Lady Shirley



LADY SHIRLEY (Catherine S)

The above b/w photos show the then police launch Lady Shirley, the ’ship’ in the background is the Rangitata. The photo is dated 1940-49 and most likely taken by D. Marsh. The 36’ bridge-decker, Lady Shirley was built by C. Bailey & Son in 1938.
The first photo below I took at the 2020 CYA Classic Yacht Regatta. In the second photo she is her moored  in Opito Bay, BOI – summer 2019/20.
You can read / view more at the WW links below
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Lady Shirley BOI Jan2019
02-04-2020 Update ex Greg Lees – Greg recently acquired this very cool ‘ship-in-a-bottle’ model of Rangitira
Nigel Drake sent me the funny below – pretty well sums things up in our house.
ISOLATION – Such stunning weather and no boating 😦
For a long time I have been ‘collecting’ old boat hooks, you can pick one up for $20>30. Normally the hook end is bronze and in good condition, a good polish and they look like new – to buy the head at Fosters would cost around $150. So today I started to give a few a make-cover. I have to say, what ever the old boys used to ‘varnish’ them with, is bloody hard to get off, lots of 80 grit did the trick.
I suspect this will be the last project before I get transferred to domestic duties e.g. working on the house 🙂

7 thoughts on “Lady Shirley

  1. Nice movie clip, thanks for posting, Hylton. I used to admire Shirley. Can someone confrm her length –she’s got to be longer than 36” surely. McDougall in NZ Nav ships has her as 13.7 metres which is nigh on 45’ Ahhh I got it. She was built as 36’ (as Catherine S?) and lengthened. Also in Hughes 150 Years of NZ Shipbuilding, she is not listed under Catherine S and he has her as being designed by Percy Vos in 1938. But Hughes is sometimes wrong…. Or did P Vos lengthen her? Or do the drwaings? You know, Baileys used to have a little kick up in the sheer aft…. Some more sleuthing to do, huh?
    Back to the vid: The old man’s office was opposite Admiralty Steps in Quay St and he always had some binoculars… I recognised Bill Sutherland in the film. Had a bit of a sunken face from some teeth lost. Probably went with the job and the era. He used to work the lift in the building as a second job and used to get really furous when someone didn’t shut the lift doors properly or fiddled with them when he answered the bell because the lift would stop. Grumpy as … would never let me on Lady Shirley. You could talk your way on any boat on the water front. I guess the guys were bored in between jobs. Funny now I think about her, I remember Shirley had a Gardner twirly wheel reverse –that would have been around 58 – 60 when I was first allowed to go adrift in town. -The Deodorant replaced her in March ’60. Memories!


  2. Here’s something to while away 10 minutes of lockdown blues, is the National Film Unit Pictorial Parade via You Tube – there’s 100’s of them , usually in 3 segments and of about 10 to 15 minutes each.

    Attached below is the link to Pictorial Parade No 40, which after the 1955 girls netball champs, and the Otaki Children’s Health Camps is a (hammed up) look in on a day in the life of Lady Shirley and the Auckland Wharf Police. The 36 foot Supa-craft Mahara makes an appearance being “checked” in Okahu Bay. Also check out Constable/ Launch-master (ex Navy) “Bill” – a fierce looking old time “copper” who we need to instil the fear of God today’s crims and rule breakers – lockdown or no lockdown!!

    If the link doesn’t work, simply google You Tube – Pictorial Parade No.40 (1955)

    If nothing else, – its a great, albeit brief, look back to gentler times and will bring back fond memories ……..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quality control, Fearless Leader. Try it. When you drop your boat hook over the side, it should float vertical and have enough poking up to enable you to grab it with ease from the boat or the dink.
    Best act with a boathook was done by my old man in the 60s when making his way down Naiad’s side after his morning routine bucketing some salty over the decks.
    Instead of grabbing the handrail on the bikini deck, he grabbed the boathook and went over the side. My mother cried out “Stop that, Royden. Come back!” while he was in mid air. Ever the optimist, my ma!
    Roy’s entry point was marked by a ring of bubbles with his woolly had floating in the middle. He came up bang on centre into his hat and with cigar still in his mouth swam with boathook to the boating platform. Memories. Thanks for bringing them to mind!


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