Thistle RR2 36ft Gill built 1887
RR2 THISTLE is one of two remaining Medway Bawleys, the other being at Chatham Historic Dockyard. She was built by Gill’s in 1887 and she was sold to Sutherlands a well known Gravesend Fishing family in 1943. She remained with the family as a working vessel until 1970, when Bill Sutherland died. She was then the last such craft to lie of Bawley Bay on the Thames waterfront. RR2 THISTLE was eventually bought by Philip Wilkinson. She was towed to Strood to be restored. Philip Wilkinson returned her back to her original specification, ie. as built by Gill. He carried out extensive restoration work, and was able to participate in many races, including the East Coast Old Gaffers Race in 1981. Eventually, she came under new ownership, and due to personal circumstances, fell into disrepair and left sunken on a mud bank, awaiting braking up (at Faversham Creek). She was eventually hauled up on the foreshore at Hollow Shore for dismantling. In July 2017 she was purchased and towed to her new berth at Iron Wharf Boatyard, Faversham. Thistle is now lieing on a mud berth at the Iron Wharf Boatyard, Faversham, Kent and has been made watertight, mud cleared out of the hull and rubbish removed. She will be lifted in the Autumn 2017 for assessment, and made winter ready. She will lie in her berth to keep her hull in its current state, and avoid shrinkage. At this point no works have taken place until the assessment. A list of works will be made and a works plan/materials plan ready for works to commence. THISTLE is now resting on a mud berth at the Iron Wharf Boatyard. She will be lifted in the Autumn 2017 for assessment.