Not long ago, the Norfolk wherry, with her black sail, was a familiar sight on the rivers and Broads of Norfolk and Suffolk. She did a useful job carrying every kind of cargo about the country, economically and safely, ferrying passengers to and from their markets, from Norwich to Yarmouth, from Southwold to Halesworth, the wherryman at the helm knowing every twist and turn as they sailed into Buckenham Reach, or Buckenham Horse Shoes, or Hassingham Hubs.
Now steam and petrol have taken over from the wind, and road or rail have mostly superseded the waterways: the wherries, and their crews, have gone.
One or two craft, however, and many of the wherrymen, are still flourishing in retirement. Roy Clark tells in this book of the great days of their trade, and also provides and historical survey of the wherries and their builders. Much of the story is linked with the history of the rivers themselves, and with the feuds between land-owners and wherrymen concerning their upkeep.
No history of the wherries could be complete without a study of the breed of man who sailed them, and Mr. Clark provides a rich gallery of portraits and anecdotes of those who proudly earned their living on the Broads, ferrying, transporting and - occasionally - smuggling.
Pages are in very good condition, some slight wear to edges and cover.