Saturday, December 13, 2008

1950's film on 12' Firefly sailing (England)

I'm guessing this film takes place in the 1950's. Young English sailors are building and sailing 12' Fireflys, an Uffa Fox design. The Firefly is still raced today in England and is the team racing dinghy for English Universities. I enjoy watching old film and this has the typical "jolly good... hip hip hooray" narration of English shorts of this period.

My good friend, Bob Blomquist, raced in a small fleet of Fireflys in and around Boston Massachusetts during the1950's.


Tillerman said...

What a fabulous find!

The accent of the commentator is awfully English, but according to the commentary the action actually takes place in Wales, not England.

Interesting that the sailing club was a works club, part of the social activities sponsored by the local steel company for their employees. My first sailing club was actually a company sponsored club too. Are there any left these days?

I took sailing lessons in a Firefly in England around 1980.

Tillerman said...

I tried to do a bit of research using The Google on The Internet Machine to see if I could find out what happened to this sailing club.

RTB was taken over by British Steel and then became Corus. Corus does have a sailing club but it is down on the coast near Port Talbot.

I looked on The Google Maps on The Internet Machine to see if I could find the body of water described in the video. It might be Carno Reservoir which is the only candidate I could find above Ebbw Vale. Then I also discovered that Carno Reservoir was drained in 2005 because the dam started leaking.

I wonder what happened to the Firefly sailors from Ebbw Vale? Where are they now?

Tweezerman said...


Sorry for the late reply. I've been so busy looking forward that it is at this late date that I've looked backward through posts to see if anybody commented. I think someone from CVRDA might have an idea.

Tweezerman said...

Comments posted on the cvrda forum;

From Nigel.......The steelworks closed in 2002. The nearest clubs now are Merthyr Tydfil and Llangorse so maybe someone there knows what happened to the club (and the cooling lake).

From Garry R.......Excellent - with all the "jolly hockey sticks" narration we were used to with Pathe News all those years ago!!

From Rupert........By the handbook of 1988, F2088 had her last known address as the RTB General Works Club, but with no record of how long ago she had last been heard from. The name had been changed, though, at some point, to Brynmawr.

Thomas said...

I owned Firefly #1580 in Boston Harbor 1957/1958. It was a great boat for a 18 year old. Have owned many boats since but have fond memories of my "first boat."

Anonymous said...

lI learned how to sail on a firefly #2828 when I was a teenager. My sailing coach, Al Fearn, won the Firefly Nationals, on Saratoga Lake - I believe beating Stu Walker that year. He convinced me to buy the boat cause I was too big for the new (then)lasers and force 5s that other kids were buying. It was the greatest boat ever. i would love to find one.

CHECK out sailing at MIT. They just got a new fleet of RONDAR FLYs made in peabody MA. They are the MKII version. Self rescuing and a cut away deck...not as pretty as the MK1 but roomier and less hassle in a capsize!

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