Model Boat Mayhem

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Author Topic: SL Branksome - HELP!  (Read 7075 times)


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Re: SL Branksome - HELP!
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2021, 12:35:37 pm »

Good Morning Don Scott & John Haynes.

I have just spoken to my father who informs me that:

The plans came from Harold Underhill's, he apparently bought the rights to the model boat plans, scaled them down and sold them to my grandfather.

Mr Haynes, does this sound correct to you?




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Re: SL Branksome - HELP!
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2021, 01:10:20 pm »

In a recent tidy up of the 3rd bedroom pending redecoration  , I came across the set of plans that I bought many moons ago from the Museum.  These are for the Esperance steam yacht that for many years sat afloat along side the original Museum building.  On one visit to the museum, while looking at her from the jetty, one of the staff came along and opened her up for us and gave us a guided tour.

 I understand that the years haven't been kind to her and she isn't on display at the Jetty.    While I haven't had a chance to visit the new Jetty museum ( except for the steamer we were on last time calling there) , I have been in touch with Elaine Middleton who works "front of house" there.  Her father produced and sold the 575 yacht that many of us may remember. I sent her a kit for one of these following an appeal in "Model Boats" magazine as she wanted one as a momento of her father, to be sailed in the model boat pool in the forecourt of the museum.

While discussing the new Jetty museum with her, I mentioned that when our steamer called there, that their Osprey steamlaunch was in steam at the pier and that some years ago, my wife and I had subscribed to a fund when they were retubing the boiler. As a result we ended up with our names on a brass plaque that was installed on the wall of the old museum and an invite to a trip on one of the steam launches, which we took on our next visit. It was an memorable trip around the lake on a lovely sunny afternoon and included tea and cakes, with the tea made with boiling water from the "Windermere kettle" fitted to the launch. Be interesting to see when we get a chance to return whether the plaque found its way back into the new museum, though I doubt it!

Esperance - 1869 - Lakeland Arts


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Re: SL Branksome - HELP!
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2021, 03:37:28 pm »

I've no idea if Underhill bought the copyright from Jill Townsend . Seems unlikely to me  but what do I know.  I still retain all my sketches  with dims for these vessels  that I took on site to take home and put them on my drawing board. All this was 40 odd years ago,
When copying on a plan printer  errors do occur . Its only recently when digital copying  can an accurate plan be produced


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Re: SL Branksome - HELP!
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2021, 08:17:36 pm »

To clarify matters a little.

Jill Townsend lives with me at present and we have, in my loft, all the remaining drawings, formers etc Keith used for building the models of the steam and motor lunches at the museum; she also retains the copyright.
The model of “Branksome” which was exhibited at the Model Engineering exhibition and won the gold medal, which later was on display at the museum, was built to a larger scale of 1/10 and powered by a Stuart Double 10 engine. The later models were built to a scale of 1/12, the engines in those where exact replicas as was possible of the actual engine in the boat. See my article in Model Boats.
As for which drawings Keith used to build the first model, we are unable to give a definitive answer on this because Jill is unable to remember however, it is possible though that he used John Haynes drawings to begin with and then scaled them up. He did though spend a lot of time measuring her up to ensure all was as correct as possible for that time. This was all done under the patronage of George Pattinson. Keith then went on to maintain the steam launches as well as drive them in the summer months. (Jill has now told me that he never used the drawing in the blue tubes)

All the models which were on display at the museum are owned by the Pattinson family and cannot be viewed.

Unfortunately, before he died Keith destroyed the former and associated drawings together information to prevent copying.
Apparently, Keith only purchased them to protect his own business from copying, though many people did of course use them to build their own one-off projects.
The models of Branksome or any other of his models were never sold as kit’s, they were supplied as complete working models, many of which now reside in private homes and museums around the World.

Harold Underhill never bought the rights to these drawings and as far as am aware never supplied copies either, if so, they were illegal copies; in any case I’m sure Harold Underhill had died my years before drawings of these vessels had become available.
The current staff at the museum now maintain and restore the boats, the last time I was there in the summer of 2019, the Esperance was under restoration and from what I could see they were making a fine job of it. I have also given my 575 to Elaine for re-building. Quite what the situation is now I have no idea, however, should we have a fair wind it might, hopefully be possible to have a regatta of some sort later in the summer.
In conclusion, we are willing to sell all the information drawings, formers etc, that we have, including all rights, to a suitable buyer the price of course, would be substantial.
Interested parties should PM me for further details.



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Re: SL Branksome - HELP!
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2021, 04:24:07 pm »

As an aside,
I was a young lad, just leaving school and staring out, when Keith was building his fine models
His models and the museum all that time ago, where one of the biggest inspirations in my life time, and still are.
Great museum, wonderful boats and great part of the world. I took my young wife there 35 years ago and we still talk about it,
We also had tea and refreshments steaming on the lake, I think we went on the Swallow, and I'm sure it was Keith who was in command
One of our great memories, to all those involved , if you read this thanks for great time and memories, that's Englishness. You did a grand job !
I wish the new museum all the best and a most successful future, I should visit as soon as I can, I'll bring a steamer to sail as well
Cheers all
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