Nauticalia began in 1974, as a floating marine antiques shop in a converted rubbish barge on the River Thames at Shepperton. Lynn Lewis, an ex-BBC television reporter, and his wife Val, also a journalist, were the founders. As the business developed, it became obvious that there were not enough antiques to satisfy demand, especially for the large items of nautical décor that so enthralled their customers. An advert in the local paper, for a 19th century diver's helmet, brought six buyers the next day - but there was only one for sale! To solve the problem, Lynn commissioned a batch of ten detailed replicas from a specialist metal works, and thus began Nauticalia's famous range of reproduction boating and shipping memorabilia.
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