Charity auction raises funds to restore historic broads boat

Discount retailer Lathams of Potter Heigham, has raised £1588 during its 60th anniversary celebrations for the Museum of The Broads. The money will be used to fund the restoration of a historic boat once owned by Lathams’ founder Ken Latham.

Lathams raised the funds by hosting a charity auction as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations last month. A Norfolk institution, Lathams is famous for its fishing tackle and supplies, as well as discounted homewares, furniture, food, clothing, DIY and pet departments. The store was first opened by Ken Latham in 1963 as a ‘piscatorial paradise’, a homage to his love for fishing on The Broads, and quickly became popular with local people and holidaymakers alike. When Ken retired in February 1989, Lathams joined the family-run Norfolk discount group QD, who has since expanded the premises and built a dedicated Lathams Fishing Tackle shop opposite the main store. 

The £1588 raised by Lathams’ auction has been donated to the Museum of The Broads in Stalham and will be used to complete the restoration of Ken Latham’s last remaining boat, Esox Lucius II (Latin for Northern Pike). The boat was one of two Ken used for pike fishing on the River Thurne during 1960s.

The specialist restoration project, which will commence next month, is likely to take around six weeks. It will involve woodwork repairs to the hull, repainting and revarnishing, and replacing some of the brass fittings and oars. The Museum also hopes to use the funds to equip the boat with items that would have been required when it was being used in the 60s. Once complete, Esox Lucius II will be given pride of place at the Museum of The Broads.

John Goldie, store manager at Lathams, said: “We are delighted to donate the funds raised during our 60th anniversary celebrations to restore Ken’s beloved fishing boat. Lathams was Ken’s piscatorial paradise and it seems a fitting tribute to him that, as we mark six decades on The Broads, Esox Lucius II will be brought back to its former glory and put on display for future generations to enjoy.”

Christopher Tooth, vice-chairman of the Museum of The Broads, said: “Ken Latham is synonymous with The Broads and Esox Lucius II is an artefact steeped in local history. We are grateful to Lathams for using its 60th anniversary as an opportunity to raise the funds, which will enable us to fully restore Ken’s last remaining boat and have it here in our Museum for all to see.”

Lathams of Potter Heigham is located at Bridge Road, Potter Heigham NR29 5JE.


The Museum of The Broads is located at The Poor’s Staithe, Stalham NR12 9DA. See the Museum website for details –