Golden Galleon

Photographs of former pleasure boat the Golden Galleon

By Neil Cox

People who read this page may know of the sad demise of the Golden Galleon which was broken up at St Olaves late in 2006. She was a motor launch before being used as a pleasure boat. The first photograph shows her moored on the quay side near Haven Bridge House. The second shows her in a dilapidated state at St Olaves in 2006 waiting to be broken up.

The last photograph is from Brian Beech whose comment can be read below. I shows the GOLDEN GALLEON in 1959,the person on the left is Charlie Roberts (mate) next is Roy Goodings (skipper he later became a river pilot) then Brian Beech (2nd engineer) and Paul George (chief engineer).

Photo:Golden Galleon moored at Stone Cutters Quay

Golden Galleon moored at Stone Cutters Quay

N. Cox

Photo:Golden Galleon at St Olaves breakers yard, 2006

Golden Galleon at St Olaves breakers yard, 2006

N. Cox

Photo:Photograph of Brian Beech and the crew of the Golden Galleon in 1959

Photograph of Brian Beech and the crew of the Golden Galleon in 1959

Courtesy of Brian Beech

This page was added by Neil Cox on 10/05/2007.
Comments about this page

How sad it is to see the poor old girl being broken up,but it sparked memories back to 1959 when I was second engineer/deckhand, the chief being Paul George. the owner at the time was a John Knights,we would make three trips a day,10.30-2.45-6.30,the trip lasting two hours,and in the height of the season we also did what was called a dance trip,all the seats on the aft deck were unbolted put on the quayside the small band arrived,people on board and away by 9 o clock,back at eleven,happy times.

By Brian Beech
On 01/10/2007

Sad yes, but the inevitable end to an old warship. However, a little bit of the GG lives on, I have the dingy from her and she is now known as GP (Golden Plectrum), tender to SL Banjo, Berthed at Buckenham Ferry. Regular steamings for entheusiasts on fridays, 10.30-14.00 all welcome.

By phil webster
On 11/04/2008

We used to live at Burgh Castle in the 1960's, and used to watch the Golden Galleon pass up and down through Breydon Water... great memories..

By Norman Rouse
On 25/07/2008

We used to live at Burgh Castle in the 1960's, and used to watch The Golden Galleon pass up and down through Breydon Water... great memories..

By Norman Rouse
On 29/07/2008

I was landlord of the feathers in Gorleston at the time when John Knights was a regular, off season. He then explained this going to to be his last season as to rising costs and the boat needed so much money spent on her he had decided to retire. He then invited me my wife and two boys for a trip in her last year. What a treat never to be again. what a shame.

By david leggett
On 23/02/2009

Back in 1993 on a first visit to the Broads we had a sail on her. it was a great day and it was so good to see the places Arthus Ransome wrote about. Such a shame that she could not have been preserved. She also inspired a model which graced a model railway I built and was featured in Scale Model Trains in the mid nineties.

By alasdair w reid
On 10/08/2009

Does anyone remember a BERT BENTLY being a skipper on the GG ????????

By trev crowe
On 04/03/2010

I worked on the GG 1962. Mr Rudd was the skipper a man named Ted was 2nd mate Mr Night was a great person to work for, I only worked for 2 or 3 months I left to come to the USA been here ever since.Was sad to she her in her last state. Anyone have photo's of any crew that year? My email

By Tony Farrow
On 07/05/2010

I Was a deck Hand in early summer of 1962 before comming to the USA. I did write a comment a couple of days ago I do not know the lady in the photo other than a Visitor.

By Colin Stott
On 14/06/2010

Ddoes anyone rem Walter Youngs who worked on the Golden Galleon and nearly died when fell down deck hole?

By paul
On 14/06/2010

I just noticed the photo I sent with the visitor on the GG is sent by Tony Farrow, not Colin Stott.

By Tony Farrow
On 05/01/2011

I did not have any great conection to the Golden Galleon, but travelling on her as a pleasure boat in the late 1960's is one my most vivid and best childhood memories. I was very sad to see her broken up, not being local, I did not find out until quite recently. I am very glad that people still talk about her so fondly.

By Allan Perry
On 23/08/2011

My grandfather, Mr W.J. (Jack) Munson, sold tickets for the Golden Galleon for several years. My parents and I went for a trip on her two or three times when visiting my grandparents in Gorleston. Grandad liked a bet and so did Mr Knights, so they used to exchange tips - though not to any great advantage in my Granny's opinion! Sorry to learn she has been broken up.

By John Munson
On 19/12/2011

The Golden Galleon has not been broken up at all. Don't know what boat that is in St Olaves but the Golden Galleon lives on and is moored up at Reedham, painted grey and looking a bit tatty.

By Oliver
On 08/05/2012

John Knights bought the ML162 in late 1940s with the intention of converting her for passenger excursion use which he named GOLDEN GALLEON. In 1950 he operated her from Lowestoft and she moved to Great Yarmouth in time for the 1951 season. I was taken on a sea trip aboard her as a small boy in that year while on holiday in the town. Although used for 2 hour sea trips at 1030, 1445 and 1830 she was in her first few seasons at Great Yarmouth taken up river on an evening cruise at 2100 on Sunday and Thursdays. This was the only guaranteed chance of seeing the Haven Bridge open to let her through on departure and my parents took me to see her pass through the bridge on her way up river on the Thursday evening. Sadly it would appear that she was broken up in 2006.

By Barry Bridges
On 02/07/2012

My father, John Thorn, was in command of ML162 during the war.  More information I can dig out if required.

By David Thorn
On 29/10/2012

My Grandad was skipper of the GOLDEN GALLEON in the early fifties, his name was Bertie Bentley also known as pants.  I have a picture of me and him on the bridge.  My sister still has his cap.  I would like to know if anyone remembers him.

By Jeff Brett
On 14/01/2013

I holidayed for ten consecutive 10 years in Scratby always with trips on the Golden Galleon and Eastern Princess, happy days indeed. So sorry to hear of Golden Galleon's demise however she would have given much happiness to thousands of families. I was back in Great Yarmouth in 2015 and it is quite a different place.


By Peter Sweetman
On 30/03/2016

I was looking through some old photos and came across this lovely photo of me and my parents on the Golden Galleon in 1959, and thought I'd share it.

John Burgoyne



By John Burgoyne
On 20/12/2020

As a regular visitor to Scratby until the mid 1960's, a special highlight was a trip on The Golden Galleon, as I recall the boat turned this side of Reedham railway bridge. I am unable to recall how many trips we accumulated over the years but it was huge fun and we we were made welcome by the skipper and crew. The journey over Breydon Water was a real adventure for a small boy and I remember a huge railway bridge but no trains. How sad to read of the demise of this valiant war time combatant but nice to know that it finished its career providing  enjoyment to the families it served during the war to protect. I will always remember the Golden Galleon with affection

Peter Sweetman Surbiton Surrey




By Peter Sweetman
On 30/03/2022

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