Captain Tom goes Sailing

These Edwardian photographs are taken from the scrap book found amongst her father Jim Piggot’s papers by Janice Sinclair ( nee Piggot ).
This is Grandfather Tom Piggot as a twenty something ‘yachty’ in the Fairlie / Millport area. It’s not his yacht – he sailed other peoples’.


The story is told by Uncle Arnie that Tom when on holiday at Fairlie with the family would be invited to sail with the owners of various yachts. A knock would come on a Friday evening and Tom would be invited to go off sailing the next day with a group of ‘gentlemen’. They would sail to a suitable watering hole ( e.g. Millport ) and Tom would put them ashore where they would enjoy the hospitality – and presumably a ‘wet lunch’. In the meantime Tom -a ‘tea totaller’ – would have the use and enjoyment of the boat. Tom would pick the group up again by arrangement and sail them soberly home.

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The photographs above show Tom and a number of groups – perhaps of the ‘gentlemen’ Arnie referred to. Is the figure standing on the deck of the Rose next to Tom – second from the right in the picture below – a woman? If so who is she?


The boat shown is not Tom’s – he crewed on various boats in the Fairlie / Millport area.We hope to identfy some of these one day. The Rose is shown in all but one of them.The white hulled yacht is not identified. Is that Tom up the mast?
Rose 8.jpgRose1.jpgRose 41.jpgRose 3.jpgRose 6.jpgRose 5.jpg

The original Torsa seen here in 1950’s with Jim Piggot ( bow tie ) and some staff from the Sunshine Biscuit Factory of Wylie Barr & Ross. These guys were given a day out on the Clyde in return for their help to paint and prepare the boat for the season.
Torsa 1.jpg
The photograph below shows a group on Torsa in the prewar period. Leslie Piggot, Jim Piggot ( the wee lad ) Alan McDonald ( fourth fron the left ) and some others we don’t know.

Torsa Group.jpg

John Leslie Cuthbertson has pointed out that Torsa was always owned by the Cuthbertson family.The Torsa was a wedding present to his mother Marjory Piggot from John Cuthbertson. Leslie has the invoice from the builders framed on his office wall. Leslie adds in an email comment received on 22th August 2008 as follows ” The truth to tell, father knew nothing about boats and the Piggots did and probably had more time to spend. Milkmen worked seven days a week. Anyway it gave great satisfaction to three generations as Tommy and I can verify. How we didn’t perish at sea nobody knows.”
Clearly Captain Tom borrowed other people’s boats to the end.

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