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After many years in the Royal Air Force and a posting to RAF Coltishall Wally also created the Solarscope mobile disco's with gigs as far as Manchester. He was resident DJ at Scamps Nightclub in Norwich during the 70's and had a show on Hospital Radio Norwich.
Wally joined BBC Radio Norfolk when it began broadcasting on September 11th 1980 and has been there ever since.
He's Patron of the East Coast Truckers Childrens Charity and President of the Potter Heigham Country Fayre Fundraisers.
He rides a 1966 Lambretta 125 Special and spends a lot of time cruising on the Norfolk Broads.
He's an Ambassador for the Wherry Albion of the Norfolk Wherry Trust, a Friend of Hardley Windpump and a volunteer litter picker for his home community and a videographer for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Apart from serving in the Royal Air Force he's also a founder member of the East Norfolk Militia from which he's now retired and served four years as a Governor of Thorpe St.Andrew High School.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesdays Scorcher

It was a happy coincidence that we found time on Tuesday afternoon to take the boat out with some friends who're still considering buying one themselves. What a day to choose! Fantastic weather and the river Yare so quiet. I decided that it would be agood idea to go downriver towards Cantley maybe stopping for a break at Langley Dyke. As it was, with Sheri at the helm as I sat out the back, there went the entrance to Langley Dyke and we showed no signs of slowing. That was because one of our guests wanted to see the sugar beet factory from the river. Fair enough, it's only half a mile on. When we got there it hardly seemed worth just turning round and so jointly we agreed on stopping at Reedham Ferry after first considering going as far as Loddon down the Chet.
When we got to the Ferry it was a case of life jackets on and running to the rescue of a boatload of youngsters. I counted eight in all with maybe the most senior of them being eighteen. The rest were younger and they had no idea of how to handle the boat in the strong outgoing tide and with the wind pushing them onto the bank. After some time - and waiting until the ferry was clear - we talked them through the manouvre of getting safely back into the river and off they went. It's sometimes scary to think that such people can hire a boat without any formal training. On the continent it's very different. You need a boat handling certificate to prove your proficiency. The trouble is that most people have no idea of the hazards they face on the water and every year we lose lives on the Broads, much of the time through silly behaviour.
After a social drink at the pub we set off on the return journey. Before long we came across two guys in a sail boat who'd run into the mud. With their sails up and the keel well embedded in the thick stuff we offered to take a line and tow them out. Even giving the throttle an extra inch didn't make them budge. I was at the helm with a limited view but Sheri - ever observant - suggested that the problem might be their sail which was catching the wind and driving them towards the bank. "Lower your mainsail" she instructed them and they obediently responded. Result - slowly first I could feel less resistance and then whoosh - away she came into deeper water. That was suely enough excitement for one day. By this time our guests were well impressed. It seems boating is far less than dull!
Down the water ski stretch and we're watching the skiers bounce by. Looking out of the back though it's one bounce too far and he's off and bobbing up and down in the water. Pity the boat behind wasn't paying much attention though. In a dramatic move he was heading right at the stranded guy in the wet suit. It was a heart stopping moment but just in time he realised - or one of his crew shouted - and the bow of the vessel went hard starboard and missed the skier by inches. By this time we'd had enough excirement for one day without having to pick bits of skier out of the Yare. So all in all an interesting trip out for all concerned. Oh - and did I mention that the sun shone all the time. Marvellous eh!!!!!

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