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Last Updated:  Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Wartime boat to sail again
Most wood will need replacing
A Southend cockle boat that played a crucial role in World War II is being restored to its former glory.

The Endeavour was designed to fish for cockles and shrimps off the Essex coast 80 years ago.

But in 1940, it was drafted into the Allied war effort - as one of the "little ships" used to help the navy evacuate soldiers from Dunkirk.

The Endeavour then returned to peaceful fishing service for another 30 years - but was found abandoned in a Kent boatyard.

Now a charitable trust is hoping to have the vessel ready to sail again in a Small Ships Rally in two years' time.

Wood replaced

Boat restorer Brian Kennell said it was a major project.

"She'd twisted from end to end and also one side had started to collapse completely," he said.

Most of the wood needs to be replaced, although some timber from the hull is being recycled inside.

But for former skipper Peter Wexham, said The Endeavour deserves the attention.

"It's been a big part of my life and I'd like to see it go on for generations and be looked after so that it's moved into history."

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