Welcome to the Summer 2015 Newsletter

Events Diary

Date and time
Tuesday 19th May
13:00 approx.
Depart for Ramsgate
Billet Wharf
Paul Gilson
Thursday 21st May
Depart Ramsgate for Dunkirk
Paul Gilson
Monday 1st June

Return to Leigh from Ostend
Paul Gilson
Thursday 11th June
From 19:00
Summer Reception
Osborne Bros & Billet Wharf
 Peter Dolby  or
Finlay Marshall
Sunday 2nd August
11:00 - 16:00
Leigh Maritime Festival
Leigh Old Town
Peter Dolby
Sunday 30th August
Southend Barge Match

Mike King
Friday 4th - Monday 6th Sept

ADLS Veterans' Cruise
Thames Motor Yacht Club - Hampton Court
Mike King
Sunday 20th Sept
10:30 - 17:00
Leigh Regatta
Leigh Old Town
Peter Dolby

75th Commemorative Return to Dunkirk - Paul Gilson

I am writing this just a week or so before this years return. In fact when the newsletter arrives on your doorstep the crew and I will probably be in Dunkirk.

Dunkirk Remembered in Verse

Bryan Roskams was 9 years old, living in the Customs House in the High Street, when he saw the six Leigh boats passing Strand wharf on their way to take part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk.

Community and Educational

Since the last newsletter community talks have been give by Peter Dolby and Mike King to the Hadleigh Castle Townswomen’s Guild, Belfairs Resident’s Association, Earls Hall Baptist Church - ‘Time Together Group’, U3A Hullbridge and Rayleigh Methodist Ladies Club.


We have mixed news on our sponsors. We are delighted that Cory Environmental Trust have been able to contribute £5,000 to our maintenance projects this winter. Costs of much needed deck work, painting and digging out the creek mooring, which continues to silt up, have been excessive and this was a much needed contribution. Many thanks to Cory.

Summer Reception

This year's reception is on 11th June, starting at 7pm. We are delighted and very grateful to Peter Osborne for allowing the use of his premises and also to the Crooked Billet PH for making the whole of Billet Wharf available to us. Last year we had in excess of 100 attending and we hope that members will support in similar numbers this time.

VROOM VROOM or Softly Softly - Mike King

Sketch drawing from John Leather's wonderful book, Smacks and Bawleys, depicting Endeavour motoring with another cockler under sail.
Sketch drawing from John Leather's
wonderful book, Smacks and Bawleys,
depicting Endeavour motoring with another
cockler under sail.
When Endeavour was built in 1924 she was the first Leigh cockle boat to have an engine fitted. This was to enable her to return to the cockle sheds as quickly as possible after the harvesting – the other boats would be slower because they relied on the wind, which might not be friendly. Thus, she marked the transition, in Leigh, between fishing under sail and by motor.

Winter Maintenance

Once again much needed work has been completed over the Winter and Spring period. Work included new decking, replacement of rotted joints, scarfing in new wood, re-caulking, pitch to seams, rubbing down, priming and painting. This work combined with digging out our creek mooring has cost in the region of £7,300. All boat work undertaken by Brian and Shaun, the two excellent shipwrights who masterminded the restoration. So, even with the generous donation from Cory Environmental Trust our reserve funds have been further depleted. Further remedial work is expected to be undertaken next year.

However, as can be seen from the photograph, she’s now ready to go.


We are delighted to announce that Anne Hinton van’t Hof has agreed to join the committee. 

One of Anne’s many talents is photography; this has helped contribute many wonderful photographs to our collection. Anne was responsible for producing the wonderful 2015 calendar, which included much of her work, she is already working on next year’s and will be seen snapping at the summer reception!

Photo Gallery

Following our request for photographs in the last newsletter we are pleased to include these. Keep them coming in. Who knows, yours may be included in next year’s calendar!

By Anne Hinton van ‘t Hof’ taken in August 2013

By Bob Banner taken in June 2009