Monday, 17 May 2010

Time to Remember Dunkirk

Guest blog from my fellow Labour councillor and Volunteer Boats Officer at Ramsgate Marime Museum John Watkins:

"Ramsgate’s famous Little Ship Sundowner is due to be hoisted out of the inner marina to undergo routine hull maintenance, prior to joining around sixty vessels of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) on their cruise to Dunkirk to commemorate the 1940 Operation Dynamo. The flotilla will be accompanied by HMS Monmouth a Royal Navy, type 23 Duke Class Frigate and HMS Raider an RNR fast patrol vessel, together with an escorting RNLI lifeboat.

Sundowner has been present on the regular five yearly voyage, on each occasion since the 50th anniversary event in 1990, having arrived at the Royal Harbour in 1987, when she came under the care of the Ramsgate Maritime Museum. The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships hold a World War 2, Dynamo commemoration cruise and service every year at the end of May, choosing a different south east harbour each time. Last year the vessels attending the event assembled in the West India dock in London Docklands (see picture).
The previous year’s event was held on the River Medway at Chatham Marina, next to the dockyard.

With a fair wind and a following sea, Sundowner, having been built for the Royal Navy in 1912, could well be the oldest vessel taking part in the event this year. However, she has recently completed a thorough refit, conducted by a team of skilled Ramsgate harbour shipwrights and engineers (Messrs. Parrish, Mace and Barton). Her six naval trained, local volunteer crew members are now looking forward to her work up sea trials, prior to sailing for France with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships on Thursday May 27th., then returning to Ramsgate on Monday the 31st.


  1. Good looking picture, I am glad to hear she is being able to do the trip, the scuttlebut was the charlattans who in tdc who stitched up the EKMT were causing problems and she might not get to sea.

  2. Anyone know what time they are leaving on the 27th? It was six am five years ago and a Scottish piper played them out - great!