My pal Steve Taylor’s newly restored 1923 Hillyard-built yacht, Dorma, on the creek at Oare. The boat beside Dorma is now being rescued by a local boat- and ship-wright. I suppose the last of this group of three is as much about Oare mud as anything else – but if Oare is where you keep your boat, it’s important to find something to like in the stuff
Mummers play from the fishing village of Sidmouth; the new Short Flattie at the Watchet Boat Museum; plaque commemorating John Short, Watchet shantyman, sailor and fisherman
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Somerset turf boat at the Watchet museum; evening at Bosham (pronounced Bozum); my son in warm water with our old Minisail during the course of a game at our dinghy sailing club’s annual family week; my daughter Ella looking just right in Julie’s Mirror; both of them enjoying a quiz
Ask any English man or woman, and they’ll probably tell you that we’re experiencing the worst summer weather we can remember. Still there have been some highlights, and I’d like to show you some of them. If you’re fed up with the poor weather, perhaps they’ll help to raise your spirits! Steve’s done a great job on his Hillyard, by the way; it’s absurd that a man with his woodworking skills should have to work with a computer, but that’s the modern way, I suppose. Sidmouth also is the home of the astonishing and highly recommended Sidmouth Folk Festival, and is the setting of Stephen Reynold’s famous account of the lives of local fishermen, A Poor Man’s House. Vivid and intimate pictures of a Devonshire fisherman’s life. To quote Joseph conrad it is: ‘Compact, harmonious, without a single – I won’t say false – but uncertain note, true in aim, sentiment and expression, precise and imaginative, never precious, but containing here and there an absolutely priceless phrase.’ Watchet Boat Museum, Bosham and family week at the sailing club are all favourite institutions that seem to be a natural part of every summer.