Hms Enchantress - Ships Nostalgia
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Hms Enchantress

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  #1  
Old 15th February 2009, 14:06
OMEGAONE OMEGAONE is offline  
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Post Hms Enchantress

Hello, I wonder if anyone can help me.
Clearing out my father-in-laws house, we have found an old teak outer front door. On the inside of the door is a plaque which states " Made by Hughes Bolckow Shipbreaking Company Ltd, Blyth, Northumberland from Teak taken from the Admiralty Yacht Enchantress".
We do not have a date.
The door was on the house when it was bought in the early 1960's. It has been stored since in a garage, but is in good condition.
Can anyone tell us which Yacht and any dates this might have pertained to? We need to get rid of it, and I thought I would try and sell it on ebay. Any historical help would be much appreciated.
Thanks is advance.
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  #2  
Old 15th February 2009, 14:13
K urgess K urgess is offline
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There are three RN vessels by the name ENCHANTRESS listed on Miramar
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show/150915
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show/418965
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show/418963
It looks like it may be the middle one you want listed as broken up at Sunderland in July 1905
Cheers
Kris
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  #3  
Old 15th February 2009, 14:56
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Greetings Omegaone and welcome to SN on your first posting. Bon voyage.
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  #4  
Old 16th February 2009, 03:54
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melliget melliget is offline  
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Hi.

It could have been from the Admiralty yacht of that name, completed 1903 (2514 tons), broken up 1935:
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show/177757

If it is this yacht, then I would guess that quite a number of famous people may have walked through that door, including Churchill. From "Churchill and Chartwell", by Stefan Buczacki (2008), pp.47, 48:

"The HMS Enchantress that took Churchill to sea was one of a lost
breed of ocean-going splendours, a steam yacht. They were glorious
craft with slim and elegantly raked funnels, a bowsprit and sumptuous
polished wood and brass, epitomising late Victorian and Edwardian
style and grace. In 1911, the navy had two - the twin-funnelled Royal
Yacht Victoria and Albert III and the single funnelled Enchantress with a
complement of 196 officers and ratings which was the the disposal of the
Commissioners of the Admiralty, and especially of the First Lord. And
no First Lord took greater advantage of her than Churchill. He had
been in post for only a few weeks before he was on board; and between
his appointment as First Lord in late 1911 and the outbreak of war, he
was on Enchantress for a total of eight months; indeed during some
months, such as November 1911, he was seldom away from her. Much
of this time he was visiting ships, dockyards and other naval installa-
tions, although the First Lord was a generous host and Clementine and
other family members and friends were often invited to share the pleas-
ures of life afloat.

In 1914, Enchantress served as a field hospital for officers but was
then laid up until recommissioned in January 1919. She was ultimately
broken up early in 1935 when Churchill was asked if he would like to
have the pane of glass from the ship that had been engraved with his
coat of arms. He declined, saying he had nowhere to hang it."


However, on the completion of the new sloop of the same name in 1935, The Times (08 Apr 1935) reported that:

"All the furniture and plate from the old
Enchantress is being transferred to the new vessel,
and by using this equipment the official apart-
ments of the new Enchantress will be fitted out
at little cost."

According to Naval-History.net, this new Enchantress served through WW2, was sold after the war and renamed Lady Enchantress, and was broken up in 1952 at Dunston on the Tyne.

