Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Press release 2 - Newfound Ferry

Found – River Fal ferryboat; The Rosemarie

Its time to add another ferryboat, to the Fal passenger ferries and pleasure cruisers, so well documented by notable local historian Alan Kittridge. My original research into the R.S Burts & Sons, Falmouth built, motor Launch; Rosemarie II. Reveals a post-war, St Mawes ferry service for the Rosemarie.

My break through came when I contacted the harbour commission, with the hope of tracing previous owners for the Rosemarie, by checking the Fal river, mooring registry. Unfortunately these records did not go back far enough to be of use to me, but I was put in contact with Peter Newman who remembered the Rosemarie as a working ferry.

In 1946 Rodney 'Pete' Newman (Peters father) operated the 30 passenger launch ‘Freelance’ from Falmouth to Tolverne Cottage, In the absence of The River Fal Steamship Company boats, which had been acquisitioned for the second world war. Peter remembers the Rosemarie running out of St Mawes, to the Prince of Wales Pier, Falmouth and up the Fal river in the early 1950’s. Rosemarie’s owner Tommy Clode was a business rival, who ran two boats at that time; the Rosemarie and the Esme (which was named after his wife).

John Green also remembered the Rosemarie as a Ferry. He kindly responded to my request for information about the Rosemarie, and wrote stating that his Uncle had worked as a deck-hand for Tommy Clode from 1948 onward. He remembers taking a ferry ride when He was about 12yrs old, up the river Fal to Malpas, onboard the Rosemarie.

I spoke with both Tommy Clodes son Douglas and his daughter Marina. They remember the Rosemarie being prepared for passenger service and having a board of trade inspection before starting work, but they can't remember who the boat was sold onto.

Any further information about the Rosemarie would be greatly appreciated, as I am compiling the complete life story of the boat, for the film ‘The many Romances with Rosemarie’ extracts of which are now screening as episodes on www.houseboat-tv.co.uk.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Unsung Signposts (Un-funded & Unfair)

Well I reckon I’ve reached the point in my un-funded filmmaking journey, where the road forks and I find myself forced to travel down the road which is signposted ‘Un-funded’ while trying to live with the knowledge of what could have, would have, and should have been included in the final production.

I have been blessed indeed by the generosity of the films contributors to date. I’ve some 17 fascinating interviewees, who have given freely of their time and tales. Many of whom have donated their personal photograph collections, and videos to my project and not to mention the high quality folk tunes and original music offered for use in the films sound-track. I’ve also had the practical support and skills of friends such as Jaeson Finn, Nick Duffy and Henry Davies at my disposal. Without all of these the Houseboat TV project would not have got this far.

My dilemma started while browsing You-tube, when I accidentally stumbled upon a pirate copy of a film which my father, David Osborne-Dowle shot on 35ml, while He was at The London Film School 1967-68. It is a truly psychedelic music video for the Song ‘Flowers in the rain’ by the Move. He also produced, Director Lesley Ann Fullers 'Room’ which won best film at the Czechoslovakian Film Festival in 1968.

I got to thinking, just how wonderful it would be, to be able to include extracts from this ‘Flowers in the rain’ music video in my documentary about the Rosemarie Houseboat, which we lived on as a family in 1972-73. This was of course, after my father had left his career prospects in London, and joined my mother in Cornwall to raise a family. However, I also have footage of my mother from about the same time. When she flirted with film, this time from the other side of the camera; as she played the leading lady in a black and white film by Director John Bartlett (Westward TV), called ‘Mayday Mayday’. It was a musical narrative which tells the story of an 18th Century sailor (played by Ralph Bates from the Poldark series) who is shipwrecked in 1960’s Cornwall. My mother, then Caroline Durnford, (from The Durnford Sisters folk duo), is pictured singing with the famous Cornish folk singers John the Fish and Brenda Wootton, at the scenic Minack Theatre. The film also contains music by Steelyspan and is a uniquely creative reflection of Cornwall at this time.

Making the film; ‘The Many Romances with Rosemarie’, has revealed a string of talented people inspired by the beauty and spirit of Cornwall, some lucky enough to have been nurtured by the Rosemarie. Several of these have been original musicians, such as the 3 Daft Monkeys, Thistletown the Rosemarie band and friends. Although I am happy with the ‘Houseboat TV’ episode, where I have portrayed my parents as the Artists that they are today, I am aware this earlier history is perhaps more relevant to the overall story, and reflects the choice which I have made to document it in film.

