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Founder of marine advertising agency, Willoughby Stewart Associates - Trafford Corke
Founder of marine advertising agency, Willoughby Stewart Associates - Trafford Corke

News -

Trafford Corke - 09/02/1948 - 04/11/2023

We are sad to announce the passing on November 4th of a genuine character of the marine industry, Trafford Corke. As founder of the advertising agency Willoughby Stewart Associates, (Willoughby being his middle name) he raised the standards of leisure marine advertising in the 1980’s, 90’s and into the 00’s. Trafford worked with what sounds like a roll call of the industry’s leading companies through the years: International Paint, Autohelm, Jeanneau Yachts, B&G, Douglas Gill, Sadler Yachts, Henri Lloyd, Fairline Boats and Yamaha, to name a few. He and his team created many of the industry’s iconic campaigns such as Lewmar’s “Sailing should give you pleasure, not muscles” winch ad which was considered to be the best of its era. TWC, as he was known, was a larger than life character, always aiming to impress the previously conservative marine industry with strong images and wild ideas.

In 1990, the late Gary Burrell had just started his company Garmin in the US and met TWC to work out how they could promote their new hand-held GPS in Europe. Trafford talked him into making a giant version, two metres tall, and took it to the very first METS in Amsterdam, “nobody will take any notice of a little electrical unit like that, needs to be big!”. Garmin certainly became big, thanks to TWC, just one example of the memorable impact he had.

In-line with his love of all things on water, his Will contained specific instructions for his send off and he will be buried at sea just off The Needles, in a designated sea burial area. The boat carrying him will leave the Mayflower in Lymington on the morning of December 15th, weather permitting. All friends are welcome to gather there to see him off on his next adventure.


Further information from:

Peter Corke :

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