Pilot cutter Drift and the pilot station Drift – does anyone have any information?

Joe Radnor has written to say that he’s looking for information  about the Turnchapel pilot station ‘Drift’, and the pilot cutter Drift, which he thinks was probably associated with it. The pilot station is the building on the left in the (rather small) image of an old painting above – Joe has recently bought the property.

Joe believes Drift herself was sold to Belgium in 1918 so I suspect the chances that she’s still alive are slim, but there might well be some worthwhile history to tell…

I notice that Tom Cunliffe’s book Pilot Cutters Under Sail: Pilots and Pilotage in Britain and Northern Europe  reports that she was sold to the French and that she worked as a  Breton onion boat, and has a good story about her being involved with the boarding of an early enemy prize during The Great War.

If you know anything, please get in touch with me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass the information along to Joe.

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