ID: ML2021_008_030 / Ron Green

TitleA tribute to a dear brother by Ron Green
AbstractI can still remember being woken by the sounds of a baby crying in the front bedroom of our home No 6 Council House, Barfield Road. It was March 5th 1937. Brother John had arrived. Two years later we moved to a new bungalow in Suffolk Avenue that dad had built, working for Clifford White. I remember John crying that first night that he wanted to go home. It was of course to be our home for many years.

John was very much a countryman, sailing wildfowling etc. At an early age he became friendly with Sid Hewes at Fleet View Stores and Ru Pullen of Pedro. John learnt to row and scull in Ru's little dinghy PUP. When he was about 15 he found an old dinghy named Topsy laying neglected on the hard. He tracked down the owner and bought it for £2. He fitted a centre board, made a mast from an old wooden scaffold pole from Clifford White's yard, and Jack Owen, a rigger at Gowens, made him a suit of sails for thirty shillings, cut down from some old sails. John had his very first of many sailing boats.

After a year or so he found a fourteen foot clinker built racing dinghy laying on the piece of land where Wyatt's Chandlery has since been built. It was in a very poor state but he bought it and got it home where he carried out a rebuild. I noticed he had put two little badges on the stern with Dabchicks flags. I then learnt he was going to race it and I was to be the crew. He had a heavy metal centre plate made by the usual method at that time, give a template to Derek Wheeler who would find a suitable piece of sheet in his scrapyard and cut one out. The first year of racing Silver Wings, as she was called, was not very successful so the following year John replaced the heavy metal plate with a wooden one and at laying up supper we collected armfuls of trophies.

In 1960, the Dabchicks adopted the Enterprise as a racing class. John built Merander E 4013 which was a regular winner. He went on to build four Enterprises and I have him to to thank for many hours roaring round the race marks often soaked to the skin but very happy. He went on to own yachts which were all winners.

John and I were together most of our lives sailing together, working together, sometimes having little disagreements - but nothing serious and soon forgotten. He was my best mate.

John passed away in the early hours of Friday 15th June at his home in West Mersea surrounded by his family. His funeral was at East Mersea Parish Church on Friday 9th July followed by cremation.

Handfulls of cups at the Dabchicks Sailing Club laying up supper at the Red Lion Hotel 1955.

John with brother Ron on the deck of his Stella Polaris.

Published in Mersea Life August 2021

AuthorRon Green
PublishedAugust 2021
SourceMersea Museum