Ghost Story c1989
Norfolk Punt: Scoter (1989)
From Eastern Daily Press
Posted by John Fowler & B.Thorpe, 18th August 2003
These messages were originally posted on the Spooky Norfolk message board run by the Eastern Daily Press and are copied here with the Paper's permission
We are keen dinghy sailors with a bungalow at Potter.
We often enter the Three Rivers race in a Norfolk Punt. About 11 years ago my crew Dick and I were very focussed on returning to Horning in the early hours, very slowly in 'zero wind'.
It was nearly pitch black (probably about 02.30 hrs) but I became aware of a small boat nearly in the middle of the river 3-400 yards on the Thurne Mouth side of St Benets and planned my tack to pass it. Still being a little uncertain, a minute or so later I asked Dick if he could see anything, he said he could see a small boat ahead. We sailed on very slowly and to my relief I heard oars being shipped on the St Benet's side of the river.
We shortly drew level with a small length of quay headed bank. We could clearly see all of the bank as we sailed along. No dinghy was to be seen. I checked the bank several times subsequently and there is no way a boat could not have been seen there - it is open land. Nor could it have been carried away in the time available.
Very interesting to see and hear and have it corroborated by a second person.
The place is close, I believe, just downstream of the old fish ponds at St Benets. I have also heard that there was a pub near there until 1890 or something.
The pub was the Chequers, burned down around 1900 - you'll have seen a wherryman on his way for a pint.
The Broads are full of ghostly rowers heading back and forward from pubs in the small hours.
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