I was sorry to hear about Doug Wilson, who has recently passed away after an operation. Doug was an important figure on the early surf scene and became a pioneer of Britains surf industry. Born in Sussex, he came to Cornwall to lifeguard in 1959 and became a surf photographer. He was good friends with Bill Bailey and the two were some of the earliest malibu surfers in Newquay, welcoming and learning from foreign surfing visitors, and often using their boards.
Doug was one of the four founders of the European Surfing company, better known as Bilbo surfboards , and was a successful manager of the shop from 1965, the year Bilbo was born. The shop was the first large scale surf store in the UK or Europe and was a focal point for the Newquay surf scene, even importing the first surf mags into the UK, Surfer magazine from the US.
In 1994 Doug co wrote 'You should have been here yesterday ', an invaluable study on the roots of British surfing.
Top - Doug meets Bruce Brown at Heathrow in 1967 ; Brown was in London for a premiere screening of the Endless Summer.
Above - early surf trip to France, Doug in centre, 1966.