Grey Friar

Grey Friar was completed by Stebbings in 1925. She was designed by Norman Dallimore and was 26.9 feet over all. She had a beam of 7.9 feet and drew 4’6″.

The first clue to her beginnings are in the photo of her in construction. The photo had originally been inscribed as “6 ton sloop Golden Plover … building at Coles Yard, Maldon”. However, the photo shows that these details had been altered, to read “Grey Friar Ex [Golden Plover]”, and Coles Yard has been struck out and replaced with “Wm. Stebbings & sons, Burnham”.

The second clue comes from the Chelmsford Chronicle, 10th August 1923. This records that the stock-in-trade of Cole & sons was to be auctioned off (following bankruptcy), and that the lots included a 6-ton cutter yacht “Golden Plover” that was under construction. Cole and sons had been based at the Shipways yard, Maldon, behind what is now the MarineStore chandlery.

The evidence seems to suggest that Golden Plover and Grey Friar were the same boat, started at Coles and then purchased by Stebbings at the Coles bankruptcy sale and finished later, presumably in Burnham, with the new name.

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