The Trinity House Story - A Talk by Cap’t Karl Lumbers


Little Waldingfield History Society was delighted to welcome Captain Karl Lumbers to the Parish Room, to share this history with our guests, and what a fascinating story it was, far exceeding all of our expectations.

Before beginning his talk, Karl explained that he was one of around 400 Younger Brethren, who comprise a fraternity drawn from various sectors of the maritime community. They contribute to the unique authority of Trinity House, and give assistance and advice on the Corporation’s maritime and charitable activities, of which there are many.

Introduction to Trinity House

Karl now gave us some of the headline facts and figures for Trinity House, who maintain:

  • Over 60 lighthouses around England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar - highly visual aids to navigation which range from isolated offshore towers exposed to the open sea (e.g. Eddystone and Bishop Rock) to shore-based stations in some of the nation's most beautiful locations, such as Lizard, Bardsey, Nash Point and Peninnis - see map below.
  • Around 450 buoys, and additionally inspect those maintained by port and harbour authorities, utility companies, and oil/gas rig and wind farm operators.
  • Safety at sea via their Notices to Mariners, which provide essential, up to date information and advice to those navigating within their area of jurisdiction - Trinity House’s primary function.

Lighthouses and lightvessels around the coast of England

Trinity House also provide:

  • Wreck marking - they have a statutory responsibility to mark and, if necessary, quickly remove wrecks which are a danger to navigation.
  • A satellite-based navigation system in conjunction with the two General Lighthouse Authorities, one for Scotland and one for All Ireland, who together cover all of the seas around our islands.
  • The PANAR (Providers Aids to Navigation Availability Reporting) database - an online database administered by Trinity House to assist Harbour and Other Local Lighthouse Authorities to fulfil their responsibility to maintain records of aids to navigation.
  • Deep sea pilots for expert navigation for ships trading in northern European waters.


To enable Trinity House to fulfil their responsibilities, they have three purpose-built Trinity House Vessels (THVs) designed to carry out the important work of maintaining their range of aids to navigation, including lighthouses and buoys; the main operational base is at Harwich, where there is also a buoy yard, with also a smaller base in Swansea.

  • THV Galatea
    A state of the art vessel with many additional features, including DPAA dynamic positioning, a range of high specification survey equipment, a 30 tonne lift crane, a 1.2m² moon pool, a large working deck with capability to lock containers on deck with plug in 230v or 400v power supply, a helicopter-landing pad and a high-speed workboat.
  • THV Patricia
    A Multi-Functional Tender which operates around the coast of England, Wales and the Channel Islands, undertaking aid to navigation maintenance work, towing, wreck location and marking. With a 20 tonne main crane capacity, 28 tonne bollard pull and towing winch, she is also survey capable; she also has accommodation for an additional 20 people and benefits from a helicopter-landing pad.
  • THV Alert
    A Rapid Intervention Vessel (RIV) designed with buoy handling, wreck marking, towing, multibeam and side scan hydrographic surveying capability. With DP1, high specification survey equipment and a maximum speed of 17 knots, Alert is deployed primarily to cover the South East Coast where she can respond rapidly to any maritime incident.

THV Galatea

THV Patricia

We were told that Trinity House has four locations around the country, comprising:

  • A central London office and venue, for fund raising, overlooking the Tower of London;
  • Offices and Depot in Harwich, from which their commercial services are run and where TH maintains its buoy yard;
  • A west coast out-station in Swansea; and
  • A south coast out-station at St Just, Lands’ End.

Much of the day to day work is the maintenance of their around 450 buoys and the ongoing inspection of those maintained by port and harbour authorities, as noted above; amazingly around 10,000 buoys are inspected each year.

Their own buoys are moored to the sea bed with a cast iron sinker, with weights varying between 1 and 8 tonnes. The weight of the sinker and length of chain used to moor the buoy depend on several factors, including the type of buoy, depth of water, strength of tide and the exposure of the buoy. Most TH buoys have two mooring eyes to which shackles are attached to two pieces of chain to form a bridle; this runs down to a swivel to allow the buoy to rotate, preventing the bridle from twisting and dragging the buoy under water.

Buoys are essential to providing mariners with visual orientation and spatial awareness, and also provide hazard, channel and waypoint marking. In addition, equipment can be added to buoys to provide additional services such as the transmission of AIS (Automatic Identification System), meteorological and hydrological data. Tall H buoys are overhauled on land every six years.

