Eric Bergqvist 1946 – 2021

It is three years since we started this website so an update is well overdue. Since Eric passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in February 2021 John and I have not felt inclined to continue work on it until now. It seems that news of his passing has not reached all those people from his past who, had we known of them, would have been informed. To put that right John has posted an announcement on the Winkle Brig Forum.

Aside from John’s and my special relationships with him, I think most people who knew Eric would agree that he was a very likeable and caring individual. He could make you feel important and make you laugh as well as help you out of all sorts of scrapes you might have found yourself in. He made fascinating company and had a great many friends from all walks of life who I know now miss him deeply as we do.

Eric’s enquiring mind and thirst to find out exactly how everyone and everything ticked made him both practical and perceptive. As far as his boats were concerned he aimed to make beautiful, practical, traditional options available to ordinary people rather than just to the wealthy. He kept his designs simple and sensible and disliked unnecessary gimmickry and ostentation. Perhaps most important of all though, he wanted them to appeal to the romantic dreamer in all of us.

February 2023

Hello and welcome to my Eric Bergqvist Winkle Brig online archive.

I am Alison Bergqvist and I first met Eric in 1982 after he had finished building the Memory but when he was still moulding Folksongs for home completion. Being already a sailor and boat lover, I jumped at the opportunity to take over Eric’s ‘dreaded paperwork’ and was soon happily helping him to design and market his new Winkle Brig classic trailer-sailer.

For me the highlights of the job were our stays at the Southampton Boat Show where we exhibited a new boat each year and proudly showed her off to existing and prospective owners as well as catching up with old friends and fellow exhibitors. If I was very lucky and the show boat wasn’t already sold then I got to choose her name, ‘Dolly‘ and ‘Moss Rose’ being just two with connections to my own maritime family history.

Our son John was born premature and poorly in 1991 so I spent the best part of a year visiting him in hospital and then keeping him isolated at home. This led to my pulling out of the business and eventually moving back to Somerset to bring him up alone but near to my family and roots. John is part of the reason I suggested this website as it is he who is building and maintaining it, and he is also very proud of his Winkle Brig heritage.

My other motivation is to offer, to anyone who may be interested, a viewing of my own personal archive of Winkle Brig information and memorabilia collected up until 1991, together with associated boaty bits and pieces that would otherwise not be seen nor heard of again. It seemed such a shame to leave it all packed away when it might be of interest to past, present and future owners of Winkle Brigs or anyone idly surfing the net for all things boaty. As there are currently several other excellent websites carrying up-to-date information and advice with forums and blogs regarding the Winkle Brig, this site is intended to be purely for reference.

Hoping you find something of interest herein – with very best wishes from Ali & John.

April 2020