We have recently acquired a large number of old documents from the Rowhedge Ironworks, relating to the Firecrest dinghy class. Most of these are hand-written order books and correspondence between the Ironworks and customers. They give a fascinating insight of how cordial and polite business dealings used to be, 60 years ago, even when the customer had outstanding debts!
The most exciting documents relate to Firecrest No1,( “our” Firecrest), when she was sailed in the1958 Cross Channel Dinghy Race from Folkstone to Boulogne. The crew included Joe Richardson and John Osborn. In the late 60s Joe acted as officer of the day for the Rowhedge Regatta, and John Osborn came to fame by crewing with Reg White in the highly successful catamarans.
Firecrest No1 will be out on her mooring in the Ferry Hard at Rowhedge this summer, and there will be several days when RHT members can be taken out for a trip by a competent skipper; an opportunity to sail in this historic boat.
The Firecrest 15 was designed by Robert Stone, designer of the famous Brightlingsea One Design. He was one of the most successful dinghy designers of the era. Crafted from the finest African mahogany, the Firecrest was his first post-war design.
The name was inspired by an earlier yacht named Firecrest built at the same yard by Peter Harris, that was sailed single-handed around the world by Alain Gerbault.
Firecrest One is owned and was restored by Peter Dilnot who lives in Suffolk. He has very kindly loaned the boat to the Rowhedge Heritage Trust so that she can once again be regularly sailed on the river where she was built.
We are setting up a small sub -group who will arrange to look after the Firecrest 15 and arrange for anyone interested to go out on the river in her.
Please see the Contact Us page and get in touch if you are interested in being involved in keeping her sailing on the river where she was built.