How It All Started - Back to Dunkirk 2005 - Mike King

Approaching Strand Wharf  
After returning to Leigh fully restored, but needing electrics fitted, a full paint, and sails and rigging being installed, our beauty seemed ready for anything!

But all the work was very time (and money) consuming, and the return to Dunkirk at the end of May presented a major challenge. We also wanted to have some public celebration of her return to Leigh and seaworthiness, so many volunteers pitched in, and a date was set for her re-launch on Saturday 23rd April at Strand Wharf. Very suitable as it was St. George’s Day.

Crowds collected, bunting was flown and then she came into view, and moored up in full glory, except that she was still painted grey – one of the few jobs still to be done.

Rev Margaret Miller blesses Endeavour,
champagne bottle in hand in readiness
Many celebrities were present including five Dunkirk veterans, two MP’s (President David Amess and long term supporter David Atkinson) and the band of the Salvation Army.

Prayers were said, and a bottle of bubbly was broken on her bows – lots of cheering.

Margaret Miller minister at Wesley Methodist Church was welcomed on the RNLI fast rescue boat and was last seen roaring towards Southend in her full regalia!!

Thanks to the generosity of John Cross the workers and Trust members were invited to lunch at the Boatyard Restaurant, when a few more speeches were made.

Wreaths on board to be placed
in the water in Dunkirk

Endeavour finally set off, leaving from Bell Wharf. Here Trevor Osborne handed Paul a wreath of flowers in honoured memory of Frank and Leslie Osborne, Harry Noakes and Harold Porter who lost their lives on ‘Renown’, destroyed on the return from Dunkirk in 1940. This was placed in the hold alongside another from the Trust.

Then she was off, skippered by Paul Gilson, with Peter Dolby, Finlay Marshall and Steve Cocks as crew.

A large party went by coach and linked up with Endeavour for the anniversary celebrations in Dunkirk, and we all sighed with relief and pleasure that the restoration was complete.

Southend Barge Match - Peter Dolby

On Sunday 23rd August Paul, Jeremy and Peter were joined on board by members, Helen Maddock, Anne Hinton van’t Hof, Anne’s son Theo and Michael Howard. Theo is in the Endeavour College at Belfairs Academy. The weather was perfect to view the magnificent barges even though they were struggling in the gentle breeze.

This was Michael and Helen’s first experience on board. Helen, our newsletter printer, joined the Trust last year and was pleased that the sea was so benign.

Anne (pictured right), has become our resident photographer and has provided many quality photographs over the past year, many of which are featured in this newsletter.

After an hour or so Dave Spurgeon and family came alongside on his launch and the opportunity was taken for Anne to switch boats so she could take some shots of Endeavour under full sail.

The photograph, pictured below, graces the front of the 2015 Endeavour Trust calendar! In order to create the best photograph everyone, except Paul, hid from view in either the cabin or hold.

A lovely time was experienced enjoying just the sounds of the sails in the wind and hearing the shouts of the skippers.  All perfectly rounded off with Paul sculling us ashore in the skiff, followed with a pint at the Billet.

Classic Boat Rally - Anne Hinton van’t Hof

Finlay, Rob Everitt, Brum, Paul and Jeremy with the
new Container Port’s gigantic cranes in the background
Friday 12th September was another beautiful day to motor up the Thames from Canvey to join the other historic ships in St. Katharine docks in the centre of London.  A really unique opportunity to view the estuary coastline from the water, point out landmarks, learn about the history along the river and take endless photographs as we sailed up river.

The swell from some of the larger vessels created a few hairy moments where we had to cling onto the deck, (not try and sit on a stool as I found out to my cost!).

Coming alongside at St Katherine docks
It was noticeable how the wildlife changed depending on the levels of industry.  Absolutely fascinating morning and afternoon and we were treated to a raising of Tower Bridge as we sat outside St. Katharine’s dock.  Once inside the dock we moored alongside some of the other Dunkirk Little Ships and were invited on board to have a look inside the boats. This was another bonus to the trip and I enjoyed hearing about the history and the stories.

Another thoroughly enjoyable day and many thanks to Paul and his first mate ‘Brum’ who gave us another great trip out on the Endeavour.

