Mirror designer's siblings pay a visit to the National Maritime Museum

Last week the National Maritime Museum Cornwall was delighted to receive two very special visitors: the twin sisters of famous Mirror dinghy designer Barry Bucknell.

Coming to see the first Mirror dinghy ever built on show at the Museum 93- year-old twin sisters Margaret and Mary were also able to see the original publicity video which launched the class, complete with footage of their brother.

Designed by Bucknell together with Jack Holt in 1962, the Mirror dinghy was named after the Daily Mirror and was, from the start, promoted as an affordable boat. Costing just 63s 11d when it first came onto the market, it has probably done more than any other design to make dinghy sailing in the UK available to anyone.

During the 1950s, Barry Bucknell (1912-2003) became a household name and popularised DIY in the UK when seven million viewers tuned in to watch his BBC TV series “Barry Bucknell’s Do It Yourself” and later the 1960s show ‘Bucknell’s House’.

From the mid-1960s he became increasingly involved in sailing and, after designing the popular Mirror Dinghy, he went on to design a two-man canoe for the RNLI.

Andy Wyke, the Museum’s Boat Collection Manager, said: ‘We’re privileged to have the #1 Mirror on show here at the Museum, but having the sisters of the man who designed her come and visit us is just fantastic. We were thrilled to have the chance to show them not only around our current exhibitions but also the vintage footage of their brother doing what he did best!’