My Pageant weekend - Esther Brown

Esther and the Crew
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was always going to be a momentous public event, wherever you were in the Country, or world for that matter, there was an opportunity to become involved. However some were more involved than others, and I was privileged to be part of the Pageant. For me this opportunity arose whilst I was on work experience in the House of Lords with Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a Life Member of the Trust. Not keen on being on the water he very kindly offered me his application form and I was delighted to be accepted as a member of Endeavour's crew for this 'once in a lifetime opportunity'.

On day one we were up at the crack of dawn when Paul Gilson, Jeremy Squier, the rest of the crew and I set off up the Thames. We arrived within a few hours, leaving us time to look around at the array of boats. There was a vast variety; Dunkirk Little Ships like us to yachts like Amazon and tall ships such as Tenacious and Belem. However one thing they did all have in common was how exquisite each one was. My particular favourite has to have been Mariquita, the J class yacht moored opposite us, she was beautiful and I am determined to own her when I am older! 

On day two it was just Paul, Jeremy and myself on board. 

Day three was undeniably the highlight of the trip, it rained heavily but then it has rained for the majority of the Queen's reign so I didn't see it as a particular problem. 

We were joined on board by the Mayor of Southend, Cllr. Sally Carr, and many other members and guests, and despite the weather we all gathered on deck to watch the procession of boats sail past. The only disappointment was that the Royal barge stopped at Tower Bridge, a little bit further up the river to us.
The weekend was a memorable one for many people, it is certainly one I am unlikely to forget! 

Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Paul, Jeremy and all the crew for being such marvellous company, as well as Mike King and all the Endeavour Trust in addition to Lord Clarke of Hampstead for offering me this unforgettable experience.

Why I've Joined - Walter Waye

A few months back I visited Leigh with my wife and family and after lunch in the Boatyard restaurant ventured in to the Heritage Centre and noticed copies of the Endeavour newsletter.

I was born in Leigh in 1931 and lived in a bungalow in Station Road and spent my early school days at Leigh North Street. I must have been a 'good boy' because I well remember the headmaster giving me sixpence (2 1/2p) for running an errand for him.

I left Leigh when I was 8 years old and now live in Chelmsford. I return with my family to revisit my roots as often as I can.Having read the newsletter I contacted Peter Dolby and arranged to meet him the next time we were in Leigh. Unfortunately I could not go on board Endeavour as she is too difficult for me to access on her mooring. 

Walter has very kindly donated to the Trust a copy of Joshua Levine’s book, Forgotten Voices Dunkirk and an original copy of the Daily Express printed Friday, 31st May, 1940, the front page of which reported on the Dunkirk evacuation.Peter suggested that I came back for the Fishing Festival at which I was delighted to be able to go on board where she was moored off Bell Wharf.

My brother was in the Royal Engineers during World War II and was rescued from Dunkirk. Like so many others he didn't tell his full story but I recall that he said that he was in a line of many soldiers in the sea off the beaches waiting for the 'little ships' to come in. He was regularly under machine gun fire and many of his colleagues were lost.

I am delighted that I came across the newsletter that day and am able to support the Trust as an old Leigh boy and in memory of my brother.

The Annual Dinner

David Norman speaks
Members, new and old, and guests assembled for the Trust's annual dinner at the Estuary Club in Leigh on Friday 26th October. Mike King introduced Officers and Guests and David Norman followed with an excellent after dinner speech recounting his memories of life growing up in Leigh, his experiences of sailing locally and his past year as Southend's mayor.

David concluded with a personal
presentation to Paul Gilson, of a CD by the Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, signed by all the shanty men, in recognition and thanks of Paul's work as Endeavour's skipper and committee vice-chairman. Paul and his family have had a very difficult time of late but he has resolutely continued to support the Trust including skippering the boat in the recent Pageant. Paul accepted the presentation amid much applause.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening with good company, good food and liberal wine concluded with the raffle draw. On
behalf of the Trust, Peter Dolby thanked the individuals and organisations which kindly contributed wonderful prizes and vouchers for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Prize Draw. Peter thanked everyone who supported the Prize Draw which raised £1,400 to help fund the Trust's growing community and educational programmes and the ever increasing costs attributable to the maintenance of our historic local wooden cockle boat and Dunkirk 'little ship'.

Tickets were drawn by Mrs Joy Robinson and the six winning numbers were 01180, 03323, 02674, 02664, 00097 and 02554. The picture, above right, shows Howard Robinson, John Bertola and Ian James displaying their prizes. Further prizes were donated by Stockvale Ltd and Osborne Bros.

The winner of the 1/25 scale model of Endeavour was Neil Blake (left) pictured at home having taken delivery. Unbeknown to everyone, Neil was playing snooker in the Estuary Club when his ticket was drawn!

Leigh Fishing Festival

Endeavour once again took pride of place moored alongside Bell Wharf at this year's festival. 

Committee members were on hand to answer all the questions of the enthusiastic visitors, many of who were welcomed onboard. We also had our usual stand in one of the marquees, and again visitors were eager to learn about the achievements of the Trust and our intentions for the future.

Many items of merchandise were sold and Linda and Finlay Marshall could not sell enough raffle tickets. They were almost literally bowled over by willing purchasers. Importantly many new members also joined. A PowerPoint slide presentation added to the stall's interest.

Updates on Two Other Little Ships


Back in 2001 we ventured to Rochester as we had learnt that Resolute, Leigh cockle boat and 'Dunkirk little ship' was there. 

However, we found her condition too bad for restoration but there by chance was Endeavour.

Our restoration story started then but for Resolute well some years later, in 2006 she was transported to Glasgow where BAE Systems hoped to draw up plans for her rebuild. This picture shows her poor condition on arrival in Glasgow.

They came down to Leigh to see Endeavour in 2010 and were very interested in our own experiences. More recently she was taken on by the Maxi Richards Foundation but due to cuts in funding she is now back at BAE Systems. Resolute remains on the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust list of vessels under their care and we hope to report more positive news in future newsletters.

We reported in last December's newsletter that Caresana, a 1933 built lifeboat, was hidden away alongside the Sea Scout building in Old Leigh.

After a short stay in Smallgains Marina on Canvey she was towed up river to Shepperton where she is pictured. Much gear has since been stripped out and stored ashore and an overall cover constructed and fitted.

The superstructure needs extensive renewal, the electrical system will have to be completely replaced and the engines require a full overhaul.

Under the tender care of the DLSRT we are sure she will soon be ready to join other Dunkirk little ships.

Bank of England Welcomed on Board

Members of the Bank of England Sailing Club raised their interest rate on a hot sunny Saturday in August. They joined Paul Gilson and Chris Bailey for a trip across the estuary.

They are seen here ready to cast off from the Essex Yacht Club pontoon. All were signed up as new members of the Trust and more are expected to experience life on board Endeavour in the future.


Annual General Meeting 2012

This year's AGM takes place on Friday 19th October at 7.30 at New Road Methodist Church Hall.
Come and hear what has happened over the last year and our plans for the year ahead. Plenty of time is allowed for questions and comments and we very much welcome members' thoughts and ideas. Agenda and minutes will be sent out well in advance of the meeting

We're pleased to present the agenda, minutes and Chairman's Report from the 2012 AGM, along with the balance sheet. Click the links below to open: