Leigh cockles are world-renowned for their flavour and have been harvested for centuries. Endeavour is the last remaining wooden cockle-boat in Leigh (her sister boat Letitia is still operational, but as a pleasure craft). These would sail to the cockle beds, go aground for the crew to rake out the molluscs, load them on board and then return to Leigh for them to be cooked.

In 2013, we took a BBC Essex presenter, Peter Holmes, out to the cockle beds to show him how cockling would have been done when Endeavour was first built.

The video below shows members of the Osbourne family cockling in 1949. 


Although cockling is still undertaken today, the system is totally different. A large hydraulic dredge (essentially an underwater 'vacuum cleaner') is lowered over the side that sucks up the cockles, which are then filtered out on a mesh screen.

Endeavour has been restored to her original condition and educational parties are taken out to experience the way cockling was undertaken in the past and thus experience heritage as well as reading about it.

For more information on Old Leigh, please visit

1 comment:

  1. I can vouch for the trips out (even in inclement weather) as it is a great experience + Paul Gilson and crew are very competent. Peter Dolby is in charge of the weather so tip him well or take your chances. A great and memorable time on board Leigh's best heritage site.


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