LITTLE SHIP – BIG HEART Wheatcroft Collection donates Dunkirk veteran to historic boat restorer couple

The Wheatcroft Collection CEO, Kevin Wheatcroft is pleased to report that Nydia, a 32 ft. long veteran of the Dunkirk rescue fleet has this week found a new home with Malcolm Jones and Janine Marshall at Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey, Surrey.

Nydia, one of two Dunkirk Little Ships rescued by the Wheatcroft Collection some years ago was gifted by the collection to Malcolm and Janine who intend to restore her to a very high standard, hopefully enabling her re-join the surviving fleet.

Mr Wheatcroft added ‘It was our job to preserve the boat until a new home could be found and her preservation guaranteed’.

As early as 14th May 1940 the BBC announced that “the Admiralty requests all owners of self-propelled craft between 30ft. and 100ft. to send all particulars within fourteen days” so that they could be requisitioned. This was more an order than a request and by 26th May most of them were called into service. Nydia had only just been completed by Thornycrofts for Harold Turner, who had commissioned her, when the Admiralty took her over. They kept her throughout the war and she was only returned to Harold Turner for a short time and was then sold to C.J. Deal, the young Naval officer who had commanded her briefly in the war.

At Dunkirk she ferried troops from the beach to the larger vessels lying off and she finally returned full of British and French soldiers. For the rest of the war, she was stationed in Chatham Dockyard.