Pembeth Of Clyde Surviving WW1 Vessel

by Caroline Canham in St. Osyth, England, United Kingdom

Pembeth Of Clyde Surviving WW1 Vessel
We did it
On 26th August 2018 we successfully raised £285 with 4 supporters in 42 days

I am raising funds for the restoration of a historic vessel built in 1912. Pembeth of Clyde served in both WW1 and WW2.

by Caroline Canham in St. Osyth, England, United Kingdom

So to begin........

I am raising funds for the restoration of a historic vessel built in 1912 by Aldous & Sons, Brightlingsea. Pembeth of Clyde is a 47ft Oyster Smack and served in both WW1 and WW2. She has a National Historic Ships Statement of Significance which can be found here

Pembeth of Clyde also features in the National Historic Ships Surviving WW1 Project

A little about this amazing vessel.......

Pembeth of Clyde has a colourful history, a hay barge during WW1, transporting the light calvary, saving Norwegian servicemen, being stolen by the German POW's from her mooring in Faversham, suffering a gas explosion, the list goes on!

She was commandeered by the IV Brigade Royal Horse Artillery during the First World War as a lighter to carry hay to feed the horses at their London barracks at St John's Wood. She was named CLYDE after one of the renowned drum horses, those used by the British Regimental Cavalry for parades, ceremonies of state and royal processions; her reliability earned her the title.

After WW1, in 1920 she was purchased by John Warner of Whistable and put into the fishing fleet, oyster dredging on Kentish Flats.  This is a original document from 1924. 

Pembeth of Clyde was once again requisitioned for WW2 working under sail, doing what I am not sure at present but I am researching her history..... What I do know is that at some point between 1931 and the end of WW2 she was lengthened in order to carry the horses for the Light Horse Cavalry. She was  then stolen from her mooring by German POW's and was found by the French who sought permission to repair her and she was sailed home.  The work of the Frenchmen can still be seen today and will hopefully be preserved during her restoration work. I believe some time after this she went in to private ownership and was named Pembeth of Clyde. 

She was underwent restoration work in 1931 and 1968, then again in 1994/1995.  Various required work was then carried out over the years to the present day. 

Off Shotley 1997

2013 Colne Smack and Barge Race 

Some restoration in 2015

The present day....... 

Pembeth of Clyde needs a considerable amount of further restoration to be usable again for another 100 years or more.  I purchased her in 2011 and sailed her for 4 years.  She then had some repairs carried out but was no longer in a safe usable condition.  I have kept her going for the last 3 years but now she is in dire need. The project to restore her came to life after a call from the yard to say she had sprung a plank and sunk in her spurred me on, many pumps later and she is patched and floating again.  Everything has been taken off her and she is ready to come out of the water at the beginning of September.  The boat builder is in place and I'm hoping to get an apprentice to assist. 

I would like to crowd fund to achieve the restoration of Pembeth of Clyde so that she will be there for all to see and enjoy for 100+ years again.  Maybe between us all we can add another 100+ years to her colourful history!  She will be available for the rehabilitation of servicemen & women to sail on during the many annual regattas up and down the coast of East Anglia, as part of her homage to the two world wars. Ensuring she is enjoyed by many and the benefits of team working, sailing and mental restoration is there to be enjoyed by all.  Also the local youth groups and community groups of Brightlingsea where she was built in 1912. 

The money.......

The funds raised will pay for her hull and deck to be made watertight, a vast proportion spent on larch and oak. She requires a new mast and boom as the old ones are rotten and all rigging replaced. I have her old   topmast, bowsprit and gaff which will be fine with a little TLC. Her sails are just about serviceable but I would ideally like to replace the main sail as this is very tired and patched. She requires a new engine as when she sank this was of course ruined, it will be smaller and quieter, allowing more room for everything else. Down below requires a refit, with a new toilet and shower encased in a fiberglass box to stop any fresh water leaking onto the hull and also made for easier access. She will have a total of 6/7 berths. Her galley will be replaced but using the current sink and over/hob as I replaced this in 2011 and is in good condition.  Unfortunately her stove has seen better days, however once out I am hoping it can be restored and re-used, this makes for very cosy, hearty winter dinners aboard, with much storytelling, music and laughter.  

And finally a word or two.......

Pembeth of Clyde is an immense and stunning piece of British history, very dear to the heart of many especially me.  Her warmth and strength envelop you as you step aboard even in her sorry state.  She has a personality all of her own and fosters a calmness upon your soul, something required by many in this ever hectic world we live in now.  A chance to take a step back and rejoice in her history, beauty and honour.   

Her website can be found here  It will be updated regularly, to start with about her history and then when the work starts pictures, notes and details of the progress. 

I am currently researching her history at the National Archives, everything I find will be updated on her website, it is very time consuming and slow but we will get there. Please enjoy giving and watching her progress. 

Your donations are very gratefully received, there are some great rewards available for your immense generosity in supporting this restoration.  Once her restoration is complete all will be invited to her launch party in Brightlingsea.  This is such an amazing project so please support us and watch Pembeth of Clyde rise to glory again.  


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

Silicone Wristband "Friend Of Pembeth Of Clyde"

Thank you for believing in our project! As a token of our thanks we will send you a silicone wristband embossed with the words "Friend of Pembeth of Clyde".

£25 or more

Postcard of the lines drawing of Pembeth of Clyde

Thank you for believing in our project! As a token of our thanks we will send you a postcard of the blueprint of Pembeth of Clyde's lines drawing.

£60 or more

0 of 300 claimed

Friend of Pembeth of Clyde Key Ring

Thank you for believing in our project! As a token of our thanks we will send you a "Friend of Pembeth" key ring.

£100 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Limited Edition T-Shirt

Thank you for supporting our essential restoration work. As a reward we will send you an exclusive t-shirt commemorating the project.

£500 or more

0 of 75 claimed

Limited Edition Photograph of the re-build

Thank you for supporting the project! You will receive a limited edition 10 x 7" photograph of her re-build.

£750 or more

0 of 20 claimed

A Limited Edition Photo-book of the Re-build

As a thank you for your tremendous support, you will have an amazing glossy photo-book detailing the re-build every step of the way, signed by the shipwright and the owner.

£1,000 or more

0 of 8 claimed

An Evening Sail & 3 Course Dinner for 6 people

As a thank you for supporting this amazing project you will receive an invitation for 8 people for a three course dinner on board this stunning vessel. Get to see and feel her history.

£3,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

An Original Oil Painting Of Pembeth of Clyde

As a hugh thank you for your amazing support you will receive an oil painting by a renowned local artist, approx 24 x 18" of Pembeth of Clyde's first sail following completion.

£5,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

2 weekends on-board sailing for 2 people.

As a thank you, you will have the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience of sailing a WW1 historic vessel, sleeping aboard moored in a beautiful creek, three course dinner in the evening with the crew. As a unique record of your weekend you will receive a photo-book of your experiences on-board and a genuine piece of Pembeth of Clyde original 1912 timber.

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