/ ESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks 1939

ID: JBL_RIW
TitleESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks 1939
Abstract

ESSEX MAID was built in 1939 for John Blott, who had previously owned the yacht ALPHA, and had become "bitten with the idea of power in excess of sail".
Designed by W.G. McBryde of Glasgow along the lines of an East Coast drifter. She was launched by Mrs Amy Blott, 5 April 1939. The family were only to enjoy her for a short time before WW2 broke out and she was taken over by the Admiralty as H.M. Yacht ESSEX MAID. [The National Archives have logs for November and December 1939.]

In 1946, John Blott went to Falmouth to see the vessel, but he was so heartbroken that he did not take repossession of her - he built a small fishing smack, the SUSAN. She had moorings at Tollesbury, where the family also owned the houseboats MERRYMAID and HEARTSEASE.

James Blott says:
We do not know what became of ESSEX MAID. The 'Lloyds Register of Yachts' shows her as being owned in 1948 and 1949 by Mr Leslie Yowell, and with home port of Southampton. Presumably, he bought her from the Admiralty.
In 1950, the ownership is transferred to 'His Highness Prince Amr Ibrahim' with home port, Alexandria, Egypt. She continues with that registration until 1957, when she disappears without trace. The family anecdote was that she had foundered on a reef in the Arabian Gulf, but I have nothing more than rumours to that effect.

ESSEX MAID
Rowhedge Ironworks Yard No. 573 71.39grt twin screw steel motor yacht. 83TM. 76.0'x17.0'x7.6'. 70' keel. Engine room 12.0'. Two Gleniffer 6cyl oil 144bhp. Constructed 1939 for John Blott, Witham, Colchester. (ON 166192). 15/9/1939 Registered as fishing vessel CK20. 11/8/1942 Acquired by the Ministry of War Transport on behalf of H.M. Government. Hired by the R.N. as harbour defence patrol craft. 194_ Radar calibration vessel. 1945 Returned. 195_ Sold as yacht to H.H. Prince Amr Ibrahim, Alexandria. [from John Collins, the Nottage, Wivenhoe 2021]

SourceMersea Museum
IDJBL_RIW
Related Images:
 ESSEX MAID, built Rowhedge Ironworks 1939 for John Blott. Photograph from the Blott family, taken between her launch April 1939 and joining the Navy in September 1939.
</p><p>The photo was sent by James Blott, grandson of John Blott. James says his grandfather went to Falmouth to see the vessel in 1946, but he was so heartbroken that he did not take repossession of her.
</p>  JBL_RIW_001
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_001
Title: ESSEX MAID, built Rowhedge Ironworks 1939 for John Blott. Photograph from the Blott family, taken between her launch April 1939 and joining the Navy in September 1939.

The photo was sent by James Blott, grandson of John Blott. James says his grandfather went to Falmouth to see the vessel in 1946, but he was so heartbroken that he did not take repossession of her.

Date:cAugust 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 ESSEX MAID at sea - built Rowhedge Ironworks. This was in the 'window' of ownership of John Blott, after launch on 5 April 1939, but before she was commandeered by the Royal Navy in WW2.  JBL_RIW_003
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_003
Title: ESSEX MAID at sea - built Rowhedge Ironworks. This was in the 'window' of ownership of John Blott, after launch on 5 April 1939, but before she was commandeered by the Royal Navy in WW2.
Date:cMay 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 Launch day of ESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks.
</p><p>James Blott says:
 Fourth from left, with trilby and in double-breasted overcoat - Mr F.H. Butcher, Managing Director of Rowhedge Ironworks. In centre at front wearing cap: George Brand, known to our family as 'Skipper Brand', who was an old Tollesbury hand, who taught us all to sail. He worked for John Blott for, I think, about 25 years. I had heard that he had crewed on the J class yachts in the 1920s, but I've never had confirmation of that. Immediately to his right is Mr W.G. McBryde, the designer of ESSEX MAID. On the extreme right is Mrs Amy Blott, who launched ESSEX MAID, John Blott's second wife, who was Australian. To her left is John Blott.  JBL_RIW_013
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_013
Title: Launch day of ESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks.

James Blott says:
Fourth from left, with trilby and in double-breasted overcoat - Mr F.H. Butcher, Managing Director of Rowhedge Ironworks. In centre at front wearing cap: George Brand, known to our family as 'Skipper Brand', who was an old Tollesbury hand, who taught us all to sail. He worked for John Blott for, I think, about 25 years. I had heard that he had crewed on the J class yachts in the 1920s, but I've never had confirmation of that. Immediately to his right is Mr W.G. McBryde, the designer of ESSEX MAID. On the extreme right is Mrs Amy Blott, who launched ESSEX MAID, John Blott's second wife, who was Australian. To her left is John Blott.

Date:5 April 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 ESSEX MAID launched at Rowhedge Ironworks.  JBL_RIW_017
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_017
Title: ESSEX MAID launched at Rowhedge Ironworks.
Date:5 April 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 ESSEX MAID, COLCHESTER, built Rowhedge Ironworks.
Photograph thought to be taken on her launch day - she is flying the White Ensign which is a little puzzle. James Blott, her owner, was not known to be a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, ESSEX MAID was not yet in Royal Navy service for the War.  JBL_RIW_019
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_019
Title: ESSEX MAID, COLCHESTER, built Rowhedge Ironworks. Photograph thought to be taken on her launch day - she is flying the White Ensign which is a little puzzle. James Blott, her owner, was not known to be a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, ESSEX MAID was not yet in Royal Navy service for the War.
Date:5 April 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 ESSEX MAID at sea 1939. Standing is Mrs Amy Blott, wife of owner John Blott. Sitting with the pipe is Mr John Arthur Blott, known as Bill, John Blott's elder son, 1911-1988.  JBL_RIW_035
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_035
Title: ESSEX MAID at sea 1939. Standing is Mrs Amy Blott, wife of owner John Blott. Sitting with the pipe is Mr John Arthur Blott, known as Bill, John Blott's elder son, 1911-1988.
Date:cMay 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 Galley - ESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks. 
 The galley had a coal-fired Aga cooker amd an oil-operated Electrolux refrigerator.  JBL_RIW_043
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_043
Title: Galley - ESSEX MAID built Rowhedge Ironworks.
The galley had a coal-fired "Aga" cooker amd an oil-operated Electrolux refrigerator.
Date:cApril 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 John Blott seated in the Saloon of ESSEX MAID.  JBL_RIW_045
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_045
Title: John Blott seated in the Saloon of ESSEX MAID.
Date:cApril 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott
 ESSEX MAID was built by Rowhedge Ironworks in 1939. This model is undated but it is thought it was built before the vessel was completed - it does not have the Port of Registry of Colchester on her stern, whereas a launch-day photograph of the vessel shows 'Essex Maid, Colchester'.
 The model flies the defaced Blue Ensign of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, of which that John Blott was a member for many years.  JBL_RIW_053
ImageID:   JBL_RIW_053
Title: ESSEX MAID was built by Rowhedge Ironworks in 1939. This model is undated but it is thought it was built before the vessel was completed - it does not have the Port of Registry of Colchester on her stern, whereas a launch-day photograph of the vessel shows 'Essex Maid, Colchester'.
The model flies the defaced Blue Ensign of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, of which that John Blott was a member for many years.
Date:cApril 1939
Source:Mersea Museum / James Blott