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There are some wonderful events coming up in the next few months - one very soon:

 Fish & Chips Supper

Friday 19th March - 7:30pm To be held at the Estuary Rooms, London Road, Leigh to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation.
  • 1940's music
  • Live shanties from the Thamesside Shanty Men
  • Memorabilia display
  • Natters by the Skipper
All this for only £10.50!!!

But you must ring Reta now to reserve your space.

Telling About It

The photograph shows an existing board adjacent to the Endeavour mooring and explains the wildlife to be seen on the mudflats. 

Thanks to assistance from Abbie Greenwood and Lynn Jones at Southend Borough Council, we have obtained permission to erect a similar signboard giving the history of Endeavour. This will be erected near to the wildlife board overlooking Endeavour on her mooring. We are now applying for a grant to cover the cost.

 Return to Dunkirk

Over the last week in May, Endeavour will be returning to Dunkirk escorted by many other Dunkirk veteran boats and the Royal Navy. We will not be running a coach on this occasion, but those of you who enjoyed the hotel last time could book direct.

Hotel Borel
6 Rue L Hermitte
59140 Dunkerque

Tel: 00 33 328 665180

The service at the memorial will take place on the morning of Sunday 30th May.


There is still space for intrepid mariners to go on Endeavour, and enjoy the excellent cuisine, toilet facilities and service from the attendants! The basic details are that you will be leaving Leigh to sail to Ramsgate (stage 1). After an overnight stay she will be off to Dunkirk early in the morning with the other vessels (stage 2). Two full days in Belgium followed by the return to Ramsgate (stage 3) and back to Leigh (stage 4).
All these stages are of course dependant on the weather, but you will have Paul Gilson as skipper and a full working crew. For full details of dates and availability contact Peter Dolby.
As with all good cruises, space is limited, so you are advised to book early.

 Heads or Loos

Call the toilet on board whatever you like, but the days have long gone when a bucket was the only receptacle necessary on a boat. We have agreed to fit a toilet on board Endeavour so decorum can be retained by all who sail on her, when taken short.

 Keeping Her Good Looks

Painting Endeavour is not only important to ensure she looks her best, but also to preserve the wooden structure. Thanks to efforts by David Spurgeon we hope to obtain the necessary paint free of charge from a manufacturer.

Finlay Marshall will be leading a team to apply the paint in the spring. He would be delighted to hear from anyone wishing to help out. 

The underwater part of Endeavour's hull will be anti-fouled by Finlay's crew at Dauntless Boatyard, when her stern tube, propeller and steering will also be serviced.
 Youth at the Helm

All of us advanced in age, (and some of us are at the 'everest' end), are looking at getting younger enthusiast involved.

David Norman is contacting all the yacht and sailing clubs in the area to offer some sailing on Endeavour with a view of them becoming regular crew and then possibly another skipper.

 Endeavour Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the Endeavour Trust will take place at 7:30 pm at New Road Methodist Church in Old Leigh on Friday 23rd of October 2009.

All members are invited to attend.

Due to a technical issue, we are currently unable to provide the full newsletter online. We will ensure this is rectified as soon as possible, but please accept our apologies in the meantime.


 Endeavour Annual Dinner

Once again a super meal on the ex-minesweeper Wilton in Leigh. This time it's in June. The tide will be in, so it's all set for a lovely evening out. 

Friday 19th June 19:30 Hours

3 Course dinner £16.50 per person

Tickets are going fast, so please contact Reta Cocks to ensure your booking.

 Sailing Programme

Endeavour has been invited to the Chatham Historic Ships Rally on 26th June when a whole flotilla of vessels will be gathering. It will be a great event and the possibility exists to either go over with Endeavour or return with her - please note your interest on the Sailing Form.
"What's that down there?" Restorers, electrician and Mike King discuss what needs to be done at the Brightlingsea winter site 

 Other Noteworthy Events

August 1-7 Cadet Week at the Essex Yacht Club
August 14 Southend Barge Match starting at the end of Southend Pier
August 23 Leigh Fishing Festival based around Bell Wharf/Victoria Wharf in Old Leigh

 Spring is Sprung, The Grass is Riz,' I Wonder Where Endeavour Is?

She's back in Leigh after her winter tidy up, all ready for the sailing season. Some work was undertaken by her restorers Brian and Shaun, with much painting and varnishing by Finlay Marshall, who also acted as crew when our sailing secretary Jeremy Squier moved her to and from Brightlingsea. 
So she is ready for you to see and possibly have a trip on her. The sailing programme is noted elsewhere in the newsletter, but she will probably be available at many other times. 
We can only advise you of availability if you let us know that you want to experience Endeavour under way. To register your interest, please complete the sailing form. We will contact you when a suitable occasion arises.

