Tag Archives: Albert Strange

Ernest Dade’s book of drawings Sail and Oar reprinted by Lodestar Books

Ernest Dade 3

 

Ernest Dade 1 Ernest Dade 2

These lovely drawings by the artist Ernest Dade feature in a new volume from Lodestar Books – and if you’re in need of a gift or two it’s available in time for Christmas at a very reasonable £12!

As an artist, Dade trained with Albert Strange and shared his master’s passion for sailing and sailing craft. First published in 1933, the book Sail and Oar contains 100 of his lively and also historically accurate sketches, accompanied by some striking captions.

I particularly like one that reads: ‘The old smacks brought a very powerful odour with them when they returned after six or eight weeks at sea. They could be smelt some miles away.’

One of the local fishermen of the time said this of Dade’s collection of drawings: ‘These pictures… are true in every way. Mr Ernest Dade lived the life, knew the men, and sailed in the various craft he draws so well. It is a record of things passed away.’

Read more about Ernest Dade’s Sail and Oar at the Lodestar Books website.

 

Albert Strange waits for the tide

Strange_CherubII_sm-sq

 

Albert Strange’s drawing of Grimsby Docks’s famous landmark – the Venetian Tower

Albert Strange writing about his North Sea cruise of 1895:

‘I went on rowing and got a little beyond Kilnsea before it was evident that no further progress was being made. So it was ‘down anchor’ and prepare for a night at sea, or at least to wait until midnight and go into the Humber by the ordinary channel. I sounded and found about four fathoms, which would leave me ample water at low tide, let go anchor, and started the stove. It was now about 6.30 p.m, a fine evening but the glass slowly falling and the surf beating heavily on the shore some 300yds. inside me.

‘After dinner I sat in the cockpit and smoked my pipe. Whilst so occupied I saw two or three people on the beach waving. Of course I could not reply, which seemed to distress them, for they waved still more vigorously. Then they tried to launch a small boat, which was promptly capsized in the surf. It seemed very kind of them to take all this trouble, and I thanked them, though I doubt if they heard me… ‘

Read more at the Old Gaffer’s Association’s Sailing By website.

Albert Strange sailing yacht Charm for sale

Dick Wynne is selling the lovely Albert Strange-designed yacht Charm, which was built 1922 (Intheboatshed.net attended her 90th birthday party this year) and lovingly restored 2000-2005 by Russell Read.

There are various posts and reports mentioning Charm on the Albert Strange Association site.

It’s what you might call a reluctant sale – it’s difficult to imagine parting with with a boat like Charm - Dick has struggled to find the time to get the good use from her while still keeping up the day job and managing his other commitments, which include running the wonderful Lodestar Books , and so is planning to return to sail-and-oar boating.

Charm’s condition is superb, she has five sails including a new topsail, a 20hp Beta diesel, Taylor’s paraffin cooking & heating, the usual electronics, and a brand new tailored over-the-boom winter deck cover to protect all her brightwork.

She’s 33ft LOA, has a beam 7ft 6in and a draught 5ft, and two comfortable berths. Contact Dick via the Albert Strange Association website’s contact page.

Save Albert Strange’s Fastnet winner Tally Ho!

Tally Ho – one of the larger Albert Strange-designed boat and winner of the 1927 Fastnet race. She’s currently lying at Port of Brookings, Oregon

If you’d like to sail a magnificent gaff topsail cutter from the early 20th century, and have the resources to restore her, The Albert Strange Association is definitely looking for you.

The organisation is working to save Tally Ho, at 47ft 6in by 12ft 10in by 7ft 6in and rated at 30 tons, one of the larger boats designed by Albert Strange (1855-1917), a leading artist and boat designer, as well as a writer and sailor.

Tally Ho has a great reputation as ocean sailing boat, having won the 1927 Fastnet Race, and has had various names over the years – readers may have come across her under the name Betty, but she has also been called Alciope, Escape to Paradise and Escape.

See Thad Danielson’s article on the newly created Tally Ho pages of the ASA website here.

The ASA is working hard to find a way forward for Tally Ho. Happily, unlike many older yachts, she still has her shape, thanks to having been strongly built. I think she richly deserves a new lease of life – but then I’m an Albert Strange fan…

The photo below shows Tally Ho in her glory days.

Two Albert Strange yachts for sale at the ASA website

Leona designed by Albert Strange, built 1906 Sea Harmony designed by Albert Strange, built 1937

Leona and Sea Harmony – click on the thumbnails for bigger photos

Two very special Albert Strange yachts are advertised for sale over at the Albert Strange Association website - Sea Harmony, a 1936-built 33ft version of Strange’s 1917 Venture design, and 24ft canoe yawl Leona, built in 1906 to Strange design number 63.

Perhaps the prettiest yacht I ever seen photographed, Sea Harmony is in New England, while I believe Leona is still in her home area of the Humber, where it would be nice to think she will stay.

 

Holmes of the Humber: a review

 

Eel

Eel, drawn by her skipper and designer, George Holmes

[June 2011 - This book is now available again after selling out less than a year after publication.]

