History of the Essex Yacht Club

The Essex Yacht Club was founded in 1890 and has occupied the same site, on the foreshore East of Leigh-on-Sea ever since.

Unusually, the club has, almost since its founding, been headquartered on ships.

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

Carlotta, 1930 to 1941

From 1930 until the Second World War, the club was quartered aboard the Carlotta. She was requisitioned by the military and lost in a bombing raid at the Pool of London in May 1941. She is pictured here (right)replacing the old Gypsy.

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

Lady Savile, 1947 to 1975

From 1947 until 1975, the club's home was the Lady Savile, formerly a tender to Atlantic liners off Plymouth.

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

Bembridge, 1975 to 2004

In 1975, as Lady Savile grew too old to maintain, she was replaced by the pilot tender Bembridge (right).

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

The Bembridge was the scene of the Club's centenary celebrations in 1990 (below).

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

Wilton, 2004 to present day

By 2001, a new ship was needed and the EYC acquired the Wilton, a former Royal Navy minehunter, notable for being the world's first GRP warship. In 2004, after extensive conversion works, she was ready for service. Being immune to the rust problems that ended the careers of her forebears, we hope she will house the club for generations to come. Here she's pictured rounding Southend Pier being towed to her new home.

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

 

The Bembridge was towed away (below) to continue her career, first at Gillingham where she was to be converted into a floating retaurant and then in a remarkable twist to Szczecin, Poland where she is being converted into offices for a shipping company.

Her new owners seem hugely proud of her, as can be seen from the introduction to her very own website. "Everything about our beautiful, over 70 years old Lady .... a prototype od full class of Pilots Tenders, one of two still "alive" vessels from that class and most probably the ancestor of flower class corvettes. This pride of British Fleet bought by us in Gillingham, UK and towed in February 2009 to Szczecin"

Gypsy, 1894 to 1930

 

Kent Boats