Cockwells Titian Tender
August 21, 2019 Country & Town House: Rule Britannia

British-made boats still command the high seas. Simon de Burton takes a deep dive into our nation’s best shipyards.

Our country might be in a bit of a state right now, what with a government in disarray and no one knowing whether we’re coming or going over Brexit – but there’s one thing you can’t take away from us, and that’s our proud maritime heritage. Just think about all those magnificent British-built ships of the past: Francis Drake’s Golden Hind, Admiral Lord Nelson’s Victory, the mighty Ark Royal, RMS Titanic… well, maybe not that one. The point is we have an enviable history of creating some of the greatest vessels in history and now, after a period in the doldrums brought on by the financial crash of 2008, Britain’s boatbuilding industry is once more riding the crest of a wave.


“As someone who is passionate about boats, I am generally unimpressed by cars – but Bentleys are the exception. “I had been looking for an R Type that was beyond economic restoration in terms of its bodywork but sound in relation to its basic mechanics for a few years and one popped up at the right sort of price. I bought it unseen from Ghost Motors in Sevenoaks (the car was previously owned by BDC Member Peter Rumley) and before heading off to collect it, the dealer stopped me in my tracks and suggested that I drive her home.”


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