 Nostalgia Corner

Where we found her in Kent, with all sorts of weird junk around her.

Re-Christening at Bell Wharf with admiring crowd watching the event.

Dave Spurgeon many years ago! - now a Trustee.


 Here She Comes

No sailing is devoid of effort or movement, but the comparative lightness of dinghy spars is a million miles away from Endeavour's heavy spars.
Although her mainsail is loose footed (it does not have a spar at the bottom) it is itself made of heavy material, and the top spar or gaff is weighty too. Considerable effort is needed to raise the sail, and one had to be aware of its power when tacking as the sail charges across the boat.
Incidentally, the skipper of the power boat being used by the photographer wisely took evasive action before Endeavour's bowsprit turned all the occupants into kebabs!

 You and You and You!

In the armed forces, that was how one 'volunteered' but we are much more friendly! However, we do need volunteers to do some sanding, varnishing and painting. 

Most work will be under cover at Jeremy Squier's yard in Canewdon, but all the blocks (see picture on page 3) for instance, could be done at home. 

Sergeant Major Finlay Marshall is in charge.

 A Few Improvements

When we set out to trying to answer for restore Endeavour, great care was taken to have her exactly as she was when launched in 1924.

Many visitors have commended us on how traditional she is. The only 'improvements' made at restoration stage were the addition of modern instrumentation and modern sailcloth, that faithfully replicated the original material.

Back in 1924, the average local person would probably be involved in a bit of scrumping, but today's serious thieving is rife in the boating world - probably because items can be readily sold. We therefore need a secure locker in the hold for life jackets, fenders and warps as it is easy to gain access to the hold itself, because the boards that go over the large opening cannot be secured in position.

We propose to rectify the security situation and Brian Kennell, who carried out the original restoration with Shaun White, is going to undertake some modifications to the hold area - none of which will affect the look of Endeavour. This will all take place at Brightlingsea where Brian is working on the Thames barge Thalatta. Some re-wiring will also be done together with a service of the Lester engine.

Mike King will be responsible for keeping an eagle eye on the work as it progresses. None of this is of course without cost and demonstrates the need for your continued membership to the Endeavour Trust.
 Where Is She?
A question often asked, and one which we are often trying to answer for everyone. The photo shows a sign,  provided by Ken Myall Signs, which is in a prominent position on the west face of Osborne's building in the Old Town. Our thanks go to both these companies for providing their services and the site respectively.

There are two moorings in Leigh that are available to us; one to the east of the Two Tree slipway provided by Richard King, and the other just off Old Leigh, level with the east end of the bridge, provided by Reta Cocks. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages - Endeavour floats much earlier at Two Tree and so it is more useful when Endeavour is being used - but it is several hundred yards from the slipway and consequently not easy to spot. The Old Town mooring is great for public viewing, but she'll only be afloat for a little time each side of high water.

So, how do we plan to use the facilities to the best effect? Wherever Endeavour has an imminent sailing day or days, she will be moved from 'the viewing mooring' (VM) to Two Tree ready for action, and will return to VM only when no other sailing is planned. A dinghy will be placed in Old Leigh for boarding, towed to Two Tree and kept ashore there ready for the next boarding, and will return to VM with Endeavour.

All this is under the auspices of the Vice-President Jeremy Squier, who has assumed the role of 'Sailing Secretary'. He will always know where Endeavour is at any one time, and has a list of available skippers and crew. 
 Lest We Forget

A report from the Vice-Admiral Dover on Dunkirk work done by the Leigh Boats.

12:30 The flotilla of 6 boats (including Endeavour LO41 - Skipper P O Halls) left Southend for Dunkirk, in company
14:10  Passed Margate roads. The flotilla was ordered to proceed direct to Dunkirk
18:20/18:40 Air attacks. The flotilla scattered
18:50 Spitfires drove off enemy attack. At least 5 German planes crashed into the sea
19:15 Dunkirk roads
19:30 Found it impracticable for the boats to work off the beach
21:30 The boats embarked troops from outside Dunkirk jetty, transferring them to the Sk Tilly and other ships
22:40 The swell made the work difficult, so the flotilla, in formation, entered the harbour
23:50/1 June 01:45ca The flotilla embarked about 200 troops, 100 of which were transferred by 4 of the Bawley boats to the drifter Sarah Hayes the remainder to other ships. From then on the Bawley boats worked independently.
 All Aboard
Give our lovely lady a fair wind and she certainly moves.
This picture was taken when she was giving youngsters a taste of what sailing used to be like.
Although many of the cadets have sailed in modern dinghies - Toppers, Lasers etc - Endeavour is a totally different sort of sailing.
"They all come off the boat with a broad 'Endeavour Smile'," says Paul Gilson.