Artists on Board

Endeavour is fast approaching Mary Amelia’s port side
Thursday 31st July saw Endeavour leave Leigh with artists Susan Willis, Barry Andrews and Alan Hockitt aboard in tandem with Osborne’s Mary Amelia with David Hurrell on board. David’s mission was to take some photographs of Endeavour under full sail and then to capture her in a murky, wintery sea, with a Hallelujah shining a puddle of light upon her sails for a watercolour painting. The Trust could have full use of the painting by way of prints including for the 2014 Christmas card.

We are grateful to Osborne Bros. for facilitating the trip and, in particular, Mary Amelia’s skipper, Andrew Lawrence.

Alan took some great photographs of Mary Amelia and many close ups on board Endeavour and is happy that these can be used by the Trust and Osborne Bros.

Susan, Barry and Alan so enjoyed their time aboard that they all signed up for membership!

Calendars and Christmas Cards

Watercolour, frame size 16” x 20”
Christmas Card prints also available from Peter Dolby
At the time of going to print there are just thirteen calendars in stock from 200 printed. We’d love to arrange a reprint so please keep your orders coming in.

The Lynn Tait cards have been sold out but we have David Hurrell Christmas cards, with envelope, available at 60p each. These are A5 cards, with double sided inserts.

We trust that members who have bought cards and calendars are pleased with their quality and we take this opportunity to thank Anne Hinton van’t Hof, David Hurrell and Lynn Tait for all their help.

David’s painting has pride of place in his living room but he has advised that it is available for purchase. Please contact David if you are interested on 07906 252 617 or 01702 552668.

Finally, we have a good stock of Endeavour sweatshirts and T shirts in all sizes including some T shirts for children. Check the Shop page for details.

If you want to add these to your Christmas presents please contact Peter Dolby.

Leigh Maritime Event

Brian and Andrea on board
Peter Monk with Squeezebox
The Leigh Maritime event, organised by Leigh Town Council, lived up to its name in the Old Town on Sunday 27th July. Endeavour took pride of place alongside Bell Wharf and together with our stand, adjacent to the boat, proved a popular attraction.

Visitors were interested in the Endeavour story and some new members were recruited and merchandise sold.

Many people came on board and we even had a group of traditional shanty men who helped to swell the crowds during their performances. Trust members Andrea Cunningham and Brian Denny fresh from their marriage the previous day also found the time to pose for the camera.

Thameside shantymen find Endeavour’s deck
a good spot for a few shanties
We also participated at the Leigh regatta on Sunday 14th  September where we also enjoyed a refreshing number of visitors to our stand and again new members were recruited and further funds were raised.

A Nice Guesture

More and more of us opt for cremation when we pass on, and we have been pleased to meet with the last wishes of some friends.

Five or six years ago Trevor Noakes and his wife had been treated to a trip on Endeavour by their daughter to celebrate their 80th birthdays. Recently, we were only too pleased to grant their wishes that their ashes were scattered in the Thames Estuary from the boat.

We were only too pleased to fulfil Trust member, Bill Clarkson’s, wish for his ashes to be scattered at sea when Bill’s wife Doreen approached us.

On each of these occasions relatives and friends were also on board as the ashes were passed over the side on the falling tide, with suitable expressions of fond memories expressed.

We are pleased that we are able to help families in this way and take this opportunity to thank them for their generous donations in support of the Trust’s work in the community.

The Late Ron Frasle

In July a crowded St. Clements church bid farewell to one of the characters of Leigh – Ron Frasle.

Ron was the owner of Leigh Marina, which was where Endeavour was built, and is still known to many of us as Johnson & Jago.

From the first time Endeavour returned to Leigh Ron was extremely generous in providing space ashore and afloat, lifting her from one to the other, and enabling her to stay in the Marina in the winter – all without charge to us.

On behalf of all of us Mike expressed our thoughts to his family, "Ron was a man who was very straightforward in his views, so we knew exactly how he felt on every issue – a talent that is all too rare these days". Mike last saw him in March when he attended a meeting to discuss possible improvements to the waterfront. He was obviously very ill but participated fully and made some forceful points appreciated by everyone present. R.I.P.

Commemorative Return to Dunkirk 2015

The purpose of the return is unashamedly that of a commemoration of those who took part in Operation Dynamo and other related operations in May and June 1940. As well as the many thousands of British, French and other Allied troops who fought and died on our behalf, the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, who organise the return, would like our 2015 return to especially commemorate the many thousands of French civilians who suffered great depravations and loss of life as a result of the Nazi invasion. It is hoped the theme of commemoration will underlie all we will do during this event. As in 2010 the departure point for the return will be Ramsgate.

