Lady Margaret

Lady Margaret

Lady Margaret – but which one ??certainly not #1

27/04/2014 Update from Garth Broadhead

She was owned for many years by Gordon Brown of Brown & Nuttall (sic?) and I spent many great holidays cruising the Gulf aboard and alongside her as a teenager and while at university and many (perhaps not so great, but at least instructive) times under her and in her bilges scraping, sanding, painting and assisting with minor repairs when she was slipped at Gordon’s marine railway in front of his house at 97 Sarsfield St. Gordon had spent a lot of time racing cars and tended to navigate her as though on a racetrack – flatstick in all directions and hard between ahead and astern (Snow Telford once commented in his typical dry style while watching Gordon throw her hard astern while manoeuvering alongside Almarie II – “I don’t want to be nearby when he finds no one home”. I don’t recall it ever happening though!). Gordon also famously was once cutting corners on the way into Russell, eeking 13.5 kts out of his twin 120hp 6-cyl Fords (I recall he replaced the petrols she had in her when he bought her and the Fords that went in were reconditioned but gave and may still be giving (?) many years sterling service) when he caught the end of a reef. Lady Margaret reared up and came hard down on her keel. The tide was outgoing, friends and others were summoned and a nervous wait commenced – she had just caught the last couple of feet of the reef and all efforts were being made to ensure she laid over to port as the tide ebbed and didn’t roll over the edge of the reef to starboard. At the last moment, after reluctantly making up her mind, she laid the correct way and floated off on the flood. She was immediately hauled at Opua to find (miraculously!) no damage other than a few minor dents and scratches and a bit of lost paint. She was back in the drink the next day and Gordon was off. Gordon sold her approximately 10 years ago and I’m not sure if the current owners are the same as purchased her. However my younger brother tells me that he often sees her in Drunks (which looks like where this photo may have been taken?) and that she is looking in fine shape. I have lived in Rarotonga for some time and haven’t seen Gordon for many years, although I hear he is still going well into his 90s at a rest home in West Auckland – Sadly no longer at 97 Sarsfield – he sold the house to a fellow called Fisher in the 90s on the condition that Fisher incorporated a flat into the house that Gordon could live in for the rest of his days – this part of the deal being done simply on a handshake which was, as ever, good enough for Gordon. The flat was perfect for him and he lived there very hapily until just a few years ago, when I hear he, quite literally, outlived his welcome and was moved on. All that knew Gordon well knew more or less the deal he had and it was so deeply sad and disappointing to see him shoved off the land he loved and lose his view over the harbour that had given him and so many he knew and cared for so much pleasure over so many years. It is very good though to see that Lady Margaret is in good hands – Gordon I’m sure is aware of this and well pleased for it.

21 thoughts on “Lady Margaret

  1. Hi Murray – I have collected quite a lot of material over the years. Primarily it is on vessels that traded in the Cooks, but also on vessels associated with Omer Darr & Athol Rusden in Tahiti (BTW for a rollicking good read “Boat Books” in Westhaven recently had copies of Athol Rusden’s “Rascal of the South Pacific”). It’s our intention to develop a section on our website on these vessels, but that is still a few months away. Once up I’ll post a note on ww directing people who are interested to our site.

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  2. Great stuff, love to hear more of the South Sea schooners, if this is the right forum? Was aware of Capt Andy and the Tiare Taporo but there were quite a few others, if not as colourful and long lasting.

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  3. Meitaki Maata Harold. Always wonderful to uncover “Cookie connections”! (Bailey sp.er. corrected). Iaveta is a great man and for many of us “young turks” who arrived here circa. 2000 he has been something of a role model and mentor. In my case he was also a referee for my Permanent Residency application. I saw him last week and “retirement” currently sees him busy strategizing and generally working his magic in respect of our upcoming elections. I know that Andy Jr. was at one point master of MOANAROA and I’m pretty sure Phillip was signed on also although I’m not sure in what capacity. I have a great photo taken through the palm trees of TAHITIENNE anchored in Avarua and if you don’t have it already I’ll happily make a copy for you.

