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Marigold was one of Charles Nicholson's first major designs – he was only 22 at the time, but had already been working at the Gosport family firm for five years. The Yachtsman magazine of 21 April 1892 recorded:"cutter Marigold came out of Messrs Camper and Nicholsons yard, as arranged, on Wednesday week"

By 1896 Marigold was up on the Clyde from where she won the Ostend International Regatta in July. She was there for a season only and by 1901 she was owned by a Mr WE Foster. A log from that time describes a passage from Southampton to Blyth in 1901 – at one stage recording an average speed of 12 knots for the 16-mile run from Gorton to Newark. Remarkably, Bob's sister Marigold – born in 1929, preserved the medal presented for this win, she had been named after the boat!

After seven years Marigold was sold to Mr Robert Hall, who altered the rig to a yawl in 1908. He was a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and during his early years was apparently the first person to adopt the use of a spinnaker. By 1915 Marigold was registered under the name of a Mr Ebenezer Southgate of Brightlingsea in Essex, who presumably laid her up in a mud-berth for the duration of the First World War. Nothing much is known of her history between then and 1930, by which time the rig had been altered to Bermudan.

The log begins in 1930 showing Marigold laid up at Tollesbury near Drake's Yard looking quite shabby. By then the original companionways had been changed, possibly during the replacement of her deck – which must have been due for renewal after 38 years. The wooden tiller had been changed to a shorter iron one, the davits were smaller and the boom and bowsprit considerably shorter. A 15hp Kelvin paraffin motor had been added and a small cockpit had been let into the deck in way of the tiller.

Owners at the time, the Swintons, are seen in photographs entertaining society friends such as the Featherstonehaughs and Hope Morleys, Colonels Elwes and Hankey, and John Drummod Hay. Other photographs taken between 1930 to 1932 show David Niven, Bardie Prior Palmer and Daphne du Maurier's husband Boy Browning aboard, as well as the Bonham-Carter family.

Marigold was put up for sale at the end of the 1932 season. In time, ownership transferred to Charles Taylor MP, who employed Captain Albert Sheafe to skipper for him, but by 1946 Marigold belonged to Conrad Oldham, a member of the Singapore Yacht Club.

Conrad was married to Malcolm Muggeridge's sister Philippa, and they spent many happy years living aboard at Poole. He enthused about her Bermudan rig set on mast hoops, but with only 1,347sqft (125m2) of sail, as opposed to her original 2,690sqft (250m2), she was vastly under-rigged for light airs and must have proved sluggish even though several tons of lead ballast had been removed.

By the 1960s Marigold was showing severe signs of her age. With fastenings deteriorating, Mr. Oldham had sold her and legend has it that the boat then became a brothel! She only got pumped out when the water rose over the cabin sole, and rot was rampant in the interior, as the deck became a colander whenever it rained.

Joe, Tim and Tom Platts Mills 'saved' Marigold from further degradation in 1962 by purchasing her and voyaging to the Hamble, powered by a Hercules engine from a landing craft with sheets of paint peeling from her topsides. They ripped out the rotten interior, cut off the decrepit counter and mast and did some refastening of the hammer and nail variety. A new rudderstock was made, and she was rigged as a schooner and sailed during the summers until 1972, when she was sold to Mr Smith of Belsize Boatyard. He immediately recalled that he had bought her once before!

Marigold history then becomes somewhat murky, and she landed up at Shamrock Quay sunk and stripped of nearly all her fittings. She was salvaged by her fitter Alan Woods, who cleaned and temporarily caulked her, before floating her to Wootton Creek, apparently intending to make her into a houseboat. It was there in 1981 that Greg Powseland saw her propped against the old Thames Barge Hound, both vessels then under threat of demolition.