Friday, 14 January 2011

Interview with John Drinkwater 14/01/11

Had a fantastic interview today with another St Mawes old boy. John served his shipwrights apprenticeship at Freshwater yard in 1938 under Frankie Peters, before joining the Royal air force and going to war. He remembers the Rosemarie as a black boat which was painted grey during the war period, and with a gun mounted on her front deck.

Frankie Peters was a renound boat builder and made many of the St Mawes One-Design boats, which still race today. John remembers being left with dull jobs like bailing out the boats in the yard while Frankie took the Rosemarie out on River Patrol as her skipper, round the Lizard peninsula and often down as far as Penzance. Joining Frank as crew on the Rosemarie was Walter Hitchins and Mr Hamblin as Engineer, who lived in an interesting Houseboat; a 1st world war Motor-Launch moored in the river off Polvarth Yard.

As it had finally stopped rainning, I went down to Freshwater Yard after this inspirational interview, to see if I could film it as the working yard it is today. Unfortunately I was not greeted with a possitive response! Admitily it was a last minute thought to fire off an e-mail this morning before I left, explainning that I was going to be in the area and out-linning what it was I wanted to do, but I don't think that that could justify this curt reply e-mail awaiting me when I got home;

As the boatyard has been completely modernised in the past 10 years there is nothing or no one here who could help you with your project. I am sorry but we cannot give you permission to film here at any time.


Seems some people have a generousity of spirit, which others can barely perceive, let alone value. I am proud to say that my film is brimming with fine people and their wonderful stories which they are only to glad to share, and that they have a genuine passion for the history of their village, which is not based soley on the value of bricks and mortar, but on the community (whats left of it). Who needs anything less than that? Some you win and some you lose!

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