Derek King''s 80th Birthday

07/07/2017 02:56:34
Hello Rocketeers,
A close mate of mine, Derek King, is about to turn 80 on the 15th July. He used to be (and still is) a bit of a character in the days of sailing Merlin Rockets, before he left England for Australia. He fondly remembers those days and I'm trying to organise something for the special day. If anyone has some plans of a Merlin Rocket from that era that they could send me by email in time for me to get them framed, that would be fantastic! Also, if people would like to write to my email address passing on their regards and tipping the beery bucket (so to speak) over him. I could use those emails as part of a bit of a roast we are thinking about doing. I know he was over there for a bit of a re-union with some of you not so long ago and he talks about it a lot; would I be able to ask that a bit of discretion be applied with regard to direct contact with DK, as some of this is supposed to be a surprise?
Francis Boff has already replied through another channel and it was most appreciated. My email address is: [email protected]
Kind regards to all,
Jefferson Smith. 

10/07/2017 11:49:50
Robert Harris
High Jeffersen
 
It was along time ago but I probably met Derek about the time he started sailing Merlin Rockets. His first boat (I think) was no. 778 'Chopsticks', she was beautiful rolled deck Merlin Rocket built by Jack Holt at Putney on the tidal Thames. Derek was a good dinghy sailor.
 
Somewhere I may have some photograph, if I have I'll scan some and send them to you.
 
Derek was an only child brought up by his mum and dad in a pub in NW London which we all knew pretty well. I believe they also had an urban farm with pigs.
 
At Merlin Rocket Championship venues like Torquay the sailors from Minima Yacht Club and elsewhere usually led by Derek were pretty naughty. Mention white hats to Derek and The Golden Hind and the Imperial Hotel. Nowadays I think we'd be called hooligans! 
 
Derek did his National Service in the army and was commisioned. In the evenings after sailing young Merlin Rocket sailors from all around would congregate at Minima Yacht Club on the the Thames at Kingston on Thames. Minima Y.C. was in a shed and lacked the facilities other nearby clubs. but it was very popular. There was no men's toilet so what do men do? Derek will tell you.
 
One Sunday Derek turned up with pockets full of powerful wizz bangs (I've forgotten what they were actually called). He lit one and threw it in the river. The result was a huge bang and the bright under water lighning soon disappered. WOW do it again Derek, he did several times! I doubt wether many fish between Teddington and Surbiton survived
 
 I have other things to do, if I think of anything else I'll let know.
 
Beat Wishes
 
Robert
 
 
 
 

11/07/2017 01:21:56
jefferson Smith
Hi Robert,
Thanks for that. You'll be glad to know that DK has finally grown up; well..........sort of! If you could send some of those photos, I'd like to get them framed, which will take a day or so with my friendly framer.
All the very best to you and...
Cheers,
Jefferson 

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