March 2004 Newsletter

Lister win the day

At last, we are moving forward on all fronts; shortly Brian and Shaun will be in a position to start working on Endeavour's mast and spars, and we are progressing elsewhere too.
After much research on the internet we were able to locate quite a number of possible engines for Endeavour including Volvo, Perkins, Ford and Lister. We gave very serious consideration to all these engines but since she had a Lister Blackstone in her during her early life and during the time of going to Dunkirk, it was decided that Lister would be our preferred choice. So, after approaching Lister direct and informing them that traditionally Endeavour always had a Lister engine, that she had a Lister engine when she went to Dunkirk, and that on a number of occasions she won the local trawler race and lifted the 'Lister cup', they decided to make us an offer that we just could not refuse. They will therefore be supplying us with a Lister Petter 40 HP diesel engine at about £2,000 below the current list price. So when Endeavour takes to the water once again 'in spring of 2005', she will again be propelled by a Lister engine, of very similar size to the one that was last in her. 

A Multiplicity of Components

We are now well under way with arranging the purchase of the major components that are needed for Endeavour. Thank you to those who have helped by providing photographs of Endeavour under sail or just as she was in her early days! It all helps to get her restoration right, so if you have an old photo of Endeavour please let one of the Trust officers know. 

We have ordered the mast and spars and they will be ready by the end of May. Then we will be in a position to order the sails. A company called North Sea Sails, who have worked a lot with Brian and Shaun in the past, have been helping us with working out just how they should be and the more accurate information we can assemble the better. Then we will be able to go out and get quotations to provide the sails by the latter part of the year, in plenty of time for them to be fitted to Endeavour as soon as she is ready to receive them.

The multiplicity of components needed is quite mind-boggling. We have already been given quite a large number of useful items and have them in store, and as you can imagine, storage space is at a premium. But don't let that put you off if you can help to provide some much needed equipment please get in touch with Peter Wexham or David Spurgeon to find out whether what you have is just what we need. The items we will have to acquire range from the quite large like a clinker built skiff in order to get aboard when the tides in, to spoons to be able to stir the tea. 

At our last management meeting, Mike made a joke about not needing a big oar to row her and in unison Peter, David and Keith pointed out that one thing we do need is a big oar. Not to row with but to push on, Endeavour always carried an oar about sixteen feet long which was used to stop her going too firmly aground and to help turn her in Leigh creek. 

So as you might by now have realised, when Mike and Peter did their original estimate, with the help of John Millgate, which has proved to be remarkably accurate, they were only thinking about the big things. They just took the broad overview not a detailed inventory, therefore the more of the little things we can gather over the period of the restoration, the better. 

Dunkirk - according to the BBC

Before the recent three-part TV programme on Dunkirk was broadcast the papers were full of claims that it would show that 'Leigh cocklers only went to Dunkirk because they were paid'. Understandably there was an outcry, and Reta was much quoted, showing her understandable anger at the insinuation.

But, that wasn't what went out in the programme, and one wonders why? Was it because they took it out of the broadcast, or was the pre-publicity intended to stir it up and get people watching it? Probably we shall never know, but it left a nasty taste.

The programme itself was extremely effective in showing the total horror of war. All too often battles are shown in a macho way, which glorifies them.

It was particularly pleasing that the Renown disaster wasn't altered for dramatic effect; indeed the only odd thing was the destroyer helmsman being told to steer 'one point to starboard' - very, very precise!!

I was left with the realisation of the responsibility we all have to ensure the real heroes are recognised and remembered by following generations by using that old lady Endeavour as a centrepiece.


Date for your Diary

Our Trust AGM for 2004 will be held on Friday July 23rd at 7.30pm in room 3 (Canteen Room) at Wesley Methodist Church in Elm Road, Leigh. We have decided to move to Wesley so that we can have a good sized room on the ground floor in order to provide easy access for all our members. So please mark this date in your diary and perhaps we can have an even better attended meeting than last year. Further details about the nights events will, be in the next edition of this newsletter.

I have been asked by the remaining members of what was the Southend and District Dunkirk Veterans Association to make you aware of their Anniversary Church Service. They are all members of the Endeavour Trust and Frank Grove their very last Chairman tells me that the service will be held at St. John the Baptist Church in Church Road, Southend on Sunday 30th May 2004 at 11am. God willing, all seven will be in attendance as will the Mayor of Southend and they would be very pleased to welcome any members of the Trust who are able to attend. They laid up their standard on Sunday 10th September 2000 and it is kept at St. John the Baptist Church for safe keeping. 


Membership Renewal Now 1st September

Over the life of the Trust, our membership has risen from about thirty five to about one hundred and seventy. Whilst this is great and I hope it continues it also has its downside; as people have taken out membership with the Trust, I have given them a renewal date twelve months on from joining. This has resulted in a situation now where we have members needing to renew their membership in most months of the year which creates an awful lot of work.

Therefore, at the last management meeting it was agreed to move everyone's membership to the same renewal date, the beginning of our financial year, 1st September of every year. So, from now on, everybody's membership is due for renewal on the first of September.