VMYG Meeting Broomfield April 2005

Clearly unaccustomed to high office and despite a faultless debriefing by the Ex-Sectrary, your new Events Secretary turned up at this delightful venue, thoughtfully circum-planted with large wind screening willow by the local authority,... without club badges, hammer and notice boards.

Suitably chastened, I am able to report a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was none-the-less had by all.

Blustery winds tested skippers and boats alike, while scudding clouds, bright sun and newly green foliage suggested a Palmer's Green summer's day. The morning saw the lake shared with our hosts while a hard core stayed until late afternoon, enjoying the now abated wind and steady sunshine.

Vic Moore brought his recently completed 'Southwold Cutter class' (in fact a sloop) published I understand in MM last year and his own nicely made copy of a small Sugg cutter as well as a very multi coloured three masted schooner. Trevor Smith's Southwold Yawl plied the lake reliably with quick reaches up and down whilst a nice JEP motor boat, recently restored in blue and cream made wonderful clockwork noises though powered by an ancient Bassett Lowke electric motor.

Lady Susan a nicely restored, painted and converted to radio 36R by Bill Lee. Originally built in 1952 and believed a Lady Betty design Reeves.

The 2004 MM 'Southwold Cutter Class' boat built by Vic Moore

Trevor's JEP with diminutive driver nicely repainted and restored with new windscreens etc.

Geoffrey Turner's restored cutter, nicely turned out in blue, is guided by the hand of God

AW produced this 56" hulk from a recent West country sale and provoked a lot of discussion regarding her provenance. A very nicely made laminated thin walled hull of fine lines suggest a Model Dockyard Schooner got at and converted later in her life to a three masted ship, probably a barquentine with crudely added hatches, poop with shortened counter and forecastle with other details. Others were not so sure arguing that the painted gunports were the mark of an original trading model, the gunport decoration surviving in trading vessels until the end of the 19th C. but even a fruit carrier would not have had such steep floors thus unable to berth on mud if required; a packet perhaps?

Reluctant to sail a square rigger, the owner is still convinced that the well rounded forefoot and generous trail boards (the end of which have been knocked off) with the once longer overhanging counter (now foreshortened to represent a much larger vessel) indeed indicate an elegant and original schooner yacht of the turn of the twentieth century.

But the ports are a rather nice and now a pretty old and pattinated feature.could they be convincingly retained?..come on, what do you think?

An intriguing and short 10R bought for 265; she was advertised as a 6 metre on ebay Geoffrey Turner explained. She would originally have been faired and caulked with white lead and painted; she probably originates from the 20's. The aluminium keel is unusual and is keyed into the hull with aluminium splines.

A fascinating glimpse into the typical Biddle advocated construction of an early country 3'0" racing yacht with planks nailed to solid profiles and steamed ribs between, the whole caulked in white lead putty. Though clearly a 'length rule' boat with near vertical transom and stem, probably raced in a local class, she shows the fashionable influence of a '1730 rule' plank-on-edge cutter of considerable depth and narrow beam for her length.

This wonderful boat was found in the cellar of a house called Framilode Mill which is situated on the banks of the River Severn a stone's throw from Saul junction where the old photograph of the Withy Stick sailors was taken as featured in the last Turning Pole, reports James Witchell. It seems inconceivable judging by her similarity to the boats in that photograph and where she was found, that she did not also race there. Could have been built anytime between 1870 and the 1900's.

Bruce Prole sailed this attractive vane Marblehead. He also brought along a schooner designed by F J Camm

This fine vessel appears to have trespassed onto the lake from the Small Liner Section. In fact a rather nice 50's kit of a single screw edition of Titanic with bejewelled scuttles by Trevor. She progressed most sedately, followed by what looks like a zeppelin.

Pretty much the star attraction, this beautiful little yacht had fallen apparently into the hands of young Grahame Davis. The workmanship and fittings suggested something as late as the 30's, with the hull design in profile at least of an 80's plank on edge cutter, but with the greater beam of a later boat. No obvious signs whether bought in by Bassett-Lowke, Gamages or any other top retailer. A real conundrum. The Chairman asked for his considered opinion, after a pause thoughtfully remarked " I wish I'd found it."

William Paxton's cutter with a copper bottom and tanned sails; a delightfully proportioned toy yacht restored by Russell Potts. (See Russell's article on Paxton on the website).

Another William Paxton boat restored by Russell Potts, this time a neat schooner, (with a Potts lead weighted tiller special).