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Interestingly, boat owners from far away were now allowed to rent off part of the sheds to carry out their own renovation work on their private yachts and cruisers. “There are not many places on the Norfolk Broads where you can do this” commented a man from Birmingham who was working on his own yacht and traveled down many weekends to enjoy his hobby. Another interesting line Gordon and his sons developed was boat trading with Holland, buying and selling boats for private owners. Indeed, only a few days prior to my meeting with Gordon I had sailed past the riverside at Martham and noticed a new, beautifully – built yacht of Dutch design. I was told it was being sailed by her owners towards the south coast at the end of the month. “We can’t stand another bad season”, commented a member of Gordon’s staff, and I knew that a line of well-maintained yachts and cruisers lay off the quay heading at Martham awaiting customers. Everybody was hoping for a good season. Gordon generously lent me his collection of photographs, and they swept away the years and memories of Maurice Davey’s designs, Janet, Janice & Japonica came back to life. Walking away from the boatyard where all the men seemed to enjoy their work and to radiate enthusiasm, I saw one or two boats that lay in the field, timbers blackened with age, and seams opened by adverse weather. They had had their time and now, like old men, could only dream of the past.

Picture show Mr Frank Skoyles , Mr Jimmy Brown and a customer invited on to Hathor

Profile for Ian Curtis

Japonica 5  

Boat Manual

Japonica 5  

Boat Manual

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