We anticipate a departure date from Leigh to Ramsgate of Tuesday 19th May with a departure date from Ramsgate to Dunkirk of Thursday 21st May. The trip back to Ramsgate is scheduled for Monday 25th.

We are planning to participate again next year in ‘Ostend at Anchor’, scheduled between 28th and 31st May.

There will be opportunities for members to take part in some or all of these voyages and more information will follow in subsequent newsletters.

New Website!

You may have noticed that you're looking at a brand new website for the Endeavour Trust, but the URL remains the same:

The move to the Blogger format has taken quite a while, but we hope that you'll appreciate the ability to comment on individual items and to search within the Blog, either by keywords or 'tags' which are keywords that we add to a story denoting whether it's a post is about membership or maintenance or the education programme etc.

If you're wondering who this BaldySlaphead character is that's posting the stories, it's Fraser Marshall, who has been responsible for the website since its inception.

Do let us know what you think!

AGM Papers

Click for the AGM papers. Please note that when viewing online, the documents may appear to cut off some lines at page breaks. If you download the documents, you will find they are intact.

The AGM takes place on Friday 24th October at 7:30 pm at Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road.

Contact Peter Dolby for further details.

How It All Started - The Last Lap - Mike King

Paul feels the weight of a lead ingotAfter returning to Leigh on a lorry Endeavour was completely restored, fitted with a new engine and electrics, and almost ready to be re-launched. But as with all things, the final preparations raised a few difficulties.

When she came back she was painted in a grey undercoat and needed to be over-painted in her original colours: Shannon green for the hull and red anti-slip decks. Under the waterline she needed to be painted with anti-fouling to stop weed and molluscs fouling up the hull and to deter wood-boring pests (yes worms that drill into wood are present in our waters, and can destroy a boat very quickly). Reta Cocks (daughter of  previous  owner), Peter Wexham (previous skipper), George Cocks and Mike King (Chairman)Ron Myall very kindly applied all the necessary painting to leave her looking great. 

But there was one further matter to be attended to - ballast. All craft need to have a low centre of gravity to ensure they don't capsize and when Endeavour was cockling their weight would provide this, but without it she would be very sensitive in a sea-way. One solution was to add concrete inside which is often done, but can create problems of its own. Lead is the best material. This was agreed upon and Peter Wexham and I started the hunt for suitable ingots. Firstly we discovered that lead seemed to be only a little cheaper than gold, then became concerned that we might be putting lead from some Essex church roof into Endeavour!
How the worm can eat the wood if anti-fouling is not done - an example from Leigh (not Endeavour)We enlisted the help of Ron Frasle* who used his contacts to get us a reputable dealer at an affordable price. So it was delivered - all 8 tons of it! Two strong men, Paul Gilson and Steve Cocks fitted the ingots into the hold.

Then - the moment of truth - back into the water. Ron Frasle at the controls of the crane at Leigh Marina eased her into the water and she floated exactly to her original works. Job done!!

Next was to organise a celebration and public recognition of her importance to the history of Leigh as a maritime village. We decided on a re-christening which we will re-live in the next newsletter. To be continued...

* Sadly, Ron very recently lost his fight against cancer. We will pay fitting tribute in the next newsletter.

Diary and Events

Friday 25th July8 pmAlf Legget tape77 Vernon Road, LOSChris Bailey
Sunday 27th July4 pmMaritime FestivalBell Wharf, Leigh Old TownPeter Dolby
Sunday 24th August - View the Southend Barge Match - Mike King
Friday 12th September - Voyage to St Katherine Docks Classic Boat Rally - Mike King
Saturday 20th September7:30 pmQuiz NightEstuary ClubFinlay Marshall
Friday 24th October7:30 pmAGMLeigh Community Center, Elm RoadPeter Dolby
Friday 14th November7:30 pmAnnual DinnerEstuary ClubFinlay Marshall

ADLS Commemorative Cruise to Chatham

Endeavour stands out among the 'little ships' moored in Chatham
Endeavour stands out among the 'little ships' moored in Chatham
When new members Bob Everitt and Anne Hinton van't Hof read in the April newsletter that places were available for the Chatham commemorative cruise they went overboard with enthusiasm. They met up with Paul and crew members; Jeremy, Peter and Finlay on Billet Wharf and in normal Endeavour weather set off for Chatham. With a little gentle persuasion Bob and Anne agreed to pen their experiences of life on board. They also share a love of photography and a few of their snaps have been used here.

