How It All Started - Part 2 by Mike King

So - in July 2001 the Endeavour Trust was formed, and our boat was returned to its birthplace in Leigh Marina (formerly Johnson and Jago). The trip from Kent and subsequent moves were generously paid for by John Cross of the Boatyard restaurant.
Cleaning up the boat was started, with necessary gardening to remove grass and weeds from the deck (yes - seriously) and also tins, bottles, bricks and other rubbish from the bilge. A not-very-pretty deck house was also removed and there she was, ready for restoration. Two difficulties stood in our way - who could do the specialised work and how were we going to pay for it? The one remaining boat builders in Leigh were Sea King who produced many clinker built sailing cruisers, and it was decided to move Endeavour onto Strand Wharf adjacent to their shed. Once again Endeavour was hoisted up and moved.

What about the money? A number of private individuals contributed to the fund but our advisors, John Milgate and Barry Thornton, indicated that probably £100,000 would be needed and that would be difficult to find from private sources.
We contacted three potential funders - Heritage Lottery Fund, Cory Environmental Trust in Southend and Essex Heritage Trust. Quite rightly all required a full business plan demonstrating that the restoration was viable and that the boat would be used to benefit the community. David Norman, Paul Gilson and I did the necessary paperwork and presented the scheme to the relevant bodies. We were helped considerably in demonstrating our financial stability by the donation from Jeanne Wilson mentioned in our April newsletter.

So - all was go! With Peter Wexham's help Southend Council agreed to supply oak from Belfairs woods and Endeavour was fenced off for security reasons. All we needed was a start date but during one night thieves removed the fence and all the oak! Southend Council were good enough to provide replacement oak, but we were furious!
Building from new is quite a different matter from restoration and it became clear that the excellent boat builders were very unsure how to go about it. So what to do? Once again John Milgate had the answer and Endeavour was lifted up, put on her usual lorry, and moved to Great Totham in North Essex.

There, a generous land owner and classic boat enthusiast, Rupert Marks provided space in a barn and all electrical power. Two vastly experienced boat restorers Brian Kennell and Shaun White undertook to do all the work, with valuable assistance from trust members and, under the watchful eye of John Milgate, the restoration was under way... To be continued.

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