In the summer of 1984 a gentlemen went to buy a Sutcliffe Sprite from a toyshop in Covent Garden, London. The boat was to be a birthday present however upon arrival to the toyshop he was told that unforutnetley they were sold out and that even worse Sutcliffe was no longer trading. Naturally he was very disappointed as he had had been a big fan of these clockwork boats. On the off chance that they might have some stock left he telephoned the factory and after what seemed an age, a Mr Kenneth Sutcliffe answered the phone, and sadly confirmed the news of the companies closure. The gentlemen asked Mr Sutcliffe if he would be able to supply him with one example of each sort of boat and Mr Sutcliffe obliged. On the 10th July 1984 Mr Sutcliffe posted a Diana, Hawk, Sea Wolf, Merlin and Unda-Wunda. In a letter enclosed with the boats he comments that the Merlin although like new is in a used box or carton as they had obviously run out! Amazingly he had obviously also run out of Unda-Wunda's but as he states in his letter he had manage to purchase one on a recent trip to the Yorkshire Coast and had even done a little repaint (albeit in the wrong shade of blue!) before sending it on to it's new owner. The owner of these boats intially told me he was a little disappointed to receive a repaired Unda Wunda, but in retrospect said how touching it was that he cared so much about his customers and obviously thought a repaired one was better than not at all!
Sadly Sutcliffe closed it's doors shortly after but this small transcation at the very end of Sutcliffe Pressings LTD shows us how commited Mr Sutcliffe was to servicing his collectors right until the very end.
I am delighted to say that the Sutcliffe Merlin and Unda-Wunda are now highlights of my collection.