The sad tale of the Steamship London, which is said to have sunk in a storm in the Bay of Biscay as a result of being overloaded. If you’ve ever wondered what disasters prompted the legal changes that brought in the Plimsoll Line, this is one of them.
Foul Weather Call can be thought of as a hornpipe or a reel, I think. Either way it comes from a 19th collection of tunes owned by the Welch family, who lived in the little Sussex port of Bosham.
Edward Beaumont has found a home for his Western Skiff – and has sent me this photo in return for putting out his appeal for a home for it.
The photo is of his aunt Betty and grandfather George Weeks sailing Witch at Bosham in the 1930s.
George was honorary secretary of the sailing club there, and from the photo seems to have won a lot of prizes. Edward says that as a youngster he was told the boat was a West Country One Design, and says he thinks the boat in the photo is clearly about 18 feet overall, and likely to have had a heavy centreboard similar to Thames Estuary One Design and of course, the early National Eighteens.
Edward’s grandfather became ill and died before he was born and the family does not know what happened to the boat – there were several similar boats in Chichester Harbour at the time and a local class of Chichester Harbour 18-footers emerged.
One of the older survivors is a boat called Scandal, but more recently the class has been re-established, with what Edward says is a GRP boat built by Flight Marine (see them here – they’re nice boats, even if they are GRP). He also says there are good photos of some of the older boats on the Bosham Sailing Club’s gallery.
If anyone would like to add to this story, please do – using either the comment link below or by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.