Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Tyne Folding Boats

From Graces Guide

of Kew Foot Road, Richmond, Surrey. Telephone: Richmond 4494

1933 F. O. D. Hirschfeld arrived in Britain, having fled from Germany, and was given permission to stay on the condition that he started a business.

He started Tyne Folding Boats, making kayaks with collapsible wooden frames and canvas skins which could literally be packed into a couple of bags and carried on the train.

1936 Joined the Canoe Camping Club and caused something of a sensation with the then little known Eskimo roll.

1939 He was briefly interned as an enemy alien at the outbreak of war, but was quickly released, and joined the club in 1944.

With few people owning cars, and petrol scarce, his folding kayaks were the best way of getting afloat. His demonstrations of the Eskimo roll at Richmond baths undoubtedly contributed to the early success of the Richmond Canoe Club.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of a comprehensive range of Single and Two-Seater Folding Canoes, easily erected, and packing into two bags. Constructed from five-ply rubberised canvas on a framework of selected ash. (Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. H.2122) [1]


Memories from a correspondent[2]

David did indeed leave Germany, as virtually all of his relatives were exterminated.

Most summer weekends he would spend at the Camping Club site main field at Chertsey where he had a permanent tent, shared with his wife and 2 daughters.

His last factory (and his house was the next door building) was in Amayand Park Road, St Margeret's, Twickenham (in Richmond). Upon retirement, he and his wife moved to Teddington, until they passed away. His daughter Judy also lived in the same area. The 2nd Daughter, Helen, suffered severely from Downs Syndrome and was mostly in care.

His great rival was Klepper in Germany. I once went with him to the most beautiful Custom House in the World in Venice to collect one of his folding canoes, that had been sent by train, which he used for 2 weeks with us at an Italian Campsite mostly populated with Germans. Unlike us, he was still not at ease in their company in 1965.

His final venture was to produce a one man Glass Fibre Canoe - Red if I remember correctly.

During the war his boats were considered for use by special operations but I cannot remember if any were used/sold.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1947 British Industries Fair p280
  2. Nigel Steele-Davies Fri 07/12/2018