|Abstract||Without doubt the series of excellent articles by Mr John Leather
originally submitted in connection with the "Seafarers' Window" have
stimulated interest in many newcomers and revived memories for many of
the older generation in the parish. It is possibly fitting to recall
that the colourful water colour of the finish of the 1903 America Cup
Race was presented to the Church by the great friend and benefactor of
the village, the late Mr Frederick E. Hasler, who always took a keen
interest in the America Cup, and was in fact a member of the New York
Yacht Club and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. He made a point of visiting
the challerners when at Rhode Island and meeting the crew members from
Essex from whence he hailed.
Mention of the America Cup Races was always made in the Parish
Magazine and naturally the good wishes of the parish followed each attempt
to regain the Cup. When the tow-line of ENDEAVOUR I parted on the 13th
September 1937 and contact with that vessel was lost, special prayers
were offered in the churches for the safety of the captain and crew.
Fourteen days later ENDEAVOUR I was sighted and "All Well". The
Lutine Bell at Lloyds was rung, and our Church bells rang out a merry peal.
The epic voyage was acclaimed throughout the world, and Mr Hasler sent
an illuminated copy of an editorial which appeared in the "New York Times"
to an old friend in the village, the late Capt. Jack Rice (father of
Mr Maurice Rice who has given permission for it to be printed herein).
"Endeavour was a Lady - like Kipling's line, Endeavour I was a
lady. Like other cup defenders and challengers, she was built
to win races in coastal waters, under moderate winds, and not to
take it on the nose, all alone, in the wilderness of the
western ocean. When she made transatlantic voyages it
was intended that she should be towed by a polite and
gentlemanly escord with the aid of steam or gasoline.
one would as soon have set a race horse to hauling sand as
to expose Endeavour I to what deep-water seamen consider
real weather. Consequently her accidental abandonment
in mid-ocean seemed, as the days went without news, to
be the end of the story for vessel and crew.
Just what happened has not been related in detail at
this writing. We do not know just how Captain Ned Heard
and his sailors managed to keep her right side up and pointed
toward Gosport, England, which was the place where they wanted
to go. A racing yacht strikes a landlubber as a perilous
conveyane when the wind gets to a point where an old-fashioned
square rigger captain would begin to scratch his head and
wonder whether or not it was worth while to take a reef in
the topsails. Endeavour I must have stood on her ear and
sat on her west end all the way over.
Captain Ned Heard is probably going to hear his trenuous
voyage referred to more times than he cancount as a saga.
It may not even have been especially heroic, for, after all,
Captain Heard and his men wanted to go and living, and the
surest way to do that was to bring their ship to port,
But the trip will have to be described as a feat of seamanship
that no sailors of any age could have excelled. Cool,
calm skill and resolute endurance ust have stood at the
helm, trimmed the sails and somehow climbed the reeling
deck. One tries to picture it, but fails, and perhaps
picks up Conrad's "Typhoon" or "The Nigger of the Narcissus",
in order to come at truth by way of fiction."
Capt. Heard passed away in 1947, but there are still
[ in 1976 ] four surviving Tollesbury members of the crew in the
village, Messrs. H. Chatterson, C. Coates, N. Gurton and
E.A. Heard (son of the captain).
Tollesbury was also represented in the professinal crew of
SCEPTRE in the race of 1958 by Mr K. Mussett.
PARISH MAGAZINE October 1937
ENDEAVOUR I Capt and 6 crew members Tollesbury men. 13 Sept hawser
of VIVA II parted 200 miles s.e. of USA coast. Monday 27 Sept sighted
260 miles s.w. of Fastnet - news received in village at 2pm. Lutine bell
rung at Lloyds Church bells rung. Arrived Gosport 9.30am 1 October.
|Title:|| The crew of ENDEAVOUR I, trial horse for the 1937 Amerca's Cup.
Names that are known are:
1. Jim Mussett (West Mersea),
2. Neville Gurton (Tollesbury) hand,
3. Jack Gempton (Brixham) Mate,
4. Will Lewis (Tollesbury) Lampey,
5. Captain Ned Heard (Tollesbury),
6. Cyril Coates (Tollesbury) 1st Cook,
7. Horace 'Shrimp' Chatterson (Tollesbury) hand,
8. Ed Heard jnr (Tollesbury) Steward,
9. Charlie 'Jumbo' Randall (Hythe, Southampton),
10. Waller Pengelly (Looe) Runnerman,
11. Jack Sargent (Looe),
12. Leonard Pengelly (Looe),
13. thought to be Joe Uglow (Looe) 2nd Cook.
14. Dan Mutton (Port Isaac) Bosun.
Jack Gempton was known as Jack but was actually Samuel John Gempton [Linda Gempton].
Looe names are from Barry Jolliff - Waller Pengelly's grandson.
See MST_EDV_001 for a copy without the numbers.
Other names from the log of the trip kept by Jack Gempton which is in Brixham Museum: Capt Absam navigator, Lewis Wilkinson 2nd Mate, H. German Brixham Stayman, R. Parker (Woolston Hants) 2nd mast head, J. Cann Preventor, Jim Stubbins (Tollesbury) hand, D.O. Urnie (Tighnabruaich Argyll) [from Maureen Beeho, granddaughter of Jack Gempton.]
Tollesbury to the Year 2000, page 66 includes some of these names.
Image used in ENDEAVOUR 1 booklet from Mersea Museum.