When she was built by Frank Curtis in Cornwall in 1925, the Anne was sloop-rigged, of carvel construction, planked in pine on oak. Until recently she still had her two Ailsa Craig petrol/TVO engines driving her two propellers. Her draught is only 3ft 3ins, so she could not have done very well under sail unless she had some sort of centre-board.
At the time of Dunkirk, the Anne belonged to Mr. P.J. Darby and before the war ended belonged to a Dr. McCracken. As in so many histories of Dunkirk Little Ships, her precise war-time service has not been recorded, but her name appears in all the official records.
In January 1970, she was being lifted out of the water from Bristol Docks for her present owner, Mr. H.W. Bambridge of Winterbourne, near Bristol, when a mishap with a crane dropped her into the water, but the damage was restricted to sea water getting in her wiring and engines. Since then, Mr. Bambridge had the Anne in his garden and spent an almost unbelievable amount of time, money and effort in restoring her. When he stripped off the deck, he found 75% of the old ribs and some of the exterior planking were rotten and had to be replaced.
Updated from information provided for the Spring 2017 edition of 'Fleet News’;
Having been named by the original owner after his granddaughter Anne a strange twist of fate found her back in the ownership of that same lady by the beginning of 2017, restoration taking place at Bridge Marine by John Turk.
Her engines were due to be replaced by two Bukh diesels, her new home to be Clewer, near Windsor on the Thames.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 2010
ANNE is powered by the last-known pair of Ailsa Craig LB4 petrol engines. The gravity-fed petrol motors were built at Chiswick in 1931, when the Ailsa Craig firm held a royal warrant from King George V. In 2010 the engines powered the boat from Ramsgate to Dunkirk for the 70th anniversary reunion of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, making ANNE the only ‘little ship’ to return to Dunkirk in 2010 on her original engines. After a refit in Cheshire by Paul Gilling she was bought by Kes Travers to undergo a major overhaul through the winter of 2009-10 at the workshops of the Spirit of Dunkirk Limited in Burnhouses, Berwickshire. Great care was taken to retain the original items and features of a 1925 gentleman’s motor yacht. A team of shipwrights, including Farquhar Mackenzie, 70, and Dominic Bunting, 25, fitted a new grown oak stem post, discovered by Kes Travers in a Devon boatyard. The post-war wheelhouse and interior were replaced according to pre-war practice in traditional materials including English elm panelling in the saloon. A Scottish expert on pre-war Bentley ignition systems overhauled the Ailsa Craig electrical systems. The Spirit of Dunkirk team relaunched ANNE at Ramsgate in May 2010 with a seven minute aerobatic display and a dipped wing salute from a Second World War Harvard aircraft. She is now berthed in Chichester.
Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 30 ft
Beam: 8 ft 11 ins
Draft: 3 ft 3 ins
Displacement: Not known
Engine: 2 x Ailsa Craig Petrol/Paraffin
Construction: Carvel, pine on oak
Builder: Frank Curtis, Cornwall