Type: Motor Cruiser
Length: 48ft 6ins
Beam: 11ft 2ins
Draft: 3ft 2ins
Displacement: 15 tons GRT
Engine: 2 x Perkins 6cyl Diesels
Boat Construction: Carvel
Builder: Enterprise Small Craft, Rock Ferry
The story of Fairwind is very similar to that of many Dunkirk Little Ships. Built in 1937 by Enterprise Small Craft at Rock Ferry, she was a fairly new, comfortable motor cruiser when she went to Dunkirk in 1940.
There is no doubt that she was one of the Little Ships; her name appears in the Ministry of War Transport List, in both of David Divine's contemporary histories of the evacuation and in the Dunkirk Veterans' List. Since she is not in the list of boats collected by Tough Brothers of Teddington, she may not have come from the Thames. When she was requisitioned she belonged to Major C.H. Hutton, who lived at Fig Tree Court, The Temple, London SE4. No one recorded her exact deeds in Operation Dynamo. Nor do we know what became of her when her war service ended.
Sometime after the war she was re-named Tranquil Dawn and her 3-cylinder Russell Newbury engines were replaced with twin 6-cyl. Perkins units but, through neglect by a number of successive owners, she gradually deteriorated until a Frenchman, Richard Quenoy, bought her for what he subsequently discovered was an excessive price. But he rose to the challenge, left his job and went about restoring the old-timer. He could not afford traditional materials, so he strengthened the ribs and decking and sheathed her in fibreglass. She may no longer be fit to cross the Channel, but he has moored her at Joinville, on the river Marne, East of Paris where he lives on board and intends to enjoy her on the rivers and canals of France for many years to come.
He joined the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and flew the Cross of St. George defaced with the Arms of Dunkirk at his masthead with pride. A slight misunderstanding led him to believe that he was also entitled to the Victoria Cross! But instead he shares with all authentic Dunkirk veterans, the privilege to display in Fairwind's cockpit, a simple brass plaque engraved with the words: 'DUNKIRK 1940', - recognition enough for any ship to be proud of.
Updated April 2018.
As of April 2018, no further information concerning this historic vessel has been received. We would invite persons with knowledge of her history and whereabouts to contact the Association.
"My name is Mrs Vivienne Foord nee (Laxton) I have some information on one of your Dunkirk Little Ships : Fairwind, which is now called Tranquil Dawn. My Father used to own this vessel back in the seventies and he, my mother and I used to live aboard her and traversed the French canals for four and a half years. We had intentions of travelling through the canals and rivers to Marseille then along to Alicante in Spain where my Father wanted to start a new life, but my Mother became very homesick, thus we returned to Calais (much to my and my Fathers disappointment) hence came the sale of Tranquil Dawn. At one time on our travels a French newspaper reporter came aboard and asked what flag we were flying and on telling him it was the flag of the Dunkirk Little Ships Association he did an article about us and our vessel , I think at the time we were moored at a place called 'Creil'.
When my father died and on sorting out his belongings I came across the 'Certificate of British Registry' which has details of five previous owners including my Father and also with it a Dunkirk membership card dated 1st April 1974 .
I feel that this document should be with the now owner of Tranquil Dawn....."
Moves are afoot to secure the future of the ships papers in order that they can hopefully one day be re-united with the current owners and 'Fairwind' herself.