Friday, 12 July 2013

Bridlington Library


Bonify was in Bridlington with us last night, and this morning they very sensibly took a fair wind south to Grimsby.  But we felt it would be too soon to rush Bonita away from her old haunts and we spent the day here.

The YOD - designed to make yacht racing accessible
The photo shows boats of the Yorkshire One-Design class based in Bridlington. There are several of these lovely 25ft day racers here, all beautifully maintained and actively sailed. 

The class dates from 1898, the same year as the Howth 17. It is claimed that the Howth 17 is the world's oldest one design keel boat class and as the first 17s were delivered in April while the YOD fleet was delivered in June I suppose that is true. The Yorkshire One-Design was originally gaff (gunter) rigged but regrettably the class converted to bermudian some years ago; hopefully one day they might convert back. The class has a fascinating pirate-inspired history which can be found on the RYYC website at http://www.ryyc.org.uk/YOD_article.htm

We spent the morning in the local history section of the town library. We were looking for evidence of Bonita's previous life before 1937 when she gained the affections of the Beckett family. There are several photos that clearly show her moored in the harbour, but we could find no definite ones of her under sail. Of course in the 1920s  there were lots of yachts around with a shape roughly similar to hers which complicates the search a bit. Her long clipper bow, now unusual, was common in yachts built before 1893.  Then the fashion changed almost overnight with the launch of the Prince of Wales' yacht 'Britannia'. The spoon bow instantly became what everyone wanted, as can be seen in the Yorkshire One-Designs.

However we have come away from our visit to Bridlington with several copies of old photos and some useful contacts in the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club so we hope to find out more eventually. We have also, simply by being in the library,  absorbed a bit of the local history - such as the slightly unexpected association of Bridlington with T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and Amy Johnson, the pioneer aviator.

However we feel that one day of this is quite enough for the present and we are keen to be making progress south.