A Great Evening

Our annual dinner was very successful as you can see from the slightly fuzzy photographs. We have decided to change the date but not the venue for our next outing which will be late Spring/early Summer on the Wilton. Watch this space - we will keep you informed on the details.

Expert Restorer Brian Kennell with professional boat painter Debbie Cannon

John Milgate, our restoration guru with Saun White

Who's that just come in?
 Model Behaviour

A model of Endeavour in her shrimping days

A Change at the Top

Mike King, Chairman of the Management Committee that raised the money to restore Endeavour, has decided to step down.

Mike has been at the helm since 2001 when both the Endeavour Trust and the Management Committee, overseeing the day-to-day running, were established and has seen Endeavour restored from a very poor condition to her present excellent state.

Mike recalls his first sight of and subsequent involvement in Endeavour, "When Mike Guy from the Leigh Times, Peter Wexham, a previous owner, the late John Porter and I went to Kent and saw Endeavour it was obvious that we couldn't just leave her to rot. We agreed then to move her to Leigh and she returned on a huge low loader to be welcomed back to her home-town.

Much activity, both in money raising and physical work, resulted in a sparkling Endeavour going back to Dunkirk four years later. I am grateful to the many people who have put in a lot of hard work during the restoration."

He continued, "I would especially like to mention Reta Cocks, Finlay Marshall and Peter Dolby. The last two of these sailed with skipper Paul Gilson to Dunkirk in 2005; both are now involved in the Management Committee. Finlay is responsible for the upkeep of Endeavour and Peter has agreed to take over from me as Management Committee Chair.

"Peter is no stranger to Leigh and has many recent successes to his name from chairing the Leigh-on-Sea Town Council for two years to making a great success of the Leigh Fishing Festival. Both Peter's father Russell and grandfather were Leigh fishermen, and I feel that Peter is the ideal choice to take over the Chair."

The Endeavour Trust itself, which is a Registered Charity, is separate from the Management Committee that looks after, and is responsible to the Endeavour Trust for, the day-to-day operations of Endeavour. Mike King has not severed all his connections with the Endeavour as he will retain his position as Chairman of the Endeavour Trust and stay on the Management Committee.

 AGM and Accounts

The icons below link to the Annual General Meeting agenda, minutes and Chairman's report from August 2008 and the Balance Sheet and Accounts of the Endeavour Trust from 2008.

AGM Agenda AGM Minutes Chairman's Report Balance Sheet & Accounts
All documents are in Adobe PDF format. If you do not have Adobe PDF Reader, you can download it by clicking here. To save documents to your hard drive, place your mouse over the relevant icon, right click and select 'Save'.
 What an Evening!

Over eighty happy diners sat down on the Wilton, headquarters of the Essex Yacht Club, for a great evening on Friday 30th May.  The evening was a joint exercise by Reta Cocks, Heather and Paul Gilson, and was deemed to be a great success.  Those present included veterans Frank Grove and Bill Reynolds, ably looked after by Bill's grandson. 
Also most welcome were John Milgate, Brian Kennell and Shaun White who were responsible for advice and restoration of our lovely Endeavour, A splendid evening  aboard  the Wilton and who were  accompanied by their respective spouses.
The evening was enlivened by a spirited discourse between Reta and Peter Dolby, while the latter showed the initial draft of the PowerPoint slide presentation designed for use at presentations to schools and other gatherings.
 Mooring - the Final Solution

Previous Newsletters have detailed the dilemma of where to keep Endeavour, trying to balance the demands of easy access and visibility with safety and prevention of vandalism. Thanks to the generosity of Endeavour Trust member Richard King, we now have a mooring to the East of Two Tree Island slipway, to the South of the main creek.  Richard has also made space available for a dinghy on the rack to get crew out to Endeavour from the slipway.
  What? No Water?