As ‘The Many Romances with Rosemarie’ is an un-funded production, I have been forced to make some difficult choices, such as the withdrawal of 1930’s Archive footage, showing J-class yachts racing at Falmouth, and some regrettable compromises have been made. This is the price which a no-budget producer has to pay, and it’s a high one! The costs of copyright clearances for these films are sadly just too much for me to carry at this time.

One more fear haunts me, one greater than that of not being able to include all my desired content, enabling me to fulfil my greater vision. This is a fear based upon my past experience and the ‘side-lining’ of some of my other unfunded productions. By this I mean that, not only did I formerly receive a lack of financial support in producing an initial project, but then, to add insult to injury, this was replicated in a lack of support for the promotion of that same project. It seems that it is desirable for a financially backed project to be well marketed and therefore to endorse the financial investors. Equally unfunded projects, particularly if they are interesting, could be seen to compromise the funded works of contemporaries, and as a result these are ‘side-lined’ in screenings where ‘funded’ projects have been heavily promoted despite having a poor content. I really hope this doesn’t happen to the wonderful story of Rosemarie, simply because it didn’t fit a broadcast schedule or funding criteria.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Musical Heritage of Rosemarie

Tiffany Bryant and Andrew Jarvis Lived onboard the Rosemarie for a period of 3yrs from 2005 to Aug 2008. They were the last residents to live aboard the boat and had formed a band called ‘Thistletown’ during this period. They often wrote and practiced on-board, naming both a song and an album after the Rosemarie.

Several other musical arrangements played on-board Rosemarie including; ‘Shoreline’, and ‘Sons of Noel and Adrian’ with Tom Cowan and Jacob Richardson and new groupings developed from those sessions held onboard the boat, such as My Eagle and My Serpent, with Andrew Jarvis, Tom Cowan and Jacob Richardson.

Then After moving off the boat, and with two of the original ‘Thistletown’ band members; Ben and Lidia Tweddell moving to Brighton another band was formed by those remaining in Cornwall, it was called ‘The Rosemarie Band’ after the boat; with Tiffany Bryant, Andrew Jarvis and Nick Duffy on Bass.

Tim Ashton and Athene Roberts from 'The 3 Daft Monkeys' gypsy, punk-folk band, stayed on-board the Rosemarie Houseboat for just a month in between tours in 1998. They were looking after her for their sound engineer and good friend Mike George, while He travelled to the U.S.A.

Mike owned the Rosemarie from 1996 to 2001. Tim and Athene were often on-board visiting, and composed two tracks whilst staying on the boat; 'Wonderful' and ‘3 Daft monkeys’ , they described this period of time as a pivotal point in their career. As this was the period when the band formed into the 3-piece, with Jamie Waters on Bass and became; ‘The 3 Daft Monkeys’, we know today, having previously been a group known as Lordryk, and before that in the 5-piece ‘Moondragon’.

Two of the Rosemarie's former occupants; Pandora James and Judy Anderson both learned to play the fiddle while living aboard the boat. The boat was owned by Jonathan Craig at this time and he rented it first to Judy, who lived on-board for two years from 1988-1990, Initially at Penryn Quay and then moving her to Muddy Beach. When judy moved off, Jonathan rented the Rosemarie to Pandora, who lived onboard for three years from 1990-1993. Both Judy and Pandy went on to play as part of the Cornwall Fiddle Orchestra which was started by Hudson Swan in 2007.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rosemaries Ferryboat history is confirmed!

This is the Article (derived from Press Release 1, posted below) published by the West Briton Newspaper on the 5th of Aug 2010. I was hoping to get a direct response from the public and I did! Remember that lovely picture of the boat as a ferry, sent to me by Katheryn Osborne. Well I received an e-mail from a Mr John Green, who lived formerly in St Mawes, and He remembers taking a pleasure trip on the Rosemarie up the Fal to Malpas in 1948 when He was just 12yrs old! As it turned out his Uncle worked as a deck hand for Tommy Clode, which further confirms the story of another contact I made via the Harbour office; Peter Newman, (from Newmans Cruises) of a local ferryboat family, also remembers the Rosemarie working as a ferry in the river Fal at about the same time.

By the mid 1950's I've another lead to follow, as a Falmouth resident Pat Crockford, who was busy doing his shipwright apprenticeship at E.J Burts, boatyard, Turnpike beach. Remembers the Rosemarie coming into the yard for a complete re-fit. At that time He remembers she belonged to a Mr Keen, and had been working as a local passenger ferry. I wonder if the re-fit Pat mentioned, could have been the build of a coach roof onto the boats then open back. She had been initially built at R.S Burts & sons in 1930, when the company was run by Richard Steven Burt. This re-fit would have taken place, some 25yrs later, at the same family firm, now under his son Ernest John Burt.

