An English village celebrates the Jubilee in its own way

While it was all going off in London, local village Goudhurst today celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee in its own unique way – by launching hundreds of model boats made by children on its very pretty village pond, complete with a floating plywood model of the Houses of Parliament.

It’ll be many years before the fun they had this day will be forgotten. The place was thronging and, despite the inevitable English rain, happy kids and slightly potty parents and villagers cheered the little boats on.

Meanwhile, a band played Country & Western hits, apparently unaware of the irony. We’re a funny lot, us English…

Some of the photos are mine, some are Julie’s.

The first model of an Ella sailing skiff

Ella skiff sailing model 4

Ella skiff sailing model 3 Ella skiff sailing model 2 Ella skiff sailing model 1

Matt Morello’s Ella sailing skiff model photos reader Matt Morello has sent me some photos of a model of the sailing version of the Ella skiff he has been working on, and once again I’m pretty chuffed.

One of my intentions with this series of designs was that they should be simple, conventional and easy to build, and that they should look ‘right’ – and although I haven’t had time to make a model myself, to me this little boat seems to fulfill my criteria.

Here are a couple of quotations from Matt’s emails:


‘Enclosed are some photos of my progress on an Ella sailing skiff model. She’s not quite done, but is close to finishing up nicely. I began it out of scrap balsa among other model boats I’ve been working on and I’m quite pleased with how she’s turning out. I can imagine that building her full-size would not be a difficult project to handle…

‘Thanks, Matt Morello, Connecticut

‘PS I wanted to let you know I enjoy your site immensely… Your site and the progress of your designs have been a source of endless entertainment, information, and encouragement for me.’

Thanks Matt – it’s a great pleasure to see and share these photos, and I’m very pleased you think is a force for good! I love the choice of background packing cases, by the way…

Seriously, I appreciate for feedback on my plans, both in relation to building and using the boats, I’m always pleased to receive photos, and grateful too for news of the adventures on which the boats sometimes take their owners.

To download the construction plans for the sailing version of the Ella skiff together with the drawings Matt has been working from, click here.

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I’m officially on holiday, but here are some links to keep regular readers going!

Five Years in Siam From 1891 to 1896 by H Warington Smyth

Lowell’s Boat Shop, Amesbury, Massachusetts

A short but also long report from Brest 2008

Concern over ‘abandoned’ boat

Sunk Brits’ four-day raft storm hell

A History of Shipbuilding by Per Åkesson

Glimpses of Traditional Boatbuilding in Goa by Johan Roque

Elderly fella making very nice models

Whaleboat racing