Bob Everitt writes:

Peter with the ADLS pennant
Peter with the ADLS pennant
"What a privilege it was to join Endeavour and her expert crew on the first leg of her Ostend journey over to Chatham.

"It's only when you get on board her that you realise how compact she is, and how extremely social she is, as you can't help but talk to everybody on board as they step over and around you - no nice snug cabin with windows on Endeavour!

"The weather wasn't great when we left Leigh, but it didn't seem to matter as we motored over to the Medway, refreshed all the way with tea from Finlay!

"As Peter raised the Dunkirk Little Ships flag on the bow I couldn't help but think back 70 years and realise the history...

The sun came out as we entered the Chatham harbour lock and it was brilliant to see the 20 or so other Little Ships in Chatham.

"Endeavour looked resplendent sitting alongside them - all dressed up for the occasion.

"A really lovely day - more to come I hope!!"

Anne Hinton van't Hof writes:

Peter brings Endeavour's facility on deck much to Anne's surprise
Peter brings Endeavour's facility on
deck much to Anne's surprise

"An early start and a dreary sky greeted us for our trip from Leigh to Chatham in May. I felt very lucky to be given the opportunity to travel on the Endeavour and was looking forward to meeting up with some of the other Dunkirk 'little ships' as they gathered before their trip to Ramsgate and then on to Ostend, for the liberation celebrations.

"Thankfully the wet weather only lasted for a couple of hours and then the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the scenery as we came into the mouth of the Medway.

"Paul is a very knowledgeable skipper and was able to point out the local landmarks such as the Napoleonic fort and the island that was used to dispose of the dead and dying before reaching land!

After a number of cups of tea I tentatively asked if there was a toilet facility on board. Peter assured me there was, disappeared into the hold and reappeared with what can only be described as a large Tupperware box.

Endeavour is in safe hands with Paul at the helm
Endeavour is in safe hands with Paul at the helm

"He put it on the deck and the look of horror on my face must have been a picture at the thought of having to use it in full view!! Thankfully he was only going to move it to the front of the boat, but deciding that limited movement was probably the safer route I opted to just pull the tarpaulin over my head in the hold.

"A few puzzled attempts to remove my clothing was resolved when I remembered that my life jacket had a strap between my legs! A manoeuvre that closely resembled a gymnast's complicated floor routine allowed me to restore my clothing without bursting through the tarpaulin in a state of undress!

"A piece of skilful manoeuvring by Paul bought us into the dock and we saw the impressive sight of the little ships, colourful flags in full regalia all lined up along the quayside. Flags raised and hold secured the pub beckoned and a very enjoyable pint in the sunshine was enjoyed.

"Bob and I then had to make our way back to Leigh via bus, train, ferry and a short walk! A thoroughly enjoyable day with time to reflect on the incredible part this 'little ship' played in the rescuing and saving of the lives of our troops. Thank you for the opportunity it was greatly appreciated and hopefully I will get the opportunity to sail on the Endeavour again soon."

Ostend at Anchor - Paul Gilson

Sails set in Ostend harbourThere are times in your life when you are surprised at where you go and how you got there let alone what happens when you are there. This has to be one of those trips.

The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships was invited to attend the festival 'Ostend at Anchor' where we were to be their guests of honour. It is a prestigious event for classic boats from all over the world. This year they commemorated the start of the Great War and celebrated the liberation of Ostend by Canadian forces led by Field Marshal Montgomery.

After the commemorative cruise to Chatham we left for Ramsgate on Monday morning. The weather once again turned against us and we had a right bashing with the sea on our beam all the way. Our fellow little ships, totally unused to these conditions, did not cope as well. They were thrown about violently and had difficulty steering a good course and had a thoroughly miserable trip.