So perhaps your door was part of this history. Or was another Enchantress altogether (there were several yachts with the name)

I don't think it was the one sold in 1905 though. Despite the note on the Miramar entry about being broken up, it seems to have been taken over by the Royal Motor Yacht Club in that year and fitted out as a floating clubhouse. It remained with the club up until the start of the war, attending numerous regattas and hosting club dinners. An article in The Times (20 Oct 1919) possibly reports of her demise by fire in 1915:

"The last loss of that year [1915] was Resource II, 1,000 tons, which
was destroyed by fire in Southampton Harbour,
where she was used as a headquarters for the Royal
Naval Volunteer Motor-Boat Reserve. The vessel
was better known as Enchantress."


regards,
Martin

Last edited by melliget : 16th February 2009 at 04:07. Reason: Small text too hard to read
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  #5  
Old 16th February 2009, 04:25
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melliget melliget is offline  
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If you google just ENCHANTRESS BOLCKOW, you'll see a couple of references to other furniture made from the Enchantress, incl. these seats on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament:

http://www.aafgb.com/wwweb/toys/HUGH...#slide0088.htm

Hughes Bolckow did this with quite a number of ships they broke up. A great idea, really: to recycle the materials of the ships and at the same time retain the link to the ships' histories.
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  #6  
Old 16th February 2009, 14:29
OMEGAONE OMEGAONE is offline  
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Thank you all so much for your interesting comments and links. Even without the door to sell, I am finding the historical part quite absorbing. I have put the door on ebay now. And will add one or two of the facts you have kindly given me. So grateful for all your help.
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  #7  
Old 17th February 2009, 12:03
Richard Maskiell Richard Maskiell is offline  
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The three yachts Enchantress were fated as follows:
No 1 (built as despatch vessel Helicon, renamed Enchantress 1.4.1888) was sold 11.7.1905 for intended BU at Sunderland by Laidler but was resold as mercantile Resource II. Hired by the Navy 1.10.1915 as a depot ship for motor boats, she was destroyed by fire at Southampton on 12.11.1915
No 2 was built specifically as the Admiralty yacht. Sold 24.6.1935 for BU at Dover.
No 3 was built as a sloop but fitted out for service as the Admiralty yacht. Converted back to a sloop in 1939, she rammed and sank the Italian sub Corallo on 13.12.1942. Sold 24.10.1946 for conversiuon to mercantile Lady Enchantress and BU on the Tyne by Clayton & Davie in 1952. There is an article on her post-war history in Ships Monthly January 1968.

Based on this No 3 would seem to be the best candidate based on geography.
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  #8  
Old 17th February 2009, 21:53
benjidog benjidog is offline
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Welcome from Lancashire.
I hope you will enjoy the site.
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  #9  
Old 17th February 2009, 22:33
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HMS Enchantress was based at Chatham Dockyard prewar.I often saw her in the Medway.
Thankyou for her later history.
Stan
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  #10  
Old 25th September 2009, 08:03
Hughes Bolckow Collector Hughes Bolckow Collector is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMEGAONE View Post
Hello, I wonder if anyone can help me.
Clearing out my father-in-laws house, we have found an old teak outer front door. On the inside of the door is a plaque which states " Made by Hughes Bolckow Shipbreaking Company Ltd, Blyth, Northumberland from Teak taken from the Admiralty Yacht Enchantress".
We do not have a date.
The door was on the house when it was bought in the early 1960's. It has been stored since in a garage, but is in good condition.
Can anyone tell us which Yacht and any dates this might have pertained to? We need to get rid of it, and I thought I would try and sell it on ebay. Any historical help would be much appreciated.
Thanks is advance.
Hi! Can you tell me if you managed to sell the door on Ebay as I have just noticed your original message, thanks.
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  #11  
Old 25th September 2009, 10:59
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughes Bolckow Collector View Post
Hi! Can you tell me if you managed to sell the door on Ebay as I have just noticed your original message, thanks.
Omegaone hasn't logged on since February so you may have to send a private message or email to get his attention.
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  #12  
Old 25th September 2009, 15:37
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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Enchantress (1935) converted post WW2 into passenger ship by Thornycrofts.
see:http://www.photoship.co.uk/JAlbum%20...ntress-05.html
She ran unsuccessfully first on the Thames and later at Torquay on excursions to Channel Isles. On final sailing she was disabled by boiler problems mid channel and had to be towed back to Torquay, was laid up and later scrapped.
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