It seems there are quite a range of buoys for different purposes, including:

  • Lateral Marks: used to mark the sides of well-defined navigable channels.
  • Cardinal Marks: used in conjunction with a compass to indicate the direction in which the deepest navigable water lies, drawing attention to a bend, junction or fork in a channel.
  • General Direction of Buoyage; important because other countries such as the US have a different general direction of buoyage.
  • Isolated Danger Marks: used to mark small, isolated dangers with navigable water around the buoy, typically to mark hazards such as an underwater shoal or rock.
  • Safe Water Marks: used to indicate the presence of safe, navigable water all around the buoy.
  • Emergency Wreck Buoys: used to provide a clear and unambiguous means of marking new wrecks, as a temporary response typically for the first 24 - 72 hours after wreck identification.
  • Special marks: used to indicate a special area or feature, the nature of which is determined by reference to a chart or Notice to Mariners. Special Marks are also used in the marking of cables and pipelines, including outfall pipes and recreation zones.

Some of the many types of buoys

Karl then told us some of the history of marine pilotage in the UK, which seems to have begun around 1215, although this took quite a while to take off. In 1513 this group of mariners became concerned with pilotage on the Thames - there were no charts until1584 and many pilots were not English, some being French, Dutch or Scottish (with whom the English were at war) so they petitioned the King. Henry VIII granted a charter on 20 May 1514 to the already existing Trinity House, “to ensure the safe regulation of shipping on the Thames and to provide for aged mariners”. Refer also to a more detailed later section concerning pilots and pilotage.

Today Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community, with a statutory duty as a General Lighthouse Authority to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost-effective aids to navigation for the benefit and safety of all mariners

Trinity House Duty of Care to Mariners

As part of the duty of care to aged mariners, TH now owns and manages 18 almshouses in Walmer, Kent, comprising 18 one and two bedroom bungalows for mariners of more than 15 year’s service, or their widows / spinster daughters. Such charitable acts predate the formal incorporation of TH as they were a benevolent fraternity with a self-appointed duty to care for distressed mariners and their widows or dependants. That fraternity, which today would be call a charity, was based at Deptford, with a great hall and 21 almshouses to its name. Almshouses in time became a major part of their charitable works, although today the Trinity House Maritime Charity - see more details below -extends to many other diverse projects and causes.

For a long time, this provision of homes was a concentrated effort by the Master, Wardens and Assistants (commonly ‘the Elder Brethren’) of Trinity House, and since incorporation TH has bought, inherited, built and maintained many properties and lands for benevolent purposes, the more important of which were as follows:

  • Deptford ‘Lower Ground’
    In possession of the Guild before incorporation, the hall and almshouses were built in the C15th for “decayed Masters of Ships and their Widows”, on a triangular plot of land in the Stowage at Deptford, not far from the river. The original almshouses and great hall were demolished and rebuilt in 1660, though by 1788 had become ruinous and were taken down and again rebuilt on the same site. Residents were removed from these houses around 1863 and the premises were let. Many coloured glass panes from the hall with merchants’ marks today survive as the only record of the early Masters and Wardens of the Corporation, and now adorn the windows in the library at Trinity House - see picture further below.
  • Deptford ‘Upper Ground’
    The ground on which 38 almshouses were erected circa 1671, on three sides of a one acre quadrangle. Captain Richard Maples left the Corporation £1,300 (around £150,000 today) with which a hall and 18 additional almshouses were built, completing the quadrangle. The almshouses stood until 1866 when they slowly fell into disrepair, so residents were gradually vacated and the site let out in 1875.
  • Mile End
    In 1695 28 almshouses and a chapel were built to accommodate the growing ‘brotherhood’ of mariners. The original 28 dwelling houses ran down each side of a quadrangle, with a chapel at one end. The interior of the chapel contained the painted glass panes which survive alongside the Deptford panes in the Trinity House library. Counting the almshouses at Deptford and those at Mile End together, the Corporation possessed 93 in the year 1730, 111 in 1770 and 144 in 1815. By 1893, however, the almshouses at Deptford had been pulled down and a system of pensions established in their place.
  • Newington Estate (Now Trinity Village)
    Christopher Merrick, a Merchant of London, conveyed this estate to the Corporation for £1,694 “to the intent… that the Rents and Profits should… for ever thereafter be laid out paid… bestowed and expended… for relieving comforting easing and maintaining of the poor aged sick maimed weak and decayed Seamen and Mariners of this Kingdom their wives children and widows where most need was or should be conceived in the judgment…of the… said Brotherhood.” Located a short walk from London Bridge, the Newington Estate was renamed Trinity Village in 2008, and the income derived from its 400 households is a major contribution to the charity’s fund.
  • Lincolnshire Estate
    This land came to the Corporation under the will of Captain Robert Sandes in 1720, with a trust for poor seamen, their widows and orphans. The estate now totals 565 acres of farms and outlying pastures.
  • Changes to the Charity’s Giving Powers
    As the C19th saw the expanding merchant marine send greater numbers of men to sea, the need for welfare, almshouses and pensions for decayed seamen and their widows rose, and by 1845 there were 8,766 pensioners under the care of Trinity House. However, the 1853 legislation to regulate the Corporation’s accounts had a significant impact on the charity’s giving powers - in 1852 pension outgoings were £36,000 (today close to £3 million), but by 1855 this had reduced to £9,000.
  • Walmer Homes
    In 1958 the Corporation built the Walmer Homes almshouses in Kent, to replace the war-damaged homes at Mile End, which had become largely industrialised, so the Elder Brethren decided upon a site more suitable for elderly retired people than central London.

