Mr Trim used the Victory more as a home as he used to run a small farm and also let out mechanical machinery to farmers who could not afford their own. When we took over, we soon realised that it took people, not antique silver and brass, to make a business. Our trade consisted of fishermen and locals. Although they were a nice foundation on which to start, it wasn't very
profitable. I had great illusions about my abilities, but my mind goes blank when I think of that first winter. No domestic amenities at all, we had been led to believe that the water system had been modernised. This consisted of pumping the water into a container tank in the roof that would feed the water taps, toilets and bathrooms. Very often filling the container tank
in the roof, the pipes would get an airlock and no power on earth would make them flow until they were ready, or so it seemed.
That necessitated going back to the artesian well and lowering a bucket 40ft in order to get water to use.
We seemed to be plagued with water or at least the lack of it.
Another water problem we had to contend with - when it rained the cellar used to flood with about 2ft of water. As there was no refrigeration the larders were in the cellar and it was very disconcerting to have to paddle to get the food on these occasions.
I was really in despair, it was like climbing up a slippery mountain, all this pumping day after day.
Mr Temple, who lived at the Manor House, Buckingham, had a boat moored in the creek. He solved this awful problem quite unexpectedly.
He came in one morning to ask us if we could do with his boat boy George, who he had brought with him from Buckingham hoping to make
a useful yacht hand, but without success as he just wasn't boat minded. George that morning had lost his last pari of trousers
overboard and it was more than Mr Temple could tolerate. He offered to pay George's wages if we were unable to make something
out of him, so George, still trouserless, took over pumping, lighting fires and lamps The lamps could turn into a nightmare if someone
unacustomed to this form of lighting turned the wick up - they would fill the place with oily smoke and smuts.
George was really a godsend, quite well spoken, and seemed to possess no vices. I discovered he had a great educational urge. The
pump was situated in the scullery and by pumping with his left hand and leaning over a table he could read quite comfortably
without wasting time. The books, the Scriptures, Shakespeare and any other classics I had in my bookcase, I allowed him to borrow.
It seemed impossible to satisfy his appetite. Such a scholastic outlook from somebody taken on as a houseboy wanted a bit of
understanding. I began to feel I had a budding professor under my roof with an academic future.
George unfortunately caught scarlet fever and died after living with us for six years, leaving an unwanted legacy to my
eldest daughter of the same complaint. George with his usefulness had become quite part of the family and his death was a great
shock to us.