MTB 219 is Ready to Launch!

MTB 219 in service circa 1941
MTB 219 in service circa 1941
MTB 219 Restoration January 2015 at Durleigh Displays, Bridgwater
MTB 219 Restoration January 2015 at Durleigh Displays, Bridgwater

On Saturday the 31st of January 2015 our 70ft Second World War Motor Torpedo Boat MTB219 will travel through Bridgwater on her way to be launched in Bridgwater Docks.


Following just over a year of restoration work MTB 219, the last one left of her type and veteran of the “Channel Dash” will be loaded onto the back of a lorry for a 2 mile journey through the town centre to make her way back to the water.


Miliaryboats CIC’s Paul Childs said: “I’m pleased she’s ready for display in Bridgwater Docks. It’s been a privilege to work on it, and it wouldn’t have happened without the contribution of all our volunteers and the corporate sponsorship we’ve received.”


However, we still need further funds to continue her restoration and to make her operational, so if you can please donate here !

The restoration of the one of- a-kind boat has been anything but straight- forward. It’s been an interesting journey for MTB 219.


Following her war service MTB219 was being used as a houseboat in Chelsea, but her hull was condemned two years ago and she had to be moved from the Thames. The boat was transported to Bridgwater where the ship’s hull and deck was carefully restored in a temporary ‘berth’ at Durleigh Displays on Symons Way.  We’ll be posting photos and videos soon!


We initially struggled to gain funding, but once Sedgemoor Council and Bridgwater Town Council awarded us grants, we were able to build on that to just over £16,000, with many thanks to National Historic Ships UK and the Transport Trust for their grants awards.


When it comes to World War II, most people know about the Battle of Britain, but hardly anyone has heard of Coastal Forces and the role they played in protecting the convoys. We hope to change that. MTB219 will be open so people can come and have a look around and we will also do passenger trips on her.


MTB219 is now ready for launch on Saturday, January 31, where she’ll then be restored to operational status – a fitting tribute to the veterans of Coastal Forces!


We’d like to thank our corporate sponsors: East Brothers Timber, Blake Joinery, MH Joinery, Ambersil and Avonmouth Paints for their contribution of materials.


Thanks are also due to Ruth Ivo, the Coastal Forces Heritage Trust, the British Military Powerboat Team, the Coastal Forces Veterans Association, the Bridgwater Sea Cadets and the local community for their generous donations and the support they have given.


We are also grateful to Kennet & Avon Canal and Rivers Trust for allowing MTB219 to berth in Bridgwater Docks.



Most of all we want to thank our Volunteers and the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church and Durleigh Displays for the use of their yard during her ‘land’ restoration - without the support, time, skills and enthusiasm of our Volunteers and the Newman’s this project simply couldn’t have happened!


If you would like to attend the launch on the 31st January details can be downloaded here:

Launch Day Route and Timetable
Route + Day Plan.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document [480.4 KB]

And some brief information about MTB219 can be downloaded here:

MTB 219 History
219 History.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document [113.0 KB]

Militaryboats Experience @ Torquay's Inner Harbour

Dive into the incredible history of Britain’s small attack craft on board these lovingly restored “little ships”

Looking for something to do in Torquay, South Devon? Come and see the English Riviera's only Maritime Heritage Museum...

Come and visit our fleet of ex-military fast attack craft. We have Gay Archer, a Royal Navy Fast Patrol motor torpedo boat; Humorist, a Royal Army Service Corps Derby Winners class transport launch and ST437,our Royal Air Force Sea Plane Tender Air Sea Rescue launch.


Take this unique opportunity to come on board, look around and experience what it was like to defend Britain’s waters with guns, torpedoes and depth charges on these small but powerful ex-military boats.



Explore (and smell!) the engine rooms, sit on the Bofors gun, feel the uniforms and hear the stories of our waterborne Veterans. A great chance to experience real British history for the whole family.

Sorry, Now Closed for the season and building MTB219!


Adults: £5               Under 16s: £2               Under 5’s FREE



FREE Child with each Adult            FREE Guidebook

In World War II Germany swiftly advanced through Europe putting Britain’s coast within easy reach of the Axis Kreigsmarine. A crash building program of torpedo boats, gunboats, and motor launches was implemented and Coastal Forces was born – crewed by Royal Navy Volunteer Reservists (RNVR).


At the same time the RAF began using high speed launches for Air-Sea Rescue, and the Royal Army Service Corps needed boats for transport and target towing at coastal gunnery sites.


This is their story…