Model of Samuel Williams and Sons hydrofoil
after 1960 – before 1975
Model of Samuel Williams and Sons hydrofoil. Made by Albert Denegri who was employed by the company as a general woodworker from 1940 to 1975. Mr Denegri was a trained cabinet maker and joiner, but carried out a number of tasks for the company, from making boardroom furniture to barge repairs and repairing crane walkways. Albert Denegri was asked to make a model of Samuel Williams and Sons' hydrofoil, their passenger vessel used for corporate travel. The model was shown at corporate presentations. Albert Denegri lived with his wife, son and daughter in Chequers Lane, Dagenham, and later moved to Ripple Villas in Dagenham.
Samuel Williams & Sons
In 1887, Samuel Williams, a former lighterman, bought 30 acres of land in south Dagenham and built a timber dock on the River Thames with a railway line connecting to the London Tilbury & Southend Railway main line. By 1891 he had built two new jetties and later added a barge slipway. The Dagenham Dock was used mainly for coal deliveries coming down the coast from North England. Williams spent years slowly filling in Dagenham Level - the marshland and lake behind his river dock - with spoil obtained from London. Concrete piles were used for the difficult task of piling the Dagenham jetties where the banks of the Thames were marshy. The technique also allowed the reclaimed land to be developed into an industrial estate with the company leasing factory buildings to tenants. From 1929, the Ford factory was built on concrete piles on part of this estate. Samuel Williams and Sons was a self-sufficient business, with its own civil and mechanical engineering departments, which liked to be at the forefront of events – for example, it ran the first hydrofoil on the Thames in the 1960s.
Large scale model of a hydrofoil. Wood, with metal and perspex fittings and decorations. Painted in white, dark blue, pale blue and red. with a fitted stand.
Maritime transport material
Boat length: 980mm
Stand length: 685mm
Social history, Industry