Previous names

  • 1930 - 1940 Sylvia
  • 1940 Sylvia IV
  • 1940 - 1945 Mylodon
  • 1945 - 1948 Sylvia
  • 1948 - 1958 Mananui
  • 1958 - 2015 Wendy Ken
  • 2105 Lady Sylvia
Certificate no 508
Status Registered


Function Leisure Craft
Subfunction Yacht
Location River Trent
Vessel type Motor Yacht
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Launch & Boat Co, Southampton
Built in 1930
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
9.80 feet (2.99 m)
4.00 feet (1.22 m)
Length: Overall
44.98 feet (13.72 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
9.60 feet (2.93 m)


WENDY KEN was built for Mr W J Anstey during 1930 (Lloyds No 5871 of 1930) to the design of Mr L J Lambert, Naval Architect at the yard of Southampton Launch and Boat Company of Bitterne Manor, Southampton, adjacent to the slipways of Rampart Boat Builders.

WENDY KEN was launched during May 1930 and returned to the yard during 1933/34 and lengthened, changing from a Transom stern into a countered canoe stern of 44ft, 7.5ins LOA (Lloyds 5851 of 1934).

Records show that SYLVIA was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport (MOWT) on 31st May 1940 and due to the number of craft with the same name was changed to SYLVIA IV, then again later to MYLODON.  Records also show that Mr Anstey was paid the fee of 12 pounds and operated under Auxiliary Patrol duties.

She took part in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, surviving machine gun attacks and a fire on board.  After her involvement, repairs sustained on her return from the beaches were carried out for the sum of 83 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 d.  Her duties then changed to miscellaneous port duties under Naval Control at Lowestoft as off-shore submarine Net Patrol.  The Harbour Master at Ramsgate later recalls her return to the harbour damaged. 

On 31st May 1945, operating throughout World War Two under control of MOWT the MYLODON was renamed back to her original name, SYLVIA and laid up to await being sold or alternative fate.

In March 1946, records show SYLVIA was returned to Mr Anstey for the endorsed fee of 1 shilling.

During 1948, her name changed to MANANUI (Lloyds no. 7913 of 1948) and was owned by Mr R Colebrook and moored on the River Thames.  During 1952, W Bates and Sons of Chertsey rebuilt the wheelhouse after a small fire.

In 1958, SYLVIA came under the ownership of Mr B Harpur MD of Silverdale Motors, Tunbridge Wells and renamed after his two children Wendy and Ken.  In 1962 the vessel had her original Detroit Grays 6 cylinder petrol engine changed to twin BMC 2.2hp diesel engines at the Yalding Boatworks.  In 1984, WENDY KEN came under the ownership of the current owner and had her engines upgraded in 1994 to twin Ford FSD non-turbo 4cyl 75 hp.

During her role as a Dunkirk Little Ship she has carried out numerous events and returns to Dunkirk, with her last visit being to Chatham Dock Yard in 2014. 

In 2015 she was purchased by her current owner who begun a program of restoration which is now almost completed. The owners wanted to return her to her original name at Dunkirk but The Maritime and Coastguard Agency had already reissued her original name and therefore added "Lady" as a prefix so she is now Lady Sylvia her official number with Maritime and Coastguard Agency is still 163358. She is now moored at our home on the River Trent at Barton-in-Fabis. 



Brann, Christian, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990, Collectors Books Ltd, 1989

Key dates

  • 1930

    Built for Mr A. J. Anstey of BMC Garages to design of Mr L.J. Lambert at Southampton Launch and Boat Co., Bitterne Manor

  • 1933/34

    Returned to yard for lengthening, changing from Transom stern to countered canoe stern

  • 1940

    Requisitioned by Ministry of War Transport (MOWT) and name changed to SYLVIA IV, then to MYLODON

  • 1940

    Took part in Dunkirk evacuation, surviving machine gun attacks and a fire on board

  • 1941

    Under Naval Control at Lowestoft as an off-shore submarine Net Patrol vessel

  • 1945

    Renamed back to original name SYLVIA and laid up to await being sold or alternative fate

  • 1946

    Returned to her original owner, Mr Anstey 

  • 1948

    Purchased by Mr R. Colebrook, name changed to MANANUI, and moored on River Thames 

  • 1952

    W. Bates and Sons of Chertsey rebuilt the wheelhouse after a small fire

  • 1958

    Purchased by Mr Bert Harpur of Silverdale Motors, Tunbridge Wells, and renamed after his children Wendy and Ken

  • 1962

    Original Detroit Grays petrol engine changed to twin BMC diesel engines at Yalding Boatworks

  • 1984

    Purchased by current owners, Ian and Doreen Pearson, as live aboard at Rochester

  • 1994

    Engines upgraded to twin Ford FSD non-turbo 4 cylinder 75 hp

  • 2014

    Visited Chatham Dock Yard in role as Dunkirk Little Ship


  • January 2010

    A Sustainability Grant of £2,000 for restoration work was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

Own this vessel?

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

More like this

Photo of Maid of Conway @ 2017 lying at Gweek Classic Boatyard before start of Mr Paul Morgans restoration.

Registered, built 1960 by Crossfield Brothers, Conway

Token exterior August 2020

Registered, built 1948 by Silver, James A Ltd, Rosneath

Monya - starboard view

Registered, built 1933 by McBryde, W G

Delfino on mooring at Rhu

Registered, built 1965 by Atrill & Sons, H