Childhood friends reminisce during a visit to the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth
Two childhood friends were reunited with one of their folding boats which brought them both much joy growing up in the 1950s when they popped into the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.
Spritely septuagenariansMark Gregory and Peter Cashell,who both live locally, fondly reminisced of good times spent messing about on a lazy Cheshire lake as children.
They retold stories of a simpler time when Mark, who went on to become a lawyer, would sit in the front seat of the boat, with Peter in the back.
A tactical move by Peter who said: "There were benefits to letting Mark take the helm. If I was feeling particularly tired I could sit back and relax without Mark knowing."
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The former Kings Canterbury schoolboys also took the time to pick up the paddles for the first time in 60 years and give a quick demonstration, showing they've still got their youthful paddling skills.
Mark said of the display: "We assume that the boat is no longer seaworthy, and would certainly not want to risk testing it in the middle of winter. I am delighted to see it in pride of place in the museum for everyone to enjoy as much as we did."
The Fairey Folding Boat was developed in the early 1950s by Fairey Marine, an offshoot of the successful World War II Fairey Aviation Company, the company Mark's father worked for.
The boat was manufactured at a time when the mere mention of folding boats would have mariners quaking in their boots, and would conjure images of unstable craft that were far from water-tight.
As a result, the arrival of a boat Fairey Marine claimed to be "ingenious in design, robust in construction and yet streamlined for easy paddling" was groundbreaking. The boat was rigid, and stable enough even for surf canoeing.
However, the slightly embellished claim that the boat could be assembled in five minutes was considered rather optimistic, with assembly time being closer to the half-hour mark.
The Fairey Folding boat will be on display in the main hall of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall until the end of March.