Baden Powell

Double ended topsand cockler built 1900 by Worfolk, Walter, Kings Lynn

Designated ensign Designated house flag



Fishing Vessel

Double ended topsand cockler

King's Lynn


Museum: floating





Web site








31.00 feet (9.45 metres)

11.00 feet (3.35 metres)

34.50 feet (10.52 metres)

3.00 feet (0.92 metres)



BADEN POWELL, named after the South African war hero who later founded the Boy Scouts, is a double ended topsand cockler, a fishing vessel of timber carvel construction.  She was the first boat built in King's Lynn by Walter Worfolk, and was bought by the Cook family for £50.  Walter's schoolboy sons Gerald and William watched the launch in 1900.  BADEN POWELL is the last remaining double ended topsand cockler afloat in King's Lynn, and possibly on the east coast.  She fished until the 1980s, when she was presented to True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum in King's Lynn, then passed on to the King's Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust in 2011.  The Trust's volunteers had already begun the task of renovating the boat, with the aim of returning her to the River Great Ouse to offer trips so that passengers could see the waterfront and better appreciate the role of the river in the development of the town since medieval times.  The Worfolk brothers took their father's business on to complete 80 years, building some 600 craft in all.  The Baden Powell's renovation turned into a rebuild when the volunteers realised her ancient timbers were unequal to the task of being patched up yet again.  With the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant she was entrusted to the St Osyth Boatyard in Essex to replace the frames, planking and decking.  Returning to King's Lynn in 2016 for painting and superstructure work, she was re-launched in August 2017 and began offering river trips the following month. When new sails from North Sea Sails are fitted to the BADEN POWELL in Spring 2018, she will also offer a sail training programme for local young people. BADEN POWELL enjoys financial support from many local companies and individuals.

Subsequent developments

March 2012  Vessel is still at Terrington St John.  The plan is to bring her into King's Lynn as soon as the last new frame and the first deck beams are in place, to hold the hull together during a lift by crane on to a low loader for the ride into town.  Where she will be off-loaded in town is not settled.  Source: King's Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust newsletter, Mar 2012.

September 2012 First-round application to Heritage Lottery Fund unsuccessful. Source: King's Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust, newsletter, Sep 2012.

April 2014  Second-round application to Heritage Lottery Fund unsuccessful.  Source: King's Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust, newsletter, April 2014.

Jan 2015  Third application to Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful with £76,300 approved between now and June 2016.  Read Press ReleaseSource: King's Lynn Workfolk Trust, newsletter, January 2015.

Key dates

  1. 1900

    Built by Worfolk of Kings Lynn

  2. 1985

    Presented to True's Yard at the end of her fishing career

  3. 2005

    Restoration project started

  4. 2011

    Passed to King' Lynn Worfolk Boat Trust, a charity formed for the purpose

  5. 2015

    Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Accepted 

  6. 2015

    Transfer to St Osyth Boatyard, Essex for structural work

  7. 2016

    Returned to King's Lynn for work on superstructure

  8. 2017

    Re-launched into River Great Ouse in August and sailing programme started from South Quay

If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact

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