Spring was a little late this year, and so were the tides. Endeavour spent her winter in Leigh Marina and was pulled out for the spring clean, paint and anti-foul, but then got fouled up (ugh!) and stranded. Finlay and his merry painters did a grand job, but unfortunately re-enter into the water of Leigh creek was somewhat delayed.
 Safety Afloat

Sailing is a lovely pastime, and when it is done in a classic like Endeavour, it is doubly enjoyable.  However, pleasure can easily turn to disaster if safety rules are ignored.  Your Committee was very lucky to lure the Deputy Leader of Southend Council to undertake a full safety evaluation of Endeavour.  John Lamb - no mean sailor himself - used to conduct these evaluations in his professional life.  He spent some time on the Endeavour and drew up a full Risk Assessment.
As a result of this, we now have special purpose made webbing straps, running the length of the boat on both sides.  Anyone progressing along the decks wearing the special life jackets with harness can clip on and be quite safe.  Passengers, also wearing life jackets, are in the hold area where they can see all that goes on, and are safely out of the way.
 Eel Fishing - Dave Spurgeon, one time skipper/owner of Endeavour

"I would like to dedicate this story to the memory of Dudley Cooper, who was sadly lost overboard in the river Crouch in June 2007.  A good friend lost." - Dave Spurgeon
The Endeavour over the course of a year had to do lots of different jobs as the seasons went by. White weeding as well as angling parties in the winter, shrimping, fishing for Dover Soles and eel fishing in the summer. For small boats to catch eels, you had to 'pair trawl' for them. This is achieved by towing a big net in-between two boats. I used to pair trawl with my friend, Dudley Cooper. We had been fishing in the river Crouch for about two weeks. Most eel fishing is done at night. We had been catching 150 to 250lbs of eels each night.
This particular night, as we went aboard at Walasea Marina it started raining. By the time we had steamed up to Fambridge to start fishing, it had turned from slight rain to the worst rain storm for years. We could see lights moving about behind the sea wall. These belonged to water board men opening the sluice gates in the dykes to let the water go into the river (they were hand operated in those days). We started fishing, and after about an hour we hauled and caught about 60 to 70lbs of eels. We then moved up river a bit and shot the net again. This time we had about 300lbs of eels. 
"This is really good," Dudley said, "So let's move up again and have another go." So we went up river just below Hullbridge and shot the net again. When we hauled about an hour later, I said to Dudley that we had caught something heavy in the net.
What happened next, I will remember for the rest of my life. When we got the net to the side of the boat, we could see it was all fish; hundreds and hundreds of pounds of eels. Now we had a problem. Where to keep them? You have to swim eels for about 36 hours before you can send them to market. By putting eels into wooden boxes with lots of holes in them, the water flows through the boxes keeping them alive. They also empty their gut and then they stay alive for weeks with just a trickle of running water on them. Anyway, back to the story; we had enough eel boxes for about 800lbs of eels. We found an old eel net in the hold of the Endeavour and tied up one end. We put the rest of the eels into the net and tied up the other end.
We put floats all along the net to keep it up and left the eels to swim well. What a night! The biggest rain storm in years and the best catch the Endeavour had ever had. 36 hours later, we sent the eels to Billingsgate market. When we got our tally back from the market we were paid for 1,100 lbs of eels!
This for two small boats was just fantastic. The best night's work Dudley and myself had ever had. Well done the Endeavour.
"Hallo, Hal-lo 41"

"Why has that green boat got LO41 on it?" asked a small boy.
"Because it's a tripper boat and the manager calls out "Hal-lo 41" when he wants it back in," said the ill-informed father.

 Endeavour At Sea

Endeavour once more sails off the shore of Leigh-on-Sea. There will be news and pictures from Endeavour's blessing ceremony soon as well as a report on her trip to Dunkirk.



 Endeavour's Return

At last Endeavour has returned to her home port of Leigh-on-Sea after restoration at Great Totham. She returned to the same yard where she was originally built, but the yard is now called Leigh Marina. She still needs a bit of work before she is ready for the open sea and her trip to Dunkirk, but the Trust is sure she will be ready in time. Next stop on her intinery is a blessing at Strand Wharf on Saturday 23rd April at 12.30 pm all supporters welcome.

