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          DEDICATION -  in loving memory of our parents, Sonny and Rene Cardy.

            This website has been created to preserve the history and the future of the

                                                "VIKING SAGA" - MALDON  Pleasure Boat




















Our dad, Sonny, loved this boat; with his best friend, Eric, he had her designed and built, then brought her to Maldon.

Had this not happened then I would not be writing this story.  The Viking Saga was the beginning of the CARDY family. 


Our mum, Rene, was 17 when she was introduced to the Viking Saga; she lost her heart to this revolutionary new pleasure boat and the cheeky boatman that pursued her.

A lot of history has passed , lots of good times but there was also some unpleasant times during the ownership and departure of this boat in our parents and our lives.  Had our dad had the same ruthlessness as others that he encountered and had you been able to run a boat from Clacton beaches without having to be a resident, then this story would read completely different.  But it is what it is, our dad was too trusting and paid the price but both we and the Viking Saga survived and what goes around comes around - full circle in this instance.


I still get very emotional when I see her as it takes me back to my childhood when our dad, Sonny, would be away for weeks at a time.  Despite running a kiosk on the Promenade at Maldon, mum would manage to take a rare day off and I can remember her taking me to Clacton to see Daddy, she would release my hand and I would run to the top of the victorian gardens that overlooked the beaches, stretching on tiptoes, to see if the Viking Saga was at the groyne or if I had to wait for her to return from a trip before seeing my daddy. When I visit Clacton I can still relive those moments and as nice as they are, they are also painful.  It must've been a bus or coach trip or maybe by train even, as back in the 50s mum didn't drive.   On some occasions dad would be allowed to take us back with him and we have some photos of me taking care of my brothers alongside the groyne with "Len" keeping a watchful eye on us.


When Nigel bought the Viking Saga back to Maldon I didn't know if that would have pleased our dad or not, this boat, as much as she had been loved had also brought him a lot of heartache.  

I eventually went on my first trip last year, when our mum needed accompanying.  It was an emotional journey for me, particularly the engine room but I have opened my heart to her again and unlocked that emotional box so that, like mum, I can enjoy her again in the coming chapters of my life.

I can now most definitely say that, our dad Sonny, would be chuffed to bits and proud as punch to see his baby boy bring this old lady back to where she belongs and dedicate his love and skills on her.  He would love to see him at the wheel and hear his humourous commentary - his heart would be bursting!!

I can picture dad, with his sailor cap on, white shirt slightly unbuttoned, sleeves rolled up, dark trousers; standing at the top of the jetty touting the punters to board for a trip or just standing on the back of the VS with a ciggie on his lip watching his son doing what he used to do, with such pride. 


Though she is back in the loving hands of the Cardy family, it is a different family and credit must be given to Roey who has stood by Noddy all these years and helped him wherever she could.  The boys, Danny and Dean, are now strapping young men and they assist Noddy in the maintenance and renovation of the Viking Saga during her hibernation months.

It is hoped that the boys will come to love her in the same way as us oldies do as it would be lovely to think that they can keep this tradition going with the future generations.  Noddy would want me to mention all his good friends that helped bring this graceful old lady back home and those that got down and dirty with the months of renovations that were ahead, the river community is a close one and they are a great bunch.


The Viking Saga gained another loyal fan when she returned to Maldon, Dora - Roey's mum.

Both mums spent years sitting on the back of the boat going for as many trips as they were able too, they really were like permanent fixtures.  Nigel used to jest about how unlucky he was, not only having his mother coming to work with him daily but his mother in law as well!!  There are two empty spaces now, our mum Rene passed away last year and the ninety something young Dora is getting frail - their presence is missed.


I've not had any involvement with the Viking since her return so this is my contribution to her, my baby brother Nigel (Noddy) whom I love absolutely and totally adore and to Roey, my sister in law.  The Viking Saga now has her own domain, a website and a facebook page.  It will be an ongoing project with her history preserved.  Other than old newspaper cuttings there is no written evidence that our dad ever actually owned this boat, life was very different back then, but he did and this is to write his piece of history as well.


I do hope you enjoy the Viking Saga's website and facebook page.  I have had a lot of pleasure creating both, it's an ongoing education for me and I'm thankful that Nigel has retained all the history that he has and allowed me to rummage through it all.  


If you have any contributions to her history, we would be delighted if you would share it with us.  If you take any photos of her or when you are aboard that you think we'd like to see, please send them in.


Thank you for reading this, I hope the sentiment and love that we feel for this grand old lady has come over in my words, she has a special place in all our hearts.


Many thanks

Marilyn Cardy (Noddy's big sis)


The photo of Sonny and Rene I'm guessing was taken in 1948 when Rene was 18, on a trip to Clacton during the one hour stop over. It is my absolute favourite capture of mum and dad together, it shows the attraction and how 'in tune' with each other they were. 









Viking Saga 

Viking Saga Maldon

Viking Saga Pleasure Boat



© 2014-2020 Marilyn Winyard

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