We were due to leave for Nieuwpoort in Belgium the next day in convoy but poor visibility and a fresh wind forced us to stay in port. The weather the following morning was better but only a small tug, Touchstone, another ex-fishing boat and fellow little ship Caronia set off for Ostend. The other ADLS boats waited hoping for improving weather.
Jeremy and Finlay braving the elements on route to RamsgateIt is a long way across the channel in a little boat and it made me think about what it must have been like for those that went before; did they hold back because it was a bit choppy? Our journey was uneventful, although we were the slower boat, we arrived at Ostend only just behind the others. We could cut through the sand banks whereas they had to take the longer route around them. It was just after 4pm local time when we arrived and we were quickly directed into the inner harbour and lock. The outer arm of the harbour was almost devoid of people but the lock area certainly wasn't. Several thousand people lined the walls clapping and cheering our arrival. It was a moving and humbling greeting by so many. We left the lock to another welcome from the already moored ships. Square riggers to classic yachts, steam ships to leisure craft, they all rang bells and sounded their horns welcoming Endeavour and Caronia. We were given pride of place in the docks and on the quay side we were surrounded by many tents and stalls. Everyone seemed to want to talk to us and we did not get clear until quite late.
Entering Ostend with classic yachts and square riggers for companyThe next morning, with no wind, we set our sails - she looked absolutely brilliant. She was like the proverbial sprat for the mackerel of people who came and came. We were taken aback by the interest from so many Belgian, Dutch, French, Canadian and American visitors.

Even some from Britain came to talk about Endeavour and what had been achieved at Dunkirk.

Everyone commented on how fantastic Endeavour looked and were amazed that we had crossed the North Sea steering with a piece of wood and no wheel house. Many thought it impossible and checked below for a hidden wheel!

Later that day the other little ships were welcomed but nothing quite like our reception the previous day. We dropped our sails and had a welcome beer (Belgium has a lot of beer) and a walk around the stalls that surrounded us. The next day, now with all the Little Ships, again saw many interested visitors and we took turns to talk to them. We took the time available to walk around stalls studying their merchandise which included; marine art, clothing, cheese, smoked herring, and beer. Everywhere there was music and street artists performed among the crowd delighting but sometimes scaring children.

Whilst talking to visitors two things really struck home. Firstly, although many Belgian children are taught about the Dunkirk evacuation they are captivated that ordinary people volunteered to go to war, without guns, to rescue their countrymen. Secondly and closer to home, a local I spoke to had been evacuated on a fishing boat that, once loaded with fellow Belgians, took them all to England. He remembered shots fired by men on Ostend harbour entrance and the loud explosions that often followed. He found out later that the shots were fired by the few remaining soldiers at the mines in the harbour entrance in an attempt to keep it clear for the fishing boats to leave. Once in England he went to school in Brixham until after the war. This story is especially poignant to me as I recall that after the war my father had a Belgian fisherman as crew for many years. He had also escaped on one of those fishing boats.

We were visited by local television and, yes, I was interviewed! It was shown that evening and we saw it in our hotel.

We estimate that an average of 50 people a day came aboard and we spoke to at least double that number each day telling Leigh's Dunkirk story.

I've always said the Endeavour is a social boat and she gets people to talk, well she proved it in Ostend - big time. Endeavour has a European following now; a Dutchman has sent me photographs, having tracked my email, many Belgian people have offered to buy us beer next time we come and they mean it! The hand of friendship offered is genuine. Undoubtedly Endeavour embraced that hand and hopefully she will never let it go. Next year's event is the weekend following the return to Dunkirk so who knows.

Summer Reception at the Boatyard

Endeavour members and guests fill the Boatyard restaurant's deck area at it summer reception

Our second summer reception was held on 19th June in perfect weather. Paul had brought Endeavour in to a mooring close by and she looked a picture after her repaint. Many thanks to the 100 members and guests who helped to raise some much needed funding whilst enjoying the company of so many like-minded people. 

A very special thank you to everyone who so generously donated raffle prizes. Overall we raised in excess of £800 which is a welcome amount towards the maintenance costs incurred so far this year. All in all the Boatyard, with its panoramic views over the estuary, was an excellent venue. The committee, however, feel that the food was a little disappointing and will try to improve on this next year if, as seems likely, we return to the Boatyard.


We are into July already and the nights are drawing in, so it must be time to think about Christmas!

We are hoping to have Christmas cards for sale again this year and are considering an Endeavour 2015 calendar. Anne Hinton has taken many lovely photographs and with the many we have in archive we feel that we can produce a very attractive wall calendar.

Before we commit to print we need to have some idea of numbers required. Obviously any unsold cannot be used afterwards. Please let Peter Dolby know if you are interested either on the telephone number below or by email.


Subscriptions are due for renewal on 1st September.

