The family of G.L. Watson’s former Director, Allen McLachlan (1918-2011) have kindly donated a collection of artefacts to the G.L. Watson & Co. archive. The collection includes an array of items; from drawings to photographs and original company brochures.
Having achieved the position of chief draughtsman at the RNLI, in 1958 Mr McLachlan joined G.L. Watson & Co. as a partner and didn’t retire from the firm until 1983. During his time with G.L. Watson & Co. McLachlan continued his pioneering work on fast motor craft, designing the Westcraft Watson range and offshore racers such as Big Moose and Iolair. These designs were prominent in the popular world of power boat racing and McLachlan participated in the first Offshore Power Boat Race in 1962. Whilst developing this entirely new strand to the company’s portfolio, Mr McLachlan also maintained both his and the firm’s long standing commitment to the RNLI, most notably with his development of the lines for the Arun Class Lifeboat. One of the items donated by Mr McLachlan’s family is the 1982 Design Council Award which recognises Mr McLachlan’s contribution to this lifeboat’s design.
Underlining Allen’s role in the continuing history of the firm, his papers include an original design list starting back in 1873 with design No. 1. From the variations in handwriting it appears that this was handed down from senior partner to senior partner. We are delighted to have this and Allen’s other papers back in the archive.