Vanguard, a 45ft Dredger designed by Norman Dallimore the renowned yacht designer and built by R. J. Priors, was launched in 1937 at Burnham on Crouch. In May 1940 she in company with Seasalter and a cruiser called Ma Joie sailed for Dunkirk. She was crewed by skipper Grimwade and the engineer Joe Clough.
Because they sailed directly to Dunkirk they arrived well before the rest of the little ships. On arrival they were told not to enter the harbour so they started ferrying troops off the beach to the bigger ships in the roads. Ma Joie suffered mechanical problems, was left at anchor and the crew went aboard the fishing boats. At daylight they loaded for the last time and sailed for Ramsgate, arriving 24hrs later.
After the war she was returned to Oyster Dredging then later used for trawling before being laid up and neglected. In 1993 James A, Gager bought her and restored her to her former glory. He took her to Dunkirk in 1995 in company of approximately 60 other Little Ships and has travelled extensively attending many ADLS reunions and events.

Quite recently the engine has been completely rebuilt and her deck space and stability in the water make her an ideal vessel both for filming and filming from. She appeared in the 1999 Meridian TV documentary "A Walk Through History"

Contact: James A. Gager, 22 Southview Road, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 8DX
Tel: 07960 085320
Vanguard 1937

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