The Gull was a lightship (sort of
like a lighthouse...but a ship) that was moored at the Thurrock Yacht Club at
Grays Beach. We had a small cabin cruiser when I was young, and I remember
walking the deck and even going down into the hold where the Club had a
bar. That was probably in the late '60s. By the time these photos
were taken (somewhere around 1975) the ship hadn't been used as a clubhouse for
some years, and was pretty derelict. However I understand it is now
in much worse state, having suffered a fire some years ago.
There used to be a tarpaulin canopy
over the prow which you could shelter under when it rained. Although the
ship was often locked up, the gangway was always open so you could wander
about on deck whenever you pleased. I always wanted to climb up into that
little room on the mast!
The gangway used to stretch across to
that hole in the side, but is long gone by the time these photos were
taken. Finally, here's a photo of the Gull as it was in 1965 - no
longer sea-worthy but still in one piece.