The Little Ships’ 75th Anniversary trip to Dunkirk

Our pal Mick Nolan went with them and took a mass of photos… And has now made a YouTube of them. What’s more, he added a soundtrack of our Julie’s singing accompanied by my old concertina! Thanks Mick!

Cute old motor launch for sale

A chap called Ron has been in touch to ask if I could help advertise his sweet little motor launch, which is for sale. He believes it was built by Brooke Marine between the wars and says that it is in excellent condition.

He’s sentimental about the boat, which his father bought before he was born, so he’s keen that it should go to a suitable home, where it will be cared for. From the right buyer, he would accept a reasonable offer. If you’re interested, email me at gmatkin@gmail.com and I’ll pass your message on to him. The boat is at Chester.

Here’s what Ron says:

‘She is as sound as when she was re-built back in the 50s and though she’s not a ‘name’ make like Andrews or Riva, she’s unique. I’m getting on now, but the main reason for having to let her go is that the Council here in Chester have rendered it impossible to park the trailer/car at the launch slipway.

‘I hope you’ll agree with me in that she’s a lovely old boat and worth preserving. She is largely planked with British Honduras mahogany, with decks of African mahogany with meranti on the bottom.

‘She has a Robin Reliant 850cc with the gear box converted to give direct forward and almost direct reverse, and with original clutch. I still have the drawings.

‘I have three spare Reliant engines for parts.

‘Where the original circulating pump was a Jabsco now pumps fresh water into the the exhaust for cooling and silencing.  When on the river one can chat without having to shout and from the banks she one can only hear the wash.’

Watson class lifeboat City of Bradford II free to a good home

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has alerted us to the news that the the Watson class lifeboat City of Bradford II is available free to a good home.

The 45ft lifeboat served on the Humber from 1929 1950, and during WWII won two RNLI gold medals as well as silver medals.

The boat is unfortunately in poor condition cosmetically and mechanically; both her Ford Parsons Barracuda six-cylinder diesels need attention or replacing and her decks and superstructure need attention, but her hull is said to appear relatively sound, as boat remains afloat.

The original forward and aft cuddys remain, although she has an added wheelhouse. She’s afloat on Strangford Lough, County Down, and would need to be towed or road trailed away.