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Pipe manufacturer Sanha has helped the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust in its latest project, the restoration of ‘Dorian’. Hearing about the important role the boat played in the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, Sanah was keen to help, and have donated the stainless steel tubing needed to complete the project.
Commenting on the collaboration, UK MD Barny Parks says: “We’re delighted to assist the Trust with this project, and are proud to say that 24m of our 28mm NiroSan pipe is now helping Dorian to return to her former glory.”
Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust Trustee, John Ponsford, commented: “The Trust relies on donations in order to be able to save these Little Ships from becoming lost forever. Sanha’s generous donation will help considerably towards the restoration of Dorian.”
In May 1940, more than 338,000 allied troops found themselves trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. As the British Government orchestrated their rescue, codenamed Operation Dynamo, they appealed to civilian boat owners to help with the evacuation. The Admiralty quickly commandeered about 850 small, private vessels, later christened ‘The Little Ships of Dunkirk’.
One of these remarkable boats, Dorian, was a 41-foot harbour launch originally built in 1915 by the Royal Navy, before being sold in 1937 to a Mr Findlay who converted her into a cruising yacht for charter. Following her role in Operation Dynamo, she spent the rest of World War II at anchor in Chichester harbour. After having a number of private owners over the years, Dorian suffered a catastrophic fire in the wheelhouse while being renovated ashore. Sadly, when she was purchased for £1 in 2011 by The Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust, her hull – 2 inches of double-diagonal teak – was almost all that remained of her.
Now, as part of the Trust’s ongoing mission to rescue these historic vessels, she is being painstakingly rebuilt. The restoration, which is being supervised by a professional boat builder, is being carried out by volunteers from the Trust at their workshop in Southampton Docks. Reliant on donations to continue their important work, the Trust approached SANHA to ask if they could provide some stainless 316L tubing for the restoration project.