Kiwi – Sailing Sunday

KIWI  – Sailing Sunday
photos & details ex Peter Midegly

Following up on last Sundays post on the royal p-class yacht ‘Tui’, Peter Midegly sent in the above collection of photos of the 14’ sailing dinghy ‘Kiwi. She was built at the Devonport Naval Base by his late father, Eric Midgley, a shipwright, with the assistance of an apprentice, both employed at the dockyard. ‘Kiwi’ was built in Auckland for members of the royal family, this being the occasion of the wedding of the then Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip in 1947.

Unlike the ‘Tui’, ‘Kiwi’ was well used, as is outlined in the letter below from G.A. Vince of the Sea Training Establishment at Botley, Southampton. This letter describes the workmanship of the boat as first class and her success in racing with other Naval 14 footers. In 1952 George Vince, Director of the Southampton Sailing Centre, also won first prize racing ‘Kiwi’ during Cowes Week that year.

Peter does not know whether the Royal couple sailed ‘Kiwi’ to any great extent, but from the 1950’s she was used by a number of sailing organisations & Sea Cadet Units .

Some years ago Peter made enquiries as to what had happened to ‘Kiwi’, and eventually located her at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth. At the time they told him she was in their offsite store in Falmouth.

Peter’s father started his boat building apprenticeship in 1923 with Joe Slattery. He later worked at Percy Vos’s during the building of the ferry Korea and from 1938 to 1950 at H.M. Dockyard, Devonport. His final employment was with the Auckland Harbour Board as a shipwright in Beaumont St. before retiring in the 1960’s.

7 thoughts on “Kiwi – Sailing Sunday

  1. Sorry, didn’t read what I had written, I can spell Auckland, honestly! Didn’t have a harbour bridge when I was there though.


  2. I was thining back to my youth and remembered ‘Kiwi’. I was in Cornwall last year and tried to find her in the Royal National Nautical Museum at Falmouth. They told me she was stored there but not on display and I couldn’t visit the store. I know she has been on display and I expect she is still in good condition. I was at ‘Warfleet as a 15 year old in 1952 and sailed in ‘Kiwi’ with George Vince a couple of times in 1953 but I don’t recall any success storys. She was the pride of the fleet of dinghys at Warfleet and maintained in perfect condition. I loved my time at Warfleet, went to sea in 1953 and during my time I spent a year up and down the Pacific bring back phosphates from Nauru, often to Aukland. Happy memories.
    One last memory of George Vince. My ears are still burning from the time during a lesson by the boatshed when he said ” I’m just going round the back to bail out”. I said helpfully, “I’ll do it for you, Sir” Cause of much mirth from my Seniors.
    Best wishes to NZ from GB.


  3. A Copy of this letter should have been in Peter’s (Peal) book. I recon the Clinker work out of Auckland is simply he best. We have to keep this alive. Would be nice if we could get Kiwi back to New Zealand, restore here and send he back again as a token of lasting friendship and to show off that wooden boat culture is alive and well here.( it would be even more alive if I had my way)


  4. Pingback: Quest – Sailing Sunday | #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news

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