I remember this well. The whole thing very quickly became a smear campaign by the jealous once word got out. Those types were a big part of the reason the arrangement was kept quiet in the first place.That's the APG one. Bits of the KT were there, but haven't seen the WC T1.
When I took the photos I was asked not to say anything. But as you say that was years ago, and it's all in the public domain now. The Wheatcroft guys are as straight as they come, so the press release rings true to me.
I got to crawl all over a cockle at a boat show on the Thames last year. Sadly the owner wouldn’t let me have a go, so that box remains unticked...This article on canoes is very interesting.
Arnhem Jim: The War Canoes of World War II - Cockleshell Heroes