River Cruise on Board M.C. Belle, September 5th & 6th,1937

My dad’s 1937 summer cruise of the River cam continues; he has some sad news, but he continues to have fun with his friends who join him and Sammy on the motor launch:


We rose at 6:30a.m. this morning and fished in the swell below the staunch. Don caught a little silver bream.

We learned from Mr Knight the Snick spaniel ‘Digger’ had been destroyed on Friday as it was suffering from liver trouble.


Boiled eggs were served up for breakfast with very hot coffee. Round about our boat are real enthusiastic fishermen who came yesterday about 8p.m. and who are still fishing now. The best part of it was that they didn’t have a touch all night! I think our rest in bed was a bit more sensible.


We managed to get up this morning at 8:15a.m. and we had finished breakfast and cleaned up by 9:30a.m. we went for a walk across the fields to Brands Farm to get some milk. We found that the milk was under contract for the Milk Marketing Board and so she had none to give us. we ordered a dozen eggs there, and two large loaves and were promised a pint and a half of milk next milking time.

We went into Bluntisham where after a while we managed to find a general store where you can buy anything but meat.

We returned for dinner and served up veal and ham roll with potatoes and baked beans followed by apricots.

Though we fished in the afternoon we did not do much good and so in the evening we decided to spin for pike with the spinners which Mr Knight kindly brought from Donald’s. Donald fixed up his tackle on the fly rod and I had my roach rod with a 4lb silk line. Anyway we both landed a pike about a pound a piece. We had to stop after a little while as the light had gone.

Fishing… maybe at the staunch, maybe on this holiday… who know now? An idyllic scene.

When we entered “The Boat” we found a big party, Mr and Mrs Knight and George, Mr and Mrs Bradshaw and Jim, Leslie Holt, Earnie King and Gus King. After “Earnie Ting” had proved himself at a game of darts Jim Bradshaw then fetched his piano accordion which he could play very skillfully and we began a sing song. We soon moved into the room with the piano and there we had fine solos, duets, trios, presented by many friends. Mrs Bradshaw played the old time music for the “old boys” while Jim gave us popular dance tunes fr “us young ‘uns.”

Sammy and Snick and Jim with his accordion

It was very late we had seen everyone off in their cars. George Knight and Jim Bradshaw slept in the hut and after seeing them safely in bed we soon found ourselves asleep in our own little boat.

P.S. Swim below the staunch at 11a.m.

Donald must have been very sad at the loss of his family pet Digger. The boys were certainly keen on fishing, with all the particular equipment they had to catch specific fish. What a charming picture of the customers of The Boat, sitting round singing and enjoying each other’s company whatever their age.


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