LAUNCHING IAIN OUGHTRED’S

NESS YAWL

Jeanie Henderson

FROM VALLEYFIELD HOUSE PENICUIK

Penicuik Pottery at Valleyfield House, off 17 High Street Penicuik EH26 8HS

JEANIE HENDERSON AT ARDFERN

 

-Jane Kelly, potter, writes

 

Valleyfield House here in Penicuik, where I make Mariners teapots, was built by the Navy in 1812 to oversee the Admiralty Transportation Board’s inland depot for 5,000 Napoleonic sailors.  Becoming the home of the Cowan papermaking family for a century and a half, it’s been used by potters now for almost thirty years. And memorably used for a while too by boat designer Iain Oughtred and friends, who built his famous Ness Yawl Jeanie Henderson here one winter and launched it through a window.

 

Robert Reid, King George III’s architect in Scotland, supervised the building of Valleyfield House for the Navy’s personnel at the same time as he built Leith Custom House.  180 years later, over the winter of 1993-1994, Iain Oughtred and Mike Hall built the Jeanie Henderson in the old downstairs dining room.  They sourced gaboon ply through Silvermans of Borehamwood from Bruynzeel’s sustainable forests in Gabon, and vacuum laminated it on both sides with Scots wych elm veneer with the help of a modified milking machine in the cellar below.  Wych elm was used around the sheerstrake, decks and bulkheads and the centreboard case, with lighter ash for thwarts, tiller and trimming, and oak for the gunwales.  Timber was brought from the Airfield Sawmill at Cousland.  The Jeanie Henderson was built to a length of 19 feet 2 inches and a beam of 5 feet 3.  With floorboards and sidebenches in place, she weighed 245 pounds.   

 

There was a big Penicuik party to remove the window and pass the long slim finished boat out.  After loch and sea trials, and an appearance at the June 1994 Wooden Boat Show at Greenwich, the Jeanie Henderson returned to Penicuik that August for a place at the town’s Street Fair.   The Jeanie Henderson spent many of her early days in the Moray Firth where she responded well to all kinds of conditions.  As Kathy Mansfield later wrote in WoodenBoat Magazine’s Small Boats 2006“ I remember trying to photograph boats at the delightful Scottish Traditional Boat Festival at Portsoy on Scotland’s Moray Firth, when a short steep sea had built up with wind against a four-knot tide.  Every small boat there, every skipper, was frustrated, stopped in their tracks, sails and spars lurching –except for one.  Iain Oughtred appeared in his lovely Ness Yawl… …and slithered over the tops of the waves as if on some sort of buoyant magic carpet.  Iain left the other boats standing, sailed rings around them, came back to see what was holding them up, like an irritating youngster who has completely outpaced the oldies”.

 

JEANIE HENDERSON: BIRTH BY DEFENESTRATION

 

ROSE SCOTT (LEFT) AT JEANIE HENDERSON  PENICUIK BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON  PENICUIK BIRTHDAY PARTY

NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON  PENICUIK BIRTHDAY PARTY

JEANIE HENDERSON AT ST MARYS LOCH

 

JEANIE HENDERSON LAUNCH AT ST MARYS LOCH

 

JEANIE HENDERSON’S FIRST FRESHWATER TRIALS ST MARYS LOCH

IAIN OUGHTRED SAILS NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON AT ST MARYS LOCH

 

NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON

 

NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON

 

Iain Oughtred and his NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON from Kathy Mansfield’s photographs & article in The Boatman 26

 

Iain Oughtred and his NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON from Kathy Mansfield’s photographs & article in The Boatman  26

 

Mizzen & curved split tiller on Iain Oughtred’s NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON from Kathy Mansfield’s photograph in The Boatman

 

Iain Oughtred worked from Gorton House Cottage, Rosewell, in 1993.  He is now at Bearnisdale, Isle of Skye.

 

   

PENICUIK POTTERY HOMEPAGE

 

VALLEYFIELD HOUSE FOOD HOMEPAGE

 

 

   POTTERY MAKERS   MAKERS HOME   PENICUIK MAKERS

 

PENICUIK HOME   KOSMOID HOME

 

  CARTHAGE MUST BE DESTROYED BEAKERS & JUGS

       RAKU FOR THE WYCH ELM PROJECT

   SCOTTISH POTTERS & BASKETMAKERS TOGETHER

   LAUNCHING THE NESS YAWL JEANIE HENDERSON

   PUTTING UP A WYCH ELM YURT

      ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS WYCH ELM PROJECT

 

 

 

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