ETHEL C (Ethel Clare)
Some days ww rocks – yesterday was one of those days, the planets lined up & everything fell into place.
Last weekend Nathan Herbert was out & about nosing around the Whau Creek with Jason Prew in one of the classic picnic boats when they came across the very neglected tram topper, Ethel Clare, sitting on a pile mooring. Ethel Claire (as spelt on the name board) became the ww posting on Wednesday.
Next thing I get an email from CYA member Neil Chalmers, SY Gleam, telling me a RYC member, Colin Clare, has been trying to track down his father’s old launch – ‘’Ethel C’’. Neil had spoken to Colin and described the launch in photos that appeared on ww. In Neil’s words “I think you may have struck gold !.”
Next I contacted Harold Kidd who confirmed that ETHEL C was built by Leon Warne in late 1922 for Billy Clare. HDK thinks she was in fact started by Leon and finished off by Dick Lang as Leon went to Russell at that time and Dick took over his premises.
Ethel C was 30’x8′ and HDK supplied two b/w images which leave no doubt that Ethel Claire is in fact Ethel C. The close up shows a young Colin Clare sitting on the salon top.
HDK commented – “that she has a provenance a couple of yards long!!!”
Next I contacted James Mobberley at Moon Engines & Transmissions who is a member at the Te Atatu Boating Club on the Whau Creek & a classic nutter. James advises that the boat is known around the club as Ethel C & is owned by a Te Atatu Boat Club member who has owned her for between 10 >12 years. The current owner bought her off a gent by the name of Jimmy Sands who had her sitting on his front lawn in Avondale for 20 years.
Now I want this to have a happy ending – wouldn’t it be great to see her rescued & back in the hands of the family of the original owner 🙂
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