Uffa Fox a Personal Biography
by Dixon, June
pub. by Angus and Robertson, Brighton, Sussex, England, UK, 1978 -       isbn; 0-207-95827-0     black and white photos - line drawings of Naval Airborne Lifeboat MK.1. - International fourteen Avenger - Flying Fifteen Cowslip H.R.H. Prince Philip - 25ft Hydro Skee Family Cruiser - Day Sailer -     index p. 201 - 206   - -   206 p.
This is a biography of Uffa Fox, from birth in 1898 to death in 1972. He grew up in the Edwardian period immediately after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. His father was a woodworker who insisted on high quality work. Uffa was a difficult child who often did what he wanted rather than what was asked of him. He never made it through any official maritime design school. In his lifetime he became one of the most celebrated designers of racing sailboats of the era. He was an avid Sea Scout. His work life spanned from shortly before WWI through WWII when he designed and built Naval Airborne Lifeboats to be attached to the underside of a rescue airplane and dropped to downed aviators (mostly in the North Sea). Post WWII he re-started his boatbuilding shops peacetime small yacht building works. Through sailboat racing he became a personal friend of Philip, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. They often sailed and raced together. He later taught the royal children how to sail.
Uffa was not an easy person. His fits of anger and rash acts often enough damaged relationships and sometimes acted against his own best interest. He was also what in modern times could be called a party animal. Money flowed through his fingers and he was always in debt to his bankers and creditors. He almost always paid-up eventually, when money came in from he projects he was working on and boats built were paid for.
He was in intrepid Sea Scout leader who on holiday one year took his boys across the English Channel to Le Harve, France and up the Seine almost to Paris. Then returned before the parents of the boys knew they had - gone foreign - and without any official papers.
In his lifetime he married 3 times. Once in this 20s to Alma, a childhood sweetheart and schoolteacher (marriage ended early 1939), a second time to Cherry a lively woman he met, and finally to a wealthy French widow. The first 2 marriages ended poorly. The third, Yvonne, a Parisian, was sustained by Uffas inability to speak French and his wifes inability to speak English.
Fox wrote a book Sailing, Seamanship and Yacht Construction fairly early in his life, with the help of Alma. He came to realize there was more and easier money in writing and wrote several more through his life.
June Dixon, his biographer, knew him personally. A few times late in the book the narrative slips into the first person. From the general tone I am led to believe that June Dixon did not really like Uffa Fox, and from his antics throughout his life, one can understand the reasons.
This is an interesting read. One gets into the mind and life of a famous and temperamental designer, and finds his feet of clay.

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