15 Aug Eric Harvey, Ian Proctor & Chippendale boats
Having just left school in 1956, Eric was offered a Boat Building job at Chippendale Boats on Fareham Quay, where he stayed until the demise of the Yard in 1971, achieving the status of Foreman from 1962.
Eric recall’s making visits to Ian Proctor`s workshop near Warsash, to fit tapered wooden topmasts to the end of parallel aluminium sections. Shortly after, tapered metal extrusions for masts were perfected by Ian`s company (Proctor Metal Masts).
At Chippendales, many of the craft produced were of Proctor design, some of which were National 12, Merlin Rocket, Minisails, and several less notable models. Almost annually, new marques came out for the Nationals & Merlins in the form of lines drawings, many of which Eric had the job of lofting.
Latterly, they produced Typhoon`s plug and prototype for the GRP moulding. Eric well remembers Ian coming to inspect the spinnaker stowage compartments (they referred to them as `bread bins`) to be told he had had further ideas and Eric would need to reconstruct them. This happened on several more occasions, which gave him a lot of headaches as he was the one doing the work!
Unfortunately, just as this was completed, Chippendales went into liquidation, but not before Eric was able to be a crew member on several trips in Fareham Creek
Each January, it was up to the Boat show (Earls Court as it was then), and each night a different restaurant was chosen, where they joined many of Ian`s staff for a hearty meal in the West End of London.
Eric will be joining us for the Gala dinner on Friday and over the weekend, so hopefully you can have a chance to tap into his experience of building many iconic Ian Proctor boats over so many years…..