Now that my copy has arrived, Tony Watts’ book Holmes of the Humber seems bigger than I’d expected. This is seriously good news, for although it isn’t quite coffee-table book sized, it’s nevertheless big enough to do justice to old George Holmes’ lovely illustration work.

There are also several intriguing photos of the man himself – they’re fascinating because he is so much everybody’s idea of what a slightly eccentric Edwardian uncle really should look like, and rather at odds with his own whimsical depictions of himself in drawings.

I should also add that it’s packed with an impressive amount of material, much of it drawn or written or both by the man himself. As I leaf through the pages I’m struck by how many pages are made up of a mixture of drawings and hand-written text, and can’t help wondering whether this may have been where Alfred Wainright – consciously or unconsciously – found his inspiration for his meticulously hand-written and illustrated books about the Lake District.

The chapters start with his early years, and include a map of the rivers and coast of much of Yorkshire and also the rivers of Lincolnshire. This map is essential to understanding much of the content of this part of book. Quite quickly Watts moves on to material from the Eel years, including a charming draftsman-like drawing of the boat itself and her dinghy Snig quickly followed by an equally sweet page of comic-book style drawings depicting Eel’s first cruise and accompanied by captions including 11pm May 26 1897 Hornsea Beach. Waiting followed by Midnight May 28 1897 Hauling through the surf, then A bit lumpy off the Newsand Noon May 29 1897, Passing the Bull Lightship 2pm May 29 and finally Moored at Ferriby Sluice. May 29 1897.

Holmes’ illustrations and texts just go on and on – the Eel years alone runs to 60-something pages. There’s a nice chapter of descriptions of some of the Humber’s local boat types including the crab boat, the Goole billy boy, the Humber duster, the Paull shrimper and of course an illustration of how a smack’s boat is converted into a blobber, complete with small cutter rig and cozy – but unstable-looking – house.

It’s notable that the up-river blobbers had much taller houses, which went neatly with having no rigs – at least in Holmes’ illustration.

After 15 years with the little 21ft Eel, Holmes moved on to the 28tft Snippet in search of greater comfort – as he says ‘there had come a slight increase in my beam, a disinclination to bend and a desire for standing headroom below’. The early Snippet drawings are then immediately followed by more of Holmes’ comic book-style annotated drawings – this time scenes from his first cruise with Snippet on the Norfolk Broads.

There’s another section of Holmes’ descriptions of various sailing areas including the tidal Trent and the Upper Humber, the Rivers Ouse and Hull, and – astonishingly to me – the River Ancholme. I should explain that the Ancholme lies just a few miles from the small North Lincolnshire town where I grew up, and was pleasantly pleased to recognise some scenes from the river that I haven’t seen since I was a boy, including, of course, the bridge at Brigg, from where the delightful but rarely sung traditional song Brigg Fair got its name.

There’s a short section on Holmes the artist, followed by another on his boat designs including canoe yawls Cassy; the first, second and third Ethel; Daisy; Yum-Yum; Kittiwake; Redwing; T’Rotter; Trent; Design No 7 and Ripple. If you’re in search of material about canoe yawls, you certainly won’t feel let down, but this chapter also includes some ‘house boats’, which are really like more conventional yachts, and a curious round-bottomed barge yacht.

And, finally, there’s what looks like a comprehensive list of Homes’ designs and boats compiled by Albert Strange Association technical secretary Richard Powell.

At £25, Holmes of the Humber isn’t cheap, but it’s a heck of a good package that’s well worth the money. If you’re at all interested in Holmes this book should certainly be on your wish list this Christmas! See http://www.lodestarbooks.com for information.

Holmes of the Humber explained

 

Holmes of the Humber new colour

[June 2011 - This book is now available again after selling out less than a year after publication.]

Holmes of the Humber is a new book by long-standing Humber Yawl Club member Tony Watts. But just who was the book’s subject, George Holmes? The publisher’s notes tell the story so well, I repeat them here just as they appear on the fly-leaf:

George Holmes lived from 1861 to 1940 on the northern side of the Humber estuary. He was an avid and accomplished sailor in small craft of his own design, in British waters and in mainland Europe, and his prolific writing and drawing have left us an absorbing and charming record of his cruises, his boats, and the people and places he encountered.

‘In common with his friend and sailing companion Albert Strange, boats were not his regular occupation but were a diversion from his working life. And along with Strange, his name is forever associated with the development of the Canoe-Yawl, now enjoying a renewed popularity. Its sailing qualities make it arguably the best choice of craft for the single- or short-handed coastal and estuary sailor.

‘Holmes of the Humber is a nautical book and a social document. Look within to appreciate the pioneering days of cruising under sail, when enjoyment and fulfilment sprang from personal endeavour and the camaraderie of the group, and were largely independent of the external forces which would control us today.

‘Tony Watts has combined original sources, Holmes’ published output and the recollections of his family, and his own knowledge and experience of the Humber sailing scene to produce this, The Essential George Holmes.’

For more information and sample pages from the Lodestar Books webpages, click here: Holmes of the Humber.

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