Colin Smith: Harbour, Theo Osborne Smith’s boatyard 1930s

Father had the boatyard that, at that time, came straight on to the water when the tide was up.  There was a lot of sedge and so on, but there was a channel along the

Smith's Boatshed 1970s

Smith’s Boatshed 1970s

first of all, and up to the back of the Institute, the Liberal Club I believe they called it in those days.  Just beyond, the stream ran along to what was the Dump, the beginning of where they used to bring the lorries in and dump off rubbish. Now they’ve covered the whole lot of course.

My grandfather started the yard there as I understand it.   Grandfather’s name was Theo Osborne Smith.  He used to have the name on the sign. His first shed was an old ex army canteen. He bought it and had it re-erected there, and there was another little arched type of building behind as well.  He originally started up at Oxford on the Upper Thames and then moved down, first to Fawley, over at Ashlett Creek. He had a little business there, and then for some reason, I haven’t got a clue why, moved over to Yarmouth.  He specialised in mostly little centre-board type of sailing boats, twenty foot or twenty two thereabouts and so on.  He built one of them, the ‘Menomopote’ it was called, Child of the Ocean. I don’t know where they got that name from.  A very unusual boat, very easy underwater shape and the top sides were paired off and came round into a kind of chine and at midship it came right up to the gunwale (or gunnel) . He was a very advanced designer.  I don’t think my father took it to the same extent.  Colin Smith b 1921