Walmer Homes in Kent

Trinity House Historical Timeline

Karl now took us through an incredible 500 year history of Trinity House:

  • 1514 Incorporation
    Henry’s royal charter established the Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond, and Sir Thomas Sperte became the first Master.
  • 1566 Seamarks Act
    Elizabeth 1st grants Trinity House the power to build lighthouses and other seamarks for the protection of seafarers.
  • 1594 Ballastage Rights
    Elizabeth 1st confers upon Trinity House sole ballastage rights on the Thames - the Corporation could dredge up gravel from the river bed for sale as ballast to unladen sailing ships - important early income for the charity.
  • 1588 Spanish Armada
    On hearing of the approach of the Spanish, Captain Robert Salmon, Master of Trinity House, offered 30 sail of armed merchant ships to join the Lord Admiral for four days. The flag taken from the Spaniards by Sir Francis Drake was thereafter on display at Trinity House, though sadly lost in the fire of 1715 which destroyed the building then in Water Lane. Karl told us that these ships were mostly commanded by Elder Brothers; he also said that trinity House paid the ransoms for sailors captured for slavery.


  • 1604 Thames Pilotage
    Granted by James 1st to Trinity House concerning compulsory pilotage of shipping and the exclusive right to license pilots.
  • 1609 First lighthouse built
    The first two lighthouses were built on the foreshore at Lowestoft to warn shipping of dangerous sandbanks around the coast. Both were lit by candles, and by lining up the two lights, vessels could navigate the Stamford Channel. Karl told us there was a 4d (about £2.50 now) light due on every ship passing the lights, both in and out; he then advised current dues are £7,000.
  • 1676 Samuel Pepys
    The renowned diarist and naval administrator is elected Master of Trinity House.
  • 1685 Renewed Royal Charter
    This document remains the foundation of the authority today.


Trinity House Charter

  • 1698 Eddystone
    Becomes the first rock lighthouse in Europe; built by Henry Winstanley, it was destroyed by a storm in 1703. At this time England was at war with France, and so important was the project that the Admiralty provided a warship for protection when work was taking place. One morning in June 1697 the protective vessel did not arrive, but instead a French privateer did. This carried Winstanley against his will to France, but when Louis XIV heard of the incident he ordered Winstanley be immediately released saying that "France was at war with England, not with humanity".

Winstanley's Eddystone lighthouse

  • 1709 Eddystone
    Architect John Rudyerd took a shipbuilder’s approach to building the next lighthouse, coming up with a design based on a cone instead of Winstanley's octagonal shape. His final wooden tower, lit in 1709, proved much more serviceable and the lighthouse stood for 47 years. On the night of 2 December 1755 the roof of the lantern caught fire, presumably from the candles, and 94 year old watch keeper Henry Hall tried to put out the fire by throwing water upwards from a bucket. While looking up, some of the roof’s molten lead fell into his throat! He and another keeper continued to battle the fire but could do nothing as it was above them all the time - as it burnt downwards it gradually drove them out on to the rock. The lighthouse continued to burn for five days and was completely destroyed. Henry Hall died 12 days after the incident and a Dr Spry of Plymouth undertook a post-mortem, finding a flat oval piece of lead in his stomach weighing more than 7 ounces. He sent an account to the Royal Society but the Fellows were sceptical whether a man could live in this condition for 12 days. The doctor was so incensed that, for the sake of his reputation, he performed many experiments on dogs and fowls, pouring molten lead down their throats to prove that they could live.

