Clare Lallow

Clare Lallow has been trading as boat builders continuously since its establishment in 1867. Perhaps it is most famous for building the Uffa Fox designed Britannia, and later the Morning Cloud II, the pride of then Prime Minister Edward Heath, which was launched in 1971.

There is nothing in the present company’s history page, or the Research and Experiments report of May 1942, to suggest that the firm were engaged in work of wartime importance, which probably led to the succinct report and lack of supporting photographs.

R&E file RE/B46/6/6


The firm occupies premises covering a site of approximately 0.56 of an acre.

The firm is engaged in the production of 25’ cutters. The engines are not made by Clare Lallow. These vessels are made at an average cost of £500 each (without engines).

The average output is one vessel per week. Sixteen workmen are normally employed. There is no night shift.


A heavy attack was made in two sections on Cowes on the night of 4/5/42. Two H.E.’s which fell to the North and to the East of the yard caused blast damage.

One I.B. fell into the office building at the South-west end of the site.

Description of buildings

East Boat Shop – Two storeys; 23’ to eaves. Brick walls. Ground floor concrete, first floor of wood. Wood roof trusses covered with corrugated iron sheeting.

General Store – Single storey; 10’ to eaves. Brick walls, concrete floor. Wood roof; trusses covered with corrugated iron sheeting.

Pattern store and small boat store (over) – Two storeys; 15’ to eaves. Brick walls; wood floors and roof trusses. Roof covering with corrugated iron sheeting.

Fire-guard and A.R.P. Premises – Two storeys; 18’ to eaves. Brick walls; concrete on ground floor and wood on first floor. Corrugated iron sheeting on roof.

Office Building – Two storeys; 20’ to eaves. Stone and brick walls; wood floors and roof trusses. Slated roof.

West Boat Shop – Two storeys; 22’ to eaves. 9” brick walls, cast iron stanchions. Wood floors and roof trusses. Corrugated asbestos cement sheeting on roof.

Yacht Store – Single storey; 15’ to eaves. Wood framed and wood trusses. Corrugated iron sheeting on walls and roof. Cinder floor.

Saw Mill – (Built after 4/5/42) – Single storey; 11’ to eaves. Wood framed and wood roof trusses. Corrugated asbestos cement sheeting on walls and roof. Wood floor.

Description of damaged structures

Boathouse (East) – Corrugated iron sheeting on walls and roof at N.E. end damaged by blast. Glass damage. Caused by two H.E. bombs.

Yacht store – Corrugated iron sheeting at N.E. end damaged. Caused by two H.E. bombs.

Office Building – One I.B. penetrated roof but was quickly tackled by stirrup pump and no damage resulted.

Damage to plant


Damage to services

Electric supply was off for four days owing to damage to the Main Power Station.

Damage to boats

One boat on slipway was damaged, the loss sustained being to the value of £10.


The only absenteeism was due to four employees who were members of the Home Guard; and whose services were requisitioned for two days to assist in the clearing up of the town.

Resulting loss of production

Production was held up owing to the need for clearing up the debris and carrying out necessary repairs to the damaged buildings.

The actual hours lost for the four weeks following the raid is as follows.

Week ending       8th May – 340 ½ hours.

     “          “         15th May – 262 hours.

     “          “         22nd May – 92 hours.

     “          “         29th May – 79 hours.


The R&E report included basic plans showing the location of the bombs, and the investigators hand-drawn plan highlighting the areas of damage.