Previously on WW we documented the holiday the 1935 Colin Wild built Lady Gay was having in Australia (links below). Now thanks to Colin Grazules pointing us in the direction of an online article in the December issue of Afloat magazine, we get to see and read what owner Graeme Wildon has been up to and his plans to explore more of the Australian boating scene. Enjoy the read 🙂
Dunkirk Little Ship – Lady Gay – Destroyed By Fire
Flicking thru my digital subscription to the UK Classic Boat magazine, I was saddened to read that the Dunkirk Little Ship – Lady Gay has been destroyed in a fire at the old Thornycroft sheds on Platts Eyot, Hampton, on the River Thames.
Lady Gay was 34ft motor yacht built in 1934 for Lord Alfred Dunhill.
One of the builders was interviewed once – this is his tale – “We didn’t have a shed big enough to take her, so we set up a canvas shelter outside, which also saved us extra rates. We only had one 100-watt electric light bulb and no machinery. Every part of her was made by hand. I remember going to Maldon in Essex with templates of the woodwork to get the timber cut to size. Then we shaped it by hand. Three of us worked on her for nearly five months and my pay was under £3 a week. Every Saturday Lord Dunhill came to the yard in his chauffeur-driven car and handed out cigarettes and, on one occasion, pipes. When she was finished, she had cost His Lordship £1,500. Having no slipway, George and Eric, with some helpers, dragged her down the hill, through the local car park and manhandled her over the sea wall next to one of the Bastions and into the water. They went on board with the fuel, the twin Morris Commodores started first time and Lord Dunhill’s boat was on its way.”
You can view the launching on this link – can you just imagine the health & safety / police / city council nazi’s if you tried to do this today 🙂
WOODYS LOVE A RAILWAY HAUL OUT
A nice line up of woodys out at The Slipway, Milford. L>R – Maroro, Raindance, Te Hauraki
PLEASE RSVP FOR THE ABOVE WOODY EVENT – NEXT SUNDAY (23/05) – LOCATION IS 606 ROSEBANK ROAD, AVONDALE – RSVP TO firstname.lastname@example.org
LADY GAY – Australian Holiday Postcard Almost a year to the day we reported that the 1935, Colin Wilde designed and built launch – Lady Gay was holidaying in Australia. Recently LG’s current custodian (their words) Graeme Wilson, wrote in and advised that LG was tucked up safely at marina in Sydney. Graeme commented that she has seen a constant stream of onlookers since she arrived in Sydney with many intrigued to hear of her history and how she has come to be in Sydney, and that she is holding her own when alongside woodys in Australia.
Graeme has been cruising her mainly in Port Jackson waters with COVID and politics having thwarted plans to head to Queensland for the foreseeable future. Sadly with the Wooden boat show in Tasmania cancelled for 2021, for the same reasons, he is hopeful of taking LG south for the show in 2023.
Graeme wrote that Lady Gay is particularly well suited to the upper reaches of Port Jackson, Pittwater and the Hawkesbury. Two weeks ago they enjoyed a lovely spring cruise up in the Hawkesbury and Smiths Creek and plan to return in a few weeks to explore further upstream to Wisemans Ferry and Berowra Waters.
MYSTERY LAUNCH > LEVANTER > VINAKA I think this ones going to be a goody – the two photos above were uncovered by Bill Brown in his families photo collection. Bill is my new ‘best friend’ – his family in the late 1960’s > early 1970’s owned my launch – Raindance. Then called Lady Gay. Bill sends me photos of her when he uncovers them – I like that 🙂
I can just make out the word – Whangarei, on the truck door.I suspect even Nathan Herbert will be scratching his head today 🙂 First one today that correctly names the boat (draw if more than one send in the correct answer) wins an Off Center Harbor cap. As always entry is only via email to email@example.com
30-09-2020 no winners – if we believe the caption on the rear of the photo (below) the boat is named – Levanter.
UPDATE 25-11-2021 Mark McLaughlin has advided – now named Vinaka