Previous names

  • 1937 - 1995 MFH
Certificate no 458
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Coastal
Location South Dock Marina
Vessel type Humber Keel
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required Yes


Builder Dunston, Richard, Thorne
Built in 1931
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
16.26 feet (4.96 m)
7.28 feet (2.22 m)
Length: Overall
70.95 feet (21.64 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Built in 1931 by Richard Dunston at Thorne, GAINSBOROUGH TRADER is a steel Humber keel barge with a Kelvin KR4 diesel engine installed in 1942.  She was the first of her type to have a motor as well as sails and was originally used as a flour barge.  She transferred from the Humber to the Thames when Pickfords bought her for their Port of London operation.

During World War II she took part in the Dunkirk evacuations.  After the war she returned to her work as a lighter until 1986 when she was bought by a private owner who added a superstructure.

Update, March 2021: Vessel reported up for sale.

We are lacking information on this particular vessel.  If you have any information on this vessel past or present, please contact us.


Christian Brann, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 55th Anniversary Supplement (1995) pub: Collectors' Books Ltd
ADLS News (Spring, 2015) Fleet news

Key dates

  • 1931

    Built by Thorne of Humber as a Barge for the Hayes Wharf Cartage Co and moved to London

  • 1937

    Renamed ‘M.F.H.’

  • 1940

    She took part in Operation Dynamo, the Evacuation of Dunkirk

  • 1942

    Engine replacement with a Kelvin KR4 Diesel

  • 1962

    She worked as a Parcel Boat for BRS

  • 1995

    Sold to Jay and Dawn Jones-Cooper and renamed ‘Gainsborough Trader’

  • 2011

    Sold to present owner

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact

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