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Wells boat used to rescue soldiers in Dunkirk to be restored following regatta

PUBLISHED: 11:38 06 September 2018

Bessie. Picture: RESCUE WOODEN BOATS

Bessie. Picture: RESCUE WOODEN BOATS

Archant

A Wells boat which was used to rescue British soldiers from Dunkirk is to be restored following fundraising at a historic fishing boats regatta.

Boats at the Historic Fishing Boats Regatta in Wells. Picture: Supplied by Rescue Wooden Boats.Boats at the Historic Fishing Boats Regatta in Wells. Picture: Supplied by Rescue Wooden Boats.

The regatta aimed to increase awareness of the few remaining wooden boats and their stories, as well as raising funds to restore the Dunkirk little ship Bessie.

18 wooden boats were on display at the event in July, including Whelker Knot which was built in 1938 by R E Emery.

In 1940, Bessie was taken from Wells-next-the-Sea to Ramsgate as part of Operation Dynamo to help evacuate the British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk.

She was chosen for a special sub-mission to collect a party of men, crossing the English Channel and lying off the French coast in a vulnerable position.

Rescue Wooden Boats successfully restored Dunkirk Little Ship and former Wells lifeboat Lucy Laver in 2011.

They have recently welcomed Robert Smith MBE, Wells harbour master, aboard as a new Trustee.

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