Monday, October 17, 2016


Self made  millionaire  Sir Thomas Lipton , who made his fortune  from tea and groceries , five times  unsuccessfully  challenged  for    the America's Cup yacht  racing trophy ,  between  1899 to 1930 , each time  with  a  boat named  Shamrock . One  of  them  is  shown in  this Bavarian printed  postcard   by renowned marine artist   and  author  Seppings  Wright , posted with  much  love from  Ethel , at  Droxford ,  Hampshire,  to   Miss Hannah Bartlett ,"Abbottsford" (a  private school), Mosman's Bay, Sydney , New South Wales, on March 27 , 1907. 

The postal cancellation  is  for the  Droxford  town  of  Bishop's Waltham , where there  had  been  grim  workhouses  for  the  poor  dating  from the 1700s  right up to the 20th century .

In a moment of fame for  Droxford, it  is claimed that  in   June  1944  a most  important secret meeting was held in a  carriage at the   railway station  at which the date for the D-Day invasion  of Normandy  is  said to have been discussed . Gathered there were  British  Prime Minister Winston Churchill,  Anthony Eden , Ernest Bevan , US General   Dwight  Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle of France , General Smuts of  South Africa   and the  Prime Ministers of  Canada and   New Zealand , Mackenzie King  and  Peter  Fraser .

 Lipton's parents, Ulster Scots,  had  been forced to flee Ireland during the potato famine  of 1845   and  he  worked  as  a  printers' boy , a  cabin boy  on a steamer between  Glasgow and  Belfast , sailed to the USA, worked  on a  tobacco plantation in  Virginia  and served as  a grocery assistant in New York .  

Even though Sir Thomas  shared his  love of sailing with  two  British  kings,  Edward  Vll  and  George V ,  he was not  admitted  into  the  exclusive Royal  Yacht Squadron  until  just before he died ;  he was  inducted into   the  America's  Cup  Hall  of  Fame  in 1993. 

His America's  Cup challenges  were  in the name of  the Royal Ulster Yacht  Club . The  always interesting   Cairns  retro , collectables  and memorabilia    shop - Crackerbox  Palace - the  source of  this  postcard.