Appeal to help restore former Hartlepool boat that towed Hitler's yacht
A maritime enthusiast is appealing for help to trace the owner of a piece of history.
Rod Cadman, who lives in Canterbury, is the owner of the motor launch boat Grillet which was part of Hitler’s yacht that ended up in Hartlepool after the Second World War.
The motor boat’s naval compass and brass covering, called a binnacle, was put up for auction last year.
Mr Cadman missed the auction, only learning about it later.
Luckily, for him the binnacle did not sell. But unfortunately, he has been unable to track down the seller, a David Dixon who he discovered lives in the Hartlepool area.
Mr Cadman said: “By chance I came across an auction catalogue listing of the binnacle from a boat called Grillet so I new immediately this was the original binnacle from my boat. The problem was the auction had passed by.
“After contacting the auction house I discovered that the item had not sold but had come via a third party.
“With some badgering and emails I eventually found who had owned the item a Mr David Dixon of Hartlepool but neither party still had contact details.”
The Grillet, built in 1934, was one of three launches attached to Hitler’s yacht, the Aviso Grille.
Regular visitors to the ‘Grille’ included members of the Third Reich hierarchy, such as Goering, Hess, Goebbels and Himmler.
The Royal Navy took it as a prize of war and it was moved to the coal dock at Hartlepool, where it stayed until 1948.
Mr Cadman, who rescued the Grillet from Gozo and brought her back to England, added: “I now own her and am trying to restore her to her 1930s condition, finding her original binnacle would be just amazing.
“This is a superb example of a 1930s yacht’s pinnace, and apart from her history is a major historical boat in that regard alone.”
If you have any information about Mr Dixon or the binnacle contact Mr Cadman at [email protected]