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Harvey Eastwood 37


floydraser

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Well well well, you just never know do you?

This being a Broads boat with evidence of self-steering gear having been fitted, I assumed she was converted for sea use later in life but not so. I've found her in the records at the Norfolk Records Office. She was registered from new as Part 1 for use at sea. To confirm Robert's suspicion the registration document states her name as, "Gipsy 3 - Horning (subsequently Denham Owl)" I've only just found the file but I will be ordering copies when I've fathomed out the procedure for doing so and reporting back here.

The normal Thornycroft engine for these was the O.E.138 but this has the slightly bigger O.E.160. Again, I had presumed this was a replacement but maybe it was part of the original spec? I would love to know how the hot water was heated after what I've been through!

The 1988 change of ownership would have been when Mr Callan sold it on. This was about a year after he married Michelle Dotrice so maybe she didn't like boats or they bought another one. Denham Owl may have had memories he wanted to forget after using it as a bolt-hole during a messy divorce.

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Quote

She would have been down on the Thames I believe in 1988 if that means anything. I also have a Ship Radio Licence for 1999 to 2000 but that was issued in Ambleside!

Thanks in anticipation.

A ships radio licence is for the craft itself not the person. A ships radio licence, call sign or MMSI stays with the boat not the person, it allows for travel in international waters. A ship personal marine licence is transferable to any craft, but, only covers UK territorial waters.

 The licence could be issued anywhere.

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On 27/11/2020 at 21:07, stumpy said:

At one time Denham Owl would have been Part 1 registered, a fee would have been charged to change ownership, the main register was in Bristol but larger port Custom Houses could act as agents for the registrar and collect fees and authenticate documents. The hardest part was usually finding the solitary date stamp that may have last been used a couple of years ago! Havenbridge House was just up from Haven Bridge on North Quay and very handy for The Star (I was told). The gross tonnage quoted wouldn't have been actual weight but Thames Tonnage, a theoretical cargo capacity based on fiendishly complicated measurements and sums that all sensible Customs Officers avoided like the plague!

I have been in contact with NRO and they have confirmed there are 30 pages in the registration document file. Does anyone know what kind of information is likely to be held in these pages?

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11 hours ago, floydraser said:

I have been in contact with NRO and they have confirmed there are 30 pages in the registration document file. Does anyone know what kind of information is likely to be held in these pages?

Update: Each page would cost £2 per copy printed out or as a pdf. Printed copy also has a postage charge. Alternatively, jpegs cost their hourly photography rate of £54. 

Going in person and photographing the documents with your own equipment costs £4 for 30 minutes or £10.50 all day.

If I could be absolutely sure the information would add £60 worth of desirability to the project I would gladly pay up. However my Norfolk based Brother in law has kindly offered to nip in and do the honours for me, although that has also been politely turned down. I don't it's worth paying £60 when I can pay £4 but I also don't think it's worth anyone's risk under the present circumstances.

So it'll be put on hold until next spring when the four of us will get together and us boys will play anoraks and the sisters will find gin. It's a hard life but we'll manage.

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18 hours ago, floydraser said:

I have been in contact with NRO and they have confirmed there are 30 pages in the registration document file. Does anyone know what kind of information is likely to be held in these pages?

Would the NRO not tell you the kind of information held by them? What is the NRO?  Could they be subject to a FOI?

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Floydraser - it might be worth going to MCA (Marine and Coastguard Agency), they keep the register and being civil service rather than local council may be cheaper. There used to be a dedicated office in Bristol but I guess they disappeared in the big 'rationalisation' a few years back. Have a Google of 'ships register' and a 'contact us' link should come up. I've had a word with the current inhabitants of Felixstowe Custom House and the reaction was "Do what?". Good luck!

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NRO = Norfolk Records Office in County Hall. Just off the roundabout where I used to go into Colmans/Britvic to collect a full load of pop for Asda; I remember it well, a friendly bunch. I had a nice reply from a lady who tells me she only goes into the office a couple of days a week at the moment but I will ask further questions.

The MCA sounds a bit more official, I'll have a look. Just a thought though: if a change of ownership has to be registered and paid for, am I likely to end up with something of a bill? :facepalm:

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14 minutes ago, floydraser said:

The MCA sounds a bit more official, I'll have a look. Just a thought though: if a change of ownership has to be registered and paid for, am I likely to end up with something of a bill? :facepalm:

If you look around you, in the broadland area, there are quite a few who have bills.

