Boys’ Own

Ship details: The “Boys’ Own” was built in Beverley, by Cook, Welton & Gemmel 1938, the original owners being I. Newby and Consortium. She passed to Trevor Silverwood in1960.

In 1968 she was modernized at Hepworths on the Humber, being renamed Flamborian on her return to service. The vessel was owned by Andrea Connelly until June 1998. Each year between April 1st and October 30th, she carried up to 160 passengers on cruises of various times and distances around Bridlington Bay, viewing the shipping lanes, the cliffs at Flamborough Head and the seabird colony at Bempton. There is a bar and toilets on board, and during cruises a running commentary was given by the skipper. 

When built she could carry 172 passengers and was powered by twin 88hp Kelvin diesel engines, which at 750rpm gave her a speed of 10 knots. Her registered tonnage was 25.2 tons. The skipper then was I. R. Newby and the engineer Mr W. Newby. The vessel underwent Board of Trade trials in the Humber and was tested three times over a measured mile, twice against the tide and once with it. The average speed was ten knots. She was fitted with a saloon bar and a separate ladies’ cabin aft. During the war the vessel saw service with R.A.S.C. on the Tees, Tyne and Humber. When being refitted in the 1960s by Trevor Silverwood, her original engines were replaced with twin Gardener 6LX at ll6hp each. She has a steel riveted hull with cruiser stern and straight stem and is 70ft overall in length, with a beam of l7ft. She has a 4ft 6in draught and is approx. 5ft 6in out of the water. Her fuel consumption is about six gallons per hour. Her gross tonnage is 52.22 with a registered tonnage of 27.17. 

Flamborian had an extensive refit over the 1986/87 winter, at both Scarborough and Grimsby. The ship left Bridlington for Swanage, in Dorset, in June 1998, where she was to be renamed Swanage Queen. [Information by Mike Wilson]

It was hoped that the profits from her operation in the south would go towards her restoration. She represented all the services normally carried out by the Dorset Belles, including a trip to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Since then the Flamborian has been on the market for many months due to lack of funds and motivation.

On 18 January 2004, the Flamborian finally made a six-hour voyage from Weymouth to Exmouth. Her 44-year-old engines started straight away and then she sailed the fifty miles to her new home. She was scheduled to be recommissioned by Stuart Line Cruises in 2006. The vessel was sold in 2004 to Stuart Line on the River Exe but saw no service with them and was sold on to become a houseboat in France.

Offshore radio station: Radio Free Yorkshire.

Before the General Election in 1964, the vessel was hired by John J. MacCallum and John Knox Crawford, prospective Liberal parliamentary candidates for the Bridlington and Howden divisions respectively. There was a single broadcast on 5th July 1964, confirmed in an article in the Hull Daily Mail from July 6th 1964. The newspaper shows a photo of both men leaving the harbour on the 4th with a gas filled balloon to lift their makeshift aerial to 100.5 metres. They chose the wavelenth of the offshore radio station Radio Atlanta (201 metres). According to John MacCallum the broadcast lasted for only 30 minutes and was meant as a gesture of protest. He said they wanted to “demonstrate the dangers of pirate radio and to protest against the conditions which allow pirate stations to exist“.

Location: International waters off Bridlington Bay (UK)