The last surviving manned light vessel in the UK has finally found a berth at Harwich, its old home port and headquarters of Trinity House. LV 18 was built in 1958 by Philip and Son Ltd of Dartmouth and was first stationed at St Govan. It served on several of the rough weather stations before its final station at Dowsing, north of Cromer.
The 581gt vessel is 114ft long and has nine cabins, mess room, galley and recreation room, with six small Gardner engines to power the lantern, foghorns and ship’s equipment. Below decks it has been preserved in its original condition. It was withdrawn from service in 1990 and used for storage at Railway Quay, Harwich.
In 1999 it was used for the first of several offshore radio revivals. In 2001 ownership had been transferred to a charity, the Pharos Trust and, after years of wrangling among local councillors, it was finally given an approved mooring at the Quay, Harwich. Thanks to a grant from the Haven Gateway Partnership, which paid for the mooring, it has been refurbished externally and returned to its original 1950s livery.