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A doyen of traditional boat building- and he made harpsichords too!

Peter was one of the best known traditional boat builders in the UK.

His family have made a living from The Thames for 300years or so: initially as barge owners, then in boatbuilding and a hotel at Hurley.

Peter tells of being apprenticed at Woottens boatyard at Cookham Dean (Wootten offspring served their time at Freebodys in return)

He designed his first boat during that time: a gig for the local Windsor guides.

A low down in business found Peter without a job, so he became a builder of harpsichords!.

He later set up his boatbuilding business at Hurley, where his parents had had a hotel.

The yard has gone from strength to strength over the years, designing, building and restoring a wide variety of classic and traditional boats, many for well known businessmen and celebrities.

Peter was still involved in the business up until his death at age 76 in December 2010. His son and two of his daughters have followed him into the business .and are carrying on the tradition for the next generation.

He tells of film making with Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck, being offered a lagonda in return for his Morgan three wheeler and the odd recent ‘accident'.

 

1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1990s, Apprenticeship, Boat Building, Boats, musical instruments, Thames, Work
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