December 2003 Newsletter

Now for the Engine, Mast and Sails

Yes, the time has come when we can start thinking of these things: exciting isn't it?
Our hopes of getting a low cost engine from Ford UK haven't happened but we have a number of alternatives. Our main concern is that it should be as much a British engine as it is possible to obtain. When we decide on an engine local engineer Stephen Cocks, whose grandfather owned Endeavour, will oversee it's installation and any alterations that may be required to make it suitable for marine use.

The mast and sails do however present a difficulty. When Endeavour was built no-one took drawings of the rig. So far we only have one photograph which clearly shows the sails, and even this doesn't show them side on, so that we can measure them.

Our restoration Consultant, John Millgate, is working with North Sea Sails to come up with dimensions, but if any of our members have photographs of Endeavour or a similar Leigh Cockle boat, showing the mast and sail plan, we would welcome sight of them. 

We have located some excellent rope, which looks just like the traditional hemp but is in fact made from modern no-rot materials. This will maintain the authenticity of the completed boat whilst giving us all the benefit that modern technology provides.

Endeavour 'on course for Dunkirk'

We are pleased to announce that extra funding has been obtained for the restoration of the Endeavour; Trustee David Norman says that we are near to achieving the total sum needed.
Our latest grant success is £6,000 from the Essex Heritage Trust. This is an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the county and the money will be used to purchase the mast, sails and rigging. As mentioned above, we have already been in contact with expert traditional sail makers over the exact specification for the sails and if you can help in this regard please get in touch with one of the officers or trustees.

Another notable contribution has come from Keymed who have given us £1,000 thanks to the efforts of Peter Wexham who brought Endeavour to their attention.

Altogether our fundraising is going very well but there is no room for complacency. We have a commitment that in June 2005 the Royal Navy will escort Endeavour and the other little ships to Dunkirk for the last time and that has been our first target from the start. There is, however, no small amount of irony in that, because this will be the first time Endeavour will have returned, because up until now she has always been a working boat with no time for foreign jaunts. Unfortunately it's not just the human veterans that are reducing in number but also the vessels and so the restoration of Endeavour has come just in time.

Can we take this opportunity to drum home the message that Endeavour is an ongoing project and we are just at the beginning. We are restoring her in such a way that, barring catastrophic accident, Endeavour will be around longer than most of us involved in the work. We estimate that it will be fifty years before any more work needs to be done and during that time she will be busy educating those who will listen about the lessons to be learnt from the past.

Educational Purposes

Those of you who have been reading this newsletter since issue one will know that on many occasions we have written that Endeavour will be used for educational purposes. Well, very soon we will have to get to grips with the reality of that statement. Many of the grants that we have received have come with a commitment to allow a specific amount of public access or educational use. So, as we reach the stage where we can see the completion of the restoration in sight, the question of exactly how we will fulfill those commitments looms ever nearer. As you will read elsewhere in this issue, Reta is already in a way partly fulfilling that commitment, but we can't leave all the work to one person, no matter how good she is. That is why we must redouble our efforts to not only maintain our membership, which currently stands at over 170, but to increase it. Endeavour will continue to require essential 'support' both financial and material: our support; yours and mine. It's no good restoring her and then leaving her! We have an obligation to make good use of her.

If you put your minds to it, I am sure, like me, you could produce a whole list of ways in which we could make good use of Endeavour, but each one would have the same thing in common; the need for resources. You the members provide that resource.

After June 2005, we will be able to use Endeavour to sail the inshore waters as she was built to do. But to take people out to experience what it's like and what it would have been like to cross the English Channel, we will need people with the right qualifications and certificates. Is that you?

Also, to allow people to board Endeavour to see inside, we will need people ready to give up some time to make sure it's done in safety. We will need people to offer their support, their time and money. Is there something you could do either in future or even now?

If you would like to offer your support but feel you do not have the skills, there is plenty of time to attain them, perhaps through a course at S.A.V.S. Please think about it and then volunteer. (See the contact page for the Secretary's email address)

Congratulations - 1

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I can convey the sincere thanks of the Trust to Nick James. As you probably remember, Nick has been working very hard in the background to secure for the Trust a large quantity of larch for use in the restoration of Endeavour. Nicks efforts have been very much appreciated by all concerned.

So much so in fact that the Trustees have decided to reward Nick with a life membership of the Trust. 

Things didn't always go smoothly to plan, but when do they? As with everything success comes with effort. 

Well done Nick - we just hope that all the problems haven't put you off helping in the future.
Congratulations - 2

When Endeavour was 'found' in Kent, one of the party which discovered her was the editor of the Leigh Times, Michael Guy. The Leigh Times has always been most generous with the coverage given to our activities, and we presented Michael with a certificate in recognition of all the help he has given us.