Broads Authority's tributes to an elder statesman of the Broads

A thanksgiving service for Martin Broom, the Broads Authority’s longest serving member, will be held at St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich on Friday 22nd November at 3.15 p.m.

Martin, who was a font of knowledge about both commercial and pleasure boating, gave the Authority the benefit of his wise counsel for more than 30 years. He died recently at the age of 79 after a long illness.

He was chairman of the Navigation Committee from its inception in 1988, served on the Planning Committee for 28 years and was vice chairman of the full Broads Authority from 2002 – 2005.

Chairman Stephen Johnson said: “Martin was a mainstay of the Broads Authority and the Broads, giving us the benefit of his vast experience and wisdom in the face of sometimes contentious issues for more than 30 years. He was an elder statesman of the Broads and will leave a big void in the boating world.”

Broads Authority Chief Executive John Packman said: “Martin was a popular and highly respected Member with whom officers really enjoyed working. We greatly benefitted from his expertise which crossed all boating sectors. He steered the committee and advised the Authority on many issues to everyone’s great benefit, helping to guide the organisation over that period with a unique ability to command respect in both the commercial and private spheres of boating.”

As chairman of the Rivers Committee of the old Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Commissioners, Martin was appointed to the old partnership Broads Authority in 1980 as a substitute member and then as a full member in 1982.

He was a committee member of the Broads Society, and was a pivotal figure in the introduction of the first Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act, which established the statutory Broads Authority in 1988.

“It was so exciting to be part of this new body which had been specially created to look after the Broads,” Martin once said, adding it had been a privilege to be trusted to represent both private and commercial sectors.
Some of the changes Martin oversaw included two Acts of Parliament, the implementation of the Broadland Flood Alleviation Scheme, the dredging of Barton Broad, the purchase of the May Gurney dredging operation and the creation of the country park with two broads at Whitlingham.

For over half a century Martin was chairman of the family boat building firm, Broom Boats of Brundall, founded by his grandfather 115 years ago, which also ran a hire fleet.

He devoted his spare time to promoting the interests of both commercial and private boating as well as indulging in the sport himself.

He is a past chairman of the Broads Hire Boat Federation, Blakes Holidays Ltd, the Royal Yachting Association, the Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Owners Association and the British Marine Federation East Anglia. He was vice chairman and director of the British Marine Federation, director of National Boat Shows and chairman of Boat Shows in 1989 and 1990.

For 25 years Martin was a member of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority, and for many years sat on the Royal Yachting Association Inland Waterways Panel as well as a number of other RYA committees. He was a longstanding and leading committee member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association, which serves the interests of Broads boaters, commodore of the River Cruiser Class and a member of several sailing clubs including the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, Norwich Frostbite Sailing Club, Norfolk Broads Yacht Club and the Royal Thames Yacht Club.
A life-long sailor, he and his wife Jennifer successfully raced a Norfolk One Design Dinghy, Tideway, number 59, built for Martin and his brother in 1948 and a Yare and Bure One Design. But he was probably best known for competing in his magnificent river cruiser Raisena, number 3, with his family over 36 years, in which he won the Yare Navigation Race, from Coldham Hall to Breydon Water and back, multiple times.
He sold Raisena and bought another sailing cruiser ‘Moonshadow’, last year.




Thursday 10 October 2013