The Charles Cooper Henderson Patrons' Fund

Become a vital part of Charles Cooper Henderson’s future

You will find details of the exclusive invitation we have developed for a limited number of Patrons to help us save Charles Cooper Henderson. In return, Patrons will not only experience a historic trip of a lifetime on board Charles Cooper Henderson but also  enjoy continued exclusive perquisites and experiences with Vintage Days Out. 

We are delighted to have not only the support of the RNLI and Association of Dunkirk Little Ships but, due to the historic importance of Charles Cooper Henderson, also the support of HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO.

“As the Royal Patron of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, I know how important it is for us to preserve these historical craft and ensure their survival for future generations. Any help with funds you can give to complete the restoration of Charles Cooper Henderson will ensure that she is saved for posterity and a piece of important history is preserved.”
HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO
Honorary Admiral of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and President of the RNLI.

cch rebuild 

Play your part in saving Charles Cooper Henderson and be part of a historic trip of a lifetime…


Why we must save her!

Built in 1933 on the Isle of Wight from mahogany and oak, Charles Cooper Henderson was the lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent. She was Britain’s longest serving lifeboat with 43 years of service, taking part in 171 rescues and saving 63 lives during this time. Also of historical importance she as one of 19 Lifeboats to serve in the evacuation of Dunkirk and today is one of only a handful still surviving. 

It is documented that during the evacuation Charles Cooper Henderson was skippered by Robert (Bob) Hector and three others, a stoker petty officer from the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert, an ordinary seaman and an 18 year old who had previously never been to sea! It is documented that having saved 2,000 plus servicemen, running short of fuel with the skipper injured in the jaw by shrapnel, they returned to England after 3 days and 2 nights in Dunkirk. On arriving back in the middle of the night and unsure of where they were, they had in fact tied up to the end of Margate Pier and were woken and told to move on!

We are fortunate that Bob Hector, not only survived Dunkirk, but told the story to his daughter who typed it up. Although the story was lost for several decades, it was subsequently discovered and transcribed so that you can now read the astounding story today.

In July 1956 Charles Cooper Henderson set out 3 times in a Force 12 storm (the only lifeboat recorded to do this) to rescue 9 men, for which the Coxswain George Tart for which he was awarded a bronze medal for gallantry.

Why we need your support

Having put our life savings into having this boat professionally restored we now find that more work is required and we are appealing for funds to save this wonderful boat and allow her to continue her voyage into the future

The Charles Cooper Henderson Patrons’ Fund

We offer each Patron the exclusive chance to be part of the 80th Anniversary Dunkirk Return in 2020 with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) with an overnight stay. We believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a major historical event.

Being a Patron also includes:

A private full day aboard Charles Cooper Henderson on the Thames for 12 guests by Vintage Days Out with full hospitality;

  • Your name, or company name, on a pennant flown on Charles Cooper Henderson.
  • Invites to wherever Charles Cooper Henderson is displayed throughout the year, ie. The Thames Traditional Boat Show.
  • Discounts on Vintage Days Out Cruises and vintage Rolls Royce Chauffeur Driven Experiences.
  • Invites to Charles Cooper Henderson table at Association of Dunkirk Little Ships functions.
  • Invitations to Annual Patrons’ Day.

This is a very exclusive invitation to secure a limited number of Patrons at £4,950.00 per person.

Richard & Elaine Prunier, owners of Charles Cooper Henderson, will be delighted to discuss your Patron’s agreement with you.

Please contact Richard on +44 (0) 7767 404670 / +44 (0) 491 200734 or by email.

Donor Partner Fund

If you’d like to play a part in saving the heroic Charles Cooper Henderson as a Donor Partner rather than as a Patron, you can support the Charles Cooper Henderson campaign through our Go Fund Me page where where every donation is gratefully received. 

In appreciation of your support, we will allocate a ‘raffle number’ to each £50 donation, and six winners, with their partners, will have the opportunity to join the celebratory Donor Partner Day Cruise aboard the restored Charles Cooper Henderson.