One of the last remaining Norfolk trading wherry boats is celebrating her 125th anniversary.

Maud, with her distinctive black sail, is one of only two surviving Norfolk trading wherries to sail on the Norfolk Broads and Rivers.

Built in 1899, she is Norfolk’s last typical clinker-built trading wherry, which is a traditional method of boat building where the edges of hull planks overlap and are secured with clinched nails.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Norfolk wherry boat Maud with her distinctive black sail Norfolk wherry boat Maud with her distinctive black sail (Image: Wherry Maud Trust)

Maud started her working life as one of a small fleet of private trading wherries owned by a director of Jewson timber merchants in Great Yarmouth.

Back then, wherries were still an important part of the Broadland cargo transport system, carrying loads of up to 45 tonnes which traditionally included corn, bricks, coal, sugar beet and timber.

Sometimes wherries would be seen laden with reeds or straw, looking like floating haystacks.

READ MORE: Bust up on the Broads: Watch as foul-mouthed fishermen try to stop boat mooring

Their work was confined to the main rivers with occasional sea trips to unload coasting ships anchored in the Yarmouth Roads.

Some wherries, like Maud, were designed for a specific purpose. Maud would carry timber imported into Great Yarmouth from the Baltics.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Norfolk wherry MaudNorfolk wherry Maud (Image: Wherry Maud Trust)

By the end of her working life she was no longer the smart, well-painted vessel she once was, being used to carry dredgings for the river contractors May Gurney.

In the mid-1960s, May Guerney switched from wooden to more robust and simpler to repair iron wherries. Maud was offered for sale for £50 but nobody bought her.

The final use for old wherry hulls was to protect sections of river bank from erosion, and Maud was sunk in Ranworth Broad.

READ MORE: Fate of closure-threatened GP surgery to be decided - with locals fearing the worst

A few years later, as part of the construction of Ranworth Conservation Centre, she was raised, moved and re-sunk between Ranworth and Malthouse Broad – destined to remain there forever.

However, in the late 1970s, the late Vincent Pargeter and his then wife Linda began scouring the Broads in search of a wherry wreck which they could renovate.

The couple found Maud in June 1981. It took three days to raise her from the water, dredge out the mud and pump out gallons of water, before she was moved to Upton Boatyard to begin her extensive renovation.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Linda and Vincent Pargeter preparing Maud to be moved from Ranworth to Upton 1981Linda and Vincent Pargeter preparing Maud to be moved from Ranworth to Upton 1981 (Image: Wherry Maud Trust)

After 18 years she was finally ready to sail again, and her recommission took place at Wroxham Broad in September 1999.

She has sailed the Broads ever since, and in 2015 the Wherry Maud Trust was established to operate and maintain her.

Vincent Pargeter died that year, aged 72, but his ex-wife Linda remains a trustee of the charity.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Maud being recommissioned at Wroxham Broad in September 1999Maud being recommissioned at Wroxham Broad in September 1999 (Image: Archant)

This month marks Maud’s 125th anniversary and 25 years since her restoration and recommission.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Wherry Maud Trust is holding an artists and makers show at Ranworth Village Hall, in Broad Road, over the early May bank holiday.

It will take place on Sunday, May 5, and Monday, May 6, from 10am to 5pm.

The event will showcase the work of East Anglian artists and craftspeople.

READ MORE: Boaters to embark on epic voyage of all seven rivers of the Norfolk Broads

Hanging work on display will include watercolour, oil, acrylic and prints. Craft items for sale include wood-turned pieces, studio pottery, textiles and handmade greetings cards.

Visitors will be welcomed by volunteer members of the trust, who will be happy to chat about Maud, her history and current use.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Linda Pargeter remains a trustee of the Wherry Maud TrustLinda Pargeter remains a trustee of the Wherry Maud Trust (Image: Archant)

Admission is free and teas, coffees and homemade cake will be served across the two days.

If you are interested in joining the Wherry Maud Trust as an associate member, not only will you be supporting Maud’s preservation, but you will have opportunities to sail on her and participate in other Trust events.

The current cost of membership is £15 per person. Further details and events can be found at