The history of Leila

This is our historical research page, where we are building Leila's story over time:-
In 2008, The Leila Sailing Trust is formed by Rob Bull and David Beavan to restore her for sail training.

1963-2008

The Alison’s buy Leila and take her to Great Yarmouth.  Seen here sailing off Yarmouth with family in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Those red Jeckell’s jibs are pretty small!

She has a major refit around 1990 but Mr Alison sadly dies in September 2003, and his widow Pam gifts the boat to The Leila Sailing Trust in August 2008.  Her current Perkins 4108 40 HP diesel engine was installed in 2008, secondhand from a refrigerated van.

The Alison’s buy Leila and take her to Great Yarmouth.  Seen here sailing off Yarmouth with family in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Those red Jeckell’s jibs are pretty small!

She has a major refit around 1990 but Mr Alison sadly dies in September 2003, and his widow Pam gifts the boat to The Leila Sailing Trust in August 2008.  Her current Perkins 4108 40 HP diesel engine was installed in 2008, secondhand from a refrigerated van.

1968

Leila was acting as committee boat for Gorleston Sailing Club’s Enterprise races. Whilst leaving harbour one Sunday in August, the engine stalled due to clutch failure. The sails were hoisted but the Gorleston lifeboat was alerted unnecessarily and proceeded to collide with Leila’s stern, damaging her timbers. Leila sailed to her chosen race position and anchored, but a wind shift required her to re-anchor as a new start line was set. It was decided that a tow from one of rescue boats was the best plan, however this resulted in a bent anchor and damage to port bow planking and bulwarks. (From a copy of an insurance claim and Jeckells sailmaker)

Eastern Daily Press, OCT 12, 1963 YACHT TOWED TO LOWESTOFT

Lowestoft Lifeboat was called out yesterday after coastguards had seen a 12 ton yacht, the Leila, flying distress signals a mile from the port.

On board were a young Kirby Cane couple, Mr and Mrs W Alison, who were on their first trip in their newly aquired yacht. They had bought it at Ramsgate and sailed on Thursday night for Yarmouth.

“We were motoring along off Southwold,” Mr Alison said, “when the propeller became fouled by a piece of floating fishing net. We hoisted the sails and got as far as Lowestoft, but found that sailing the boat was too much for just my wife and myself and so we lowered away the sails and signalled for help.

Lowestoft lifeboat was quickly on the scene and towed the disabled boat to a berth in the yacht basin.

Picture – Mr W Alison on board his yacht Leila

Leila

On Guy Fawkes Day, 1963, the Alisons bought Leila for £1100 from Michael Pearson

A company director of Park Hill House, Park Hill, Loughton, Essex.

A survey in Ramsgate found her in ‘good condition’ with three year old sails.

1962 owned by Michael Pearson, a member of the Harwich YC and the Cruising Association. (Lloyds register of yachts).

Her registration document –

 

1959 to 1961

Owned by Chris and Harry Carter-Jonas of The Grange, Meldreth, Royston, Hertfordshire. (Coincidentally, the present skipper David Beavan sailed over to Holland for the first time with Chris Jonas in 1970 on a converted trawler).

 

John Carter Jonas emailed in June 2009:

 

When my father owned her she was kept moored to two anchors, one over the bow and the other over the stern, on the Nacton side of the main ship channel to Ipswich docks opposite Wolverstone boat yards pier. The boatyard was owned and run by “Clarence” Austin Farrar a close friend of my father Chris and his brother. They cruised her over to Holland and around the Isselmeer with my sisters and I and our cousins for family holidays. Actually, we children were taken over on the train ferry from Harwich by my mother most times.

 

 I have got some film of her being worked on at Wolverstone, I think us kids got more paint on ourselves than the boat !!! Lead based in those days !!!”
She was hove to for 11 hours in a Force 8 gale on the way to Ijmuiden. (Jill Pye)
The Carter-Jonas family kept her  on the River Orwell and were members of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, and also reportedly the Pin MIll Sailing Club and Orwell Yacht Club.  Sarah Carter-Jonas has sent us some great pictures of Leila being restored at Wolverstone pier, sailing in Holland and also a cartoon drawn by Ann Roberts, one of the daughters of Bob Roberts of Thames Barge fame.