Friday, 16 July 2010

PRESS RELEASE 1R.I.P Rosemarie – A lifetime on the River

2009 saw the demise of a much-loved wooden houseboat on the Penryn River. From my research I have found that the Rosemarie II, as she was originally named, was built at 'Little Falmouth', some 79 years earlier in 1930, her lifetime spanning some of the most significant changes in marine vessel construction and usage. She was one of the earliest types of motorised pleasure yachts, measuring 42’ by 11’ with a 6’ draft. Built of oak and pitch pine, by craftsmen from a fast fading golden age, she was a ‘double-ender’ in design and sported two, four cylinder, Thornycroft petrol engines.
In 1930, the Little Falmouth boatyard was under the management of R.S.Burts & Son ltd, who are most famous for their pioneering ‘Falmouth quay punt type yacht’, a smaller wooden boat established around 1870 that worked ‘tending’- ferrying stores, to and fro, from the big square-riggers that regularly used the port of Falmouth in those days. R.S Burt & son ltd. were acting as the sale agents for Thornycroft’s in Cornwall, helping to bring marine engines into main-stream and popular use.
Wooden motor boats like the Rosemarie, would only have been built for a short period of around 10-15yrs, from the 1930’s up to the start of the war, and they would very quickly have been superseded in the post war years, by rapid advances in the development of cheaper, quicker and lighter fibreglass hulls. Rosemarie and her kind, where the beginning of the true pleasure boats and would have been an expensive luxury to commission. Many of her contemporaries where built by ‘Thornycroft’s, at Platt’s yard, Hampton-on-Thames, and as such they are sometimes referred to as ‘Thornycroft Cruisers’. Several of these were later to become Dunkirk Little ships and the Rosemarie too, was acquisitioned in 1940 and I presently, await a reply from the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, about her war time activities.
My personal interest in the Rosemarie derives from a magical year spent living on-board as a child in the early 1970’s. I have collected almost 40yrs of her ‘houseboat’ history back to 1970, and I also have her early history up to 1948, but I have a gap of twenty years, for her ‘working life’, before she became permanently beached on the Penryn river flats. There are rumours locally that she was at one time working as a ferry in St Mawes and also in the Helford. I’m very to keen to hear from anyone who remembers the Rosemarie, or who may have photographs of her, or her owners, which they wouldn’t mind me using in a film that I’m making about her fascinating life. She like many other important aspects of Cornish heritage was perhaps over-looked or undervalued in her own time, but I intend to keep her memory afloat.
Interviews with 40 years worth of Rosemaries’ houseboat inhabitants are currently screening as monthly episodes at http://www.houseboat-tv.co.uk/ and a feature length documentary DVD about the life of the Rosemarie is due to be completed in 2011.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Still the star of the show!

For a moment there I thought that our Rosemarie was originally comissioned in 1930, by her first owner Mr Arthur H. Henderson from St Mawes, to tow a J-class racing yacht called 'Moonbeam'. After a quick visit to the National maritime museum in Falmouth, I can verify sadly that the 'Moonbeam' which is also registered to Mr Arthur H. Henderson at that time, was not a J-class after all!
She was another wooden working boat, built in Southampton 1913. 24ft by 6.4, 2.9 draft. As for those J-class, they are infectiously beautiful and it was the height of the Kings Cup races in Falmouth at the time that our Rosemarie was built. Its worth noting though, that the J-class will be racing again in the Falmouth Ragatta 27th-30th June 2012. The good news is, that Rosemarie is officially Cornish built; at R.S. Burts & Sons boat yard ('Little Falmouth') This week I am trying to find out the profession of her original owner, and personally I'm glad our wooden tub remains the star of this show!

Monday, 14 June 2010

I'm really excited about a possible ending for the film, where the keel of the Rosemarie has been re-cylced, reused and floats again on another boat! Guess what this boat is called? Rosa. So it seems that a little piece of the Rosmarie is living on, and not just in our-hearts! It's a strange fact that her keel will go on to have adventures in open seas, which the Rosemarie never truly achieved. Nice twist and I'm glad to be finishing on a good note. This picture is of the skeletal remains of the Rosemarie as she lay on Muddy Beach in Penryn August 2009.The sign is a spoof, that a fellow boat-dweller placed on her, I called the number and got no reply. Still its good to see her being valued even this late in the day.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Cirra; Unexpected Interests and more coincidences

It seems that boat owners are a breed of like mind, who love thier craft and have a great inclination to trace the history of their vessel, and in such a way perhaps a soul of the boat is held by all those who have loved her. Each boat inadvertantly drawing them into a community of people who belong to them!