:default_coat: 

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48 minutes ago, annv said:

Hi Floyd as Stumpy said there are two or perhaps three types of boat registration suggest you speak to a boat seller agency who will be able to give you the right info.John

Thanks to John and Stumpy. 

I'll be doing a bit of poking around online until it's either easy to get stuff via the ether or it becomes safe to visit in person. The lady at NRO says that some of the pages are fixed together and may be difficult to photocopy. I don't expect her to have examined them too closely at a first enquiry so I'm sort of hoping there may be folded drawings. Fingers crossed but there's got to be something useful in 30 pages.

Knowing my luck though, it may be one page of registration and 29 pages of terms and conditions. :default_unsure:

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Thank you, yes I have seen that before (it's an early wooden hull version I think) but not in such good detail and because of that I have noticed a couple of things:

The canopy rolls on two roller bearings at the rear, the rearmost one being off the end of the track in the photo. Mine has just one.

Looking in the side window (being nosey!) the curtain is to the rear then forward of that is a wooden panel like a door or cupboard? See it on here with the canopy up:

santa_caterina_details.jpg.2ca9f2b28e3b175f267a0c7725355a89.jpg

Mine has a two piece door with the bottom half hinged as normal and the top being part of the rear canopy window, hinged at the top. You can't see it through a side window at all. Slightly odd and easy to bash your head on the top bit so I dangle the electricity card from it as a reminder to duck.

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  • 1 month later...

Well it's been a while but with lockdown I've been finding other things to do...

Thanks to a thread on this forum I have now started to use Shotcut software to edit my videos. It's not as intuitive as the old Microsoft Movie Maker but with MS withdrawing support it was inevitable that I would have to bite the bullet and learn a new system. It's easier to be a little more creative but I consider my stuff to be documentary and therefore the emphasis is hopefully kept on the subject matter and not someone pratting around with a camera and software.

Anyway the main news is that thanks to Robert Newman I am now in contact with the son of the original owner and can confirm that the boat show pic was taken at Earl's Court in 1970, when I was running around being 13 years old. Edward Heath had just been elected Prime Minister, visited the show and stepped aboard Gipsy 3! :default_eusa_dance: Apparently he was very impressed.

Can I add a nought on to the price for Edward Woodward and another for Ted Heath? Would Mrs Thatcher be worth two noughts? (Don't get political!) :default_hiding::default_smiley-char054:

I have only recently learned how to put together a public playlist on Youtube, so I have done so for the Denham Owl series, including the previously unlisted early vids. All you have to do is learn how to find it!

 

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Well would you believe it? I wouldn't.

I've just had a very interesting conversation with the son of the original owner, Peter Hornor, and gained a bit insight to the early years of Gipsy3/Denham Owl.

John Eastwood, a personal friend of Sam Hornor, was responsible for the specification.

The auto helm and navigation gear were never fitted by the first owner.

She was always Gipsy 3 in his ownership.

The heavy duty davits (and no rear access) were there because she was always to be used at a jetty with side access. 

Now brace yourself...........................

Peter remembers his father telling him Gipsy 3 had been sold to "Disc jockey David Hamilton". I've done a little bit of digging but DH seems to keep his private life private so there's not much out there. I just hope he's got the right 1970's disc jockey! :default_sad: :594c04ff2c94f_default_policesmiley:  

Anyway, Peter has very happy memories of Gipsy 3 and will be reunited with her whenever it becomes possible.

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  • 3 months later...

Here's DO 22. This one's a bit different due to Covid and my imagination.

In it I announce that I will be aiming to part ways with the Denham Owl sometime during the rest of this mooring period, in other words, before April 2022. Work still carries on though and I will be taking a trip to the Norfolk Records Office to fill in the missing part of the boat's history.

 

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Blimey, that was a hectic few days! We were disappointed to cancel our first "blow the cowebs out" caravan long weekend due to the storm a week before the Bank Holiday. I have a load of auction bought stuff to clear out but because of the Indian Variant, we still don't fancy the idea of attending car boot sales. So Friday morning Mrs Raser suggests we join the traffic and get some use out of the boat.

We arrived eventually at 21.20 but the marina has good lighting so no bother there. No running water until lunchtime Saturday while I sterilise the tanks but again, no real bother. Saturday morning we headed off the Blakeney Quay which we have visited a couple of times and love. Saturday afternoon we were joined by Mrs Raser's sister and husband and alcohol may have been taken.

