The London Boat Show has little to offer the super yacht enthusiast but it does on occasions have an exhibit that can raise the spirits
After an exhaustive and complicated restoration project involving thousands of man hours and the determined dedication of dozens of volunteers, the former London fireboat and Dunkirk Little Ship, Massey Shaw is takeing pride of place as a main feature vessel at the London Boat Show.
Show visitors will have the opportunity to see one of London’s most important historic vessels and learn of the ongoing fund-raising activity to support her return to Dunkirk in May 2015 when it is expected that 50 Dunkirk Little Ships escorted by the RNLI and the Royal Navy will take part in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Dynamo.
She was built in 1935 by J Samuel Whites at Cowes, Isle of Wight and named after the first Superintendent of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
She was commissioned by London County Council who requested that her design must allow her to go under all the bridges of the Thames and her tributaries at any state of the tide. The cost to build the vessel was £18,000.
Until her retirement in 1971 Massey Shaw served the Thames as part of the London Fire Service.
Massey Shaw played an important role in the protection of London during the Second World War. In May 1940 she travelled to Dunkirk three times where she ferried soldiers from the shallow waters to larger vessels anchored further out to sea. In all she is credited with the rescue of over 500 men
In 1980, she was found lying abandoned at St Katharine Docks in London.. In 1982 a registered charity, the Massey Shaw and Marine Vessels Preservation Society was set up.
Restoration has been largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with support from sponsors, enthusiasts and members, past and presently belonging to fire brigades around the country.