Onedin Line camera vessel “Wildora” early seasons in Dartmouth

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    Nicholas Simpson
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    Dear all,

    Hi I am a new fan of the “Onedin Line” and only being in my 30’s and the show finishing before I was born, I recently got into the drama because my hometown of Sunderland is home to a vessel that was in Dartmouth in the 1970’s and used as a camera/auxiliary vessel for cast, crew and filming in Bayard’s Cove and the channel, Motor Vessel “Wildora” (now Willdora with two L’s).

    I will keep this brief as I can as the boat really has a remarkable history I have found, but the records of my place of work Sunderland Maritime Heritage already had knowledge of the boat’s involvement with the Onedin Line at the time. A schoolteacher bought her on the Dart and transported her up to the North East of England where she now is, and I am also in touch with one of her former crew who informs me the boat was owned by a Denis Alfred Hopker at the time.

    Denis’ belongings and photo albums went up for auction in 2017: http://lockdales.auctioneersvault.com/catalogues/143/files/assets/basic-html/page-29.html# and the online catalogue references as such his vessel being used for filming in his photo albums (as well as training in rigging). I was fortunate to get in touch with his son Malcolm who informs me his Dad worked on the show and his Mother’s Bed And Breakfast housed some of the film crew (cast I am unsure).

    In the past few months, I have had the fortune to speak to other cast and crew including Ken Westbury & David Williams (Filmakers) and Peter ‘The Beard’ Lucas who you may recognise in the early seasons of the show.

    Basically I am hoping fans on this forum may have knowledge and further info on our boat ‘Wildora’ and hopefully photographs of her working with ‘The Charlotte Rhodes’ on the River Dart (or better yet, my hope someone here has Denis Hopker’s albums!).

    I hope anyone here can be of help as this research is very important to me. For more info please refer to this link: https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/threads/motor-fife-willdora-wildora-planet-new-info-help-with-more-info-appreciated.302993/

    -Nick

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