Bryan Read – We remember a Trustee and good friend

It is with great sadness that we recently learnt of the death of Bryan Read.  Bryan was a founding trustee of the Broads Trust with a great love of the Broads. He was born into a Norfolk family, his mother was a Colman and his grandmother was a Boardman, so it is hardly surprising that he was closely involved in so many aspects of the Broads.

His father ran Read’s Mills at Beccles and became a Commissioner with the Gt. Yarmouth Port & Haven Commissioners due to the majority of the grain being carried by river and being imported via the Port of Gt. Yarmouth.   Read’s Mills moved to Norwich in the Thirties and in 1963 Bryan took over the running of the Mills upon the death of his father and so became a Port & Haven Commissioner in his place.   Reads also had a mill at Horstead, at the head of the navigation, which burnt down in January 1963.

The family own a bungalow at Horning and are involved with many boating activities. They owned the River Cruiser Harrier and White Boat Scarce Copper among others and Bryan raced a Star class dingy at Wroxham.

Being a River Commissioner, Bryan was involved with many organisations around the Broads and the setting up of Trusts to preserve a number of Broads’ activities and facilities.   He was also played a major role in the creation of the Broads Authority to deal with the many problems of running the waterways and navigations.

When the future of How Hill was in doubt, Bryan persuaded Norwich Union to step in and secure the future of the property to continue its valuable educational role.   Similarly, he worked hard with the EDP to help raise funds to secure the Hunter Fleet so that it was preserved as a traditional boatyard and vintage fleet of sailing craft.   In addition, Bryan was involved in the Norfolk Windmills Trust.

Bryan was passionate about the Broads and became heavily involved in the controversy of the Broads not being a full National Park. He served on the Council for National Parks and was particularly pleased when the Broads was eventually recognised as part of the Family of National Parks.

Bryan was a long serving member and President of the Broads Society and in 2005 he worked with two colleagues from the Society, Major Nick Barne and Peter Howe, to set up a new charity – The Broads Trust. The aim of the charity was to raise money to support projects around the Broads for conservation, education, enhancement of the natural environment and the improvement of the navigation. He acted as Treasurer until very recently and saw the work of the charity grow to be a force for good, which it now is, with the development of the Love the Broads project.

There is no doubt that Bryan’s contribution to so many aspects of the Broads over his long life will be sadly missed but he leaves a lasting legacy for all to see.  Bryan and Sheila, his wife who sadly died in 2018, had a large family and were so proud of  his 4 children and countless grand and great grand children.

Bryan was well respected and liked by all that knew him.

You can hear Bryan speaking of his family’s history and passion for the Broads – see link:

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