At Newhaven in 1951.

By John Quinton

I believe this boat was originally a naval motor launch of the second world war and was afterwards converted for use as a pleasure boat. I went for a trip on it, almost certainly in 1951, along the coast from Newhaven to Beachy Head and possibly on to Eastbourne, with my parents and grandparents.  I think these photos were all taken on that trip. They show the boat moored at Newhaven, a shot of my mother on the bridge with the two engine telegraph controls, and a shot of us at sea.

Perhaps someone will know something of the history of this boat, particularly of its time at Newhaven.

NB There is another photo of me on this website entitled "At the Wheel" which I now think was taken on this boat.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MOTOR LAUNCH 'JOHN MCLEOD'' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MOTOR LAUNCH 'JOHN MCLEOD'' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MOTOR LAUNCH 'JOHN MCLEOD'' page
This page was added by John Quinton on 10/05/2009.
Comments about this page

This certainly looks like the pleasure craft featured in the foreground of your photo of the Londres, John.

However, it's definitely not the vessel you are steering. The Fairmile ML doesn't have a wheelhouse door like that, and the John McLeod was steered from its flying bridge, either directly or by voice command to the wheelhouse. The wheel itself looks a little large for that of an ML.

I think that photo will turn out to be taken on the Londres, Brighton or Worthing, and I'm looking for some internal photos at the Museum and will let you know if I can come up with a positive ID.

By Andy Gilbert
On 10/05/2009

I am building a page on Fairmile B launches in use as excursion boats, but was not aware of this vessel. May I use this image on my web page?:-

We will email John Quinton and get back to you-Editors

By Ian Boyle
On 18/07/2009

Have tried to uncover more info re the photos of ML John McLeod. Can you get back to me with any more details ?

By Brian sutcliffe,
On 09/12/2009

I remember being in Newhaven with this boat which also did service/rescue for Billy Butlins Channel swim and then went on to Gib and Tangier. I was her engineer during this period. 

By Robert Turner
On 31/07/2015

I remember the John Mc Leod. Helped out on board as a kid. There was also a Mae Mc Leod. Wonder what became of her. It was rumored she went to Torquay from Newhaven.


By William Still
On 01/08/2015

I noticed whilst looking on Google

I have Just seen the boat called The MAE Mcloed in a film called the Steel Key from about 1953 which was on Talking Pictures TV station there are external and internal pictures throughout the boat showing the vessel under power hope this helps your search. 

By Sean Hazlewood
On 08/12/2017

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