Royal Visit, Plymouth, Drake 400 – Extra Info

Royal Visit, Plymouth, Drake 400 This was an event the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club (RPCYC) was actively involved in.

The RPCYC Commodore Paul Willerton and his committee decided to commemorate the life of the club as it then was for future generations and invited Gordon Frickers to submit some ideas for paintings.

The Artist chose 2 themes. Here we see H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II arriving in Plymouth on the exact evening 400 years after the battle fleet of her illustrious predecessor Queen Elizabeth I had sailed to combat with the Spanish Armada.

To create this painting the Artist was present as the Royal Yacht Britannia arrived in Plymouth and as H.R.H. Queen Elizabeth II disembarked for an invitation to the naval dockyard for dinner.

The Artist was ably assisted by the then Plymouth harbour master, (Tony Dyer) who personally drove the launch Gordon Frickers worked from on that damp and misty summer evening.

The painting shows to the left, Plymouth Citadel, the RPCYC club house and in the background also the River Plym, Sutton Harbour Entrance and the low hills towards Plymstock.

At the time (1988) this seemed a very “contemporary” painting. Since then the Clubhouse has been extended, the RY Britannia withdrawn from service and both Paul Willerton and Tony Dyer long since retired. It is perhaps surprising how quickly the committee’s vision is being realised, the subject is becoming history.

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