Heritage of Cowes on display

Caption: Ian studies photographs on the Lallow display.

Ian Lallow, whose family have been building and maintaining boats in Cowes for several generations, came face-to-face with photographs of his old boatyard when he officially opened a ‘Made in Cowes’ exhibition.

Staged by Cowes Heritage in Regatta House, the home of Cowes Combined Clubs, the event sets out to illustrate the diverse ways the town has a truly proud past when it comes to ingenuity, skills and output.

Among other historical accomplishments depicted are Britain’s first production electric car, built at Somerton, other boat-builders including W A Souter, once-famous shipbuilders J Samuel White, the Redfern fashion house, and the old-established yacht chandlers Pascall Atkey.

The local Classic Boat Museum loaned a scale-model of the highly successful Souter-built powerboat Surfury. Probably the most unusual item illustrated was a flea trap invented by a local man.

In welcoming Ian, Cowes Heritage chairman George Chastney referred to how he had been sailing since the age of eight, eventually progressing to take the helm of ocean racers including Edward Heath’s Lallow-built Morning Cloud. His service to yachting has been formally recognised by a number of Cowes clubs, including the Royal Yacht Squadron. Ian sold the boatyard in the late 1990s. The exhibition is open daily 10 am – 4 pm until November 10. Admission is free.