ID DJG_YCP Article from Mersea Museum

TitleThe America Cup
AbstractWithout 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.

AuthorDouglas J. Gurton
Keywordsyachting
Published1 March 1976
SourceMersea Museum / Cedric Gurton
IDDJG_YCP
Related Images:
 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.
 15. Jim Stubbins (Tollesbury) hand. [to left of 2., not yet marked]
 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 <a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=MST_EDV_001>MST_EDV_001 </a> for a copy without the numbers.
</p>
<p>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, 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.  IA004420
ImageID:   IA004420
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.
15. Jim Stubbins (Tollesbury) hand. [to left of 2., not yet marked]
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, 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.

Date:1937
Source:Mersea Museum


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