ID: TXA00200 / Tony Millatt

TitleTim Whelpton - lived on a houseboat before the War
AbstractTim Whelpton died March 2009 at the age of 80. He came from a sailing family, in which his doctor grandfather had a fleet of fishing smacks based in Essex. Tim's father, a master mariner, went to sea in square-rigged sailing ships and had circumnavigated the world seven times before he was 21.
Home was a converted fishing boat moored off Mersea Island where Tim and his sister played in the mud, fell in and out of dinghies as soon as they could walk and rowed to and from school. The houseboat was RAVEN). They had a sailing dinghy named EVADNE after Tim's sister Evadne (Paul Jasper was entertained to tea by Evadne on the houseboat, and says she was opposite the HISPANIA).
During WW2, Tim's father was in the Navy and posted to Gibraltar. While they were away, the houseboat was damaged by a bomb and was derelict by the time they returned. They lived for a while at Besom House at the bottom of Victory Road.
From Eastern Daily Press obituary: "He came to Norfolk after his father had been invalided out of the navy and their floating home had been bombed.
"It seemed only natural for him to become an apprentice at the Ernest Woods boatyard at Horning.
"Sailing precipitated him into marriage when he and his sister Evadne capsized a punt and were rescued by a father sailing with his two daughters. Tim married the elder and with her started the Eastwood Whelpton boatyard with a holiday hire fleet of 10 two-berth sailing cruisers. Today (1996), 38 years later, he has built most of his fleet of 16 sailing boats including replicas of old yachts in glass fibre. He also stores and maintains 150 private yachts and gives sailing lessons.
AuthorTony Millatt
Published22 May 2009
SourceMersea Museum