Clubhouse Murals

The Club has two long murals which tell a real tale of the sailing in the Club and on the Lymington River

Roy Coombes Mural

Roy Coombs’ vibrant representation of racing on the river not now on display, but formerly above the sandwich bar in the River Room. 

Roy had been an active Member of the Club since 1950, sailing a range of boats and serving on Committees.

In his professional life, he was a graphic artist, which explains his colourful and energetic treatment of the subject.  With a twinkle in his eye, he once said that most Members would have an example of his work in their homes … when faced with a blank expression he revealed that he was the artist who painted the fruit designs on Tesco’s yoghurt pots!

Coombs’ panorama contained fewer features of the river but much content by way of classes, colour and action, a factor that no doubt entertained many, as they queued for their lunches.

The piece depicts the smaller craft that flourished in the 1950s, as life returned to normal but, with dinghies and open keel boats of modest cost, the sport came within the reach of many more and younger sailors.

The boats featured include National 12, Firefly, Finn, GP14 and XOD classes, battling for supremacy in the River, from in front of the Clubhouse of the RLymYC.  Bursting with activity, the scene displays the Club’s burgee, the finishing line mark and the all-important stop-watch, as well as the starting cannon and race flags, needed to set off the action.

Wales Smith Mural

The very large piece in the rafters of the Island Room, started off in the slipway bar, behind the bar itself.  It was painted in 1947 by Douglas Wales-Smith, whose son Patrick Wales-Smith has been a Member since 1946. 

Wales-Smith provided a key to what he called the frieze in the RLYC (sic) Bar and that gives us a clue to the subjects.

He lists boats by Class, Name and Owner and reserves a special place in the foreground for Dan Bran in his dinghy. It even includes the friendly presence of the much-loved MV Lymington, the river’s first Ro-Ro ferry and part of the Southern Railway’s fleet.

Wales-Smith depicts the popular Classes, both dinghies and keel-boats, as well as individual yachts, in this just post-war scene, which was also the Club’s first Jubilee year, 25 years on from its founding in 1922. 

Quite rightly, the Lymington Pram class is strongly in evidence, together with its smaller sisters, the Scows.  Joining them are a good handful of Montagu Sharpies, deriving their specific name from their popularity in Beaulieu. The keel-boats are dominated by the West Solent One Designs and the Coronations.  Also featured, are a number of individual yachts – as much characters of their era, as were their owners.