A Royal Celebration

There will be a great nautical pageant to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and Endeavour will be part of it!

This event, planned for Sunday 3rd June, 2012 will feature a great armada of vessels sailing down the Thames and Endeavour will be part of the Historic Squadron, sailing immediately behind the Royal Squadron - what an honour!

We will be able to take a limited number of members on board for this historic event, and full details will be available in the next newsletters.

Meanwhile let us just be a bit proud!!!

Finlay the Archivist

Finlay Marshall has, for a long time, been in charge of boat maintenance and he has done more than his fair share of sanding and sloshing paint about as well as going to Dunkirk as crew.

His professional life was spent as a journalist, which will stand him in good stead; we are delighted he has accepted the important job of getting together all the paperwork, photos and stories relating to the Endeavour - hopefully to be put together in a book.

Finlay's maintenance role has passed to Paul Lawrence, who has worked and sailed on Endeavour and has also become a new Committee member.

Tucked Up Cosy and Warm

When she was used almost every day Endeavour was a work-horse, but then she was looked after each day too. Now she is not used in the winter months and she could get damp and miserable - but no more!

We are very pleased to let you know that a fitted cover has been made by local sail maker Windward Sails which means that she will have dry decks even in the snow and rain.

We are all aware that it is important that the hull does not dry out, because the wood would shrink, which makes her mooring in the mud ideal - even if it does make access a muddy business.

The Endeavour Bites Back - Dave Spurgeon

Working a boat in the Thames isn't always easy. Sometimes the seasonal fisheries don't arrive on time. Sometimes they don't arrive at all. The decline in the shrimping fishery in the early 70s was due to the large amount of cod that started coming up the Thames (cod eat large amounts of shrimps). This prompted Peter Wexham and me to look for something else to do so we teamed up with another boat, the Eileen, and decided to go and work out of Ramsgate for a few weeks.

We set sail one Monday morning and met the Eileen at Southend pier. The weather was fine when we left Leigh-on-Sea but by the time we got to the Red Sand towers, the wind had increased a lot from the north east and we were side on to the sea and rolling about a lot. Peter was at the wheel and spoke to the other boat on the radio. They decided to turn back. To try and get a bit of shelter Peter headed for the south Shoebury buoy. About half way across the river Peter asked me to take the wheel so he could go and have a rest. This I did.

We had been taking a few seas over the boat so I decided to have a pump out. The pump was driven by 3 link belts on the front of the engine and you had to go down in the fish hold to engage it. I jumped down the hold and went to engage the pump just as the boat rolled. I slipped and my hand went into the belts. They picked up the back of my hand and round the engine pulley it went (being a nice slim person, I wish). I heard a crack and as I didn't get thrown over, my elbow had taken all the twist. When I looked at my hand all the skin was missing from the back and my thumb was lying across the back of my hand broken in two places. Blood started dripping from the cuts; I shouted at Peter and he came and helped me get out of the hold and down into the cabin.

I heard him call the coastguard on the radio and they sent out the inshore lifeboat. It was decided not to transfer me but escort the Endeavour to Southend pier where the lifeboat doctor and an ambulance were waiting for me. I was put onto a stretcher and into a waiting train, a morphine injection from the doctor and off to hospital with one broken thumb and a shattered elbow. Perhaps the Endeavour doesn't like Ramsgate after Dunkirk?

(The Endeavour bites back!)

ED: Dave repaired well, but does suffer with pain in his hand during the winter.

Educational Programme

Peter Dolby recently showed our PowerPoint presentation to teachers and pupils from the CSS Centre Fairview, Basildon. Thanks to Carole Mulroney and the Leigh Society for opening the Heritage Centre and Plumbs Cottage and allowing us to use their facilities.

Indeed, Carole included a splendid tour of the centre and cottage and afterwards a plate of cockles was eaten on the seawall with Endeavour as a backdrop.

Tony Cole, teacher in charge, commented "All the youngsters enjoyed themselves and all stated that the visit was very interesting. They were overwhelmingly surprised at how small Endeavour is!!"

But She's A Freighter

Yes, with quite a history involving the Dunkirk rescue. Owned by Dutchman Gruno Zoutman, Hilda escaped when the Germans invaded, skippered by his brother Hemmo. Gruno refused to say where she was and was consequently imprisoned.

Hilda was '˜loaned' to Britain, and went to Dunkirk on May 28th and is recorded to have shuttled 1500 soldiers to destroyers as well as 100 service casualties. She also picked up survivors from the destroyer Keith and motor vessel Skipjack. She returned 530 survivors and troops to Ramsgate on June 1st. The rest of the war was spent doing barrage balloon duty, before being returned to the Zoutman family.

Then - in an extraordinary twist - she was unloaded in London docks by George Cocks, now an Endeavour Trust member, volunteer painter of the boat and husband of Reta. Finally, Hilda was scuttled off Anguilla in the West Indies to form an artificial reef, and is very popular with the diving fraternity.

Another Little Ship

Hidden away alongside the Sea Scout building in Old Leigh for some time, Caresana is now in the ownership of the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust and her future looks assured.

She was built as a lifeboat in 1933 by Groves and Gutteridge and based at Dungeness. She is said to have been our longest service lifeboat - called Charles Hooper Henderson during her RNLI days.

Endeavour on TV Again

Since the last issue the television programme, filmed by a camera crew on board Endeavour for the Yesterday TV channel series Find my Past, has been broadcast. Three people were featured in the programme including LuLu Alexandra from Leigh. LuLu's great-uncle, Leslie Osborne lost his life aboard Renown on the return from Dunkirk. LuLu's father, Trevor Osborne a life member of the Endeavour Trust, owns one of today's modern cockle boats - Renown IV.

In some ways this episode was a bit disappointing, particularly because there were major factual errors in the history of the event recalled, and how it involved the Leigh boats. Perhaps next time we should ask for some editorial input to ensure historical accuracy!

(Our thanks to the Leigh Times for allowing us to reproduce this picture)

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