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.