Ruda’s First Days Afloat

Just after the re-organisation of the Stow & Son boatyard into the new Lady Bee company, and at the very moment that Ruda was taking shape, the yard employed a youthful 15-year-old apprentice named Stanley Page. Happily for Ruda Stan’s son-in-law has very kindly shared with us some wonderful photos of her that, lacking a camera of his own, Stan “borrowed” from the yard almost 75 years ago.

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Stan’s photos show (above): Ruda on the stocks in the Lady Bee boatshed, and being launched under the watchful eyes of the owner; and (below): Alongside for final fitout & tests, and undergoing trials in Shoreham.

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Stan has now passed away (in December 2012, aged 90) but his boatbuilding life can be explored through Stan’s boatyard photos at the history portal of the Shoreham-by-sea website, along with a good deal of information about other boats of the Stow/Lady Bee yard and the history of Shoreham during the interwar years. Ruda and her crew are much indebted to Stan and his family, and to the Shoreham-by-Sea researchers, for providing us with such valuable material.

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