Know Your Trophies No 2 – J W Leuchars Trophy

J W Leuchars TrophyWe are indeed privileged to be members of a historic club which has collected over its long history an impressive array of antiques and other memorabilia all of which contribute to our rich heritage and culture.
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 this article we feature the Leuchars Cup which was presented in 1892 by John Walter Leuchars the then mayor of Durban (Mayor of Durban 1892/3).

The trophy is in the form of a magnificent ornate jug with a hinged lid and ornate handle. The trophy was manufactured in London in 1891 by silversmiths Thomas Bradbury & Sons. The business traces its origin to Fenton, Creswick & Co, a partnership involving Matthew Fenton (an apprentice of Thomas Law), Richard Creswick and William Watson. They were active as silversmiths and Sheffield platers and were among the first to enter their mark at the Sheffield Assay Office in 1773. In 1789 Fenton left the firm and was replaced by Edward Oakes. The firm changed its style to Fenton, Creswick, Oakes & Co. In 1795 the partnership was dissolved and the business was continued under the style of Watson & Co under the partnership of Thomas Watson, James Fenton and Thomas Bradbury I (a former apprentice of the firm). Later, Thomas Bradbury II (son of Thomas Bradbury I) and William Watson (nephew of Thomas Watson) were admitted to the partnership. In 1831 William Watson retired and the business was continued by Bradburys (Thomas I and II) under the style of Thomas Bradbury & Son. The firm was active at Arundel Street, Sheffield with London showroom at 12 Gough Square, Fleet Street. In 1855 the firm changed its name to Thomas Bradbury & Sons, under the partnership of Joseph and Edward Bradbury (sons of Thomas Bradbury II). In 1877 the partners were Thomas Bradbury III (brother of Joseph Bradbury) and John Sutherland Henderson. The partnership was dissolved in 1888 and the firm was managed by Walton Turner Bradbury, Joseph Bradbury Jr and Frederick Bradbury (sons of Joseph Bradbury Sr). Frederick Bradbury is the author of the fundamental book “A History of Old Sheffield Plate”. The business was converted into a limited liability company in 1905, under the style Thomas Bradbury & Sons Ltd. The company closed its activity in 1943 and dies and tooling were bought by Atkin Brothers.


Fenton, Creswick & Co c. 1789
Fenton, Creswick, Oakes & Co c. 1789 – 1795
Watson & Co 1795-1831
Thomas Bradbury & Son 1831 – c. 1855
Thomas Bradbury & Sons 1855 – c. 1905
Thomas Bradbury & Sons Ltd 1905 – 1943

According to the trophy register the trophy was won in February 1893 by H Brangee on the yacht “Stella” who retained the trophy. The trophy was returned to the Club in 1976 and was originally presented to dinghies; however since 1984 it has been awarded to keelers.

According to the trophy register previous winners of this magnificent trophy include:
February 1893 – Stella  -H Brangee
August 1981 – Sula  – M Walker (Paper Tiger)
1982 – Cream Machine  – W J Ellens (Paper Tiger)
1984 – Helga  – G Ilse (Winner 125 Anniversary Race Class A)
1985 – Nomad – G Smythe (Winner Richards Bay Race Class A)
1987 – Solar Wind  – D Cox (Lavranos 34)
1989 – Swimlion – J Puttergill
1991 – Seaboard – M L Taylor
1992 – Prion  – J Goldsmith
1993  – Prion – J Goldsmith
1995 – Jennabee – L Bowden
2008 – Container World – R Pet
2009 – Cabriole  – R A Samways
2010 – Prodigy IV – C R Frost
2012 – BMA – S Ritchie
2013 – Therapy  – G & N Wadsworth

If any members have more information about any of the trophies featured in this series we would be delighted to share it with members.