Rates remain unchanged, as follows:

  • Individual - £15
  • Family - £20
  • Senior Citizens and under 18's - £10
  • Life Membership - £130

You can if you wish pay your subscription by standing order thus ensuring that your subscription is paid on time, without the need of sending your payment to us. Or, you may wish to use internet banking. If you want to change to either of these payment methods please contact Peter Dolby who will provide the details required.

[Contact details removed as no longer current - please refer to Shop and Membership tab above.]

How It All Started - Part 3 by Mike King

Endeavour pre-restorationIn 24th September 2002 Endeavour was moved to Great Totham by the excellent Trevor Taylor and his amazing well sprung vehicle. Obviously Endeavour, even though she is female, can't talk, but had she been able to I think she would have said, "Oh no - not again! Kent to Leigh Marina, then to Strand Wharf and now another journey; I'm getting fed up with it! When do I get back in the water?"
Sails were made in modern material by Steve Hall, who also presented a huge banner which has been flown on many occasions.
Sails were made in modern material by Steve Hall, who also presented a huge banner which has been flown on many occasions.
But she was well looked after - even cosseted. First she was shored up to make certain her shape was kept while the work progressed, and the two highly skilled restorers - Brian Kennell and Shaun White - decided what new timber was needed, and how to proceed. Replacement oak from Belfairs wood (the first lot was stolen) opepe for the keel, pine, iroko, Douglas fir and larch - the latter from Northern Ireland. As much original timber as possible was retained, although some not in its original position, the hull planking was in poor condition, but was used to line the hold.

A decision was taken to restore her as she was when launched in 1924, with a centre board and narrower side decks - the latter having been widened when converted for shrimping.

 Steve Hall of North Sea Sails working onBrian Kennell shows Peter Wexham how to drive the nails homeWork progressed at a pace, with volunteers oiling the new oak and doing other essential but relatively unskilled work (lots of tea was drunk).

Completely new spars were made, as the originals were destroyed long ago, and the sails and rigging made. Well-known author John Leather had much information on the sail layout, and was extremely interested in the restoration.

Sails were made in modern material by Steve Hall, who also presented a huge banner which has been flown on many occasions.

Mast and SparsAll the hull planking was fitted to the frames with bronze wood screws, each recessed and capped with timber plugs - almost all of which were fitted by Reta Cocks.

Endeavour was completed sufficiently for a detailed survey in 2005, when it was pronounced that 'the work has been carried out to a very high standard'.

She was nearly ready for yet another move by road back to Leigh.

Sailing Programme

We are pleased to confirm that Endeavour is participating in two important events in May and opportunities are available to members to book their places on board. We anticipate that members may wish to take part in some or all of the itineraries involved.

ADLS Commemorative Cruise - Chatham

This year the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships Commemorative Cruise is to Chatham on the River Medway. We will join over 20 Little Ships who are expected to attend.

Other scheduled events include the Chatham Maritime Food & Drink Festival featuring the Kent produce market, antique & vintage market, artisan market, live music all weekend on the band stand and a children's activity tent.

The programme of events will be as follows:
  • Saturday 24th - Depart Leigh for Chatham
  • Sunday 25th - Commemorative Service on the quay side
  • Sunday 25th - Commemorative Cruise Dinner at Medway Yacht Club
  • Monday 26th - Depart Chatham for Ramsgate

Medway Sunlight Rotary is putting on a Dragon Boat Challenge in Basin No 2 on Sunday after the ADLS commemorative service. This is to raise money for local charities.

 Ostend at Anchor

Ostend at AnchorSince its inception in 1999, Ostend at Anchor has become the most popular and prestigious annual maritime festival of the North Sea. The event is free to the public and regularly attracts over 200,000 visitors from Belgium, Holland, France and Britain.

The commemoration of the centenary of the start of World War I will be a 'double commemoration' for the event as it is the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Ostend on 8 September 1944 by Canadian Forces commanded by Field-Marshall Montgomery of Alamein.

The event organisers have extended an invitation to any ships involved with the conflict during the Second World War including the Dunkirk Little Ships.

The little ships will be moored in the Mercator Dock, located in the very heart of the city. The event includes about 80 performances by music groups, predominantly (but not exclusively) 'shanty' and 'folk'. Those performing are not only from Belgium but also come from the UK, Ireland, France, and the Netherlands. Most performances are on stages and there are also performances on several of the visiting ships.