 Endeavour Returns to Leigh & Dunkirk News

The restoration of Endeavour is progressing well and on the afternoon of Friday 8th April she will return to Leigh, where work such as fixing the rigging, installing the engine and electrics and fitting the sails will be undertaken. On Saturday the 23rd April at 2.30pm, there will be a short ceremony to welcome her back, which will be held on Strand Wharf.
On the 25th May she will set sail for Dunkirk in order to be part of the wreath-laying ceremony in Dunkirk Harbour on Sunday 29th May, returning to Leigh in early June.
If you would like to be at the ceremony in Dunkirk we are hoping to send a coach party on the 28th staying overnight, returning on Sunday 29th after the ceremony, cost £72.
Alternatively, there will be a service in St. Johns Church in Church Road, Southend (behind the Royals Shopping Centre (click here for a map) on Sunday 29th May at 11.15am which will be attended by the remaining Local Dunkirk Veterans.

 New Engine arrives for Endeavour

Back in September of 2004 work to complete the restoration of Endeavour restarted and is progressing well. The hull has now been re-planked and Reta Cocks has done a wonderful job sticking wooden plugs into every screw hole - and there were rather a lot of them. Peter Dolby and Finlay Marshall are also doing a great job painting just about everything that can't move out of the way. The steamed timbers have been put in place and the beam shelf fixed round. 

The deck beams have now been fitted along with the bulkheads. The stern tube has been made and fitted into the pre-drilled hole and the decking is now being laid. Steve Cocks has ordered the fuel tanks from a company in Southampton and is organising the gearbox, prop shaft and propeller. 

Peter and Finlay have been putting coat after coat of varnish on the mast and spars and they now have quite a shine to them. The sails are being made in Tollsbury and work has now started on the rigging. Because time is getting short we now have four craftsman working full time on the restoration as it was felt that the sooner work is completed the better. 

The intention is to return Endeavour to Leigh sometime in March so that the finishing work like the rigging can be completed, the final painting done and she can be re-launched in April. Obviously the actual dates are still to be agreed but will be set as soon as it is practical to do so. There is still quite a lot of work to be done before she can return to Leigh, but the work is definitely proceeding well.
If you would like to support the work of the Trust by becoming a member, please contact the membership secretary on 01702 713325. 
 Endeavour as she looked in the 1950s/60s

Please check in the news section for more pictures of the Endeavour as she takes shape.

 New Engine arrives for Endeavour

It is said that all good things come to those who wait. So a small group of Trust members gathered in Old Leigh on Thursday the 19th of Aug 04 and took possession of the new Lister four cylinder diesel engine which, as you will recall, has been supplied to the Trust at cost price by Peter Thompson of Marine Engine Services Ltd of Uxbridge, who are the distributors for Lister, and marinise the engines and gearboxes, so that the water that cools the engine is cooled by seawater; Lister-Petter of Dursley in Gloucester built the engine. It was delivered to the workshop of Endeavour Marine Services in Old Leigh which is owned by Steve Cocks the Grandson of Joe Deal who owned the boat for many years and changed the Endeavour from a Cockle Boat to a Shrimp Boat.
This is wonderful news for the Trust and we would like to thank both of these Companies for their help in assisting the Trust by supplying the new engine, It is also good in respect of the Endeavour because we believe she had a Lister engine from when she was built and when she went to Dunkirk in 1940. She also had a new air cooled Lister engine installed in the 1960s. Now the engineer can measure up with the boatbuilders for the new engine beds and the shaft and stern tube and get the propeller. Also now we can start to assemble all the other fittings like the fuel tank and exhaust and get the electronics sorted out. This is another major step forward in our efforts to have Endeavour fully restored and seaworthy in time for Dunkirk in June 2005. The Trust now has all the major components which go to make up Endeavour either on order or in our possession.

  Mast, Spars, Sails and Rigging

There has been great progress on these vital items, all to be produced the way they would have been in 1924. One of our craftsmen Shaun White and his father Colin White have fashioned the mast and spars at Brightlingsea from virgin timber. Some of us thought it would help if we obtained existing masts to be trimmed down in size (diameter) but were advised that it is easier to start with a square baulk of timber: you live and learn! The sails are under way at North Sea Sails in Tolesbury from material which is very similar to the original, but longer lasting. All the rope work and grommets will be hand made, so the finished sails will be traditional in every way. The full suit will consist of the loose-footed main and stay sail in brown material, and No.1 Jib and tow stay sail in natural cotton weave. 
Rigging will be done once the mast can be stepped on the deck. Again this will all be hand served rather than done the modern way, and this will be crafted by T&S Rigging at Maldon, who will also supply hand made blocks for the running rigging.
 Fishing festival at Leigh 

On Sunday 26th September it is planned to have a festival showing how fishing has developed over the years, and we will have a stall - probably on Strand Wharf.
Our Vice Chairman Paul Gilson is much involved and Steve Hall has promised to attend to show Endeavour's sails being made. So please make a note in your diary to attend. 
 Financial Report - continuing success

