Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has written to say that he’s had Shimmer, T4 of the Troy Class, in the workshop for a bit of attention, including 11 new ribs, rudder refitting, and painting all over – what he calls the usual maintenance stuff.
Shimmer was built in Fowey by AH ‘Archie’ Watty during the winter of 1929/30. She was made for the local squire Colonel Edward Treffry, and was sometimes sailed by his daughter, Elizabeth.
The old photo below shows Shimmer winning the Royal Fowey Yacht Club Regatta race in 1930 with the colonel at the helm. As the results show, Shimmer started her career in fine style.
In 1946, the boat was sold and bought by author Daphne Du Maurier’s husband, Lt Gen Sir FAM Browning, only to be bought back by Elizabeth Treffry around 1953.
Two of the older Troys are now for sale, T6 Ruby and T7 Sapphire, both in good condition, and still competitive boats, but both are to be sold on condition they do not leave Fowey, and that they continue racing. (The Troy fleet now number 28, four of them built by Marcus in recent years.)
There is more information about these boats on Marcus’s website: www.woodenboatbuilder.co.uk
The National Maritime Museum Cornwallhas been presented with a watercolour of the Jane Slade by Reuben Chappell. The donation came from Mrs G Adams, whose husband was given the painting by Ernie Slade of Slade’s Boatyard, and came with book entitled Practical Navigation.
The museum’s notes on the painting reveal that the Jane Slade was named after the only woman shipbuilder in Cornwall, and that she who took control of her family’s business on her husband’s death in 1870. Her legacy lived on through successive generations of shipbuilders, repairers and mariners and in this ship named after her. Jane’s story inspired Daphne du Maurier’s first novel The Loving Spirit.
Reuben Chappell (1870-1940) is one of this country’s best known pierhead painters. An artist who spent his entire working life making portraits of ships for seamen, his work is in the best tradition of pierhead painting painted not for galleries or art collectors, but for the men whose lives and livelihoods were intimately entwined with the subjects of the painting.
Chappell lived and painted in Cornwall from 1904 until his death in 1940.
The book dated 1852 is believed to have been owned by Jane Slade’s son Thomas, one-time captain of the schooner. Inserted inside are four pages which relate to Thomas receiving his Master Mariners Certificate headed Plymouth School of Science and Navigation – these are an extremely rare find.