Earlier in the year the 1931 built steam tug Challenge, owned by Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust, was given a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the tug to its former glory. Initial enabling works on the Challenge commenced in May in Shoreham Port’s dry dock. Since then significant progress has been made dismantling some of the key structures and it is now in the process of being re built. The Challenge is back in the Port’s dry dock having the refurbished propeller and rudder and new boiler tanks fitted.
Meanwhile Shoreham Port has seen a mix of lights, camera and action while the BBC have been on site filming in and around the dry dock for their new series of Britain and the Sea presented by David Dimbleby. In this series the BBC will be telling the story of the Challenge and the evacuation from Dunkirk at the beginning of the Second World War. The tug Challenge will be featured in an episode on invasion and defence, looking at how Britain went from a land at the mercy of marauding Vikings to a nation whose navy ruled the waves. Shoreham Port are excited to be able to assist
David Dimbleby and the BBC with his investigation into Britain’s changing relationship with the sea and are looking forward to seeing the series when it is aired.
BBC Executive Producer, Basil Comely said “Britain and the Sea will explore the rich heritage of Britain’s maritime history and culture and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to include the story of the Challenge in our series.”
Chris English, Communications Officer of the Steam Tug Challenge said “With the restoration of Challenge to sea going condition well underway, we are delighted to welcome such a high profile visitor to see the progress first hand. Particularly as the resulting coverage can only help us ensure that as wide an audience as possible may benefit from the educational aspects that this historic and fully operational steam tug will bring, thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund without whose help Challenge could have ended up as baked bean cans.”
Over the last few months Shoreham Port’s popular dry dock has attracted a range of vessels from tugs and trawlers to a magnificent three masted 19th Century barque. If you are interested in using the dry dock facility at Shoreham Port or have any questions then please contact one of the team on 01273 598100. Alternatively for further information on Shoreham Port’s dry dock please visit the Port’s dry dock web page.