Excursion built 1935 by Fellows & Co, Great Yarmouth

Ensign House flag


National Historic Fleet

Passenger Vessel




Commercial Activity














To be confirmed

19.57 feet (5.97 metres)

89.93 feet (27.43 metres)

4.59 feet (1.40 metres)



CORONIA was built as BRIT by Fellows & Co., Great Yarmouth, in 1935 for Longfield Brothers, who offered excursions from Great Yarmouth's Town Hall Quay and Britannia Quay. She was licensed to carry 200 passengers and spent her first five summers taking holidaymakers out to see the seals basking on the sandbanks along the north sea coast of Norfolk. She was powered by twin Crossley diesels. Following the outbreak of war, she was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 16 September 1939 for service as a tender. Renamed WATCHFUL, she became the base ship for the fleet and was repainted in battleship grey. She carried stores and torpedoes to the destroyers lying in Yarmouth roads, her bar became the wardroom for her officers and she had a gun turret installed on her foredeck. On 29 May 1940, she was deployed to assist in the Dunkirk evacuation and reportedly rescued 900 troops.

On 12 December 1945, she was returned to her owners, the Longfield brothers and was refitted and restored to her orignal name, BRIT, to operate once more as a pleasure cruiser for the start of the 1946 season. In 1950, she was modified with a lower funnel and bridge to be operated on the Thames by Thames Launches for excursion work during the Festival of Britain.

In spring 1951, she was sold to D. Dalton & G. Round for excursion work at Scarborough and renamed YORKSHIRE LADY. She was repainted with a white hull and a yellow funnel, which later had the company's house flag emblazoned on it. In a 1961 refit at Eyemouth, she was re-engined with Gardner 6LX diesels and a new wheelhouse was fitted. In 1968, she was sold and renamed CORONIA. After a refit in Scotland in 1975, she eventually sailed for Gibraltar in 1985 and provided trips around the bay, showing visitors the Rock and the marine life around the colony.

At the end of 1991, CORONIA was sold to North Sea Leisure and on 5 June of that year, she returned to Scarborough, where she resumed service alongside REGAL LADY (cert 180). She continues to make coastal cruises from there and occasional trips to Bridlington.

Source: Paul Brown, Historic Ships The Survivors (Amberley, 2010), updated Mar 2011.

Previous names

  1. 1935 – 1939Brit
  2. 1939 – 1945HM Tender Watchful
  3. 1945 – 1951Brit
  4. 1951 – 1968Yorkshire Lady

Key dates

  1. 1935 Built in Great Yarmouth as a cruising yacht named BRIT for Longfield Brothers
  2. 1935-1939 Summer cruises along the Norfolk coast from Great Yarmouth
  3. 1937 Dummy funnel fitted
  4. 1939 Requisitioned by the Admiralty for boom defence work on the Humber and renamed HM Tender WATCHFUL
  5. 1940 Took part in the Dunkirk evacuation rescuing 900 troops from the beaches
  6. 1942-1944 Worked on the Pluto pipeline project
  7. 1942-1950 Returned to Great Yarmouth renamed BRIT and used for pleasure cruising
  8. 1950 Modified with a lower funnel and bridge  Operated by Thames Launches for excursion work for the Festival of Britain
  9. 1951 Sold to Scarborough Cruises
  10. 1951-1984 Carried out pleasure cruises from Scarborough along the Yorkshire coast and renamed YORKSHIRE LADY
  11. 1968  Renamed CORONIA
  12. 1985 Sold to Gibraltar based owners
  13. 1985-1990 Operated from Gibraltar as a pleasure cruiser and at one time acted as host to HRH The Duke of Gloucester on an official visit
  14. 1990 Sold to Tom Machin of North Sea Leisure - now Scarborough Pleasure Steamers
  15. 1997 Extensive restoration work undertaken
  16. 1991-2011 Pleasure sailing from Scarborough in conjunction with another historic vessel, REGAL LADY
  17. 2011 Sold into new ownership


  1. 1989 The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990 - Brann, Christian
  2. 1995 Trip Out 1995/6 - A Guide to the Passenger Boat Services of the British Isles - Hamer, Geoffrey
  3. 1995 M V Coronia 1935-1995 - Machin,Tom
  4. 1995 Trip Out 1995/6 - A Guide to the Passenger Boat Services of the British Isles - Hamer, Geoffrey
  5. 2000 Ships Monthly UK Excursion Guide 2000


  1. April 2007 A Sustainability Grant of £1000 for a survey (with REGAL LADY) was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact


a rope, chain or iron collar which attaches the yard to the mast but which allows vertical movement