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  4. Still wildly hors de piste, it’s a great site!!
    I spent a lot of time with Captain Andy in the late 60’s early 70’s at his home when I had a law practice in Avarua with Iaveta Short. During the Depression, my father had been smitten with TIARE TAPORO, as was any person around the Auckland waterfront with an eye for beauty (by the way, she was built by Charles BAILEY Jr, not Bayley). Inspired by her (with a big dose of Johnny Wray), Dad bought the 93ft schooner TAHITIENNE from Rotten Row, but was nearly killed when he fell down her hold. He sold her to Alan Donald, no relation to A.B. Donald. Later Hec Marler was involved as part owner.
    One of Andy’s sons was the skipper of the MOANAROA at the time I was commuting to Raro and was a great seaman. Once I came back on her from Raro in a strong easterly gale which helped take almost a day off her usual passage time but there was also a copra fire in the after hold so she got maximum revs to get to Auckland. The smoke from aft, fanned by the gale astern, permeated the ship so that the only two passengers eager for meals were me and Arthur Angell of the ARIKI. I absorbed a huge amount of Pacific trader lore from Capt. Andy and Auckland yachting lore from Arthur on that trip.

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  5. Slightly off-piste here but given the possible interest in Capt. Andy & TIARE TAPORO you may find some of my scribblings on what we have been up to in Rarotonga and Canada of passing interest…. budget’s been tripled, 2&1/2 years late on delivery and now in court with one of the shareholders of the yard where we had her done. However we’re all still smiling (just) and when we do get her to Rarotonga remain convinced of the brilliance of our plan..: http://www.pacificschooners.com – the website long overdue for an update but trials and tribulations tend to take one’s eye off the online ball. Oh and before comment is passed to the effect that W. Bligh RN only produced daughters: True enough, however one of them married her cousin, also a Bligh.

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  6. I am genuinely unsure of that. I’m not sure which Jimmy Thompson either, to be truthful. If he’s the son of Capt. Andy Thompson, the famed skipper of the Island schooner TIARE TAPORO, who was sent down to live with the Lidgards as a youngster, I rather thought he was still with his Dad and Mum in Titikaveka in Rarotonga at the time RANUI was built, but maybe not. Either way he’s younger than me and I was 12 when RANUI was built and so was Ken Ricketts MkI.

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  7. Then the Squadron’s records must be wrong, which is again odd because they would have obtained their info from their member Hec Goodfellow direct. Maybe they thought it too conspicuous consumption to show that a Squaddy member had TWO engines?
    Sorry to have bothered you.
    I must say though that someone once told me that she was launched with a single V8 and that the second V8 went in later, probably when she was lengthened. His name was Ken Ricketts, at least that’s how I recorded it in my database, together with its source, minutes after I was told (although the Flagship(s) were said to be Osco(s)).
    However,it appears now that that info was, once again, highly anecdotal and suspect.
    I’m happy to discount it totally and go with the twin Flagships (or were they in fact Oscos after all) for the sake of the peace, order and good government of WW and the sanity of people who log on.
    PS Jimmy must have been about 11 when he worked on RANUI.

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  8. Have just got off the phone to my old friend Jmmy Thomsonn the last survivor of the R Lidgard dynasty, that was involved with the Lidgard boats of that era, & who wonderfully, still have a great recall on the family’s boats of that time, most of which he worked on, during constrution,, & he has confirmed to me, that RANUI definitely had 2 engines from day one, & thought they were Fords but had no recall on who marinised them — KEN R

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  9. Odd, then, that members of the Goodfellow family had much earlier related the version I wrote above. As always, It is difficult to know which anecdote to believe. Stories do get inflated as they pass through various minds.
    And are you sure that she was launched with two Ford V8’s? Her original 1950 RNZYS registration shows just one 90hp Ford V8 (actually a Flagship marinised version).

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  10. I spoke with 2 members of the Goodfellow family, when I wrote the oriigial article on RANUI, who told me Hec went to some considerable trouble to get the plans direct from Chris Craft for her, as he had been in command of a vessel In the Pacific Islands during WWII of exactly that design, & he was so impressed, that he went to massive trouble after the war to aquire the plans from CC & gave these to Lidgards to build the boat. — Coming direct from his family, I tend to beleive this to be accurate. — KEN RICKETTS

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  11. Agree Harold, it only takes a casual inspection of CC Catalina and Commander designs to see the numerous differences to these NZ boats, for instance Lady Margaret’s apparent round bilge. I’m sure there are a few around, but the only big CC boats I know of are a man named Tony’s one which had been on Orakei marina (still may be) and a big open sports CC in Russell on a mooring.

