Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dunkirk Spirit

Commuting in London can be a bit of a pain. There is much grumbling about the long delays, random halts, packed carriages, and over-running engineering works (a special of long weekends like Easter). But people muddle through, quoting the Dunkirk spirit.

But today was reminded of the real thing. Taking the boat rather than the tube, and with the normal high speed Cabot out of service (engine problem - again - and good riddance, not that keen on it), we traveled a bit slower but in more style on the M.V. Kingwood.

At the front was a plague, "Dunkirk 1940". For the Kingwood is one of the little boats that rescued the British Army in its hour of need.

Puts the hassles of the tube into context!


Tillerman said...

Aaah, the Dunkirk spirit. There's nothing that appeals more to the British psyche than a glorious retreat.

JP said...

Actually I always think that Dunkirk itself was a victory - an extremely successful evacuation.

It was before that the BEF got defeated (and we don't talk about that)!

alex collier said...

She never went to Dunkirk , she was commissioned along with a few other vessels of Joseph mears fleet. However their steam propulsion prevented them from crossing the channel to Dunkirk , their steam boilers seized up with the salt water. It’s a common misconception that the Kingwood went to Dunkirk , she was commissioned but never went. Princess Freda is a good example of a Thames passenger boat that actually went as she was built in 1926 with a Perkins 6 cylinder Diesel engine thus enabling her to cross the channel and partake in operation Dynamo. Princess Freda currently runs on the upriver service from Westminster to Hampton court.

JP said...

Thanks Alex - I was working from the sign I saw inside, useful to get a bit more info. I'm guessing they meant they tried to be part of the Dunkirk operation (even if weren't in the end)

I shall try to go on Princess Freda sometime (last time did that route went on MV Connaught)

alex collier said...

Yes she was commissioned that’s why she sports the sign , Viscount and Marchinoness were also commissioned by the navy to cross the channel to Dunkirk but were unable to , It has been said that they operated as hospital ships for the returning wounded around gravesend. Connaughts a lovely boat same design as kingwood.