We’ve had a great, if tiring day today with the professional and amateur boatbuilders and boat clubs at the Beale Park Thames Boat Show. As always it was quite an event, with boatbuilders finding spare moments to socialise between visitors, and the clubs devoted to particular types of boats enjoying their own extended picnics, while the general public oohed-and-aahed over the boats themselves. We oohed and aahed quite a lot ourselves, and I discovered later that I had taken 480 photographs, and my partner Julie took a fist-full of good shots too – that’s one of hers at the top of this post.
There were some nice surprises, the best of which was that we met [ad name=”intheboatshed-post”]Joan Jardine-Brown, gracious daughter of the legendary boat designer T Harrison-Butler. Joan is now a lovely elderly lady of 89 years, but has a pin-sharp mind and a lot of interesting memories to share. I’ll write some more about her in a future post.
We also met the legendary Margaret Dye wife of the even more legendary Frank Dye. Margaret talked at some length about the merits of various dinghy classes as cruising boats: it was particularly intriguing to hear her explain her feelings about the Wanderer dinghy to my pal Jim Van den Bos, who owns and sails a Wanderer himself. The Wanderer, I think it’s fair to say, works well as a family or two-man dinghy, but is just too lively for a lightly-built woman sailing alone, and Margaret has long since switched her allegiance to another Ian Proctor design, the Gull.
Finally, I met Kaila Simmons, who some months ago volunteered to develop the Wooden Boat Trade Association website. Kaila’s a bright cookie with a business-like approach, and think we can expect some good things from that site in the coming months. See the intheboatshed.net links page for links to both the WBTA and to her company, Simmons & Broome.
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•Harrison Butler Association http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~wte/index.htm/
•Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association http://www.wbta.co.uk
•Simmons & Broome http://www.simmonsandbroome.com/