The Gleaner, built in 1894, was a Norfolk Wherry, a type of boat used on the Norfolk Broads. It was one of at least 14 new models that came into the museum collection in 1939. Douglas Allen, the museum’s Director was building one of the most impressive ship models collections in the country and as the photograph shows, the collections were popular with all ages.
The Gleaner’s popularity was short-lived. As the Blitz began the museum’s staff moved many models to the museum’s basement for safe keeping. These were “Valuable models of ships which cannot be replaced”, but The Gleaner like many of the museum’s most important objects were burnt up in the fire that ripped through the basement.