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Port of Registry Brixham Archive available
Austin Lawler
8 Posts
22nd January 2021 - 3:22 pm

People may be interested to know that the Port of Brixham, Register of Shipping Archive is held at South West Heritage Trust, (Devon Archive Catalogue).

It's also available on line at no cost. Follow this link to boats registered in Brixham, 1966 - 1973


Other years available. It looks as if any Twister made at Uphams was first registered at Brixham, a port of Registry. It also discloses what happened to them if they were subsequently lost at sea, sold abroad etc. Also one can discover the first owner(s). Interesting stuff! Look for your boat name and although it doesn't say Twister 28 it does record 'Bermudian Sloop built in Brixham'. Have fun!



Stephen Moorey
268 Posts
22nd January 2021 - 8:24 pm

Hi Austin,

This is very interesting indeed. recognise lots of Twisters including details of my Twister.

Much Appreciated.



David Hopkins
151 Posts
23rd January 2021 - 11:11 am

Great stuff. 

Explains her Welsh name. 

As I'm half Welsh and have spent my professional life in aviation I think I'll keep her 🙂 


Draig Y Mor' 342613, sailing vessel with single screw auxiliary motor, bermudian sloop, built at Brixham in 1971. Title owned by Handel Davies, Mary Graham Davies.

Handel Davies. Obituary from the Guardian. 

Aeronautical engineer who worked on wartime aircraft, and later advised on Concorde and the Tornado

Handel Davies, who has died aged 90, was an aeronautical engineer of great enthusiasm and technical knowledge who played a major part in most of the postwar controversies surrounding British aviation. In a succession of government posts at Farnborough's Royal Aircraft Establishment, Boscombe Down and then at various Whitehall ministries as scientific adviser, he guided the pro-Concorde politicians and civil servants and fought with those who opposed it. "To see Handel engaged in debate with the French during joint projects was a joy," said one of his contemporaries. "It brought out all his Welsh characteristics."

The son of a coal miner, Davies was born at Llwydcoed, near Aberdare, educated at Aberdare Grammar School and graduated from the University of Wales in Cardiff with a double first in mathematics and physics. He supported himself by playing the trombone and violin in the Cardiff Symphony Orchestra.


He began his aviation career at 24 as a junior technician in the Royal Aircraft Establishment's Farnborough wind tunnels, and took pride in having jointly produced, by 1939, the much-quoted Smelt & Davies paper on slipstream lift.

Throughout the second world war he worked on the aerodynamics of aircraft like the Spitfire, Mosquito and Lancaster, with the result that in 1948 he was made head of RAE's aerodynamics flight division.

By 1964, he was deputy controller of aircraft research and development. Concorde controversies were at their height, with deep internal division between civil service mandarins, along with politicians, as to whether the supersonic project and its mounting cost was justified.

Harold Wilson's newly elected Labour government appointed Roy Jenkins as minister of aviation, and sent him off to Paris with instructions to cancel Concorde. But to Davies's relief, when all seemed lost, legal advice indicated that cancellation would be illegal under the terms of the Anglo-French agreement.

Soon afterwards, Davies organised "exercise Westminster", the first public demonstration of the sound and effects of sonic bangs. Of 1,200 peers and MPs invited to attend only 19 turned up, but there were 250 media representatives at RAF Upwood Station in Huntingdonshire, accompanied by a depressed-looking Roy Jenkins and an enthusiastic Davies, enjoying every moment.

Unlike some of his contem poraries, he liked mixing with the media, and assured us that the object of the day was to demonstrate the worst sort of bangs - creating an overpressure on the eardrums of 2lb per square foot - that residents beneath Concorde's flight path would have to endure.

Lightning fighters flying at 1,000mph, five miles above created eight bangs, which cost £500 each. The observers were invited to fill in their own "personal record", comparing them with simulated bangs caused by explosives and the jet roar of a low- flying Comet.

Concorde's supporters thought the noise might be endurable; its opponents took an opposite view. Roy Jenkins, who regarded his appointment as "the poisoned chalice", was guarded and non-committal. But after the demonstration it was accepted that Concorde would never fly supersonically over inhabited areas.

It was as joint chairman of an Anglo-French committee in the mid-1960s, responsible for producing the Jaguar aircraft led by France, together with a variable geometry, or swing-wing, plane, the AFVG, led by Britain, that Davies's qualities were put to the test.

At that time, I was warned by a French contact that the French government, as soon as the joint projects were underway, intended to pull out of the AFVG so that the French Dassault company could build an all-French swing-wing. British officials did not believe it until it actually happened.

In response, Davies flew to Germany and laid the foundations for joint production of an alternative multi-role combat aircraft with Germany and Italy. Thirty years later, what is now the Tornado remains in frontline service in many countries.

By 1969, when he left the civil service to become group technical director of the British Aircraft Corporation, Davies's visits to the US had convinced him that in order to compete, Britain's aviation companies must merge. When BAC and Hawker Siddeley did so, he stayed on for two years as adviser to the first chairman of British Aerospace, Lord Beswick. He retired from British Aerospace in 1979, but continued as chairman of the standing conference on schools, science and technology until 1982.

Despite his achievements, Davies was surprisingly little-known outside the aviation industry. He was appointed CB in 1962, was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Aeronautical Society, which awarded him its highest honour, the Gold Medal, in 1973. He was made president in 1976.

Davies married Mary Graham Harris in 1942. She died this year. They enjoyed a long and happy partnership, skiing and sailing, around Scotland and the Greek islands.

They never had children but enjoyed their cats, and wished it to be known that they were survived by Tristan and Isolde, their tortoises.

· Handel Davies, aeronautical engineer, born June 2 1912; died April 28 2003

John MacMullen and Ann Musgrave
154 Posts
23rd January 2021 - 6:06 pm

Not all of the Twisters built by Uphams are listed here though. I didn't see any of the batch built for the RNSA (Royal Naval Sailing Association) for instance. Peter has put up part of the original Uphams build list on the Website but 2 pages are missing ... Go to 'Magazine' and then 'Boats'. I'll send him the missing sheets if he's mislaid them. Otherwise it's a really interesting document. Good to print out and study on a rainy afternoon.


Peter Mulville
210 Posts
25th January 2021 - 11:45 am

I have downloaded the Brixham data and edited it. It's available under Boats in the Magazine Archive. It's now in an easy to read format with all Twisters listed alphabetically under their original full names. It's cleared up one mystery. 

I've also uploaded a letter from Jack Holman with a list of all Twisters built by Uphams. Again it is in Boats. This listing also takes an informed stab at the original sailplan.  This listing contains some Twister names that I have never heard before. 


Geoff Doggett
9 Posts
4th February 2021 - 9:33 am

This is a very interesting thread! I went down to Brixham last year to try and research the build of Sister Moon (Sovereign 32 ketch built at Uphams. I found Martin Smith, curator of the maritime museum, extremely helpful. They hold the yard records from Uphams - these are a bit sparse, mainly recording that the boat had been paid for and by what method. The Brixham archive which Peter has so painstakingly recorded for us is illuminating. Several of the boats seem to have had finance house "owners", so not all owners were wealthy enough to pay for a new build.

Marcus Lawson
6 Posts
21st March 2021 - 5:03 pm

Edith Rose is there - 1965. I still have the original ships papers, and she is still on the Register. Non of that Small Ships Register stuff!

Regards to all, Marcus Lawson (Emsworth) 

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