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Over the weekend of Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th July 2016, the Hurley Owners Association held a celebratory weekend in Plymouth. Under the title 'Bring Your Hurley Home' the HOA marked 50 years since the first production of the Hurley 22 and Hurley 18 and celebrated the history of Hurley Marine and the companies which succeeded it which continued to build Hurley boats into the 1990s.

Hurleys gathering at King Point Point Marina

On the Friday some 38 Hurley boats gathered at King Point Marina and crews were welcomed with a reception provided by Sutton Harbour Holdings, owners of King Point. Nearly all classes of the Hurley boat were represented, Silhouettes, 18s, a lone Signet, 20s, 22s, 24s, 27s and a 30. Boats came from many points along the coast, from the Solent to Falmouth and one H22 came from Bude. A number of the smaller boats were trailed across country to take part. One of the particularly notable voyages was made from the Solent by David and Justine Edwards in their diminutive but beautifully renovated H18 'Womble'.

Steve's sailpast briefing
Pictures of the sailpast

On Saturday, after a briefing by Steve Dart the BYHH coordinator, the Hurley fleet sailed into Plymouth Sound for a photo shoot by Robin Price Studios and sail-past of the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club (RPCYC), where friends, family and ex-Hurley Marine employees were gathered to watch. Among the watchers were Mrs Marion Hurley, widow of George Hurley the founder of the Company, and members of her family. The sail past was a spectacular success, helped by fine weather and an ideal wind from the west. Many skippers and spectators reported feeling distinctly moved as the fleet of over 30 boats sailed past the club in good order. The sight of so many Hurley boats sailing in the Sound, then forming-up for the sail past, made a huge impact on all who witnessed it.

On the Saturday evening, 100 people met for a presentation supper at RPCYC, including members, their families, ex-Hurley Marine employees and Mrs Marion Hurley and some of her immediate family. George Hurley had been a member of the club and in 1986 had been presented with a hand-made plaque depicting a Hurley 22, in recognition of his support over many years. This plaque had been refurbished by Mr Tom Eaves, President of the Silhouette Owners International Association and Mr Andy Thomas, Rear Commodore Sail of RPCYC presented it back to Mrs Hurley. She in turn kindly suggested that it should remain in the club in a prominent position.

Finally, on the Sunday morning HOA members gathered in Richmond Walk, Stonehouse, to witness Mrs Hurley unveil a blue heritage plaque commemorating her husband's pioneering work in production boat building methods. The HOA recorded its gratitude to Plymouth City Council for their generous provision of the plaque, which is fixed to one of the several buildings in Richmond Walk used by the Hurley Company. Thanks were also given to Pat Ferguson and Jay Whitehead, co-owners of the building, for their support and permission to install the plaque.

Mrs Hurley unveiling the plaque

HOA also owe many thanks to the English Cities Fund who gave a generous donation of £1,000 (this fund was set up by the Government to stimulate regeneration within our cities and one of the main partners is Muse Developments who are undertaking development in the area around King Point); Plymouth Gin, Force 4 and Noble Marine for their generous support to BYHH.

The BYHH Team

The outstanding result of BYHH was due to many things. Firstly, the support of the membership. From the early request for expressions of interest it was clear that there was a real buzz and enthusiasm for the event which was carried through into our being fully booked for berths and dinner places.

Secondly, the planning team. Especial thanks are due to a few key members:

Steve Dart. Steve was the energy and vision behind the event. His efforts over the previous year or so, covered many areas:

  • Liaising with the Queen's Harbour Master about the sail-past, including planning the route, de-conflicting with other activities and completing the various forms and declarations needed;
  • negotiating with King Point Marina;
  • planning the berthing;
  • seeking sponsorship from local businesses;
  • putting together publicity material;
  • liaising with the BBC and Plymouth City Council PR teams
  • liaising with Plymouth City Council over the heritage plaque
  • Collecting the contents of some 50 welcome packs - requiring visits to Plymouth Gin and Force 4;
  • taking the important role of 'Hurley lead' in the sail-past;
  • working with RPCYC to plan the presentation supper - including a trial run of the menu in February, just ahead of the AGM;
  • obtaining the services of Robin Price as official photographer
  • …being the glue that help it all together!

Adam Husband Having previously worked at King Point, Adam agreed to act as liaison with the marina and to have overall responsibility for managing the berthing. In the event, berthing went very smoothly and 38 boats berthed safely in the marina, in addition to leaving and returning again on the Saturday! Adam also, at short notice, came up with a large van to protect the area in front of the heritage plaque from unwanted parked vehicles!

James Green. As a local businessman in the marine leisure industry, James provided important contacts regarding the building in Richmond Walk, enabling us to progress the installation of the heritage plaque.

Ian Sinclair. Behind the scenes, in addition to running the routine HOA finances, Ian created the on-line booking form; managed the receipt of member's payments for dinner tickets, paid our creditors, managed boat and dinner bookings in the last 3 weeks and engaged in many 'clarifying' e-mail exchanges!

Tim Sharman. Tim provided strategic direction and guidance, managed the budget and liaised with the Hurley family and the Plymouth City Council maritime heritage curator.

The shore crew. Steve, Adam, Tony & Hilary Littlewood, Colin Spraggs, Ralph Smith and Tim, welcoming arriving boats and their crews.

The shore team

Finally, a few more pictures