Contemporary picture of Rudyerd's Eddystone lighthouse by Isaac Sailmaker

Henry Hall plaque in Plymouth

  • 1732 Lightvessel
    The world’s first lightvessel was moored near the Nore Sands at the mouth of the Thames, which Karl told us had bonfires at each and of the ship. After 1915 the lightship was no longer used, and as of 2006, Sea Reach No 1 Buoy marks the anchorage-point of the former lightship, midway between Shoeburyness and the Isle of Sheppey, and defines the limit of the Thames and the beginning of the North Sea.
  • 1759 Eddystone
    Following destruction of the lighthouse, Trinity House put a lightvessel to guard the position until a permanent light could be built. In 1757 John Smeaton, recommended by the Royal Society, decided to construct a tower based on the shape of an English oak tree for strength, made from dovetailed stone with marble dowels. With Press ganging a problem for the workforce, Trinity House arranged with the Admiralty and struck a medal for each labourer, proving they were working on the lighthouse and ensuring they would be exempt from being kidnapped into naval service. The completed tower had 24 candles and stood for 120 years, until cracks appeared in the rocks on which it was standing. The top half of Smeaton’s tower was dismantled and re-erected on Plymouth Hoe as a monument to the builder and the remaining stump still stands on the Eddystone Rock.

Smeatons Eddystone lighthouse

  • 1757 Captain James Cook
    In June 1757 Cook formally passed his master's examinations at Trinity House, Deptford, which qualified him to navigate and handle a ship of the King's fleet. Everyone knows of his famous voyages discovering the Eastern boundary of Australia, but the audience was most surprised when Karl advised that charts he personally had used of parts of the Pacific, some 200 plus years later, still had navigational notes attributed to James Cook!
  • 1796 Headquarters
    The current headquarters are built at Tower Hill; now listed as Grade I but see also below.
  • 1801 The Smalls lighthouse tragedy
    Smalls Lighthouse stands on the largest of a group of wave-washed basalt and dolerite rocks known as The Smalls, approximately 20 miles west of Marloes Peninsula in Pembrokeshire, so is very isolated. Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffith, the two-person team that managed the lighthouse, were publicly known to quarrel, so when Griffith died in a freak accident, Howell feared that if he discarded the body into the sea, authorities might accuse him of murder. As Griffith's body began to decompose, Howell built a makeshift coffin for the corpse, lashing it to an outside shelf. Strong winds then blew the box apart and the body's arm fell within view of the hut's window - as the winds blew, gusts would catch the arm and move it in a way that made the appendage appear to beckon. In spite of his former partner's decaying corpse and working the lighthouse alone, Howell was able to keep the house's lamp lit, but when finally relieved of duty, his friends did not recognize him; as a result of this event, Trinity House changed its lighthouse policy to make lighthouse teams rosters of three people.

Small's lighthouse today

  • 1803 Blackwall workshops
    Are established by the Thames and become a hub for engineering and lighthouse keeper training.
  • 1836 All lighthouses
    Trinity House is given compulsory purchase powers to acquire and maintain all private lighthouses.
  • 1838 Grace Darling
    This daughter of the keeper of Longstone lighthouse, a TH employee, rows out with her father to save nine victims of the wrecked steamer Forfarshire.

Longstone lighthouse

  • 1858 Electrification
    Electricity is introduced to the first Trinity House lighthouse at South Foreland.
  • 1882 Eddystone
    No time was lost building another lighthouse; the task of building gave opportunity to incorporate many of the latest ideas in lighthouse construction, largely due to the efforts of Robert Stevenson, who developed Smeaton's idea and contributed many of his own. Sir James Douglass used larger stones, dovetailed not only to each other on all sides but also to the courses above and below. In 1882 the present Eddystone Lighthouse was completed, being opened by the Duke of Edinburgh who laid the final stone of the tower.

Current Eddystone lighthouse with stump of Smeaton's tower

The positiuon of the Eddystone lighthouse

  • 1914 War breaks out
    Karl told us that the Gov’t insisted the lights were to remain on in all their houses and vessels; sadly Trinity house lost 96 men during the war.
  • 1939 War breaks out, again
    Karl advised that now the Gov’t told TH to switch off the lights, save for when a friendly convoy was passing. Some 15 lightvessels were sunk whilst Trinity House were heavily involved in the evacuation of the Channel Islands and in the D Day landings.
  • 1940 Headquarters
    The building is destroyed during the blitz - and faithfully restored in 1953.

