Friday, 11 January 2019

An Historic Ship

We recently found that Bonita has been entered into the National Register of Historic Vessels - certificate below.....

This is in recognition of the fact that she is an almost entirely original Victorian yacht: also the oldest Crossfields built boat afloat and the first yacht Crossfields built- or at least, their first entry in Lloyds yacht register which was first published in 1878.

For a long time we have been looking for a picture of Edwin Wrigley, who commisioned Bonita and was her first owner. We have now found the photo below, with the help of Wendy Gradwell, who works for the Bury Archives.

E G Wrigley was a prosperous local businessman who was part owner of a papermill. No doubt William Crossfield put his best efforts and finest materials into his first yacht commision for such a prominent local person.  Unfortunately Wrigley did not live to enjoy sailing Bonita for very long. It is recorded that he died in Cairo, though we do not know what he was doing there. Wealthy people at around this time sometimes took a sea voyage by steamship to Egypt to convalesce from serious illness, so that may be the explanation.