R.I.P. Joseph Rankin (Southport)  aged  92

OTS News.co.uk is saddened to report the death of well known Southport resident, Joseph Rankin aged 92.

Joseph sadly past away in a nursing on Thursday 28th February 2013

“Joe” was one of Southport’s oldest characters, ex owner of Glasplies in Crowland Street.

Condolences to his family and friends

Brief history behind Joe and the D.U.K.W.

The American D.U.K.W. appeared on our beaches about 1948, brought here by a scrap metal merchant as a possible business idea. In 1949 an ex-Navy officer Joseph Rankin, the founder of Glasplies, purchased some 20 vehicles from the then Thompson and Doxey export Ltd. He used them as pleasure vehicles on the beach for several years. They were not always mechanically reliable and often leaked. It was from this experience that Joe found fibreglass to be the best material to repair these aging vehicles, its popularity amongst other craft users was the inspiration for Glasplies.

Joe had a standby recovery vehicle in case of problems, under the pier he had a mint condition D.U.K.W. to recover the recovery D.U.K.W. Joe used his D.U.K.W. ‘s as shrimping vehicles with some success. He was asked in 1951 by the then Southport Corporation to pioneer the use of the D.U.K.W. as a sea rescue vehicle. In conjunction with the beach Rangers well over 600 people were rescued on our beaches from then until their retirement in the 1990s.

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