Amy Johnson and the Boswell family go sailing

The Boswells sailing with Amy Johnson – photos from the Boswell family archive, with thanks to Richard Boswell

Regular readers may remember a post about a sweet little 1934 Harry Feltham-built cruising yacht that was up for sale in Oare Creek last year.

There was a story that it had once been sailed by the famous woman aviator Amy Johnson, and some very observant types may have noticed the comments that followed its publication (to see them, follow the comments link at the bottom of the story), which included a note from Richard Boswell saying that he had some family photos of his family sailing with Johnson.

Well, these are the photos. I think they’re a charming glimpse into another era, on a day that looks an idyllic one for a picnic and a swim (those these may of course have been taken on different days).

I love the elegant clothes that we’d now think inappropriate and inconvenient, perhaps particularly the gentleman’s dinky white cap. But these were much more formal times.

The big question for is whether it’s the same boat… I gather Johnson referred to sailing a boat named Margaret, and previous owner Peter Mitchell reports that the boat was called Margaret in the past.

And I think it may be the same boat, allowing for the deck having been replaced, but that it would be difficult to be conclusive. What do you say?

These photos will be of particular interest to current owner Russell Thomas, who aims to return her as far as possible to the way she was in the 1930s.

PS – See the comments via the comment link below.

One thought on “Amy Johnson and the Boswell family go sailing”

  1. Only just spotted the Amy Johnson pictures re the Harry Feltham yacht which was called Margaret.
    Sadly it does not appear to be the same boat. Margaret never had to my knowledge a bumpkin or backstay. In fact she had no runners either until the person I bought her off fitted them. I removed them immediately. It was very worrying when you first gybed with that huge main and ‘tree-trunk’ of a boom (it extended over the transom) but you soon got used to it and it was still the original mast.
    Also the tiller went over the stern to the rudderhead. This one appears to go down through the deck.
    The other clue is that Margaret had a centre hatch. This one is offset.
    I first sailed on Margaret with the original owner in the early 60’s and, as far as I know, she was ‘as-built’.
    I had her re-decked and new coach roof as she was in poor condition, especially where someone had fitted stanchions. I still have some of the tongue and groove coach roof planks in my garage.
    I also have the original small lifebuoy with the name Margaret and FSMBC (Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club) should the present owner be looking for original bits.
    I think I probably have the oil navigation lights as well but the red and green boards they were fixed to went with the boat, as did the interior oil lights – she had no electrical power at all up to the time I sold her. Somewhere recently I saw the brass bilge pump too.
    I do hope she has been saved and looks more like she use to.

    Peter Mitchell

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