Sunday we visited Wroxham as reported elsewhere, chilled out in the afternoon and had a steady trundle home late evening. This is because we had things to do and Mrs Raser needs to work to keep me in boats.

Due to the good weather forecast I decided to return to the boat on Tuesday to carry on with the smelly work required to make it waterproof from the top. As I'm preparing for the trip I get a message from Son No.2: he's found me some more work! B*gger! After 18 months avoiding Covid I thought those around me hadn't noticed and the whole business had been forgotten. Damn.

The Electrical Engineer I do the work for would be in the office on Thursday and could I meet him there? OK. I actually did well to avoid working in that office as they did have a bout of Covid go through the place. My Son actually had it as did most of his family but a couple who have worked there for years, and coming up to retirement age both got it really bad. Thankfully, after spells in hospital, both have recovered. 

Each working visit to the Denham Owl has two parts: one is obviously to get some work done but the second is to plan the work for the next visit. I managed to get some timber into the gaping holes left when I removed the rotten wood last year, and even got to fibreglass over the top to make a stronger, waterproof structure. Then I took some measurements for bits to be made at home for next time. 

The return of work means I'll be limited to weekend visits to the boat for most of the summer so let's hope the weather patterns are kind...

 

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  • 1 month later...

Great news:

My Brother in law has just been to the Norfolk Record Office on my behalf and photographed all the documents relating to Gipsy 3/Denham Owl. As a teaser he has sent me one showing that ownership transfered to one Edward Woodward in September 1976.

I need to get over to Dereham with a memory stick to see the rest....

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Unfortunately we weren't able to get over last weekend so my Brother in law Paul, posted the memory stick which arrived this morning. It's interesting.........

Firstly a note about the Norfolk Records Office: I had email correspondence with Chloe, a very pleasant and helpful lady back in December after which I decided due to Covid, to wait until it was a lot safer to visit. Paul tried to ring the office but their phone system seemed faulty so I replied to the correspondence again. This time a Vaughan answered, asking me to give him Paul's number so that he could ring him to arrange things. This happened and I now have photos of all the documents. Excellent service I think, well done NRO! :default_trophy:

Anyway briefly until I've done more research: Hull built by Aqua-Fibre Limited in 1969, Moulding No.76 at Rackheath. I was distracted when I went looking for Rackheath and found it to be an old airfield. The hull was built for L.J. Eastwood and finished at Brundall according to surveys etc. No mention of it being built anywhere else, by sub-contractors as suggested to me.

I have full names and addresses of owners but I'll not be showing documents.

First owner as we already knew was Sam Hornor but documents show that it was Sam who registered the "Gipsy III Horning" to give her full name, as a small ship, registered at Gt Yarmouth as still seen on the stern. Odd that, as Sam's son Peter told me the boat never went to sea under his ownership.

Next owner in May 1975 was Len Frampton, a hotelier of Brighton and it was Len who changed the name to Denham Owl in August 1975. At the time of the name change she was recorded as lying at Gt Yarmouth. But Len only owned her until September 1976 when ownership changed to Edward Woodward and she moved to the Thames.

Mr Callan sold her on to a TV producer in June 1978. After that there are a series of changes until records run out in the late eighties.

So one question is answered: who registered her as a small ship? But not, who fitted the "auto-pilot" steeering gear and why? And why the name change? Research goes on.

Lastly: although not on the register I am still on the list of owners of this boat. Via the register I can see the occupations of some of the previous owners. The trend is definitely downwards socially, and it can't go any lower! :facepalm:

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Having checked up I can report that the TV producer was also an actor but not so well known: Dennis Vance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Vance

The obvious question for some would be, "Is he related to DJ Tommy Vance?" Especially as we thought Diddy David Hamilton was in the mix somewhere. No. Tommy Vance's real name was (take a breath) Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston. Imagine the jingle for the Friday Night Rock Show! :default_coat:

Edit: forgot to say, I have sent copies of the documents relating to the first owner to his son.

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  • 1 month later...

Well it's been a long time...

It's great to be working again and even better to be working from home, but staring at this screen all day means that I'm less enthusiastic about editing videos here; I would rather be elsewhere.

