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MV Havengore, which carried Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin at state funeral, docks at Fox’s Marina and Boatyard in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 17:52 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:04 05 January 2016

The historic Thames River cruiser, MV Havengore, which carried the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill during his state funeral. Pictured is owner Chris Ryland.

The historic Thames River cruiser, MV Havengore, which carried the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill during his state funeral. Pictured is owner Chris Ryland.

One of the most historic vessels in the country has arrived back in Ipswich for routine repair work.

The historic Thames River cruiser, MV Havengore, which carried the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill during his state funeral. Pictured is owner Chris Ryland.The historic Thames River cruiser, MV Havengore, which carried the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill during his state funeral. Pictured is owner Chris Ryland.

MV Havengore, which carried the body of Sir Winston Churchill along the River Thames at his state funeral in 1965, docked at Fox’s Marina and Boatyard near the Orwell Bridge this afternoon.

In a special memorial in January last year, the vessel, carrying descendants of Sir Winston, returned to the Thames to mark the 50th anniversary of his passing.

The boat also played a significant role in HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant in 2012.

Will Taylor-Jones, managing director of Fox’s Marina and Boatyard, based near the Orwell Bridge outside Ipswich, said: “It is quite a coup for us. She is a classic old lady; beautifully built. We have got a contract to do more work on her this year and we are honoured to carry out the work.

Small picture of Sir Winston Churchill Funeral - HavengoreSmall picture of Sir Winston Churchill Funeral - Havengore

“It is the third time she has been here for repairs, which we are pleased about, and they obviously like coming here. We must be doing the right thing and keeping them happy.”

The work is due to include structural and recoating repairs and is expected to last six weeks.

MV Havengore was specially commissioned by the Port of London Authority in 1954 to act both as its flagship and principal survey vessel.

The vessel was completely restored between 1997 and 2008 and is now privately owned and offers corporate hospitality along the Thames, including clay pigeon shooting.

But it continues to take part in ceremonial occasions and the hosting of visiting dignitaries.

Mr Taylor-Jones added: “They run out of St Katharine Docks on the Thames and do corporate work and evenings under the bridges. That work goes towards the running costs.

“But she is essentially private owned and the owner (Chris Ryland) is very passionate about the whole thing. He is very interested in her and wants to keep her as original as possible.”

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