DICK WYNNE Getting the word out
Classic Boat|December 2020
It may not be his day job, but Dick Wynne’s Lodestar has made a big impact in marine publishing in its first decade
STEFFAN MEYRIC HUGHES

In the back garden of his home in south-east London on a chilly late October day, publisher Dick Wynne gave an insight into what it’s like to run a publishing firm which, in the absence of any grand profit, might be described as a rather grand hobby.

“The books came first” he remembers. “I was an armchair sailor from the age of about 12. I got to 50 before I did anything about it, and did my Competent Crew in the Solent in midwinter. If I can hack this, I thought, then sailing is for me.”

If books led Dick to boats, then it was boats that completed his circle back to books, through an Albert Strange connection. “I wanted a canoe yawl for my first boat, and ended up buying a David Moss-built 15-footer. Then I got involved with the Albert Strange Society [the yacht designer Strange was one of the early and great advocates of the type] and met Tony Watts, who was archivist of the Humber Yawl Society.”

The Humber Yawl Society is devoted to the life and designs of George Holmes, a contemporary of Strange, and the other great name in canoe yawl design from that era. “I said to Tony: why not write his biography? And I’ll produce the book.” Holmes of the Humber was released in 2009 and sold 350 copies. “I was deluded by the success of that first book into doing more.” There soon followed a re-issue of Albert Strange, by John Leather, with a new introduction.

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