The Cruiser Class winter series of talks was brought to a splendid end by yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton giving his first ever talk. Now in his nineties, Mike let us into his sailing past and his private life.
We learnt that he didn't much like being a German prisoner of war, so he left, headed east and joined the Russian Army. Post war Mike attended art school, bought a sailing canoe and started to explore the East Coast.
Marriage saw Mike and his wife Kath move into a run down house and, although he raised £200 to build a kitchen extension, he spent £195 of it on a decrepit old ex Southend "Penny Sick". He found out after a week his wife wasn't speaking to him but he had just been too excited about the boat to notice!
Mike, like many of us, found his way around the Crouch and further afield mainly by trial and error, gaining a wealth of experience by his own mistakes and those of others. This all provided him with material for use in his burgeoning cartoonist skills.
Boats changed and Mike supplemented his income by chartering to paying guests, at one time running two ferrocrete boats. Mike's last boat Touchstone featured a very experimental rig that someone once described as "looking like it was designed by a military committee".
With his now failing eyesight, Mike is still a regular crew for Roy Hart in his Memory Greensleeves. Mike was aided in his talk by a moving microphone stand known as Dick Durham who had sore arms by the end...