In keeping with other historic Royal Yacht Clubs around the world we have recently researched the history of some of our trophies and will be sharing with members the results of our research in a series of short articles which we hope you will find of interest.
The first trophy we featured comes from the Benningfield Collection and is the R W Benningfield Challenge Cup. In the last article we featured the A W Leuchars Trophy and in this article we feature the Royal Natal Yacht Club Cup.
The trophy is in the form of a magnificent ornate cup with an ornate lid and handles the hallmark indicates that it was manufactured in Shefield in 1883 by silversmiths Walker & Hall.
The business was established in Sheffield in 1845 by George Walker. Becoming an assistant of Dr. John Wright who had conducted important experiments on electroplating Walker secured the royalty of electroplating for Sheffield. The business was joined by Henry Hall and became in 1853 Walker & Hall. The factory was at Howard Street, Sheffield, while showrooms were opened in 45 Holborn Viaduct, London. Branches were opened in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast, Hull, Bristol, Melbourne and Adelaide (Australia), Cape Town (South Africa). Walker & Hall was converted into a limited liability company in 1920 under the style Walker & Hall Ltd and combined in 1963 under the British Silverware Ltd with Mappin & Webb and Elkington & Co. Walker and Hall Sheffield were primarily Sheffield Makers, but items with Birmingham, London and Chester Assay Marks can also be found.
Walker & Co, 1845-1848
Walker, Coulson & Hall, 1848-1853
Walker & Hall 1853-1920
Walker & Hall Ltd, 1920-the present part of British Silverware Ltd, 1963-1971 a subsidiary of Mappin & Webb Ltd, a member of Sears Holdings Ltd since 1971
It is interesting to note that the trophy was presented in 1979 to the winner of an invitation match racing championship first sailed for in Flying Fifteens and the trophy was not contested between 1984 and 1988 due to a lack of sponsorship!
In 1994 the Sailing committee decided to reassign the trophy to the winner of the RNYC Pursuit Race Division B due to very little interest in dinghy match racing!
In 2008 the trophy was assigned to the winner of the RNYC Wednesday Night Series for Division 1
According to the trophy register previous winners of this magnificent trophy include:
1979 – Fair Flite – E. Shaw
1980 – FFantasy – R Nankin & C Bongers
1981 – Farfallino – T Clarence & D Warne
1990 – Jennabee – L Bowden
1994 – Marchioness – N Bailey
1999 – P Harris & P Cawdron
2008 – Cabriole – R A Samways
2012 -Bellissima – V Goss
If any members have more information about any of the trophies featured in this series we would be delighted to share it with members.