Pirates hold fundraiser to get Beccles ferry back in the water

The Big Dog Ferry on a trip between Beccles and Geldeston Locks.

The Big Dog Ferry on a trip between Beccles and Geldeston Locks. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Avast me hearties! The crew of the Big Dog Ferry will be taking to dry land this weekend demanding pieces of eight in a bid to get their boat back in the water.

The Big Dog Ferry.

The Big Dog Ferry. - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

The ferry, which carries passengers on a 40-minute picturesque journey along the River Waveney between Beccles Lido and Geldeston Locks, is currently out of action and in need of a new engine.

The crew, along with directors of Beccles Lido which runs the ferry, will be at Tesco in Beccles all day tomorrow as part of their fundraising appeal.

The event coincides with International Talk Like a Pirate Day so everyone will dressed up as pirates and the Big Dog herself will be on the Tesco concourse.

The ferry had made more than 900 trips this season before the engine finally gave up.

Yanny Mac, ferry helmsman, said: “This is the fourth time our engine has blown up.

“We are becoming one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Waveney Valley and we have become so popular it has just been driven into the ground and we simply need a better engine.

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“We need a couple of hundred pounds to repair this outboard petrol engine but several thousand to replace it with an inboard diesel.”

He urged the people of Waveney Valley to come along to Tesco and make a donation to help get the boat back in the water.

The Big Dog Ferry is also going to benefit from the Waveney Valley Conkers Tournament which takes place on October 4 at The Locks Inn in Geldeston.

Now in its ninth year, the tournament is open to everyone, with prizes for the winning adult and junior as well as for the best dressed conker.

Mr Mac said: “After the summer we have had, the conkers are going to be great this year.

“We can provide the conkers and string but people are still welcome to bring their own - anything goes.”

The event is suitable for all the family and there will be a barbecue and music throughout the day, including an appearance by local folk band Addison’s Uncle. Registration is from noon and entry is £2.

The night before, Friday, October 3, an adults fundraiser is being held at The Locks Inn featuring comic DJs Thyroid and Vincent, Radio Four’s John Osborne and comedian Tom Clutterbuck. Entrance is free and people can turn up on the evening from 7.30pm.

More information about the Big Dog Ferry is available at www.bigdogferry.co.uk