Sunday May 17 2015 Author: PRPETA Location: none selected

On 15th May Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history, unveiled the restored bow section of a yacht owned by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, which was wrecked in a storm in 1974, with the loss of two crew, Heath's godson Christopher Chadd, and Nigel Cumming. The ceremony was held in the garden of Arundells, Sir Edward's former home in Salisbury which is now open to the public, and was attended by Margaret Chadd, aged 92, the mother of Christopher and his brothers Jonathan and Sam.

The third of five yachts raced by Sir Edward, and all named Morning Cloud, sank in heavy weather in the Channel in September 1974. The same severe weather tore Sir Edward's first Morning Cloud, by then under different ownership, from her moorings in Jersey, and she too was wrecked.

Sir Ben Ainslie, who won medals at five consecutive Olympics including gold at the last four, was joined at the unveiling of the bow section and memorial plaque by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam.

Sir Ben said: "Edward Heath managed to combine holding the highest office in Britain with being a world-class yachtsman and musician and it is fitting that his achievements should be remembered by the sailing community.

"It is my privilege to unveil the restored bow section of the third Morning Cloud, it is an imaginative project and I know that it has only been made possible by the dedication of many individuals and companies. Most importantly it serves as a reminder of the tragic deaths of Nigel Cumming and Christopher Chadd but it is also an important addition to the unique collection of sailing-related trophies, paintings, models and memorabilia held at Arundells."

Jonathan Chadd said: "The Chadd family has been fully supportive of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation Trustees in creating, in such a beautiful and peaceful place at Arundells, this most fitting memorial to Christopher and his fellow crew member Nigel Cumming, who lost their lives when Morning Cloud sank."

Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Lord Hunt of Wirral, Chairman-designate of the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, commented: "One of the remarkable things about Edward Heath was his hinterland. He was the most musically accomplished Prime Minister to occupy Downing Street. He is also the only British Prime Minister to win a major international sporting trophy - the 1971 Admiral's Cup, when he led the British team to victory. The restored bow of Morning Cloud 3 is both a memorial and an important addition to the Arundells collection of sailing artefacts. It reminds us too of the central role that sailing played in Ted's life and of his considerable achievements as a yachtsman."

Robert Hayes, Deputy Chairman of the Friends of Arundells which supports the house commented: ''This project has come together through teamwork amongst many volunteers in the sailing world and amongst Arundells' supporters. I am delighted that we have been able to work together to create something special."

Arundells, a beautiful 18th Century house part of which dates back to the 13th century and its two acre walled garden, is the only residence of a British Prime Minister which remains largely as it was when he was alive. The bow will be on public display in a secluded area of Arundells' gardens. The house contains a fascinating collection of political and personal memorabilia. The Arundells collection includes paintings by Winston Churchill, Singer Sargent, John Piper and L.S. Lowry; Chinese and Japanese artworks; a collection of political cartoons; and gifts from world leaders including Chairman Mao and Richard Nixon.


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