Marey Hare writes (Oct 2009):
Rodingen is (possibly was, as I think she has had a name change) a clinker Swedish Folkboat built to strict racing rules in 1942 in Soderkoping in Sweden. Her Swedish number was 57 and she was originally called Mae West. When she was imported to England ? in the 1950s she had had a name change to Rodingen and was clinker painted bright red. Because the number 57 was already allocated to a Folkboat in the UK she was given the number 157 which was incorporated into her then sails. Rodingen was non-engined except for a Seagull Longshaft and we all had to stand on the stern to ensure the prop went into the water.
My father-in-law Bunny (Thomas George) Hare, my husband John Hare (Bunny's son), and I (Mary) bought her jointly in Woolverstone and as Bunny lived in Southend and we in London we took up a swinging mooring in Paglesham and there started racing.
Bunny, a teacher of physical education in Rayleigh was a keen competitive sailor. Rumour had it that when a schoolboy in Woodbridge Suffolk in the 1920s he was banned from all the sailing clubs on the River Deben because of his tactics when sailing an International 14. He was the person who persuaded us to buy the Folkboat because although we wished to cruise, he wanted to race.
So race in Paglesham we did alongside amongst others Jack Coote in Blue Shoal and Billy Budd and of course Professor Quilliam's Folkboat. King Varco organised the races and he always gave Rodingen a vicious handicap because she was so fast. I think I took part in all the races which Rodingen is listed to have won and I do remember one year winning the Ladies Race with Bunny crewing. The only query I have is the Lifeboat Cup dinghies. I very much doubt if this is correct. I remember Billy Budd racing both at Paglesham and in Burnham Week. My mother-in-law always refused to polish the beautiful silverware which sat on the mantelpiece for a year so Bunny did it.
We have somewhere in the depths of our cellar a good picture of Rodingen taken by Jack Coote and also a picture of Bunny fitting out ashore. I will try and find and scan them for you.
As well as racing in Paglesham, Bunny entered Rodingen in Burnham Week each year in class F (unrated cruisers) and once again set about winning. This class was often used by commercial firms to race new designs to win and get publicity. My father-in-law winning in his old Folkboat was not popular. One year when he won the cup for that class he and I went over in a dinghy to the Royal Burnham Yacht club from the other side of the Crouch and were refused entry to the prizegiving because we were not suitably dressed and hadn't pre-bought dinner tickets. Nevertheless the cup eventually found it way to the mantelpiece for a year. I still have an engraved set of port glasses which were won in Burnham Week, the ash tray went out being nowadays politcally incorrect.
We also went once to Folkboat Week at the Isle of Wight which was very seriously competitive. During that week one day Bunny sent me down below with my sister in law to sit by the mast and create extra ballast. I was so angry that as a result was I was banished next day to another boat! With no engine we had some dodgy moments getting into the marina and avoiding the Lymington Ferry.
When Bunny retired from sailing because of back problems we had a young family and lived near Cambridge. Rodingen was moved to Waldringfield on the River Deben. After Bunny died we sold Rodingen and bought a Moody 33 which we cruised with our 4 children. We still keep a boat on the Deben at the Tidemill, Triptych a Victoria 34.
I cannot date the photo of Rodingen sailing on the Roach taken by Jack Coote, probably around 1969. I am helming and John is acting as pole for the jib. Jack frequently took pictures and handed them out which was greatly appreciated as somehow you never get a picture of your own boat sailing.
The one of Bunny doing a refit with the inevitable pipe in his mouth I am almost certain would have been taken at Easter 1971 ashore at Paglesham. Those who remember him will find this picture typical.