Friday, 23 March 2012

The first Mystery Yacht's been found as well

Just after the start of my blogging career I posted the above shot of an interesting ship and her crew. My efforts can be read here:- "A Mystery Yacht"

Now a fine educated fellow named Leggy Prawn has found her and says she's a William Fife III. Mr Prawn posted a comment, which really deserves the status of a guest post, so here goes:-

"I'm trying to convince myself that she's on the Clyde, but suspect it could just as likely be Belfast Lough, in which case you're going to have to display your screen to a mirror; otherwise "flip horizontal" - the image that is. It was common for Victorian and Edwardian photographic prints to be the wrong way round.

Then that would be Carrickfergus behind the boom, with the steeple of its ancient St Nicholas' Church and the impressive Norman castle's keep both prominent. And therefore the yacht would be broad reaching past Cultra in the direction of Helen's Bay... more on that below.

If it must be the Clyde, then I think you have to remain in front of the mirror, or flipped, to see that the most likely town behind the boom is Largs, with the Cumbraes perhaps looming forward of the jib. But if there is indeed another conurbation hinted there - I can't see it on screen - then that theory is dashed. Then again, staying flipped, it could be Helensburgh; unflipped it could be Gourock if she was reaching along the Kilcreggan shore...

About the yacht I have less doubt. She is almost certainly one of the Belfast Lough No 1 (or 25ft lwl O.D. Class), designed by William Fife Jr., with all nine built in 1897 by John Hilditch of Carrickfergus. Sail no. 4 of that class was HALCYONE, owned for her first five seasons by Lurgan linen manufacturer and merchant, G. Herbert Brown, JP, of Helen's Bay, by Bangor, Belfast Lough.

The class, including Mr Brown's HALCYONE, did race at the Clyde Fortnight during their first few seasons, so the Clyde is still up for grabs as the location.

Beautifully fashioned iron tillers weren't the sole preserve of William Fife: the G.L. Watson designed 'Peggy Bawn' still sails with her original wrought iron tiller, fashioned by none other than John Hilditch's blacksmith, at Carrickfergus in 1894."

Mr Prawn has sent me an image of the fine tiller, courtesy of photographer David H Lyman

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ewan and "Leggy Prawn".
    I can confirm that the name, Halcyone is pencilled on the back of the photo.
    Does anyone know where Halcyone is now?


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