I am not usually a great believer in destiny...
I am not usually a great believer in destiny but every now and then something happens that seems just a little too pre-arranged to put down to coincidence. Take my new job as an example. Three weeks ago I was editing our sister magazine Motor Boats Monthly. The next thing I know I’m packing my bags and moving upstairs to take the helm here at Motor Boat & Yachting. So far, so ordinary. Then a very strange thing happens.
While the rest of the team is hard at work putting together this issue, I am hard at work trying to look like I’m hard at work, which mainly involves clearing my new desk of ten-year-old marketing reports. Then I catch sight of a file marked ‘Feature Ideas’. The first rule of journalism being: ‘originality is all very well but it’s quicker and easier to nick someone else’s idea’, I have a quick rummage to see if there’s anything worth plundering.
My eyes soon alight on a colour brochure advertising a classic boat charter service on Windermere clipped to a copy of an MBY story from July 4, 1924, about the launch of a 35ft Thornycroft motor yacht and its delivery cruise from Westminster Pier to Poole. Something about it looks strangely familiar and the second paragraph soon explains why: “Dr Edward P. Andreae, the owner, who is a member of the British Motor Boat Club, took over possession just before the Whitsun holidays and ran round to Poole.”
Dr Andreae is none other than my grandfather, who died aged 96 almost 30 years ago and Lorita was his first ever motor boat. He was taking the boat round to a small plot of land that he had recently purchased in Sandbanks, Poole, where I keep my boat today. The only reason it was in my desk was because Alan Harper, the previous editor but one, was sent a leaflet about the boat’s restoration long before I had even joined the company.
Coincidence or fate? Who knows, but I can tell you it would have made Dr Andreae a very happy man to know that the seven-year-old boy, who in 1976 was carrying sea water up from the shore to throw over his ageing grandfather because he himself was too frail to walk down to the beach for a swim, would three decades later be editing his favourite periodical.