Draft: 2ft 6ins
Displacement: 8 tons
Engine: 1x BMC Diesel
Construction: Clinker, larch on oak
Builder: Smiths Dock Co Ltd., Middlesbrough
The Corporation of Trinity House, London, operates a fleet of Trinity House Vessels to service its aids to navigation in the North Sea and English Channel. During her 40 years as flagship of the Elder Brethren of Trinity House, THV Patricia helped to open the Iceland Naval base in 1940 and acted as pathfinder for 'Route X' - the shortest 'safe' route to Dunkirk. She was there to re-establish the Channel Islands' lights after the German surrender and, on numerous occasions, acted as Royal Escort, (a long-standing privilege of the Elder Brethren's flagship). She took the place of the Royal Yacht when Prince Philip went to the Olympic Games in Scandinavia in 1952 and attended many ceremonial occasions.
When she was retired in 1982 to become a restaurant in Sweden, her tender, also named Patricia, was sold into private ownership. At Dunkirk, Patricia's tender ferried troops off the beaches while her parent-ship, which was bombed soon afterwards, stood off to receive and repatriate them. After two previous owners, Kenneth and Phyllis Brewer bought her in 1986 and kept her near Boston in Lincolnshire until selling her to a Mr. Staniforth, probably in 1995/6.
She was then in need of restoration and taken to Newson’s yard in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft on the East Coast, and placed on hard-standing. The intention was that Mr. Staniforth’s brother would carry out the work, but he died, and the boat was left to deteriorate further.
In mid 1998, Keith Slaughter gained ownership. Poor Patricia was in a very poor state by this time, and a total restoration began. This is progressing steadily with the intention is that she will be ready for the 60th anniversary return in June 2000.