THE ILLUSTRATION SEARCH: Scotland, England, and France.

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Our recent search for illustrations for the Encyclopedia took my husband Bob and I to Scotland, England, and France for just over two weeks. Unlike my trip two years ago to Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, England, and France, the Encyclopedia is now well-known to many people; virtually every old friend we saw was excited to see how far we’ve come. The people we met for the first time were equally generous with their enthusiasm and support. It was a most productive and fun trip.

Upon arriving in Glasgow, we rushed our rental car east/northeast to Helensburg to meet David Ryder-Turner. He is a yacht designer and has written some of the most important UK entries. By the time we left Scotland, he had graciously consented to join our Editorial Board; his agenda for our time in Scotland was so well orchestrated that we knew how fortunate we were to have him work on our behalf. We stayed with David’s neighbors, Colin and Angela Shannon, who were very kind to us.

David accompanied us the next day to the excellent Mitchell Library in Glasgow where we reviewed many of the Alfred Mylne firm’s original drawings and selected four drawings for the entry that David has written. We next went to the Glasgow University archives where archivist George Gardner had prepared for our viewing various G.L. Watson drawings plus other materials. We spent hours pouring over drawings and photographs taking copious notes.

We had some notable lunches: one day with designer Ian Nicolson who continues the firm Alfred Mylne started in 1896. Another was at the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club where we were hosted by David’s particular friends, Mike and Elma Henry.

At Silver’s Marine on Gareloch, we had an opportunity to see the real thing. The Fife-designed Solway Maid had arrived after a cold and windy sail up from Southampton. Iain McAllister is her able captain. We saw many impeccable yachts at Silver’s, among them the Olle Enderlein-designed Sara Moraea and the Mylne-designed Glenafton.

Before leaving for England, Bob and I spent three special days on the Isle of Islay celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. It is a wild and wonderful island.

My first day in England was spent in London pouring over early issues of Yachting Monthly and Yachting World for drawings in their respective offices. Yachting Monthly’s editor, Sarah Norbury, was particularly generous and we’re talking about forming an association of women in the nautical media world, just a nice network really, there aren’t very many of us.
Writer Tim Jeffery kindly came to me the following day in Liphook where we stayed with Bob’s clients (he’s an architect) Bonnie Bird and Michael Collins in a wonderful English country house complete with acres of luscious gardens. Tim and I covered lots of ground on the entries he is writing. That afternoon we ventured by borrowed car to Barry Pickthall’s photo agency, PPL, near Arundel in Sussex. There we picked out photos to accompany Barry’s entries for the three-generation designers of Germán Frers. We plan to use many of Barry’s stock photos.

And then an entire day on the Isle of Wight. We drove down to Portsmouth, hopped on the hovercraft, and crossed the Solent to Ryde in ten minutes. We taxied to Cowes to meet with Kenneth Beken and Peter Mumford of Beken of Cowes. Keith Beken (whom I met with on the previous trip) wasn’t feeling up to the meeting and I was sorry to miss him. Our time together was most productive and we are hopeful that our photo budget will stretch far enough to allow us to use many of their fine photographs.

Next we met up with Uffa Fox’s nephew and draftsman, Tony Dixon and his son Mike, at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club on the harbor. Some of the material that went into Uffa’s influential books has been lost due to wartime bombing and various floods, but we arranged to use surviving drawings and photos. Tony and Mike walked us up the hill to the Cowes Library, in which two of Uffa’s most important boats, Avenger and Coweslip, are housed. What solid boats!

Then we scurried by taxi to Yarmouth (this is a BIG island…) where Sir Peter Johnson of Lymington met us for tea at the George Hotel. He’s writing the handicap and rating rules appendix for the Encyclopedia – we were very pleased to find that his ideas for this important appendix blended so well with ours.

France was next: Jacques Taglang and his wife Luce have refitted a truly wonderful limestone house in Gensac, about an hour from Bordeaux. Before we set to work in Jacques’ inspiring nautical library, we took a trip to the notable wine producing hill village of Saint-Émilion. Eating and drinking with the Taglangs and their family was like being in heaven, and working with Jacques in his library icing on the cake. We accomplished much: we have arranged to use the drawings of Jacques’ partner François Chevalier, to illustrate many entries. (Together they wrote and illustrated the superb and AMERICA’s Cup Yacht Designs 1851 – 1986, and the two-volume American and British Yacht Designs, among others.) Plus we identified many more photos and drawings whose copyrights and permissions to use I will now vigorously pursue.

Tentatively we shall travel to Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia in the fall to wrap up our illustration search. The text including all 700 illustrations is due at the publisher’s later in the fall, and we all look forward to having them turn it into a proper book…..me most of all.

~Lucia del Sol Knight, Editor May 21, 2001