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News & Events

Historic Boat Celebrates 100th Birthday At Gosport Marina

Date:

Gosport Marina was delighted to celebrate the 100th birthday of winter berthing customer “Our Lizzie” last month. 

Built in 1920 at Porthleven, Cornwall, “Our Lizzie” has an exciting history and has been a part of some fascinating stories over the years. 

Her owner, Mr Peter Manning, has been a berth holder at Gosport for over 20 years and celebrated her birthday at the marina last month, inviting the marina team onto the boat for cake and drinks.

Peter said: “Our Lizzie’s 100th birthday was great; it was marvellous to mark the event and a good time to meet other berth holders – I was glad the weather held out!” 

Standing at 46 foot long, “Our Lizzie” is a rare surviving example of a period Gaff rigged “drifter”, with a delightful counter stern, making her an arresting sight and a wonderful addition to Gosport Marina over the winter seasons. She started her incredible story by spending a brief period of time being used for fishing, until she was put to good use during WW2 as a spy ship in the Baltic, as well as duty at Dunkirk. More recently, “Our Lizzie” has found herself on the big screen, with television and film appearances including The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Dracula, The Apple Tree and regular appearances in The Onedin Line television series.

Owner, Peter further commented: “She is a piece of British history and has been a large part of so many people’s lives. The ownership is more like a custodianship with a responsibility to keep and maintain her and, to an extent, share her. Her history belongs to all of us and cannot be owned.” 

“Our Lizzie” is now retiring from her working career and will be used for pleasure, offering luxury accommodation below decks, whilst still retaining the outward appearance and lines of the working vessel she is, keeping her history intact.”

The refit has taken just under 4 years and she has undergone extensive replacement of all defective frames and planks, new deck and superstructure, new engine and gear and new sails and rigging. 

Peter’s plan is to take “Our Lizzie” on a trip around Europe this summer, including attending the 80th anniversary of Dunkirk and even heading to St Ives to meet both the descendants of the Oliver family who built her and the Penberthy family who commissioned and fished her.