(From Afloat Magazine November 2008 Letters to the Editor). Doug Jenkin’s request for information on the H28 Jenny Wren (Afloat Sep’08) brings back many happy memories.
Jenny Wren was purchased by my father-in-law, Angus Campbell, in the early seventies (probably 1974). He kept her moored at the junction between the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers and was a member, and later club captain, of the Greenwich Flying Squadron (GFS). Upon purchasing her he promptly changed her name to Cruachan (the Campbell family war cry) and used her as a cruising boat. My then fiancée and I accompanied him and his wife on the GFS annual cruise to the Hawkesbury River on a number of occasions including one memorable one which included New Year’s Eve at the Gosford Aquatic Club.
In those days the H28 was one of the larger boats in the Squadron. Most of the other ‘cruisers’ being Bluebirds, Endeavours and Top Hats. Today my Young 88, Speedwell, at 29 feet is the smallest boat racing in the club’s first division twilight series with most boats being 40 feet plus and not a timber boat to be found.
She was a fine sailer on a reach and when running but a little sluggish to windward. I remember her as having a pale blue deck with white topsides and a varnished coachhouse.
Certainly one of the prettiest boats on Sydney Harbour. Unfortunately she sank at her mooring in about 1976 and while not damaged structurally was written off by the broker. It was universally thought that the toilet valve had been left open and the inlet hose had come loose.
Angus promptly bought her back and placed her on a hardstand at Roseville where he gutted the interior, washed out all the mud and rebuilt her furniture. I regret to advise that although everything else is original the interior is not. Angus sold her towards the end of the eighties but she did not stray far. I saw her for many years moored in the NW corner of Woodford Bay and with her original name Jenny Wren restored. Angus is now 90 but remembers her well.
Original owner: C J D Love
Raced at RSYS and RPAYC until sold. No Engine.
1960 Sold to A (Bill) Bird
1962 - 1968 Sold to L Le Gray. Raced at RPAYC and CYCA. Petrol Engine fitted.
1969 - 1973 Sold to T Lord MHYC sail no. M36. Diesel Engine fitted.
1974 Sold to Angus Campbell Greenwich Flying Sqdn. Name changed to "CRUACHAN"
1976 Sold to Gordon & Gabriele Gilmore. Sank at mooring. Raised and interior replaced.
1982 Sold to Frank & Jenny Rule. Anchored Woodford Bay and McCarr's Creek. Name "Jenny Wren" restored.
2000 Passed on to Fiona Stratton (daughter) and restored by partner Ken Petch at Allcraft, Drummoyne Point
2002 Re-rigged @ Joe Walsh's Woolwich.
2003 Moved to mooring Lake Macquarie.
2005 (October) Purchased by Doug Jenkin and sailed to Geelong Victoria. RGYCI RYCV sail no G128 R128. Restoration of Cockpit seats, Bulk head. Interior wiring and fit out.
2008 Cruised in company to Queenscliff, Martha Cove. Cruised in company to Wooden boat Festival Docklands and Westernport. After calling in to Westernport with Shamrock we sailed on to the Prom (Refuge Cove) for a few days before returning to Melbourne. Crew was Andy Runciman from “Gumnut”.
2009 Cruised in company to Australian Wooden Boat Festival - Hobart.
2010 (January) Sold to Peter Fairbairn and sailed back to Lake Macquarie.