photos from Nathan Herbert & Papers Past, details from Harold Kidd & Jason Prew.
Lady Claire the 42′ bridge deck cruising launch was launched on 14th Oct. 1935. Built by Colin Wild at Stanley Bay for W.J. Reid of Herne Bay. Reid was Des Townson’s grandfather.
Lady Claire is currently owned by Bruce Carter. Colour photos at the marina.
Harold Kidd Update
She was launched with a 160hp Lycoming but Stan Headland replaced that with a 105hp Kermath in 1952. G M Lagan owned her for a while around the 70s and Bruce Carter recently (still?). Lovely craft.
PS Wild used Lycomings around this time. WAIRIKI, the 39ft bridgedecker he built for L E MacQueen in October 1934 also had an 8 cylinder 160hp Lycoming, essentially the same engine as in the straight 8 Auburn car of the time.
04-07-2015 New Photo Below
Chris McMullen sent the photo below in from his files. It was given to Chris by the late Des Townson. On the back is written Lady Claire. 42ft OA Built by Colin Wild. For WJ Reid 1935. Who we know was Townson’s grandfather.
Chris once saw a photo of the same vessel on the wall of Des’s office. Hopefully someone has it still & a copy might surface on ww – a job for Bruce Tantrum maybe ?
Chris commented that when you look at both Lady Claire & Wirihana – one of the reasons for their good looks is the absence of safety rails forward. These days health and safety concerns encourage safety rails which need to be one meter high as on commercial vessels to do much good, lower than that they can pitch you over the side. Wiihana is still ‘nude’ of rails but there are lots to hold on to on Wirihana.
Lady Clair (L) & Lady Eileen at Gulf Harbour May’14