Oh dear. That which we were all dreading has come to pass. Ena has departed to the ship’s graveyard (Photo 1371).
Old age and neglect have ruined a once proud vessel and with nobody willing to come to the rescue, she has been doomed for some time. It is awful to think that she was the subject of an expensive TV restoration within the last decade and was up for sale more recently for £85,000. The graveyard and a gradual disintegration is her future, surrounded by the other wrecks on the shore of the Medway Estuary (Photo 1372 and 1373).You can see where she was patched up to keep enough water out for long enough to dump her.
On a more cheerful note, I have written to eight possible grant makers, just to see whether this project fits their ‘philanthropic profile’. If there are any positive responses I will agree with Simon a list of work packages. I do not think that we will be fortunate enough to find a single donor who will take on the bulk of the project, so there will have to be a series of applications, tailored to each donor. Notice the optimist belief that there will be multiple donors! The priority order will need some thought, but dry docking and hull maintenance must be high on the list. Wet blasting the inner hull below deck will be another package and Simon is in contact with a boatyard in Chatham who reckon there will be no problem doing the blasting 150 yards from shore. The spray insulation down below is another package. Fingers crossed.
Mervyn Hagger has come up with another historical snippet. On October 10, 1961 the 'Voice of Slough' project was reported by a newspaper account. However, by December 1961, Arnold Swanson moved in on the Voice of Slough and then started his own GBOK project (on cormorant/Lady Dixon) which was announced in the Southend Standard on 15th February 1962. This stated that the station would be broadcasting music, features and advertising 24 hours a day from a former lightship anchored near The Nore - the same location as had been planned for the Voice of Slough's broadcasting vessel, starting on 28th February 1962. When GBOK was raided the original Voice of Slough re-emerged under the new name of GBLN. While the GBOK project did not succeed, Andrew N. Thomas, top ex-BBC transmitter engineer had been behind the engineering side.
STOP PRESS: Our first funder response arrived today – positive but not until next year.