Trinity House London Head Office

Entrance Hall staircas

The Courtroom

The Reading room

Stained glass panels

  • 1958 Almshouses
    These are built at Walmer in Kent, the latest in a tradition predating even the first charter.
  • 1969 Helicopters
    The first reliefs of lighthouse keepers by helicopter are trialled.
  • 1977 Oil burning lights
    The last such light is removed from a Trinity House lighthouse, at St Mary’s Bay, Tynemouth.
  • 1982 Automation
    Eddystone lighthouse becomes the first TH rock lighthouse to be converted to automatic operation. THV Patricia is delivered.
  • 1989 Lightsmen
    These are withdrawn from the Channel station, the last manned TH lightvessel.
  • 1993 Solar power
    Conversion of all Trinity House buoys to solar power is completed.
  • 1994 Solar power
    Lundy North becomes the first TH lighthouse to be converted to solar power.
    At this point Karl advised how improvements in lighting technology lead to a drastic reduction in power consumption; originally 3 KW bulbs were used, gradually dropping down in size and power to 60 W and now to miniscule LED bulbs of less power again.

Lundy North lighthouse

  • 1998 Keepers
    These are withdrawn from North Foreland, the last manned TH lighthouse.
  • 2002 DGPS
    The Differential Global Positing System network provided by the three General Lighthouse Authorities becomes operational.
  • 2006 THV Alert
    Enters service and becomes the first Trinity House Rapid Intervention Vessel.
  • 2007 THV Galatea
    The most advanced vessel built by Trinity House is delivered.
  • 2008 e-Navigation
    Development of e-navigation concepts such as AIS, eLoran and DGPS begins.
  • 2011 Lighthouse modernisation
    Is completed, with new power systems reducing CO2 emissions. HRH The Princess Royal is elected Master.
  • 2014 Celebration
    500 years of service to mariners is celebrated.

Trinity House Pilotage

For much of the C20th the authority, responsibilities and conduct of pilots and committees was governed by the 1913 Pilotage Act. The vital role played by pilots was most apparent during the First and Second World Wars. During the latter, as traffic in the port of London increased as Operation ‘Overlord’ approached, TH pilots were responsible for piloting all commercial vessels and many of the service vessels engaged in such operations - in the month following D-Day nearly 3,000 ships were handled by 88 river pilots and nearly 2,000 vessels by 115 sea pilots, working day and night without relief.

The Pilotage Service was managed by the Pilotage Committee, governed by the Board of Trinity House as principal Pilotage Authority in the UK. The London Pilotage District, the largest under Trinity House authority, was directed by a London Pilotage Committee comprised of six Elder Brethren, four shipowners and four pilots. The area extended from Dungeness to Felixstowe, taking in the harbours of Folkestone, Dover, Sandwich, Margate, Ramsgate and Harwich, the river Thames as far upstream as London Bridge and the river Medway up to Rochester Bridge. There were four main pilot stations and five chief classes of pilots: River Thames Pilots, Channel Pilots, Cinque Ports Pilots, North Channel Pilots and River Medway Pilots, controlled by Superintendents at Dover, Harwich, Gravesend and Chatham.

There were around 600 Trinity House pilots licensed, though not employed, by the Corporation; 400 worked in the London District and the rest at the various Out-ports. Pilots would not know what ship they would next be called to or when, whether the ship would be 50 or 50,000 tons or what time of day the call would come, meaning being prepared to come into the pilot station 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Trinity House maintained nine pilot cutters, six of which were based in the London District, cruising off Dungeness or the Sunk, waiting for ships to signal their need for a pilot. A typical cutter was 175 ft. long with a complement of six officers, nine ratings, two stewards, one cook and three boys, with accommodation for 22 pilots. The reform of the pilotage system in the 1960s saw the grand pilot cutters make way for a fleet of nimble fast launches, reducing waiting time and improving safety of sea transfers. The last of the cruising cutters, THPV Pathfinder was sold out of service in 1986.