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  12. Surely the only “genuine Chris-Craft” is one built by Chris-Craft in the US? RANUI was built by Lidgards for James Hector “Hec” Goodfellow in 1950. No doubt her design was heavily influenced by images of Chris-Craft designs in the US boating magazines but she would not have been an exact copy, if only for intellectual property reasons. In fact, in an article in the Maritime Museum’s “Bearings” magazine, her design was attributed to Hec!
    Of course, what happened is that Hec asked Lidgards to build him a launch “like this one” in the Chris-Craft ad or magazine review, undoubtedly with some tweaks of his own.
    So, as Ian Mason says above about LADY MARGARET (for pity’s sake Ken, don’t allocate her a LADY MARGARET number!) she was probably taken from the same RUDDER magazine ad.
    There were a handful of direct-import Chris-Crafts prewar, but currency restrictions postwar made such importations impossible.

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  13. She was owned for many years by Gordon Brown of Brown & Nuttall (sic?) and I spent many great holidays cruising the Gulf aboard and alongside her as a teenager and while at university and many (perhaps not so great, but at least instructive) times under her and in her bilges scraping, sanding, painting and assisting with minor repairs when she was slipped at Gordon’s marine railway in front of his house at 97 Sarsfield St. Gordon had spent a lot of time racing cars and tended to navigate her as though on a racetrack – flatstick in all directions and hard between ahead and astern (Snow Telford once commented in his typical dry style while watching Gordon throw her hard astern while manoeuvering alongside Almarie II – “I don’t want to be nearby when he finds no one home”. I don’t recall it ever happening though!). Gordon also famously was once cutting corners on the way into Russell, eeking 13.5 kts out of his twin 120hp 6-cyl Fords (I recall he replaced the petrols she had in her when he bought her and the Fords that went in were reconditioned but gave and may still be giving (?) many years sterling service) when he caught the end of a reef. Lady Margaret reared up and came hard down on her keel. The tide was outgoing, friends and others were summoned and a nervous wait commenced – she had just caught the last couple of feet of the reef and all efforts were being made to ensure she laid over to port as the tide ebbed and didn’t roll over the edge of the reef to starboard. At the last moment, after reluctantly making up her mind, she laid the correct way and floated off on the flood. She was immediately hauled at Opua to find (miraculously!) no damage other than a few minor dents and scratches and a bit of lost paint. She was back in the drink the next day and Gordon was off. Gordon sold her approximately 10 years ago and I’m not sure if the current owners are the same as purchased her. However my younger brother tells me that he often sees her in Drunks (which looks like where this photo may have been taken?) and that she is looking in fine shape. I have lived in Rarotonga for some time and haven’t seen Gordon for many years, although I hear he is still going well into his 90s at a rest home in West Auckland – Sadly no longer at 97 Sarsfield – he sold the house to a fellow called Fisher in the 90s on the condition that Fisher incorporated a flat into the house that Gordon could live in for the rest of his days – this part of the deal being done simply on a handshake which was, as ever, good enough for Gordon. The flat was perfect for him and he lived there very hapily until just a few years ago, when I hear he, quite literally, outlived his welcome and was moved on. All that knew Gordon well knew more or less the deal he had and it was so deeply sad and disappointing to see him shoved off the land he loved and lose his view over the harbour that had given him and so many he knew and cared for so much pleasure over so many years. It is very good though to see that Lady Margaret is in good hands – Gordon I’m sure is aware of this and well pleased for it.

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  14. Almost identical to Hec Goodfellow’s Ranui which is a genuine Chrsi Craft –so is almost certainly effectively a Chris Craft design of the early 40s — Floray was also built by Major Bailey — (a name not a title) circa 1948 at his property on cnr Wheturangi Rd & Green Lane Rd, off Ranui’s moulds he borrowd them off R Lidgard who built Ranui Wonder if .it is her original name?i

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  15. This LADY MARGARET was built in Whangarei by Pete Gardner and friends and launched after the second world war. The design was taken from a Rudder mag. possibly a Chris Craft. She was housed in a boat shed adjacent to FLORENCE DAWN. The two boats along with my launch NGAIO often cruised together. Regards Ian Mason

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