Godfrey Stonham (Long time owner of Edith Rose)
It’s with great sadness that I have to report the death of Godfrey at the end of June, aged 86.
Godfrey had owned Edith Rose since 1984 and was one of our early recruits to the Association in 1992. Edith Rose, after his wife Janis, was the other love of his life. They enjoyed sailing together in the Solent, Chichester Harbour and further afield. They were regular and popular attendees at Solent Twister rallies. Longer passages, ‘down west’ as far as the Scillies were made with his daughter Fiona. Godfrey continued sailing Edith Rose until his 82nd year.
Godfrey’s first job had been in the Merchant Navy before swallowing the anchor and working for the Rootes motor group in Coventry. That companies’ takeover by Chrysler initiated his return to the South Coast where he joined Blakes of Gosport and worked his way up to a directorship. Godfrey was very well known throughout the marine industry. Whilst his manner was unassuming his knowledge was vast and good advice was freely given when requested. In later years Godfrey’s shed supplied us, and I’m sure many others, with otherwise unobtainable ‘spares’.
Godfrey was one of the old school; charming and a true gentlemen. Well summed up by another long time Twister owner as ‘One of the nicest men I knew’. I second that, we shall all miss him, but good memories will remain.
Unfortunately I, as well as other members dont remember Godfrey. But still, Id like to offer my condolences to family and friends. well written in honour of a Twister man.
What a good life. He was a lovely chap, soft in manner but as John says a fount of knowledge and generous.
Our first time out at a Twister Rally we were racing round the cans off Seaview. Our luff line on the Genoa somehow managed to foul the spreader and so repairs were needed when we arrived in Bembridge, Godfrey advised. The next time we met he presented me with beautifully turned piece of wood inset with a small chuck. So that next time I had to repair a sail I had the right equipment to hold the needle to push through the cloth.
I have never forgotten that generosity of spirit and still treasure the gift.
Godfrey was a true gentlemen. Always polite and friendly, ever ready to offer practical help and advice.
He helped me fit Tammie Norie's Monitor windvane years ago. So I think the least Beryl and I can do is to change it's name from Monty to Godfrey as a small tribute to him.
Thank you all for your kind words about Godfrey. Janis and the family really appreciated John and Ann's comments and letter. I have known the family for many years through Emsworth Sailing Club and helped Godfrey re-float Edith Rose after she washed up on the Emsworth Foreshore in the big storm of '87 (it took 4 days). I always coveted Edith Rose from that point and was lucky enough to take her on in 2018 when he was no longer able to use her. Being a Twister owner became an integral part of his (and the family's) life. Not that I am biased..., but I think she is still one of the prettiest Twister's around - Godfrey's standards were well known and "immaculate" sums up the quality of finish, be that woodwork or varnishing or indeed his sailing skills.
Edith Rose will miss him.
Marcus (Edith Rose)