her whereabouts are uncertain but she was brought back to the Norfolk Broads at some point prior to 2008 by Peter Eccleshare and was part of The Quayside Club which was set up as a boat sharing scheme. An article about the Quayside Club with a photograph of Glitterwake was published in the June/July 2008 issue of Anglia Afloat. The club appears to have folded very quickly and according to a member of the Norfolk Broads Forum, Glitterwake was then effectively laid up and offered for sale at Richardson’s Yard.
It appears that she stayed here until in February 2011 she was bought from Peter Eccleshare by Andrew Lodge of Barton Turf, Norfolk. Clearly she was not in very good repair as the sale price was only £1000!
During 2011 and 2012 Mr Lodge undertook various repair works, including replacing some hull planks and she was sold in July 2013 to Mr Steel and Mr Hayes who moved her back to the West Midlands where she was moored at Sankey Marine at Evesham. Two years later she was purchased by the two Andies and moved to the River Thames to a mooring at Tom Jones Boatyard in Windsor where she has been maintained until the present day. Work carried out there includes replacing some hull planking, the hog and the shaft log. The mooring may be available for a new owner by separate negotiation.
Believe it or not there is more information on the history for those who like to dig deep. Well done to the two owners who have really got to know and love their charming pre-war cruiser.
Please call the office if you would like to view her on the Windsor mooring. You can expect to see a spacious interior with good air draft, two heads, a shower, a compact galley and a saloon which converts easily into two additional beds. In the wheelhouse there is a sliding hatch so you can enjoy fresh air cruising as you navigate. Glitterwake has appeared in St Katherine's Dock at the Classic boat event in September and manages the tidal Thames with aplomb. There is a two piece overall cover which can be put on by one person I am told and would explain the good condition of the varnish and paint as covers are essential for UV protection.