 

Rick and Jill Pye who married after meeting as crew on Leila visited us in June 2009 and gave us a fascinating account of a Dutch voyage. See seperate page.

1960 a four cylinder Austin petrol motor 35 BHP was fitted.

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1955 to 1959

Peter Tricker and his wife sold Leila to the Carter-Jonas family in 1959. Diana Whayman of Ipswich wrote to us in June, 2009

“Together with my (late and) ex-husband we owned and lived on board Leila in Ipswich Docks until my husbands ill health forced us to sell up and live in a house!

We sold her to the Carter-Jonas family… I’m enclosing a photograph of her taken in Ipswich docks in 1956… We bought her full of mud after sliding off a camber edge and filling up – can’t remember if she was on the Hamble or on the Isle of Wight at the time. My husband was Peter Tricker and was a professional yacht skipper working for Geoff Pattinson … a fruit farmer from Essex who owned ‘Jocasta’ and sailed out of Cowes or West Mersea.

Leila

Diana dropped in a CD with some great pictures of the 1950’s of them on Leila – and added that they both lost their jobs when storm bound in Ostend. Her son visited with his family in 2012, and w ehope to finally meet Diana at the launch party.

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Donald from Ipswich visited us in March 2013 and told us about the trip back from the Solent. Peter was an ocean race skipper but fell overboard on the way back. They got him back but the engione had failed again, and the rig was in a poor state. He said they ended up “somewhere in France” on the way back to dock in Ipswich for a mooring by the Ransom factory where Peter worked as an engineer – he sounds quite a character. Donald still sails his Snapdraon in the Orwell.

Owned by KD Gibson, a member of Cambridge University Cruising Club,  of St Augustine’s Cottage, High Street, MIll Hill, London NW7 (Lloyds).

1937 – 1952

Owned by CW De Rouet of Chalfont, Sandringham Road, Parkstone, Dorset. During his ownership she is measured by Lloyds. her details and dimensions corrected and she is allotted the Registry Number 165058 (Lloyds).

1933-1937

Owned by Ronald Wright of Southampton (Lloyds).

1928-1933

Owned by GB Christie of The Royal Southampton YC, of Hoddesdon, Herts, who fitted a four cylinder Gray’s petrol engine. Her port of registry changed to Southampton (Lloyds).

1921-1928

Owned by Dr F Dugon of Ilderton Road, London SE16, who was  vice president of the Cruising Association in 1924/5 and a member of the Royal Crusiing Club.

1919-1920

Owned by AC Gibbons of 33 High Street, Hampton-Wick, and fitted with a six cylinder Studebaker petrol engine (Lloyds).

1914-1920

No records – First World War.

1913-1914

Owned by HT Holloway of 2 Crosby Square, London EC, who was also a member of Temple Yacht Club as well as Burnham and Corinthian. Co-owned by WG Nutter of the Motor Club, Coventry Street, London. HT Holloway later commissioned another yacht called ‘Leila’ built in 1934 by KIng of Burnham, later renamed Pamjam when he died in 1938 (Lloyds).

1892-1913

Her original owner kept her for 21 years and won the Round Britain yacht race in 1904.

1892

She is built by F Wilkinson of Charlton, London for Mr Leonard Withers of 53 Hamilton Road, Ealing, Middlesex, a member of the Temple Yacht Club, and she was registered in London (Lloyds).

Other registered boats built by F Wilkinson, all for London clients, were :

 

1886 – Ephesus, a 22 ft 3 ton scowl with a single cylinder 2HP engine

1888 – Redwing, a 24 ft 4 ton yawl

1889 – Ousel, a 26ft 5 ton sloop

Wilkinson was an independent shipwright who lived with his widowed mother and spinster sister, and built Leila probably in Partington’s Yard on the Charlton peninsular which was the boat building centre. He was a shipwright who rented space in established yards to build his commissions. Born in 1841, batchelor Frank had a younger sister who was still unmarried at 25 so may not have any descendants.  His mother had independent means and was 69 in the 1891 census – she must therefore have been 19 when she had her son.. Interestingly she was born in Corfu.
(information supplied by Greenwich Museum when we visited Greenwich with the Tall Ships in 2014)