On board SS Cecile

Thornycroft family members on board their yacht SS Cecile

John Issac Thornycroft with other family members, on the deck of SS Cecile, from the Thornycroft Family Archive, Hampshire. This photo is quite probably taken around 1891 as John Thornycroft designed and installed a stabilisation system on the yacht Cecile. Like other engineers before and after him, Thornycroft tried to solve the problem of how to reduce rolling in ships. He bought the yacht Cecile of 300 tons and installed a device consisting of a 6-ton moveable watertank, controlled by hydraulic cylinders. John presented his results to the Institution of Naval Architects in 1892, but although his invention was able to dampen rolling, it was not proceeded with. Other family members are also in the photograph but not all identifiable. The young man sat cross-legged is probably John Edward Thornycroft, the youngest boy Isaac Thomas (Tom) Thornycroft, sitting next to John is his wife Ada (nee Coules) Thornycroft. John and Blance had five daughters and so they probably account for some of the girls. In 1891 the eldest daughter Edith Alice would have been 20 years old, the next daughter Blanche Coules 18 years old.  Mary Beatrix would have been 16 years old, Ada Frances 14 years old and Eldred Elizabeth Anne would have been 12 years old. The other man could be Charles John Cornish who married Edith Alice in 1893. The lady at the back with the parasol is probably a member of staff such as nanny which leaves one young lady unidentifiable, although a possible candidate is Louisa Isabel Ward who John Edward married in 1896

Thornycroft and SS Cecile