‘Erskine lived and worked in the rented house for some seventeen years before building the new house and office. This old house began to get overcrowded as more work flowed in and enabled him to consider seriously an idea he had long cherished; that of using a large barge as an office which could also be sailed out to the Skerries (islands off the Swedish coast) in the summer months. The most suitable vessel was an old Thames barge, the Verona, which was bought at Deptford, London in 1955 for £ 1500 and refitted on the east coast of England at Pinn Mill. It was sailed across the North Sea, through the Kiel canal and up to Drottningholm by a crew which included Erskine and some experienced seamen. […] Verona was finally moored at Drottningholm near the office, where she still lies. She was fitted out as an office for twelve people, with a coffee room in the forecastle and Erskine’s office in the captain’s cabin. Each summer for some thirteen years, the Verona embarked on a three day voyage to Rågö, near Nyköping, and was moored alongside a fisherman’s boathouse. The attic was taken over as the shore-based office, with boats and fishing gear still remaining on the ground floor. The office stayed based at Rågö for two months each year, returning to Drottningholm in September’.

Peter Collymore