Welcome to the Summer 2021 Newsletter

Endeavour is nearly ready to return to her mooring at the Peter Boat, from where we hope that we will be able to run a decent programme of trips for members; and there's a couple of events we'll tell you about so you can get them in the calendar. We give a rundown of all the hard work that was necessary to get her ready. Our new information board is up at the Peter Boat awaiting the boat's return, and you can read about all the hard work that entailed too.

With a bit of expert digging, we've located photos of two boats that played an important role in the Leigh boats' Dunkirk experience and print these with some history; it all helps to bring to life this important part of local history.

Then we've got news of one of our stalwarts retiring from the Trust and a request for volunteers to help the Trust continue its work.

Please drop us a line if you have any comments, or visit us on our Facebook page

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion!

We are delighted to inform members that Endeavour has returned to her summer mooring outside the Peter Boat in Old Leigh where she can be admired once more. Skipper Andy Wood oversaw the short move back to the Old Town on a dull and grey day. Here’s hoping for some sun to show her off to her advantage.

New Information Board in Old Leigh

Our information board near the Peter Boat has been in place since 2010. Treasurer Rob Everitt noticed that while the frame was still solid, it was getting more than a little rusty and the Perspex panel had dulled with age, making it a little difficult to read.

Armed with a can of WD40 and a set of Allen keys and employing no little brute force, Rob was able to remove the board and take it home to begin the process of rubbing it down and de-rusting. Many years of dogs using the board as a convenient place to make a ‘brief stop’ had also caused issues with the legs, which would require additional attention. Rain and sea breeze had also affected the back of the sign.

Rob explains, “The backing wooden board had rotted away, and has gaping holes. There’s rusted screws, and the metal frame needs urgent attention as well, but I thought it was saveable. It wasn’t until I started that I realised just how bad it was!” It took a lot of effort, but Rob managed to make the board look brand new, and used a green paint more in keeping with Endeavour's livery. 

Fraser Marshall took the opportunity to refresh the content, using some more recent photographs, and updated the text about the Leigh cockle industry, the Dunkirk evacuation, her starring role in Christopher Nolan's film and a bit about the Trust and how people can donate or join. We even added a QR code to enable smart phone users to go straight to this website. The board was reinstated in early May and we hope will inform many more people about our wonderful boat.

Now, if only we could keep the blummin’ dogs away from the legs...

Click the image below to view a full size version of the info!

Ben & Lucy and Sarah Hide — Key Boats During the Dunkirk Mission

The last issue of the newsletter had a lot of Dunkirk-related information. Two of the boats that played a significant role in the Leigh boats’ Dunkirk experience were the slightly larger vessels into which the cocklers were decanting the men they’d rescued from the beaches and the mole.

The Ben and Lucy was a wooden steam drifter, while the Sarah Hide was a steel drifter/ trawler. The boats had a fair amount in common.  Some digging by Rob Everitt and Fraser Marshall led to us finding photos of these boats and some more information.

Drifting and trawling are similar techniques, hence the Sarah Hide being suitable for both, but in drifting, the deployed nets are carried by the currents and air, whereas in trawling, the boat is under engine. Drifting in the North Sea usually caught herring, trawling caught cod, plaice, skate and haddock.

The Ben and Lucy (above) was a wooden steam drifter, build in 1910 in Lowestoft for BK Reynolds. She was 38 net tons and 84 feet long.

Skipper William Whatling (right). Photo - John Greenacre

She was in Admiralty service during the First World War as a minesweeper and anti-submarine net vessel. She returned to civilian life in 1919. In 1939 she was again requisitioned for war service with pennant number FY 1511, and as we know, she ended up going to Dunkirk and is recorded as having taken 400 men back home, as well as towing Endeavour back to Ramsgate after her rudder had been smashed.

The Ben and Lucy's skipper at Dunkirk was RNR officer William Whatling, appointed to her the previous November, and who stayed in command until he was posted back to HMS Europa (Lowestoft central depot for the Royal Naval Patrol Service, which was responsible for minesweeping around the coast of Britain) in early 1942. Whatling's grandson is Dr John Greenacre, a history lecturer at the University of Suffolk, and John came down to Leigh in 2017 to see Endeavour.

The Ben and Lucy was sold to new owners in Norway. In 1956, she was scrapped. 


 The Sarah Hide LT 1157, a 68 net ton, 103  foot-long steel drifter/trawler, was build in 1937 by Duthie Torry in Aberdeen and was originally the Arthur Couldby, the name of the Lowestoft-based fisherman that commissioned her. She changed name in 1937.

She was requisitioned as a minesweeper by the Royal Navy in November 1939, and operated out of Dover.

It appears that the Sarah Hide only went over to Dunkirk on the one day—June 1st—that the Leigh boats were also there. Records show that she landed 90 troops at Ramsgate. However, like many smaller vessels, it’s entirely possible that she ferried many more to larger vessels in deeper water, and the 90 would be those on board when she returned to England.

After the war, she was returned to her owners and continued to fish from Lowestoft. In 1947 she was in a collision with a vessel named Strive, and in 1949, she became grounded between the entrance piers in Lowestoft. She met her end in 1955, just three years after her mortgage was paid off,  being sold to breakers in Antwerp.

Dates for the Diary

We hope that if the COVID situation continues to improve, Endeavour will participate in a few more events this year. Here’s three for now:

St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival: Sept 3-5

HMS Leigh — The Bravest Pier in the World: Sept 24-26

The Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust AGM will take place on Oct 1st at 7.30pm. More details to follow, but we hope to have a range of merchandise available on the day.

