The Norwich Belle

Image accompanying MP3 audio clip: The Norwich Belle ( KB)

The Norwich Belle

Photo The Norwich Belle

Photo:Poster advertising cruises on the Norwich Belle, c. 1960

Poster advertising cruises on the Norwich Belle, c. 1960

Donated by Mike Rushbrook

An interview with Mrs Fowler about the Norwich Bell

By Richard Dade

Transcript for 'The Norwich Belle':

The Norwich Belle Interview

"They used to have the boats taking people out on sea trips and the old Norwich Belle and the Eastern Princess and they used to do quite well on trips up the Broads ...No they were done by the proper engines diesel engines they were quite nice because you got seats all round the side and you could sit and watch as you went out the Harbour and they take you out to Scroby Island which years ago there used to be a wreck on there so they would take people out to see the wreck and see the seals and not get to close as it was dangerous but obviously they knew how far to go and people did use to see the seals."

The poster below is advertising cruises on the Norwich Belle in the 1960s.

This page was added by Richard Dade on 26/01/2007.
Comments about this page

As mentioned in the above story, the Eastern Princess used to provide similar trips to scroby sands. I have searched high & low on the internet but have been unable to find any photographs etc. of her. Has anyone out there got any memorabilia of her to post on this site ?

By Alan Cracknell
On 14/02/2008


On 06/10/2008

My father was the manager of the Norwich Belle,he was also the man who used to go down in a deep sea diving suit.She was powered by steam when we had her.She was converted to Diesel shortly after my father died by the new manager. I used to go out to sea on her 3 times a day when I was on my school holidays. This photo has brought back many happy memories for me. Thank you.

By Raymond Tatnell
On 12/05/2009

Back in the 1960s I with mum,dad,sister & a couple that were staying in a guest house in Apsley Rd Gt Yarmouth went for a trip on the Norwich Belle and I still have a photo of that day , with the name of the boat shown on the photo

By Roy Hutley
On 10/08/2009

I am very interested in the activities of the Yarmouth and Gorleston Steamship Co and their 3 ships. I wonder if if would be possible for Mr Raymond Tatnell to contact me on 01624 617436. Thank you.

By Stephen Carter
On 12/08/2009

My father and grand father worked on the Norwich Belle and my father also worked as the diver.

By J George
On 11/01/2010

My son's school asked me to say what I did on holidays when I was young. Do you remember Jack Bowles who was my grandfather and I remember he was also one of the deep sea divers who many times I would go with him on the Norwich Belle to see him dive every day. He lived to a ripe old age.

By david reid
On 04/03/2010

thank you for putting my daddy,s grandad on your website laurence

By laurence reid
On 12/03/2010

To David Reid.  Your grandfather Jack Bowles was my uncle, although I knew him as Johnny.  Like you, as a child I went every year for a trip out to sea with him and took my daughter in the 1960's as well.  As you said he lived to a ripe old age and I think he was still on the Norwich Belle into his 80s.  I have a good photo of him and his brother Regie together taken on the Belle.  He was a lovely man, a true gentleman.

By Brenda Myhill (ne. Bowles)
On 23/04/2012

Does anyone know of the final fate of the NORWICH BELLE? After the D.o.T refused to renew her passenger certificate she was sold for use a diving support ship leaving Great Yarmouth. Later it was reported that she had left the UK for use in Egypt.

By Barry Bridges
On 02/07/2012

When my family enjoyed trips on the Norwich Belle in the 1950s she was powered by two triple expansion steam engines, I think the maker's nameplate was Crabtree. They would probably be worth a lot of money now. In rough weather some passengers got their clothes wet and the crew in the engine/boiler room used to dry them in their warm location. The wreck on Scroby was said to be a Belgian trawler which sank in a storm in 1949. It's tripod foremast was a distinctive feature. In those days you could also see the occasional steam tram engine pulling wagons on the quay.  

By Clive Walker
On 25/09/2016

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