When we came to look into the part Margo II played at Dunkirk, we could not find her name in the official records, but then we saw a letter written to the Association by a yacht builder on the south coast who remembered her setting out at the time of Dunkirk, although no precise log was kept of her movements. She was once owned by Walter Young, the inventor of 'Young's Course Corrector', who installed in her the compass from the Wellington Bomber he flew during the war. He got her from a Harley Street physician together with a chest of Irish linen, hand-embroidered with the name Margo II.
After he sold her, she fell into the hands of a company which encountered hard times. Richard Young heard about it and was able to buy back Margo from the Official Receiver in 1971. Though he sold her fifteen years ago, he clearly still has a soft spot for the Little Ship. He remembers the remarkable fact that every one of her deck planks ran, unbroken, the whole length of the ship and, although she had no main frames, she was uncommonly strong. Her pitch pine was of the kind used in the decks of the old Thames sailing barges, matured in water for up to 40 years before it was used.
Her next owner, from 1974, was Terry Holdaway, who kept her on the Thames at Putney in winter and cruised all over Europe in summer from her moorings at Rochester in Kent. He estimates that he made 30 trips to the Continent and once reached Putney from Calais in 91/2 hours. In 1976, off Broadstairs, they rescued the crew of Tamaroa II, a converted ship's lifeboat, but were unable to save the sinking ship.
Margo II now belongs to Geoffrey and Duncan Prater, who, in 1997, started an almost total restoration of Margo II with the intention of completing it for the 2000 Return to Dunkirk. So far they have replaced the transom, stem, 80% of the hull frames including one beam shelf, 40% of the planking and a complete new deck including beams etc. She has been re-caulked and is back in the water acquiring reconditioned Diesel engines and gear-boxes, shafts and props. A new wheelhouse is yet to fitted. As Duncan says -'It shows how far we're prepared to go in order to preserve these old boats!'