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SUNBEAM - 14 October 1989

Sunbeam was built in 1881 by John Howard at Maldon for William Wadley Cranfield of Rowhedge and she is still sailing today. Her current dimensions are: Breadth (beam) 11feet/3.57m, depth 6ft/1.91m, length 50ft/15.25m.

Plans of the Sunbeam have been deposited at the Essex Record Office - Reference: C1498 box 7.

ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 17 September 1904 - “ROWHEDGE AND WYVENHOE REGATTA – The twelfth annual regatta of Rowhedge and Wyvenhoe was held on Thursday, September 15, in dull but dry weather, and from an aquatic as well as the sightseeing point of view, the affair was a pronounced success.

Race for fishing smacks – The boats entered were the Sunbeam, a boat of 18 tons belonging to Mr. W.W. Cranfield, the Xanthe, 17 tons the property of Mr. W. Cranfield, and the Neva, 14 tons, Mr. L. Cranfield. The racing could not be called fast, as the times given below will show, and the slow progress was due to the very light breeze which prevailed throughout the whole time.

Results:- Race for smacks not exceeding 30 tons, 1st Prize, £6; 2nd, £4; 3rd, £2; 4th, £1. Three entries – 1. Neva, 14 tons (L. Cranfield), time 4hrs. 12m. 15s. 2. Sunbeam, 18 tons (W.W. Cranfield), time 4hrs. 20m. 30s. 3. Xanthe, 17 tons (W. Cranfield), time 4hrs. 40 minutes.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 23 September 1905 - “WYVENHOE AND ROWHEDGE REGATTA – ANOTHER  SUCCESSFUL  EVENT - This annual event, which takes place alternately at Wyvenhoe and Rowhedge, was held at Wyvenhoe on Thursday, September 21, the day being an ideal one as far as the spectators were concerned, but scarcely any breeze prevailing for the sailing events. The yachts on the river wall presented a very gay appearance, being decorated with a grand array of flags, while the river was also packed with craft of all descriptions from the old smack boat to the up-to-date steam launch. The crowd which witnessed the racing on the Wyvenhoe side of the river was the largest assembled for many years…The entries were about the average. The smack race produced a close finish….The regatta concluded at 7.15 p.m. with a brilliant display of fireworks…

Smack race:- From Mersea Stone to Wyvenhoe – 1. Sunbeam (W.W. Cranfield), 2. Neva (L. Cranfield). 57 seconds between first and second. Ellen (R. Cranfield) did not finish.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 5 October 1907 - “WYVENHOE AND ROWHEDGE REGATTA – This popular event came off on Friday, Sept. 27, in beautiful weather, and proved most successful….The Wyvenhoe bank of the Colne was lined with a large number of spectators. The river itself presented an animated appearance with its numerous craft of all sizes, and there was a strong display of bunting.

Handicap race for smacks – 1.Sunbeam (Mr. W.W. Cranfield) 2.Ellen (Mr. R. Cranfield) 3. Lizzie (Mr. G. Glozier) 4.Advent (Mr. T. Howard). Neva (Mr. J. Cranfield) at the start fouled the Committee boat, which was lying off Mersea Stone, and carried away her bobstay. She was, therefore, disqualified.”   The Neva now owned by Jonathan “Jack” Cranfield.


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 23 November 1907 - “EAST DONYLAND – SPRAT FISHING – Most of the fishing smacks have completed fitting out in readiness for the “stowboating season”, and good catches are anxiously awaited. The first haul of about 50 bushels was landed here on Monday by the vessel Sunbeam.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 25 September 1909 - “BRIGHTLINGSEA REGATTA – This annual event came off in fine weather on Thursday last….A large number of yachts in the Creek and Colne had dressed ship for the occasion….OPEN RACE FOR FISHING SMACKS not exceeding 30 tons B.M. Time allowance half-a-minute per ton. The course was from off the Hospital boat in Colne, down round the Bar buoy, round outer Bench Head buoy, up round the Colne Fishery buoy, and thence round the yacht Valfreyia, three times round. The start was made at 10.30. There was a splendid start for this race, all the boats crossing the line within four seconds of the gun being fired. Owing to the light wind, which fell to calm out by the Bar buoy, the boats were stopped at the end of the second round, the finishing and corrected times being:-

Express (R. Potter) 28 tons, Finish- 3hr.59m.44s. Corrected 3hr.59m.44s

Sunbeam (W. Cranfield) 18 tons, Finish- 3hr.59.24. Corrected 3hr.54m.24s

Wonder (J. Carter) 20 tons, Finish- 4hr.52m.8s. Corrected 4hr.48m.8s

My Alice (F. Stokes) 20 tons, Finish- 4hr.17m.37s. Corrected 4hr.13m.30s

Favourite (T. Brand) 26 tons, Finish- 4hr.33m.48s. Corrected 4hr.32m.48s

Daisy (blank Hilliard, sic)  16 tons, not timed

Bertha (W. Redgwell) 18 tons, Finish- 4hr.52m.7s. Corrected 4hr.47m.7s.”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 2 October 1909 - “TOLLESBURY REGATTA – Tollesbury annual regatta was held on the Blackwater with great success on Friday, Sept. 24, in glorious weather.”

“Smack Race- (18-30 tons, open) 1. Sunbeam (W. Cranfield), 2. Express (R. Potter), 3. Bertha (W. Redgwell), 4. My Alice (F. Stokes).”


ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD – Saturday 9 October 1909 - “WYVENHOE AND ROWHEDGE REGATTA – This annual event, which takes place alternately at Wyvenhoe and Rowhedge, was held in Wyvenhoe on Tuesday, October 5, the afternoon turning out an ideal one for the event, a capital breeze prevailing for the sailing event, which produced some capital entries….Race for smacks; 1st Prize £5, 2nd £3, 3rd £1. 10 – The course was as follows:- Start from an imaginary line between the Committee boat and the hospital ship on Mersea Stone, thence round the Bar buoy, leaving it on the port hand, to Priory buoy, and Wallet Spit, round the North Buxey buoy on the starboard hand, and home to Wyvenhoe. At the start Neva took the lead, the other boats following in the order: Daisy, Sunbeam, Bertha, and Elsie (sic). The finish was as follows:- 1. Sunbeam (W.W. Cranfield) 2hr.26m.46s 2. Neva (John Cranfield) 2hr.32m.45s 3. Bertha (W. Ridgewell) 2hr.37m.25s 4. Elsie (J. Green) 2hr.39m.10s 5. Daisy (G.J. Hillyard) not timed.”


ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH – Saturday 10 September 1910 - “CLACTON REGATTA – Fishing Smacks Race (Open) – 1. Sunbeam, 18 tons, W.W. Cranfield. 2. Wonder, 20 tons, J. Carter. 3. Ellen II, 20 tons, H.S. Martin.”


ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH – Saturday 1 October 1910 - “BRIGHTLINGSEA – REGATTA – In weather that was perfectly delightful for every outdoor enterprise – except sailing – the annual regatta at Brightlingsea was held with great success on Tuesday. The estuary was gay with yachts rigged out in brilliant colours, and under the cloudless summer sky the scene was picturesque and interesting…..In the open race for Fishing Smacks not over 30 tons, W. Cranfield’s Sunbeam was first and J. Cranfield’s Neva second….“Open Race for Fishing Smacks, not exceeding 30 tons B.M. Time allowance, half-a-second per ton:- Started 10.45 am. 1. Sunbeam, W. Cranfield, 20 tons, corrected time 3hr. 15m. 40s; 2. Neva, J. Cranfield, 20 tons, 3hr. 24m. 15s; 3. Favourite, T. Brand, 26 tons, 3hr. 29m. 4s; 4. Peace, S. French, 12 tons, 3hr. 34m. 27s.”


ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH – Saturday 15 October 1910 - “REGATTA AT ROWHEDGE – A SUCCESSFUL FIXTURE – The annual Rowhedge and Wyvenhoe regatta attracted large crowds on Monday to the banks of the Colne at Rowhedge and Wyvenhoe. Special railway fares had the effect of bringing many visitors from the surrounding districts, and although the fixture was not favoured this year with sunshine, the weather kept fine, and the scene from the committee boat moored on the Wyvenhoe side was decidedly picturesque. The Wyvenhoe Wesley Guild Band was posted in the midst of the crowd on the Rowhedge side, and, under the direction of Mr. D. Bones, rendered a popular selection of music. Owing to a shy wind the principal sailing events, which were started in the morning, were much prolonged.

In the handicap race for fishing smacks, Sunbeam (W.W. Cranfield) covered the distance of 18 miles nine minutes to the good, Neva (John Cranfield) being second…..Details of the regatta are appended:- Handicap Race for bona fide Fishing Smacks not exceeding 30 tons. The course, covering about 18 miles, was as follows:- Start from Mersea Stone, round north-west Knowle buoy, thence round south-west Bench Head buoy, thence into the Colne, round Valfreyia, leave her on starboard hand, thence round north-west Knowle again, and home:- 1. Sunbeam (W.W. Cranfield) 4hr. 16m; 2. Neva (John Cranfield) 4hr. 25m; Beatrice (James Barnard, sen) gave up.”


ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH – Tuesday 5 September 1911 - “CLACTON REGATTA – Never before have the organisers of the popular regatta been favoured with a better day for the events than on Thursday…

Handicap Fishing Smack Race (open) – 1. Sunbeam, 18 tons, Mr. W.W. Cranfield 2.The Lilly (sic), 15 tons, Mr. J. Cranfield 3. Ellen I., 18 tons, Mr. R. Cranfield. The handicap was 30 secs per ton B.M.”


ESSEX COUNTY TELEGRAPH – Saturday 5 October 1912 - “ROWHEDGE REGATTA – INTERESTING DAY’S SPORT – The popular regatta in connection with Rowhedge and Wivenhoe took place on Wednesday at Rowhedge, and in point of spectacular interest the fixture gained on many of its predecessors, for there was a particularly good number of entries for the smacks and yachts events, and some capital sailing was witnessed….” Committee members included; R. Pearson senr., R. Pearson junr., J. Cranfield, Jesse Cranfield, W. Cranfield. The King contributed £5 to the regatta fund.

“Handicap Race for smacks not exceeding 30 tons – 1. Sunbeam (Mr. Cranfield) 3h 19m 52s; 2. Blanche (Mr. A. Cranfield) 3h 23m 32s.”


L to R; Capt WWC Sunbeam CK328, Capt Lem

St. Katherine Docks, London, 2012

St. Katherine Docks, London, 2013

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