A Christmas card from Lowestoft, 1911

What a cracking little Christmas card in reader Tom Edom’s family!

Can anyone tell us what these boats were please? Write to me using the comments link below or by email to gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message on.

This is what Tom has to say:

‘This was a Chrismas card sent to my Grandfather in 1911, who seems to have owned Snipe a one design raced out of that fine port. But my one design knowledge starts somewhere in my parents generation.
‘They look like raters to me but raters were not one designs were they?
‘It seems that Snipe was not quite at the head of the pack but that a good time was had by all.
‘Hope this is an interesting quest.
‘Best regards, Tom’
Many thanks Tom – I’m sure it will be!
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Montagu whaler Swan and whaler no. 124/1964

Montagu whaler 124/1964

Bristol charity Rocking the Boat Bristol member Steve Evans is rebuilding a 1964 Montagu whaler named Swan, but are short of oars, mast and sailing kit. If anyone has these they can offer, Rocking the Boat would be most grateful for your help. Email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.

In addition, Rocking the Boat has another Montagu whaler (built:  Portsmouth 1964, no 124) that we would like to give to someone who wants to finish its rebuild. It’s basically sound but needs a new home, and is at present lying in Bristol.

Steve has this to say about the story of Swan and whaler no. 124/1964:

‘She was reputedly built in Malta and was once owned by Berni Bruen, who wrote the Song of the Montagu Whaler (scroll down this page to find it), and later by Graham Brown in Falmouth .

‘After Graham passed away, Jonny Mills from Falmouth Marine School took her under his wing and completed some major repairs with students.

‘The story then shifts to Bristol where she now lies and is being further renovated with a possible showing at the Semaine du Golfe, Brittany next May.

‘There is much work to be done and either fabrication or sourcing of the two masts and oars to complete the project by retired chaps under the aegis of All-Aboard Watersports and Rocking the Boat Bristol.

‘The Beagle Project , based in Devonport, have been most encouraging in our project and gave us the second whaler, which sadly bwe find we cannot find the resources to complete. We are therefore looking to a group or individual who would be interested in taking her on before we have to cut her up. She was built at Portsmouth in 1964 and is numbered 124.

‘If you are interested in the boat or have any oars / sailing kit for our boat Swan, I would very much appreciate contact from you.
There will be more to follow on Swan’s Story in later writings.’

Thanks Steve! Please contact him either via Rocking the Boat Bristol (link above) or email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message along.

Welcome Two at Conyer: can anyone provide information for a book about her illustrious owner?

East Coast Pilot author Dick Holness has been in touch with a question about these two photos taken at Conyer, just off the Swale off the North Kent coast – and I’m hoping that readers can help.

Here’s what he says:

Hi Gav:

An old contact of mine in the IT industry got in touch recently, she sails a modern boat down on the South Coast, and had found some photos of her uncle, Professor Alan Bishop.

He had a boat, Welcome II based at Conyer in the 1960s. Currently a book is being written about him to which she will be contributing, and one chapter is to reflect his sailing, which was also quite key to his work as he had monitoring equipment in the Thames estuary in preparation for the enginering work on the Thames Barrier.

She would really like to know if the boat still exists somewhere.

Her understanding is that her uncle bought the clinker hull after it had been used during WW2. He then got a cabin, new engine, centre board drop keel, ballast and rigging done at a boatyard.

She thinks the boat would have been in use by her uncle from around 1956 or earlier. It was painted light blue hull with cream cabin and deck, and had a gunter or gaff rig with sails the same red colour as a Thames sailing barge. She also remembers it was very heavy to raise the mainsail.

Kind regards, Dick

Dick suggests the boat looks like a cross between a harbour workboat and a Dauntless, and that the Dauntless yard might have done the conversion all those years ago.

If you have any information, please email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the message on to Dick and his friend.