How It All Started - Mike King

Early in 2001 there was some publicity in the local press about the formation of a group to return one of the Dunkirk boats to be on permanent exhibition, possibly on Strand Wharf.

This was to be the Resolute.

Some Leigh residents were not too enthusiastic about this, because a static boat ashore would not be too exciting, and we also understood that Resolute had not been viewed to assess her condition.

So, a group decided to go to the boatyard in Kent to view Resolute and to weigh up the potential. Four of us, comprising Mike Guy (editor of Leigh Times), John Porter (vintage boat owner and funder of the Leigh paddling pool), Peter Wexham and myself, arranged to meet with Alan Stayley for advice - he had worked on the Cutty Sark - and would provide an authoritative and independent opinion. As we drove into the yard Peter Wexham let out a shout, "There's Endeavour!" and indeed there she was adjacent to Resolute.
11th January 2001 and Peter Wexham touches Endeavour for the first time in nearly 15 years.
Peter & Endeavour reunited
Peter was particularly interested because he used to part own Endeavour, but had lost track of where she was. 
Our expert Alan surveyed both boats and declared that Resolute had broken her back and was well out of shape. However Endeavour was in good shape albeit needing massive work done. 

We returned home enthusiastic about getting Endeavour back to Leigh so she could be restored to sail again rather than be a "static boat on display".

The public meeting in July 2001 was very well attended, culminating in the formation of the Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust. (To be continued)

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