March 2009    Gary Lomas recollects

I am a Grandson of Harry Wood; my Mother is his youngest daughter, now 72 yrs old & living in Victoria, SE Australia.That photo of Harry leaning on the Boiler deck was cropped; sitting to his right was Mum,circa '65.

I remember many happy times in Kingsbridge & the little Paddlesteamer, especially my favourite; her engines. I was destined to become an Engineer like Harry.

I read with interest that Harry is described as a Yorkshireman. He was in fact a Lancastrian; hailing from Heysham, Morecambe. I was there at the time of filming the 'Birds-Eye' advert & if memory serves:- the Capt was a 30 something 'fop dark haired' vampire look alike dressed in Edwardian ceremonial naval dress. And as the vessel had NO Board of Trade Cert (now it would be Coastguard) she wasn't allowed to go anywhere. I was one of the little brats on board. So to give the impression of a trip downstream Harry removed the floats (boards) from the wheels; so he could run the engines at full speed without stressing the boat and the moorings ; just thrash water. This is not a big job as the paddles were of the simple design; not 'fully -feathered', so no fragile and precocious feathering gear! It was on one early occasion being around this period of time when I took a 'header' off of the starboard flying bridge attempting to sneak into the wheelhouse.