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Endeavour will be featured on ITV Countrywise programme in the near future - date of transmission not yet available.

Special Service at St Clements

At exactly the same time Graham and Trevor Osborne were placing wreaths in the water off Dunkirk, a commemorative church service was held in Leigh to also pay tribute to those Leigh fishermen who went down with the Renown.

Many local residents and members of the Trust joined veterans who were rescued from the beaches.

Special prayers during a moving and poignant service, with thanks to those who gave their lives then and since, were read by David Norman.

Fish 'n' Chips for All

Well, all those who came to the supper on the 19th March enjoyed very good grub, and were entertained by the Thameside Shantymen.

We were particularly delighted to be joined by a Dunkirk veteran who had not been with us before - John Treleaven (right). John served with the Essex Regiment and enlivened the evening for many of us with his amazing memories and good humour.

The Day War Broke Out

Was it Sandy Powell who, many years ago, used to start his monologues with this line? 

To commemorate this day - it was 3rd September 1939 - this year our annual dinner will be held on the ex-minesweeper Wilton.

Reserve the date – details later.

Fishing Festival - Sunday 25th July 2010

Please note this is the correct date, amended from the print version of the newsletter.

Yes, we will be there, and there will be lots to see with other vintage fishing boats joining the modern boats.

There will be fresh fish on sale, fish tasting, fish displays – in fact fish everything.

David Norman

We have had our fair share of 'Davids' from the very start of the movement to restore Endeavour, but this particular one has been with us all along. He attended the first public meeting and proposed the establishment of the Trust. He helped to remove the 'rubble and tat' from Endeavour when she returned to Leigh and is one of the Trustees.

Together with Mike King he masterminded the proposal to the Heritage Lottery Fund which culminated in the Fund being one of our main sponsors and our getting a very substantial grant.

He is a real Leigh man with roots in the Old Town. A keen sailor of a Mirror dinghy, he works tirelessly to improve our community activities. And now?

He is the Deputy Mayor of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council prior to being the Mayor next year.

We're all proud of you – 'OUR' David Norman.

Thanks a Lot!

Without the many individuals and businesses that have assisted with Endeavour, we would not have her in such great condition today. Our special thanks are due to:

Paul at Dauntless Boat Yard – for use of his facilities without charge
Steve Meddle – for providing diesel to get Endeavour to Dunkirk and back
Barry at Dauntless Chandlers – for the paint to get Endeavour looking so good
Peter Osborne – for temporary mooring plus food and equipment for the Dunkirk voyage
Sally Robinson and Anthony Hogg for their excellent paint work and minor repairs

Paul Gilson's Account of the Dunkirk Trip, Commencing with the Section from Leigh

We were quickly across the sea reaching the channel on the very top of the tide so although it was choppy it was not being made worse by the ebb tide. Fin and Peter were both at the tea making, but nothing was forthcoming. The rest of the boys were sitting on the starboard side of the hatch with their backs to the worst of the weather. They had a little more shelter than one would have thought with the boom and sail keeping some of the weather off them. We were on an east-south-easterly course so the waves were splashing up her port side - and still no tea!

'The gas bottle is empty,' they said as Peter came up from the cabin. Odd, I thought, worked alright yesterday when I checked it.
'Ok, before it gets too rough, open the front of the hold and get out the spare and put down the centreplate. I will ease her down'.
'Will it make any difference?' Graham asked.
'It will slow her down a bit, but will keep her a bit steadier and stop her rolling too violently.'
They did not, at this time, realise just how fast and violent she could roll but they would, within a few hours, know all about it.

We were crossing the Nore and watching a large cargo boat coming out of the river Medway; I had time to cross in front of it but it was so big it looked much closer than it was. She was probably doing 20 knots to our meagre 7. The new gas bottle was fitted - and still no tea!

'I can’t get it to light and the kettle is being thrown off the cooker, Skipper,' Peter said. 'I have a bottle of water here, will that do?' he said grinning.  I changed course and every one settled down talking and drinking water. Spray was being created as waves hit the port side but this was nothing as to what was to come.

At the moment they were only getting damp. We made good progress across the Spile and down towards Reculver. The bad news was still no tea and more spray.

