A tot to celebrate rounding a headland
I originally published this picture last year. It shows a yacht, the MV Jane, washed ashore at Eastney and my original correspondent said it was owned by a Dutchman named Jan.
Now another reader, Robin Fielder, has just stumbled across it on portsmouth.co.uk and writes: ‘I knew the owner Jan Loken (Uncle Jan) and his wife Elsie well.
‘My father Bert Fielder, who was a boatbuilder and marine engineer by trade, carried out extensive repairs when she was finally re-floated on a spring tide.
‘Jan could not pay dad as he had not been able to earn for some months, but they became firm friends.’
Robin continues: ’I worked with Jan during a summer holiday when I was about 14 and lived with Jan and Elsie in their little terraced house near the Camber dock.
‘Jan would celebrate rounding a headland with a tot (large for him, small for me) and a few times I took the Jane into Portsmouth Harbour while Jan “rested” in the fore-peak cabin.
‘Jan did not speak a word of English although Elsie was a local girl he met while serving in the Royal Dutch Navy during the war. He hated Germans to an extreme and once got into trouble for refusing to pull a German family off Bembridge Ledge when they went aground.’
Robin is semi-retired now and has his own yacht which he sails out of Chichester Harbour.
He adds: ‘I often think of Jan and the Jane as I sail past Portsmouth.
‘How do people find their way in without the power station chimneys to line up?’