THPV Pathfinder

1987’s Pilotage Act saw Trinity House part with its District Pilotage responsibilities, which passed to various local harbour authorities on 1 January 1988. The act permitted less stringent requirements for compulsory pilotage, allowing harbour authorities to integrate their pilotage service with their other port services. Ensuring continuance of one of its oldest duties, Trinity House became a licensing authority for Deep Sea Pilotage. Although no longer involved with local or river pilotage, Trinity House is one of several Deep Sea Pilotage licensing authorities authorised by the Secretary of State of Transport. While not compulsory to carry a Deep Sea Pilot, many ship's masters unfamiliar with Northern European waters employ their expertise to assist their bridge team.

Ten lighthouses are open to the public at certain times of the year, usually in spectacular locations. Each has an informative guided tour with panoramic views from the lantern room at the top of the lighthouse, something previously only enjoyed by lighthouse keepers; locally this includes Southwold. Many lighthouse cottages were sold off by Trinity House, though 12, in beautiful locations, are also available to rent out; locally this includes Cromer.

Lighthouse visit map

Holiday cottages map

Other Charitable Work

The Trinity House Maritime Charity is committed to the education, support and welfare of mariners and their dependants. It is the UK’s largest endowed maritime charity, dispersing over £5 million annually to meet their goals, including the provision of almshouses for retired mariners and their dependants, sponsoring cadets through the Merchant Navy Scholarship Scheme and supporting many other maritime charities such as:

  • Ahoy
    Offers opportunities and training for disadvantaged, at risk and vulnerable young people
  • Association of Sail Training Organisations
    Help ensure ASTO staff are trained to the highest levels of professionalism
  • Care for Veterans
    Provides residential nursing care, rehabilitation, respite and end of life care to physically disabled ex-service personnel and their families
  • Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust
    A unique place for adventure, relaxation and exploring the environment
  • Jubilee Sailing Trust
    Promote integration through helping physically disabled and able-bodied people enjoy the adventure of tall ship sailing
  • Merchant Navy Welfare Board
    Supporting the provision of quality welfare services for seafarers and their dependants
  • Nautilus Welfare Fund
    Supporting a range of specialist services aimed at supporting retired seafarers
  • Portsmouth Harbour Marine
    Improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people interested in the marine sector in and around Gosport
  • Portsmouth Sail Training Trust
    Run a programme of sail training weekly throughout the school terms with 120 young people from 7 schools in Portsmouth
  • Royal Alfred Seafarers Society
    Provide care to retired seafarers
  • Sailors Children’s Society
    Help children of British seafarers from Fishing Fleet, Merchant Navy and Royal Navy backgrounds
  • Sea Cadets
    Sea Cadets helps young people see a better future
  • Seafarer Support
    A referral service for UK-based serving and former seafarers and their families that aims to find suitable sources of help for those in need
  • Seafarers UK
    Helps people in the maritime community, by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families
  • Shipwrecked Mariners Society
    Assist the survivors of shipwreck and to support the widows and orphans of those tragically lost at sea.
  • Thames Sailing Barge Trust
    Preserving traditional vessels and skills for future generations
  • The Fishermen’s Mission
    Providing emergency welfare and support for UK fishing communities
  • The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund
    Helping the children of those serving in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines

Other Support for Seafarers

UKSA Superyacht Cadetship

A structured programme designed to train the future officers of the superyacht industry.

The cadetship combines the most relevant training and mentoring, equipping graduates with a strong foundation of knowledge and realistic understanding of the industry they are entering in to.

Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster Scholarship

Trinity House and the RYA (*) have launched a new scholarship programme for those wanting a career at sea on small commercial vessels or to those already working in the sector who would like to further their qualifications.

(*)         The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.


So concluded an incredible talk which covered a huge diversity of marine life, was beautifully presented with humour and warmth, by a true professional in the maritime field, and which held the audience spellbound from beginning to end. I wish I could hear the next 500 year history.


Our next events will be at 7.30 in The Parish Room on:

18th March: The Life, Work and Music of Edward Ellis Vinnicombe, by Roger Green

Hear about the extraordinary organist who influenced the musical life of Sudbury for a considerable period - the fine organ in St. Peter’s was very much his inspiration and much of his spirit and soul continues to linger in the forthright voice of this wonderful instrument.

15th April: Can anyone keep a secret? by Lynette Burgess

The history of Bawdsey Radar and its role in WWII. At the very heart of scientific breakthrough and innovation, an isolated and secretive Suffolk spot was and remains a unique place of world importance. Hear about the unequivocal home of radar.


Both events are going to be great, and we very much look forward to welcoming guests both new and old to the Parish Room in Little Waldingfield.

Andy Sheppard                                                                                                       8th February 2020