The cabin was closed up so no water could penetrate from the deck. The engine room hatch was also closed. We were water tight. After being at sea some 20 hours I suggested that we had a sandwich and a short respite and we should check all was ok below.
'We're ok,' they said, 'We can go a bit further.'
'No, you don’t understand,' I pointed out. If they did not eat now they would not be able to do so later.

There were some derogatory remarks about my parentage but they reluctantly opened the hatches and released a big bag of rolls that Graham had brought from the cockle stall. I had put Endeavour's stern to the wind and she was sailing back up river on bare poles at 3 knots and out of gear.

Rolls were soon eaten and the surplus was put away. We headed back to sea on passage to the gore channel. The gore channel is a small gap in between the sand banks where you hold deep water to get to the south of the Margate sands. It is only 100 meters wide but ideal for small boats to use. It keeps them from using the main shipping channels and you get a little shelter from the sand banks as you move down the coast. Unfortunately, the sand banks today were not going to help much as we were all but head to wind.

As soon as we were through, I shaped her back to the east holding the sand bank close on my port side hoping that it would give us more shelter but the wind was too straight – no shelter. We also had a bit more tide here; the sea was getting livelier all the time. More waves and bigger ones at that. I dropped the revs on the engine to reduce the speed, no need to make it worse than it already was. Nearly every wave put spray across the boat now. Some of that spray was starting to become solid and green splashes became the norm.

We passed the south-east Margate buoy and I was now having to guide her round some of the bigger waves. She was putting her nose under and green water was coming aboard and running along the decks.

The boys were struggling to sit still, their hoods were covering their faces but I could hear them laughing as heavy spray and green water splashed over and around them. The centreplate was now doing its job, we were rolling and pitching, but less than it could be. They were pushing themselves back on to the hatch cover as every wave tried to push them off. I was getting covered in spray by virtually every wave. Looking through my glasses was like being in a fog and I was constantly wiping them.

As we neared Margate, a familiar-looking coloured boat came into sight - the Margate lifeboat. I was at this point very near to turning back as I thought that this was as much sea as Endeavour could put up with. Yet as we passed a yacht that appeared to make much less fuss of it than us, I though I would give it a little longer. With the lifeboat nearby and now taking pictures of us, the boys could see just how rough it was. Her hull was disappearing in the troughs and it appeared to us she was shearing about all over the place. I wondered what they thought of us all, out on
an open boat with the crew only sitting on the hatches. I knew what I would be thinking.

We had only another 20 minutes to go and we would be turning round the North Foreland but that could be the worst 20 minutes yet. I tried to get Fin to get the camera out and take pictures but he said, 'You must be joking. I can’t even stand let alone take a picture.'
'All right, keep your hair on. It would make a lovely picture.'
'Can anyone see a red buoy or a beacon?'
'Yes, on her nose,' was the reply.
'That's the Long Nose - once round that the wind will be on our quarter and we will be over the worst.'

The lifeboat had left us and we were on our own. With that the biggest wave of the trip reared up in front of us. 'Look at the size of that bastard!' I exclaimed. Nobody looked as they held on and I took Endeavour behind it. Every wave now ran along the deck. After what felt like an age, we rounded the foreland and were bound south. For the first time in over an hour I could see clearly. My glasses were clean and Endeavour was riding high on some big waves that were now coming from the northeast. The banter started again. It may have been happening all the time but I could not hear it.
'Cup of tea, Skipper?'
'Oh, ok, you’ve twisted my arm.'
'Check if there is any water down there please.'

We ran down past Broadstairs and on to Ramsgate.

At last a cup of tea came to hand; well not quite true, something warm passed my lips. We had made it. I checked into the port control on the VHF and was given a berth to head for. There were already many little ships berthed around the marina. Unlike us they had come down over the weekend when it was calm. We were soon berthed and stage one of the exercise was completed.

Southend Barge Match - 28th August 2010

Any Trust members who would like to view the match from Endeavour should contact Peter Dolby.

Endeavour in Print

We thought you might be interested to see a couple of articles about Endeavour that have recently appeared in print, both about 2009's trip to an event in St Katherine's Docks. The first is from the Leigh Times, entitled Thames Classic Rally
The second is by Endeavour's skipper and appeared in Talk of the Thames which is the magazine of the Thames Estuary Partnership. It's called The Good Ship Endeavour Goes Way Upstream.

Fish ‘n’ 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
Telephone: 00 33 328 665180

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

Free Continental Cruise

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.