Dame Helen Mirren – Patron of Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust

Dame Helen Mirren, Patron, Endeavour Trust. Photograph: Giles Keyte

It is well known that Dame Helen Mirren lived her early years with her family in Leigh-on-Sea where they were involved in the local community, and people remember them fondly.

In September, the Chair of the Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust, Michael King, contacted Dame Helen with details of Endeavour and the role the boat played in Operation Dynamo in Dunkirk in 1940. He explained how Endeavour has been restored and is now central to many activities.

He invited Dame Helen to lend her name to our Trust, as Patron, and she enthusiastically agreed, so we are delighted to be able to announce Dame Helen Mirren becomes the first Patron of the Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust!

Welcome to the Autumn Newsletter

This newsletter contains news of the tragic murder of our president, David Amess, the death of Reta Cocks, whose support was instrumental in the restoration of Endeavour and the formation of the Trust, of Howard Robinson, the well-known Leigh artist who supported the Trust with a donated painting of Endeavour, and Andy Barthaud,who supported the Trust via donations from his East Anglia Pub Co.

More happily, we report back on Endeavour's participation in the Classic Boat Festival at St Kats, and the ADLS Veterans' Cruise, and the HMS Leigh event at Southend Pier.

Please drop us a line if you have any comments, or visit us on our Facebook page

Sir David Amess, RIP

Sir David, 2nd right, on board Endeavour with the Mayor of Southend, John Lamb

All of us at the Leigh-on-Sea Endeavour Trust were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the murder of Sir David Amess MP during a constituency meeting on the 15th October at the hands of an Islamist extremist.

Whether or not one shared his political views, Sir David was personable and approachable to all, and a good constituency MP.

A Trip Down the Thames

Endeavour hosts some youngsters at St Kats

September was a busy month for Endeavour!  Early in the month, we were once again asked by St Katherine's dock folk to attend the prestigious Classic Boat show along with the other boats of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. Sometimes this event clashes with Leigh Regatta, but as The Regatta had unfortunately been cancelled, we motored up to London.

Reta Cocks RIP

Reta Cocks with husband George, centre

The Trust was extremely sad to learn of the passing of Reta Cocks in August. Born in Leigh-on-Sea in 1928, Reta was well-known about the town, being a governor at Leigh School and instrumental in the setting up of Leigh Town Council for which she was the Chair. She was a vital force behind the restoration of Endeavour.

Howard Robinson RIP

We are saddened to learn of the death of Howard Robinson, a life-long resident of Leigh, painter of local landscapes and buildings, and supporter and contributor to the Leigh Art trail from its inception.

He opened and worked from Gallery 3 in Leigham Court Drive for many years and in later years worked from his garden studio on Marine Parade.

The Bravest Pier in the World

Endeavour does a drive-by at Southend Pier - Photo Rob Everitt

Endeavour participated in the HMS Leigh—The Bravest Pier in the World event on 25/26th September, taking trips out with members on the tide to the pier where she was warmly greeted by the people enjoying the event.

Coming Out

It looks like we will bring the Endeavour out of the water in mid-November. 

We hope to gently roll her out on Leigh Marina’s wheeled transport,  block her up, wash her bottom and conduct a quick check of her lower regions to ensure that all is well, then give her an antifoul, a small paint up around the gunnels, then put her back into her Marina water berth, where we’d erect the cover, and put her to bed until next March apart from regular engine start ups.

That’s our current plan, but things do seem to change!!


The Endeavour Trust’s Annual General Meeting took place at Leigh Community Centre on 1st Oct. 

Members enjoyed an excellent presentation entitled Endeavour’s Year, which showcased the boat in various locations across the previous year, with commentary. It has been uploaded to our website which you can find here along with other documents from this year’s meeting. 

 The Annual Accounts were approved as accurate. 

Work continues to recruit additional committee members to assist with continuing the Trust’s good work.

Subscriptions Due

Chris Burls, our Membership Secretary would like to remind members that our membership year started on September 1st.

Members that have yet to do so are asked to pay their subscriptions ASAP.

The costs are as follows:  
Individual - £17.50
Family - £25
Senior Citizen & U18s - £12.50
Life membership - £175

A printable membership form including information for Direct Debit or setting up a Standing Order, can be downloaded from our website here, or alternatively, please contact Chris.

If you are a UK citizen, please sign the 'gift aid' box as this allows us to reclaim the tax on your donation from HMRC.