Ship details: The "Boys' Own" was built in Beverley, by Cook, Welton & Gemmel Ltd., the original owners being I. Newby and Consortium. Later renamed Flamborian, the vessel was owned by Andrea Connelly until June 1998. Each year between April 1st and October 30th, she carried up to 160 passengers on cruises of various times and distances around Bridlington Bay, viewing the shipping lanes, the cliffs at Flamborough Head and the seabird colony at Bempton. There is a bar and toilets on board, and during cruises a running commentary was given by the skipper.
When built she could carry 172 passengers and was powered by twin 88hp Kelvin diesel engines, which at 750rpm gave her a speed of 10 knots. Her registered tonnage was 25.2 tons. The skipper then was I. R. Newby and the engineer Mr W. Newby. The vessel underwent Board of Trade trials in the Humber and was tested three times over a measured mile, twice against the tide and once with it. The average speed was ten knots. She was fitted with a saloon bar and a separate ladies' cabin aft. During the war the vessel saw service with R.A.S.C. on the Tees, Tyne and Humber. In 1960, she was structurally altered, being refitted by Trevor Silverwood and renamed Flamborian. Her original engines were replaced with twin Gardener 6LX at ll6hp each. She has a steel riveted hull with cruiser stern and straight stem and is 70ft overall in length, with a beam of l7ft. She has a 4ft 6in draught and is approx. 5ft 6in out of the water. Her fuel consumption is about six gallons per hour. Her gross tonnage is 52.22 with a registered tonnage of 27.17.
Flamborian had an extensive refit over the 1986/87 winter, at both Scarborough and Grimsby. The ship left Bridlington for Swanage, in Dorset, in June 1998, where she was to be renamed Swanage Queen. She had been bought by Croson Ltd. and the Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage Steam Packet Company. "With her new name, she will operate a daily service between Poole Quay, Swanage and Brownsea Island," said managing director Peter Lamb. [Information by Mike Wilson]
Before the General Election in 1964 the vessel was hired by John McCallum, prospective Liberal candidate for Bridlington and John Crawford, Liberal candidate for Howden. The vessel's owner told Paul Rusling that the 1967 broadcasts (there were some local elections at that time) were never paid for. In fact they could not afford to buy the ship they wanted (the Yorkshire Pearl) as the owner would not let them have it until they paid.
Offshore radio station: Radio Free Yorkshire. According to Gerry Bishop (referring to an article in The Times) there was a single broadcast on 5th July 1964. Paul Rusling reports that they additionally "made broadcasts on only a few days, no more than a week, in 1967. The only test transmissions were made with 250 watts and a bad antenna." According to Paul Rusling there was also a newspaper report that they had planned to do this again in 1966, at the HULL NORTH by election, when Transport Minister Barbara Castle promised Hull the Humber bridge if they voted Labour (which they did).
Presumed location: International waters (?) off Bridlington Bay (UK)