The theme of this week's National Heritage Week for 2019 is ‘Pastimes'.
In recognition of this, the 113-year-old Water Wag dinghy‘Pansy,’ will be put on public display on the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay on Tuesday 20th August from 18.30hrs. till 20.00hrs.
‘Pansy’ was built in 1906 by John Gray of Crofton Avenue, Kingstown, with pine planking and teak elements held together by copper rivets for Joshua Harrison Hargrave, a railway engineer for about £25. When his hearth failed ‘Pansy’ was stored in Gray’s yard. From 1923 a medical student, Jack Stephens raced the dinghy in Dun Laoghaire until he emigrated to England in 1938, and he sold her to his crew Alfred Delany another medical student and his friend Joe Spiro who was an entrepreneur and founder of the IMCO dry cleaning company at Merrion Gates. The purchase price was £37 10s. Later Spiro sold his share to Delany, and she has been passed to the current owner by inheritance.
‘Pansy’ was restored by John Gray’s son ‘Skee’ Gray in the 1960’s and again restored by Dougal McMahon at Belmont Mills Co. Offaly in 2018.