Peter Goes Trawler Racing

Back in 1970, when Peter Wexham and Dave Spurgeon owned Endeavour, they entered the Round the Pier Trawler Race competing against boats from as far away as Rye to the south and Harwich from the north as well as other ports in between.

Peter says, "This was a big thing in those days and the Leigh boats were the smallest. It ran on a handicap system based on size and engine power." The race started off the Prince of Wales jetty to the east of the pier with Endeavour racing Eileen, which Peter says was "a double-ended Scotsman at 36ft long, drawing 4ft to Endeavour's 3ft."

On an incoming tide the starting gun was fired and the fleet boats raced. Peter said, "We were drawing the ground as there was just enough water under the boats but the Endeavour got ahead as the water deepened."

With a 50 yard lead on Eileen, Endeavour stayed ahead round a course which was up-river to Canvey Point and back again to the Shoebury buoy back to the pier and round the course again. The other boats were catching up but Endeavour won. Also on board were Brenda, Peter's first wife and their son, Martin and Linda Spurgeon, Dave's wife. Endeavour won six cups that day! One for first boat home, another first Lister-powered boat home and first leigh boat home. "I can't remember what the other three were for," Peter confessed.

The triumph was filmed by George Penny, Brenda's cousin. The 8mm film has been digitised and it is planned to have an edited version to go on Facebook, the website and for use at talks to schools and organisations.

Readers will see that Endeavour sports blue paintwork. This shade was also used by Southend Corporation to paint lamp-posts and railings and could also be seen on other Leigh boats! The green currently in use just happens to be the same as that once worn by Eastern National Bus company vehicles!

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