Stanley Aldrich revisited
Back in August I wrote a blog on Southwold in the late 50s with particular reference to an old gentleman called Stanley Aldrich and his model yachts. I have found out more about him that enables me paint a fuller picture. For a start, when I imagined him on the beach as a fisherman I was only half right; he could be found on South Beach true enough, but as the proprietor of the Tea Stall! This would have been in the 20s and 30s. This work only kept him occupied in the high summer of course. In the winter he retired to a two-storied barn on the other side of Ferry Road. There by the light of a hurricane lamp (there being no electricity) he would make model yachts that were his main livelihood. These ranged from miniatures a mere 3½ inches long, to a 6 feet long model of Sir Thomas Lipton’s yacht Shamrock. (Shanrock V of 1930 was built of wood whereas the first Shamrock was metal built, and thus less suitable as a model maker’s subject.)He also made models of the famous beach yawl Bittern, which had been built in 1890 and was a familiar sight in the Edwardian East Coast regattas. The model of the Bittern of Southwold at the National Maritime Museum is possibly one of his construction.
Also among his output were a few full sized rowing and sailing dinghies, but mainly he worked on models. His workshop in the barn – a later building on this site was the restaurant the Dutch Barn– was hung with ropes and sails from the beams and anchors and planks of wood on the floor. This picture of Stanley Aldrich shows him outside his Tea Stall before the Second World War.
THE STORY OF EAST ANGLIA