August 2003 Newsletter

Now for the really good news...

Now that phase one is complete with all the oak frames, new keel, stem post and transom done, we have turned our attentions to phase two which starts with the planking. We now have the timber we need in order to complete the planking, all we now require is our craftsmen to return from the work they have been doing whilst we were raising the money to pay for the work.

If things work out as we hope once restoration restarts we will have enough money for them to continue working until they have finished the planking, decking and fitting out the interior.

Dunkirk Veterans at Endeavour AGM

The highlight of our very well attended AGM was the contribution made by five Dunkirk veterans. Ron Willson, speaking on their behalf told how many of the soldiers would never have got away but for the small boats like Endeavour. He told how 3 ton lorries were driven into the water to form a sort of pier so the little boats could take on a full load of soldiers. "What you are doing now to preserve Endeavour is great work," he said, "She will provide a real link with those historic times."

He also told how in Belgium, his group were required to walk towards the sea at night, but then turn round and march towards the firing line in daylight. "The idea was to convince the enemy that reinforcements were coming up, but I’m not sure it worked," he said.

Reports from the Trust officers showed how much progress had been made in the last year.

One half of the expected cost has been raised, and applications for further grants have been made.

All work is being done to a standard that will not require any further restoration for at least 50 years.

The framework is now completely restored, and special timber for the planking is on its way from Southern Ireland, thanks to the sterling effort of Nick James, making good use of his contacts within the timber trade.

All officers were re-elected with a vote of thanks being given for their hard work in the year. Particular thanks were given to all members who delivered leaflets and helped at the various fundraising events.

We were on TV again

A very good news report on Endeavour was transmitted by the BBC last month - unfortunately on Look East which not too many people in Leigh get. But it all goes to show the interest there is in the boat.

Financial Report - the Tax Man helping with restoration!

Just a few days ago when the postman did his morning delivery I received an envelope from the Inland Revenue, not normally a good thing to receive. But on this occasion when I opened it I was very pleased to discover that it was to tell me that £415.18 had been deposited in the Trust bank account. So to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to fill in a Gift Aid form thank you and well done. If you have been meaning to fill one in and haven’t quite got round to doing so it’s not too late. If you pay tax it is well worth the effort. Very soon I will be filling in another claim form and asking the Tax Man for a further sum approaching £3,000, Which will pay for quite a bit of restoration work, so if you can please Gift Aid your giving.

For those who were unable to attend the AGM in July our finances at the moment look quite healthy but once work restarts possibly next month it will not take long to spend. The Trust financial year ends this month and so far this year we have managed to raise £2,000 in membership subscriptions £12,000 in donations, almost £2,000 selling Bric-a-brac and through events and £26,750 in grants. Making a total of £42,750.

We have spent almost £6,000 on materials, £21,500 on actual restoration work by the shipwrights and £600 on sundries making £28,100.

This means we now have enough money in the bank to restart restoration. Please give yourself a pat on the back.

But before you start thinking that we have made it and there is no need to bother any more, once our shipwrights start work again it will be costing us about £1,200 every week. This means we have enough money to pay them for about three months work, less whatever we have to spend on materials. The good thing is that they can do quite a lot of work in three months, but we need to continue all our fundraising activities.

Keith Threadgold