The event also attracts many exhibitors, commercial and non-commercial, embracing probably every traditional and modern aspect of the maritime world.

During the event there will be several official receptions and functions relating to the Liberation that will involve naval & military representatives plus various VIPs including the Ambassadors of Great Britain and Canada and some Belgian DLS veterans. The crews of DLS attending are invited to participate with the VIP's at these functions.

The programme of events will be as follows:
  • Wednesday 28th - Depart Ramsgate for Ostend
  • Thursday 29th - Welcome reception for skippers
  • Friday 30th - Remembrance Parade
  • Saturday 31st - Official welcome by the Mayor and presentation of plaques to skippers
  • Sunday 1st June - Event ends - see you next year
  • Monday 2nd June - Depart Ostend
Please let either Mike King or Peter Dolby know as soon as possible if you are interested.

Events Diary

  • Saturday 24th May to Monday 26th May - ADLS Commemorative Cruise to Chatham
  • Wednesday 28th May to Monday 2nd June - Ostend at Anchor
  • Thursday 19th June - Summer Reception at Boatyard Restaurant
  • Sunday 27th July - Leigh Maritime Festival

Where Is Endeavour?

Nine years have passed since restoration and Endeavour is in need of some professional assistance to maintain her in A1 condition.

She has been in Maldon since the middle of November where shipwright, Brian Kennell, assessed her condition and started some much needed maintenance work.

We have taken this opportunity for a thorough recondition of all the engineering and electrical components under the careful hand of Tom Cox.

Finally, Debbie Cannon will paint the top sides, deck and hatch covers.

All three are based in the Maldon area and have been assisted in part by volunteer members from Leigh.

We have booked her return to Leigh for the weekend 3rd-5th May when we can expect her back in pristine condition and raring to go to Chatham and Ostend.

All of this much needed work, together with boatyard costs, is likely to total in excess of £7,000.

David Norman MBE Msc (Econ)

David Normal MBEEndeavour trustee and committee member David Norman was awarded the MBE in the 2014 New Year Honours list for services to Adult Education.

David has served on the Ruskin College Governing Executive for 20 years and on their Council for 23, chairing both for 10 years. He has given unstintingly of his time to community-based groups and individuals. He is a member of the Board of South Essex Homes, covering all social housing in the locality, and a governor of Westcliff High School for Boys. He has been a Southend-on-Sea Borough Councillor for many years, serving as Mayor for the Council in 2011/12.

All involved with Endeavour would like to say a huge congratulations to David for this well deserved honour.

Community and Educational Programme - Peter Dolby

Since the last newsletter I have given seven talks to local community groups and in March I was delighted to visit Cedar Hall School, in Thundersley. 

The talk interested the children and many of them asked very searching questions. Some enjoyed trying the yokes and baskets on for size. 

Their teacher, Michelle Philpott, was warmly applauded when she too 'had a go'.

The children had visited the Heritage Centre in Old Leigh a couple of weeks previously and drawn pictures of the beach scene and the boats that went to Dunkirk. Two of their drawings are shown opposite.

From the experience gained from the talk and their visit to the Old Town the children acted out a short play about the Dunkirk rescues and talked about what they had learned at a special school assembly for parents. The children wrote some wonderful thank you letters which are so meaningful both to me and our educational programme.

They will visit the Old Town again next month to see 'our little ship' when she is back on her mooring and Mrs Philpott has promised to let them sample some cockles.

Summer Reception

We are pleased to announce that following last year's enjoyable inaugural event we are repeating this year and have booked the Boatyard Restaurant.

To gain the maximum benefit of the Boatyard's sun deck, it will be held on Thursday 19th June, just 48 hours from the longest day!

More details and application forms will follow shortly.

RIP Frank Grove

Frank H Grove RIPA very moving ceremony took place on Wednesday 26th March to mark the death of our Honorary Vice President Frank Grove, who had died aged 94.

Frank was with the 57th (East Surrey) Anti-tank Regiment (TA) and served with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) in France in 1940, in the 44th (Home Counties) Division and was rescued from Dunkirk, although not necessarily by Endeavour.

"We didn't stop to look at the boat's name!" he said. After this Frank went on to fight in Burma, and is one of that generation who defended our country so we might enjoy our lives in relative peace - thank you Frank.
Frank, centre of picture, at Endeavour’s rechristening in 2005
Frank, in the centre, at Endeavour's Re-christening in 2005