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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The hazards of sailing model steamboats

There are hazards out there, from swans to pondweed, and rival model boatmakers ...

Wreck on the Round Pond – Sea Breezes July 1962

Could anything be more inspiring than the very kindly feeling which a few years ago, prompted a certain underwriting member of Lloyd’s to issue to a small boy, named Levy, an insurance policy covering his model steam yacht, for a period of 12 months, on a valuation of £8, against the risks of fire, collision, sinking and stranding whilst actually running on ponds or lakes in or near London; and all for the modest premium of 7s. 6d. in full?

Possessed with a dedicated passion for model yachts, the youngster had already lost one steamship in a Hampstead pond, and, doubtless it was this misfortune which led to his conceiving the bright idea of effecting an insurance at Lloyd’s. A happy thought indeed, for within a few weeks of taking out the policy it became necessary for young Levy to give the underwriter formal notice that the model yacht had been totally lost through foundering in the Round Pond at Kensington Gardens, London W.2.

The boy at the time and in a most business-like manner, made an arrangement with the park-keepers to salve the sunken vessel, at a cost of £1 should it be recovered, or 10s. in the event of their operations not being successful. Every effort to locate the yacht and salve her proved unavailing. Then a claim was put forward under the Lloyd’s policy and, in due course, the boy shipowner received from his insurance broker a cheque for £8 plus the salvage charges, and thus happily ended the story of a shipwreck on the Round Pond.

I would very much like to know what happened to young Levy in adult life.  Is he, perchance, the captain of a Costa cruise ship ... or the head of a multi-national conglomerate? Surely he didn't go in for a career in maritime insurance!

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