For those of you who were unable to attend the Trust AGM I have some very good news. At the AGM we were able to report that through the good work mainly of David Norman we have been able to secure a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £40,000. This means that we have now secured sufficient funding to be able to complete the restoration of Endeavour. It is now expected that Brian and Shaun will resume work on Endeavour, along with the assistance of a third craftsman, in mid September. But please don't let this financial success deter you from renewing your membership or continuing to raise or donate money to the Trust. As the Trust finances are no different to your own personal finances, you can never have too much money. Because as soon as you think everything is OK something unexpected crops up. Also as I have said on a number of occasions, as yet we just do not know how much the annual running costs are going to be, and by spring of next year she will be back in the water at Leigh. 
Also at the AGM we were able to report that we have received the very generous donation of some shares. These are shares in companies most would regard as secure investments. Therefore the Trustees have decided to retain them in order to use the dividend payments towards the future running costs. They are shares in Shell, Bradford & Bingley, Northern Rock, Alliance & Leicester, BT, Aviva and MMo2. So we are happy to report that our current finances are very healthy but as over the next six months restoration will be progressing at quite a pace our bank balance will be shrinking accordingly. And we also have to remember that £11,000 cannot be claimed from the donating trusts until restoration is agreed to be complete. So please continue to give us your support and we will get the job done and on time.


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. 


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.


Update from Reta Cox

Hello folks,

I have been asked to put pen to paper to let you know about this year's fund raising events. By invitation, I have given talks on Endeavour to numerous clubs and associations. Many thanks to the members of Cruse, Highlands Monday Club, Leigh Ladies Circle, Pall Mall, Circle 5-0 Group, Billericay, Ladies After Eight Club, Thundersley and Leigh Men's Forum, for listening and making me so welcome.

In March, Southend Brass Band and the Trust held a combined concert at Clifftown Congregational Church which was a great success.

In May, at St.Clements Mayfair in Leigh Library Gardens, Norah, Sheila and Myself ran a successful Tombola Stall.

tombola In June, the Trust was invited to hold a stall at the Pier Open Weekend. 'What great Fun!!' Saturday was very quiet and cold, Sunday, my friend Margaret and I nearly took off over the estuary, a gale of wind got up hitting the yachts in the Nore Race. Then turned its attention to the Pier and the marquee with us in it; what a frightful experience. I phoned my husband to tell him we were okay in case he was worried about us, all he said was, 'what wind?'

In July, we held a Poetry Evening, at the Book Inn, Broadway West. I have never arranged an event like this before, but it turned out to be a very enjoyable evening. Many thanks to the staff of the Book Inn and to everyone who gave us their support. We held a table sale at Manchester Drive Allotments Open Day. I only wish we had had a film camera to record us trying to put up a 'Gazebo', I'm thinking of selling tickets for next year.

In August, we had a New and Nearly New Sale at New Road Methodist Church. Thanks once again to Norah, Sheila, Margaret, Eve and Marilyn for all their help. Pity the newspaper that gave us such a good write up forgot to put the time it started in the article. 

tombolaIn September, Norah, Sheila and I again ran a Tombola Stall at the Fishing Festival.

Over the past year, I've had a mixed bag of events and I have met a lot of lovely people, had many laughs and a few tears. 

Those who attended our AGM met six special gentlemen; 'Veterans of Dunkirk'. The seventh veteran couldn't attend because at the age of 85 he was having a heart by-pass. They are the last members of the Southend Dunkirk Veterans Association and we wish them all well and a speedy recovery. I would also like to send our best wishes to another veteran who now lives in Chesterfield but used to live in Tudor Gardens, Leigh. He made a special journey to pay his respects to the young men who crewed the little ships, including Endeavour, who may have rescued him from the beaches. Pat, we do hope you will be feeling better soon. God bless you all.

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. Reta

November 29th
Leigh Town Council have invited the Trust to have a table at the Christmas Lights Evening. If you can, please come and give us your help and support. We hope to be in Elm Road near the Old Coliseum. 

December 13th 
St.Clements Christmas Fair - please put this date in your diary and come along to support our efforts at this event. It runs from 10 am till 3.30 pm, so there is plenty of time to get there, but most importantly, tell your relatives, friends and neighbours. Encourage them to come and support us at both events because that is how we will achieve our aim and restore Endeavour


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 it's 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 anymore, 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