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A Y Alessie - a short pictorial history, spanning her 55 years of existence, we are indebted 

to the Doubleday family for supplying information and a rare archive of pictures on the history of this vessel.

This vessel was used as a Barrage Balloon vessel during WWII, she had a considerable history as detailed below:

1909     Built by R Date & Son, Kingsbridge, for A H Lanfear Snr. Ramsgate

1914     During the war ‘Alessie' ran up on to the shingle at Dungeness as the usual light was not showing but was refloated in a parlous condition. 

   Sold to Brixham Owners who repaired her and she fished out of Brixham for many years.

1920     To 1930 . Owned by W B Jackman  

1924     21st Sep. Owner Peter Bully                

1930     19th Nov. Converted to a Yacht by Mr Fry

1934     National Oil Engine fitted                   

1940       Used as an anchor for a barrage Balloon at Plymouth

Part of Command Balloon Barrage: Trawlers - Alessie, Black Joke, Forsetti, Muriel Stevens, Pas De Loupe Ii, Revive, Snowfinch, Vigilant,

All At Plymouth

1948     New set of Sails by George Jackman     

1950     Feb to Oct 1957. Owned by J M Doubleday      

1953     14 May to 5 June,Glasson Dock to Great Yarmouth

1960    Owner Mrs M E Loxton, 34 Roselands Avenue, Eastbourne , Sussex , as stated in Lloyd’s Register of Yachts 1960

1964    14th Aug    As a yacht Sank on the Goodwin Sands , owner Jonathon Southey, with £30,000 of antique weapons on board. Total Loss. 

When used as a balloon vessel the barrage balloon would normally have been flown from the masthead



BM. 381 Alessie, (ex R.189) B. J. Haddock, setting mainsail borrowed from 

BM.258 "Seafarer"


1953 Lawson Horne (Friend of J M Doubleday)

 Seen from the quay at Port St. Mary, Isle of Man 21st July 1951

Mr Joe Wills and Mr Manuel Maddick. Aboard "Alessie" BM.381 9th May 1920 Photo Comdr H O Hill RN

 Silloth 1952/3

John M. Doubleday (skipper and Owner)

Interior- showing a bit of the galley and saloon. I can imagine many a Balloon Operator would have supped on hot cocoa here!

Illustration for a newspaper article May 1953: The Brixham Trawler is made ready for a trip to Great Yarmouth

"Alessie" and other vessels at sea

Picture bought by J M Doubleday on the quay.