Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Its a wonder not more of the early motor boats didn’t blow up, Ken Ricketts sent me the photo above (ex Dianne Hopson – Ravenhall era) of Silver Spray with three  4 gallon tins of petrol on deck. And the chances are that the blokes would all have been smokers as well.

The Guthrie family were very inventive with their empty containers – photos below of baby Hugh Guthrie, grandson of Hugh Douglas Guthrie, c.1925 taking a bath aboard Alcestis. You would like to think that the tins were well cleaned before being taken ashore and used as a stove cum bbq…….. Roger Guthrie who sent me the photos said “the scorched bush in the background must have been from a “previous person” – yeah right 🙂
The gent tendering the fire is the grandfather, Hugh Douglas Guthrie born 1883, aged 42 in this photo.

4 thoughts on “Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

  1. Petrol fires must have claimed a fair few over the years, Lady Margaret (Col Wild) lost her vertical wheelhouse windows to the slanted version during renovations in Nov 1943 after a wheelhouse fire while in NAPs service. There is still a bit of charring in the port side locker in the wheelhouse. Second boat I have owned that has been burnt out :-/ Black Fun was also burnt out at Orakei during a Springbok protest march from the Marae to the city. Perhaps the name upset someone or perhaps it was the fact she was owned by Herb Tremain, brother to famous All Black Kel Tremain. Who would know..but she survived.


  2. Roger;
    I’ve have always thought right up to today, that ISLE OF ARRAN was the most beautiful romantic type name for a boat, I had ever heard, right from the first time I heard it, –(notwithstanding it was also based on the name of the bay where the family beach house was situated,) & saw her on her pile mooring in the Tamaki River, at the bottom of your uncle’s garden, at which time she had the Leyland diesel, — (& mast exhaust), 2 of which my dad had in his boat, so we felt an affinity, as there weren’t many Leylands around comparatively, & of course Colin W., also did a magic job of building her — my parents used to live up the road on the water as well, & we passed her every time we went out in their boat from the 1950s onwards for many years. — “A thing of beauty, is indeed, a joy forever.” — KEN R


  3. The little chap in the bath is the youngest child of Hugh Douglas Guthrie who was my grandfather (It is Grandfather tending the flames in the used petrol cans) That young chap in the bath (my uncle) was also called Hugh Guthrie.Still alive today.Grandfather who owned Alcestis (Raiona now)died in 1959/60 the week I left school.He was a great man.One of his other sons and another uncle to us was Douglas Guthrie who had The Isle Of Arran built by Colin Wild…Still owned by HIS son.In those days the repeated use of family names often clouds the history of who’s who.


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