Boatyard rises from ashes after tragedy

A YEAR ago boatyard owner Peter Wilson watched in dismay as his business went up in flames before his eyes.

But now, after 12 months of hard work and determination, a new and improved workshop has risen from the ashes.

About 20 firefighters attended the blaze at the Aldeburgh Boatyard Company in Fort Green.

Employees at the yard bravely fought to douse the flames, managing to save two boats before crews arrived.

But the fire – which started in a wood burner – completely destroyed the workshop.

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Work on a new building started at the beginning of this year and it was officially opened at the end of last week.

Mr Wilson, managing director of the Aldeburgh Boatyard Company, said: “The shed and the workshops are now functional.

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“The offices are not quite finished yet but they are not far away.

“It has been an awful year, really, and 12 months of very hard work.

“We have had to do a lot of it ourselves. I’m relieved that everything is now finally coming together.”

Firefighters from Aldeburgh, Woodbridge, Orford and Leiston were called to the drama at the end of April last year.

An area of the town had to be cordoned off as a precaution after two liquid propane gas cylinders were discovered close to the blaze.

Despite the setback Mr Wilson, who has been at the boatyard for more than 30 years, continued the business more or less as usual.

The local community rallied round to help him in his hour of need, donating tools and offering use of workshops.

“People have been very kind,” Mr Wilson said. “They have been very helpful and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”

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