Sunday 19 November 2023

Crossfields Conference 2023

 D and I went (by train) to Arnside for the third conference on the boats built by the Crossfield family of boat builders and other nobbies, inshore boats local to the challenging waters of the coast of NW England. We stayed at the cosy Fighting Cocks pub and hotel.  As always the conference was excellently organised by Alasdair Simpson. On Friday a small group of us went to David Moss' boatyard to see the fine work being done to restore the Severn, a Crossfield Rivers class boat. She has a remarkable history, which includes capsizing and sinking during a race on the Mersey in 1914. Due to the diversion of the first world war she was not raised for 13 years, when it was found that the hull was still in good condition and she was put back into service. She is now owned by Arnside Sailing Club and is getting a major rebuild. Once done she should again be good once again for many decades of sailing.

As on previous occasions the conference was a mix of history, tales of sailing and practical details of individual boats. I was particularly interested in Michael Leahys talk on the Laura, a very fast nobby built in 1908. She has a fasinating history, although disentangling fact from fiction can be difficult.  I gave a talk on Bonitas participation in this years OGA Round Britain cruise. It was good to see Dave Walters again - he is a professional musician and took part in the 2013 Round Britain Cruise. He was talking about the nobby Pastime which he used to own. Sadly after he had sold her she was lost in a storm in the Irish Sea. Fortunately her crew of four were saved in a heroic rescue by the lifeboat. In the evening Dave entertained us in a jolly evening at the Arnside Sailing Club. 

The picture shows Dave in full flow. 

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