This picture is of a boat called Cirra, in Bristol Harbour. At this time she belonged to Hugh and Monica King, who I interviewed about their time onboard the Rosemarie Houseboat. Last week I got an e-mail from the Cirra's present day owner, who had seen the boat featured in the previous episode of Houseboat TV. He was keen to fill in the gaps of her history and wanted to make contact with the kings! How amazing, coincidental, fateful, fantastic. These are the sort of threads which I'd love to follow, but can't fit into the main storyline. Yet somehow they feed back into it indirectly!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Just one more day to see Hugh and Monica King talking about boat-love on Houseboat-TV! Episode 4 will be revealed on Friday!!! So come back then.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Episode 3 Houseboat TV - Interview with Hugh & Monica king

So, better go visit the mothership at www.houseboat-tv.co.uk if you want to see episode 3 of Houseboat TV! Hugh and monica king owned the Rosemarie in the early 1970's and have donated a fine collection of personal photographs from that time making this a charming film, full of time travel! It seems that the Rosemarie kindled for them an enduring love of houseboats.....

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Rosemarie as the St Mawes / Falmouth passenger ferrry

Today I recieved an amazing photograph, from Katheryn Osborne in the U.S.A, confirming that the Rosemarie houseboat had indeed been the passenger ferry between Falmouth and St Mawes as rumoured! Not exactly sure of the date, but 1940's-50's is an educated guess! The family who owned her at this time where called Henderson, and having phoned all the Hendersons in St Mawes to no avail, I've unfortunately no other testimony of the boat at this time. Which is why this one photo is such a special find. On the back of the picture is written £2,250 obo (or best offer), priceless! She was also rumoured to have worked as a ferry in the nearby Helford river, although I can't find any evidence to support this. Time to go back to the library I think........

Monday, 29 March 2010

Nialls TVs...Download for free!!!

I have met so many lovely people, along the way while making this film! Today I just wanted to say a big thankyou to Niall, who has given me a collection of old T.Vs to brighten my blogs and posts. Its still availiable to anyone who wants it, for the next few days. Simply download the whole collection from 'You Send It'; http://download.yousendit.com/RmNDQ3Q2UENKV1B2Wmc9PQ

And Niall can also be found at http://www.wix.com/6ixholes/niallx-home.

Its a truely interesting website, and if I'd had a budget, I may well have asked this man to do some of the work for me! Dont forget to visit me at http://www.houseboat-tv.co.uk/

The current episode 'Jonathan Graig' is due to change, so if you've not seen it...its a must!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Featured on Devon + Cornwall Film

Rosemarie Houseboat TV, as a development platform for the documentary 'The Many Romances with Rosemarie', has been featured on the Devon and Cornwall Film social networking website today. If you want to know more about the project, this will deffinately provide you with a greater insight.

Devon + Cornwall Film regularly blog on locally produced films, events or on productions coming into the area to use it as a location. If you are involved in film or just want to know whats happening near you then come on board! Or find me at http://www.houseboat-tv.co.uk/

Monday, 1 March 2010

An interview with myself?

My friend Nick Duffy has kindly offered to interview me for the film 'The many romances with Rosemarie'. I'm not sure about this as it may turn the documentary into an autobiographical, but I'd love to know what you think. I did live on the Rosemarie for about 1 year when I was just 3yrs old, and Nick has already helped me to film an interview with my folks (all for impartiality).
This is a picture of me in the red, with my friend Alisia. Dad is in the background with Henry the basset hound, having a break from working in the boatshed, must have been mum taking this pic.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Don't miss Jonathan Craig on the second episode Houseboat-TV

Jonathan Craig is a sculptor, carpenter and wooden boat builder. He rescued the Rosemarie by virtually re-building her in the late 1970’s. It was a big job, and he says that he became obsessed with the boat. He slept onboard under a tarpaulin while he was mending her and says he had fantastical dreams about trees growing up around him in the shape of the boat. He was very sad to see the boat go for scrap.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Dont miss it! Soon to change - The first Episode of Houseboat-TV, is Judy Anderson at home in Cornwall. No longer afloat but reflective about missed opportunities aboard Rosemarie!