Anyway, last week the elsewhere was BGM and the Owl. The engineer I work for was on leave, work was caught up and the weather forecast was good. Note, the “forecast” as the BBC laughingly call it! Or could it be that BGM, Brundall, or the whole of Norfolk have their own micro-climate?

I arrived Tuesday afternoon, fitted a small closing panel where the side was open after repair, removed some rotten wood from another area of work and lined the resulting void with fibreglass. Then it started to drizzle. The weather that is, not the fibreglass. The forecast said no rain so I expected it to clear soon.

As I had my evening meal it rained. By the time I finished eating, the decks were quite wet and so I thought, would be the underside of the cover which was rolled onto the foredeck. I changed into shorts (trousers would have just got soaked) and an old shirt, refitted the cover, then got changed again. Blast the weather forecast I thought.

That wasn't quite the end though, when I turned in later, the pillows on the bed were wet! I had removed the polythene sheeting gaffer taped to the bedroom ceiling as soon as I got the boat, to let it breathe. The rain had found it's way through exactly where the deck coating has come up, as featured in the video on deck coating.

I have decided therefore, that priority will be given to making the rear of the boat completely weatherproof, aft of the door into the saloon so that I only have to partly fit the cover when it rains and I can get on and off the boat without getting wet and mucky! The other side is just about waterproof and rainwater no longer washes the mains consumer unit as it passes on it's way to the bilge.

It was on this very forum that I learned about the existence of cooling water strainers and noted that now I know what that funny brass pot is for, I should clean it out. I did this and it was predictably full of weed. Fresh (ish) weed though, probably thanks to me starting the engine at low water in BGM over 12 months ago. Tried to start it again, but nothing. Flat battery. The cheapo Halfords battery charger had given up the ghost and anyway, I think the battery may have done so too.

Luckily I have a Vetus BC12352 unit to do the job. This was quickly wired up and charging began. After a while I tried to start the engine and as always, she fired up straight away, but then died and refused to start again. I haven't done anything yet but a blocked fuel filter is the most likely problem we think.

After the thread here about electrics, crimps and stuff, I switched the Vetus off before I came home as the wiring was only temporary; ok while I was there to keep an eye on it.

To be continued.....

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the forecast was good for the weekend apart from rain late Friday so we nipped over Saturday arriving around midday.

The objective this time was to apply a very thin layer of filler over the repairs on Saturday, ready for primer on Sunday then home Sunday evening. All went well on Saturday apart from a near disaster but more on that later.

After lunch on Saturday I needed to shatter everyone's peace by using power tools to rub down rough areas ready for the filler. We have new neighbours that we met for the first time so not wanting to be a nuisance, I was ready to apologise in advance and let them know I would be no longer than 20 minutes. Nothing worse than hearing something noisey, then wondering how long it's going to go on! It would annoy me so I wouldn't inflict it anyone else. I got everything ready and plugged in then they had guests arrive. They fired up a pair of smokey 6 litre diesels and left! 

Sunday morning, after the dew had dried out, same again. They had returned but went shopping just has I was about to create a din. It couldn't have worked out better. Then when they came back from the shops the skipper stopped by our boat and apologised in advance for starting his noisey, smokey engines as he was going out again!

We love the friendliness and banter around our area of the marina and I seriously hope its the same in all marinas; we only have experience of one! :default_sailing:

A previous owner had kindly left some tins of toplac in one of the cupboards, three of which were pre-cote. Two of those felt very light and predictably, when opened had about an inch of solid paint in the bottom. The third however was unopened. Having stood for a few years it took quite a bit of stirring but by lunchtime Sunday I had done quite a bit of work. I had also found time to put in a shelf under the helm where once the was a drawer but a previous owner had installed a speaker in the drawer front! 

The underside of the rear deck, or rear cabin roof depending on your viewpoint, also received primer so we won't see raw wood there anymore.

Disaster: Mrs. Raser's little Sister and Brother in law came to visit on Saturday, (no, that wasn't the disaster) bringing ice for the gin. Suddenly there were cries of, "No more gin!!" Oh dear. Only a near disaster because they had both had a couple and finished the bottle.

So after lunch on Sunday we nipped up to Roy's of Wroxham via Emma's Boutique (boating expensive? I wonder why?) to get gin and some wine glasses. It turns out drinking wine from gin glasses is not good form, however, form and etiquette suddenly went out of the window when it was realised that red wine glasses are slightly larger than white wine glasses for the same money. You can't buy class can you? Don't answer.

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