'Wilton' Leigh-on-Sea Essex SS9 1BD
Answerphone (checked weekends): 01702 478404
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.
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.
From 1947 until 1975, the club's home was the Lady Savile, formerly a tender to Atlantic liners off Plymouth.
In 1975, as Lady Savile grew too old to maintain, she was replaced by the pilot tender Bembridge (right).
The Bembridge was the scene of the Club's centenary celebrations in 1990 (below).
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.
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"