Bringing Home Bessie,
After the completion of the restoration of the Lucy Lavers in 2016 and the winning of the Classic boat award for powered vessel under 40 ft. Rescue wooden boats focus was to move on to other projects.
On to Bessie, the LN16 registered Whelker built for the Cox family of Wells next the sea in 1935 Named after George Henry Cox's wife Bessie.
I popped to the boat yard at Stiffkey Marine yesterday to see Simon the chairman of rescue wooden boats and his team of volunteers who have kindly put themselves forward to get the Lucy Lavers ready for her first season under management of Curlew coastal Charters. To get away from the noise of Sanders and power tools Simon and I stepped outside so i could update him on our preparations.
Being nosey i asked Simon if any of Rescue Wooden Boats upcoming projects were kicking around. He took me straight over to Bessie, I had no idea that even the fisherman of wells were used for such things during the war and could not believe that a little old whelk boat would have such a story to tell.
To imagine the entire fishing fleet of North Norfolk vessels in one Flotilla proceeding to Lowestoft before heading south to ports of Kent to prepare for operation Dynamo is absolutely surreal and a story i cannot believe i had never heard growing up in Wells.
From That point Mr Theodore Nielsen Wells Lifeboat Coxswain, Mr Cox and a Blakeney fisherman went on a mission to extract a small party form the french coast, Later to be rumoured to have been Sir Launcelot Oliphant, British Ambassador to Belgium. Theodore Nielsen Received an MBE for his services through this period.
I Wonder if the road i grew up on as boy, Nielsen Close in wells was named after Theodore Nielsen................
If you want to Know more about Bessie hit the Links on the Rescue Wooden Boats Page
You can also Become a Bessie Benefactor and help to bring her home where she belongs!!