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.

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