Kingcup was designed by Arthur C Robb and built by Stebbings in 1952 for a Burnham man Mr J.W. Ridsdale. Her construction was reported in the yachting periodicals, as was common at that time,
At Stebbings’ yard in Chapel Road work was proceeding on the 12-ton motor sailer being built for Mr J.W.Ridsdale. The deck and coach roof were in place and the interior fittings were being installed. The engine is a Ford V8 Mercury.
Yachting Monthly May 1952
Mr J.W.Ridsdale’s new 12-ton bmu. ketch rigged motor sailer to be called ‘Kingcup’ was nearing completion at Stebbings yard. She has the fore end of her coach roof raised and this coupled with bright yellow topsides will make her a striking looking yacht when she gets under way.
Yachting Monthly June 1952
My mother, who grew up in Burnham-on-Crouch, remembers seeing Kingcup on the river. She was always painted a striking yellow (Kingcup that is, not my mother).
And Peter Pearson recalls, “I certainly remember her myself. I have a recollection that she was up for a scrub on the pounds in front of the Anchor Hotel. You couldn’t forget her cadmium yellow topsides, she really was a beauty”.
Mr Ridsdale kept Kingcup for quite some time, but then the boat was sold and a subsequent owner, a lady teacher, brought the boat to Spain. After another change of ownership Kingcup passed into the care of the current owner, David Girling.
As mentioned in the Yachting Monthly piece, Kingcup she was originally built as a ketch. The Lloyd’s Register of Yachts records her later conversion to a sloop rig and mention is also made of modifications in 1957 and 1963 that had the effect of increasing her length overall by at least 5′. Details of the 1963 work were reported in Yachting Monthly,
The 12-ton Robb designed yawl ‘Kingcup’ owned by J.W.Ridsdale has been to William King & Sons [Burnham on Crouch] to have the iron keel removed to be replaced by lead and the bottom sheathed in Cascover by Leicester Lovells.
These days Kingcup sails out of Port de Sitges, Catalonia, Spain and is currently (April 2012) for sale.
Thank you to David Girling and Peter Pearson for their help bringing this information together.