Endeavour Trips - What Dates Suit You?

It should be feasible to take Endeavour out for a number of 90 minute or 11 hour trips for members in the next few months. The hope for longer trips is that Endeavour will be under sail. Members will need to bring a packed meal for longer trips.

There are a number of potential dates, and members are invited to complete an online form to indicate the dates that they would prefer.

If you prefer a paper copy of the form, please contact Rob Everitt on 01702 525585 and he will get one sorted.

Endeavour will do a dozen or so of these dates in total, but it would be useful to know which dates are most popular with members.

Weather being of the essence, whether a particular trip is going ahead will be decided 48 hours in advance.

The full list of dates under consideration is:

Mon - 28th June - 1510 - 1640
Fri - 2nd July - 0700 – 1750
Sat - 3rd July - 0800 – 1850
Sun - 4th July - 0900 – 1950
Sat - 10th July - 1250 – 1430
Sun - 11th July - 1330 – 1510
Mon - 12th July - 1410 – 1550
Sat - 17th July - 0630 – 1720
Sun - 18th July - 0730 -1820
Mon - 19th July - 0830 – 1920
Sat - 24th July - 1240 – 1450
Sun - 25th July - 1320 – 1500
Mon - 26th July - 1410 – 1550
Tues - 27th July - 1450 – 1630
Sat - 31st July - 0640 – 1700
Sun - 1st August - 0730 – 1800
Mon - 2nd August - 0820 – 1850
Tues - 3rd August - 0930 – 2000
Sat - 7th August - 1150 – 1330
Sun - 8th August - 1240 – 1410
Mon - 9th August - 1315 – 1450
Tues - 10th August - 1350 - 1530
Wed - 11th August - 1430 -1610
Thurs - 12th August - 1500 - 1645
Mon - 16th August - 0700 – 1630
Tues - 17th August - 0800 – 1830
Wed - 18th August - 0920 -2000
Sat - 21st August - 1140 – 1320
Sun - 22nd August - 1230 – 1410
Mon - 23rd August - 1310 – 1450
Tues - 24th August - 1350 – 1530
Wed - 25th August - 1420 – 1600
Thurs - 26th August - 1500 – 1640
Fri - 27th August - 1530- 1710
Tues - 31st August - 0700 – 1750
Wed - 1st September - 0800 – 1900
Thurs - 2nd September - 0930 – 2030 (Sunset 1945)
Sun - 5th September - 1130 – 1410
Mon - 6th September - 1210 – 1350
Tues - 7th September - 1250 – 1430
Wed - 8th September - 1325 – 1500
Thurs - 9th September - 1400 – 1540
Fri - 10th September - 1440 – 1620
Sat - 11th September - 1515 – 1700
Sun - 12th September - Old Leigh regatta
Tues - 14th September - 0620 – 1700
Wed - 15th September - 0730 – 1840
Sun - 19th September - 1130 – 1310
Mon - 20th September - 1215 – 1350
Tues - 21st September - 1250 – 1430
Wed - 22nd September - 1320 – 1500
Thurs - 23rd September - 1350 – 1530
Fri - 24th September - 1420 – 1600 (HMS Leigh)
Sat - 25th September - 1450-1630 (HMS Leigh)
Sun - 26th September - 1520 – 1700 (HMS Leigh)

Thank you, Alan!

Member Alan Palmer has kindly agreed to store the frame that covers Endeavour's deck in winter in his container. It ensures that the worst of the weather is kept out of her timbers, but it's a big item, so we're very grateful for Alan's kindness.

Paul Gilson Steps Down

After many years as a Vice-Chairman and skipper of Endeavour, Paul Gilson is retiring from the Trust.

Paul’s hard work and dedication has been instrumental in ensuring Endeavour has been a much appreciated presence at trips such as the Dunkirk memorials, Ostende at Anchor and the annual Association of Dunkirk Little Ships Veterans’ Cruises, amongst many other highlights.

A local fisherman for over 40 years, Paul is also a political adviser, environmentalist, public speaker and a lifeboat man. He's a published author and regularly wrote engaging and informative tales of Endeavour's trips for the newsletter.

Trustee Mike King said; "From the early days of having the boat back in the water, Paul had been invaluable. The number of times he has got very cold and very wet has been noteworthy. So thank you Paul, and good luck in the future."

Your Committee Needs YOU!

The recent death of Finlay Marshall, a much-respected and greatly-missed Trustee, coming after the loss of Chris Bailey nearly two years ago, and the resignation of Paul Gilson means that we have some key roles that need filling, to ensure the work of the Trust is as effective as possible.

We would like to hear from people who may be able to take on roles like Treasurer, Secretary, Marketing/Merchandising or indeed, anybody who feel that they can add value so that we continue to build the Trust for the future.

To that end, we would invite anyone that might be interested in taking on a fulfilling and useful role to get in touch with Trustee Rob Everitt to discuss what's involved and the commitment required.

Rob can be reached on 01702 525 585 or email him.

Dunkirk Memorial Service, 01/06/21

A memorial service to commemorate 81 years since the Dunkirk evacuations and the loss of the Renown will be held at The Carvery, St Clements Church, Leigh-on-Sea, at 1pm on Tuesday 1st June.

An order of service can be downloaded here.