The Royal Mersey Restricted Yachts
Logs of the “Avis” & “Ikinoo” 1932-1938
My father John (Jack) Higson Greenwood and Uncle Eric Higson Greenwood were born in Anfield Liverpool in 1906 and 1908 respectively. Their mother was of the Liverpool brewing family Higson and on her proceeds of the sale of Higson’s Brewery, following the owner Daniel Higson’s death in 1913, bought a house in New Brighton close to the promenade. The brothers were taught to sail by Mr William Heppenstall, who was an Artists’ Colourman with H Jeffreys & Sons Liverpool, in the early 1920’s.
The brothers subsequently owned and co-owned a number of boats on the Mersey:
1927 Their first sailing dinghy was built by S Bond at Rock Ferry c1913 bought from Joe Wallace for £8
1927-31 "Polly" a pram dinghy bought for £14 and sold for £12
1927-28 "Dorothy" 18.5 ft half-rater bought from Mr Heppenstall for £12 sold for £9 c 1930 "Whimbrel" in which
Jack wrote his first cruising account to Menai Straits 1931 (in an open boat with three crew) taking 4 days to clear the Mersey due to gales.
1931 Joe Wallace buys “Ikinoo” a Royal Mersey Restricted in exchange for “Thistle” a 1 rater plus a payment of £60
1931 Eric buys dinghy from Mr Heppenstall for £10
1931 "Redwing" a Conway River Class bought for £30 selling for £35.
1932-34 "Cameo" a 3-ton cabin sloop formerly owned by Joe Wallace bought for £40 in which they cruised to IOM and North Wales.
1932-33 Eric crews for Joe Wallace in “Ikinoo”, a Royal Mersey Restricted Class, in races and cruises to IOM and Ireland. Eric wins the RMYC 1932 Mates Race in “Ikinoo”.
1933 Oct Joe Wallace sells “Ikinoo”
1934 - 1939 "Avis", a Royal Mersey Restricted Class 7.5ton auxiliary petrol engine gaff cutter, bought by Jack and Eric for £90 from Mr Martin from Prestwich, Manchester (a previous owner was Mr Titterington). Jack and Eric cruised to Wales, IOM, Ireland and Scotland until it was sold in 1940. Jack Greenwood understood that the man he sold it to was killed in Liverpool during WW2. Owned by the same skipper between 1941-54. The last owner was J Hilton who owned it c1980. Latterly it languished many years until taken over by the David Moss Boatyard where it was stripped of fittings and reluctantly broken up circa 2003. A previous owner had a set of sails made for "Avis" which were later utilised on "Phyllis". Photographs of “Avis” were provided for David Moss during Phyllis’s restoration.
1937-38 “Dorothy” bought by Eric from Dock Board for £5/5/0 sold for £9
1938-55 “Wanderer” Clipper Dinghy bought by Eric for £12 and renamed “Crusader” sold for £30 successfully raced by Eric West Cheshire SC.
1940 "Clytie" a canoe stern cabin sloop bought from John Lawson Abergele for £80 sold after WW2.
1939-45 Eric was Lieutenant Commander of a minesweeper from Lowestoft and Jack was Flight Lieutenant in the RAF in airfield defence in Burma.
1947 "Kittiwake" 16 ft double ender possibly Scandinavian bought for £25.
1960 "Tern" glass fibre Willoughby Plastics dinghy bought for £55 sold for £75 in 1979.
1970 "Nutmeg" YMS 347 c 1961 bought for £300 16ft cabin sloop built of marine ply cruised to North Wales sold in the 1980s.
They continued sailing well into their seventies with my father a crew member in Cedric Flood’s Westerly on several cruises from Carnarvon to the Channel Islands and Brittany and locally on other friends’ yachts.
Eric died in 1984 and Jack Greenwood died in 2005 his ashes were cast into the Clyde, “… where I had some good times”, from my own boat.
The sailing logs of “Avis” and “Ikinoo” are in fond memory of Jack (The Skipper) & Eric (A Good Helmsman) Greenwood and their crews.
Michael Richard Greenwood, Glasgow Feb 2011