Speaker: Ray Peacock
Ray Peacock will talk of the historical background leading to the building and launch of the ship near what is now Kingston in 1780, her involvement in the defence of the border, and her subsequent loss and discovery in Lake Ontario. His slides include stills of the sunken ship when she was found and of his not-yet-completed model.
Born and brought up in the village of Port Sunlight, the home of the soap company Lever Brothers, near the city of Liverpool, Ray has always lived near the sea and large lakes. As a boy he would often take the “Ferry ‘cross the Mersey” from Birkenhead to Liverpool, where he watched the ships that plied their trade from the wharves and docks of the city that grew on ship building and the commerce of the world, and which was the control centre of Atlantic Naval operations during WWII, known as “The Western Approaches”. He was also not far from the entrance to the Manchester Ship Canal, and would spend time watching the freighters of the world as they passed, opening the inland City of Manchester to international trade.
Ray took a degree in Food Technology in London. He followed this with a career, first in the meat industry, then in the chocolate business. Ray and his family lived in a village near the ancient City of York, with a history dating back to Viking and Roman times, and an area hotly contested during the Civil War. Ray, his wife and three children were “exported” to Canada in 1971 by his company, and became Vice-president of Manufacturing of the Canadian branch of Rowntrees, the makers of Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Smarties, Black Magic and After Eight Mints.
He took up ship modeling as a hobby during our Canadian winters, initially building from kits, but later graduating to scratch building. Ray is a member of Metro Marine Modellers, https://metromarine.org/ a club which has three divisions, Static, Scale and Sail, which reflect the diverse range of vessels being modelled.
In addition to building his own models Ray also restores old and damaged models for private individuals and public institutions, to museum-quality standards of accuracy and finish of hulls and rigging. His Admiralty-style model of the 22-gun ship HMS “Ontario”, a “snow” which sank in the Lake in 1780, was built after considerable research, is considered to be the authentic model of the ship.
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