I became the new keeper of the Albert Strange canoe yawl Emerald in October 2017. Although she was functionally in very good order, her external brightwork (varnish) had suffered lately, as her owner of the previous twenty-five years had been unable, through poor health, to keep ‘on top of it’. I spent a week ashore with her on the Isle of Bute that autumn removing the old varnish, which entailed removing the name boards on either side of the coachroof; unfortunately they would not come quietly and one of them broke in two. Nice though the old boards were, the lettering was a little obviously mechanical and this accident gave me some thin justification to get some new boards carved by hand. Steve Horsfall at Dingwall, near Inverness, did a superb job from artwork I sent him. The typeface is American Uncial (uncial being a style with only one ‘case’) and seemed in keeping with Emerald’s Celtic origins (she was built in north Wales) and cruising grounds. I showed the new boards proudly to my daughter Siân, whose reaction was: ‘A bit Father Ted’.
(That’s Emerald below at the top-right, in the Albert Strange book.)