Arthur was born in Holyport in 1872.  His chosen career was that of an Electrical Engineer.  He was reportedly the first to supply domestic electricity to local houses in Bourne End and to Abbotsbrook Estate from a dynamo which he ran from his workshop.  This was subsequently taken over by the Cookham and District Electricity Company and later by the Wessex Corporation.

He started out by buying a second hand shed and began WOOTTENS BOATYARD with just £5.00 hiring dinghies and punts to the public.  Jobs were of a small scale, such as collecting and delivering punts from the Henley regatta, replacing paddles to  Skiffs and maintaining small boats for short periods of time.  Arthur Wootten charged 1 shilling for an hour’s labour.


Harry was Arthur’s brother.  A well known character in Cookham who began boatbuilding from the tender age of 10 and continued boatbuilding until he was 79 years old.


Son of Arthur, Guy originally took employment in the City as a Sales Rep and later joined the Boatyard in 1931.
The War Years saw a major expansion at the yard as contracts came in from the Admiralty to help with the war effort consisting of building small Cutters and Dinghies.
Brothers Arthur and Guy are famous for building the record breaking Sopranino, the smallest boat to sail the Atlantic in the 1950’s.  


Pat left school in 1953 and entered the family business.  Pat served his four-year apprenticeship at the family yard.  Pat originated the construction of a 28ft slipper stern launch in 1989, combining both traditional and modern techniques having hand crafted mahogany above the waterline with  moulded Glass Reinforced Plastic bottom which results in a classic traditional craft.

Another specialty of Pats were the hundreds of HAMPSHIRE PUNTS he built, many for the Thames Conservancy to use for lock work and still can be seen in operation at locks today.


Since the death of his father Pat, Guy now runs the Boatyard following the traditions of his family.  In 1993 Guy restored the Baby Greyhound, one of the only surviving 50ft Andrews Slipper Launches.  In recognition of over 30 years of dedication and service on the Thames, in 2007 Guy was honoured to be invited by The Queen’s Swan Marker to take part in the historic ceremony of Swan Upping; he hopes to continue in the prestigious role of Swan Upper on behalf of The Crown for many years to come.  In 2007 Guy was very proud to have his son Lee join the family business and hopes he continues the family traditions for another 100 years 

Did you know?

Few yards can boast an unbroken history of over 100 years on the same site, but four generations of Woottens have kept boat building alive at Cookham Dean.

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