ID DIS2013_RRD / Rosemary Rainbird

TitleWilliam Wyatt
Abstract

William Wyatt was born on Mersea in 1865. He was registered as John William Wyatt and was usually known as Bill. Later he was given the nickname of Admiral following the Mersea tradition of nicknames. He was not overly fond of this. It is believed the Wyatt family originated from Hampshire in the area around Bucklers Hard and were associated with the ship building carried on there. Maybe Bill's ancestors helped build ships for Queen Elizabeth's armada or for Nelson's Trafalgar fleet. That is surmise, but what is certain is that Bill was an excellent shipwright with an eye for a good line and his work was well respected.

His grandfather, James, and father, Thomas, had both been shipwrights and boat builders on the Coast Road and William did much of his work in a thatched shed near where the present Dabchicks clubhouse is now. As well as maintaining Mersea's fleet of oyster smacks, he specialised in building punts to his family design following on from his father who, in 1859, sold punts for £2 10/- fitted out and ready to go. Over the years, the yard expanded on the site we know today, larger boats were built particularly in the period 1950-60 using plans by yacht designers of the time and launched off Wyatt's slip. Quite a few local young men were apprenticed to William and still talk of what a good master he was and how much knowledge he passed on to them.

William died in 1961 leaving behind his second wife, Polly. His first wife, Eliza, had died in 1921. He had no children but the business was continued and there is still a traditional boatyard on Coast Road.

AuthorRosemary Rainbird
KeywordsAdmiral
Published15 January 2013
SourceMersea Museum
IDDIS2013_RRD
Related Images:
 William Wyatt.  DIS2013_WYA_001
ImageID:   DIS2013_WYA_001
Title: William Wyatt.
Date:1950
Source:Mersea Museum
 Bill Wyattt's 94th Birthday at the Sailing and Social Club
 L-R 1. Barbara Benham, 2. Hervey Benham, 3. Bill Wyatt, 4. Wendy Brady, 5. ?  WW03_ADM_001
ImageID:   WW03_ADM_001
Title: Bill Wyattt's 94th Birthday at the Sailing and Social Club
L-R 1. Barbara Benham, 2. Hervey Benham, 3. Bill Wyatt, 4. Wendy Brady, 5. ?
Date:1959
Source:Mersea Museum / Wendy Woolley
 Bill Wyatt's 94th Birthday at Sailing and Social Club  WW03_ADM_003
ImageID:   WW03_ADM_003
Title: Bill Wyatt's 94th Birthday at Sailing and Social Club
Date:1959
Source:Mersea Museum / Wendy Woolley