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  • Writer's pictureCat Allinson

The Miller through the ages

The Miller, a 1932 Scottish Coastal Barge, has been brought down to Penzance Dry Dock to start her restoration project.

Although this is a big restoration project, the older barges like The Miller have so much character and potential. Her elegant lines, gorgeous proportions, and history of an antique barge are enough to captivate the expert and the layman alike.

The Miller has a fascinating history and we are so proud to be the ones to bring her back to her former glory.

Key specifications

Scottish Coastal Barge

Built-in 1932 by Henry Robb Leith

Length 23.85m Beam 5.9m.

R. Ton 60.5. Cargo Hold 14.7 x 5.8 m air Draft. 13.8m

Engine 6L 3 Gardner

The Port of Registration was Harwich


Owned by Marriages Flour.

Traded on the East Coast of England and

The Thames Estuary carrying cargos of grain

She was chosen to advertise Gleniffer Engines, which was her original power.


In 1940 in September, both the Miller and Golden Grain were requisitioned and delivered to Sheerness and acted as a Barrage Balloon carrier during part of the war to help protect the capital.

1940 a Hanley Page Hampton bomber of 144 Squadron hit a barrage balloon cable and crashed into the Mills, and some damage was done from a fire caused by sprayed fuel igniting over the boats

Her Sister Ship, The Golden Grain was then sadly sunk during the second world war off Lowestoft by the German U-boats.

The history of this ship, The Golden Grain, can be seen in the Maritime Museum in Liverpool.


In 1946 she was sold to George Cooper, one of a long-standing Seafaring family who made it their home in Suffolk.

An old advertisement for the sale of the Miller


In 1951 she was regularly calling at Ipswich Docks along with another regular boat Edith May.


She was Reengineer in Colchester, and some refurbishment was carried out.


The Miller was bought by Marine Transport Co, Atlantic Quay, Cobh Harbour, Ireland.

Cooper continued to be the skipper, and she was his full-time home

Involved in the construction of a pier in Bantry Bay

Made passage west carrying sand and gravel

She ferried mail diesel and water to the offshore passenger liners back in Cobh.

She also transported steel up the River Lee ( from the famous song ) to Cork.

The present Gardner engine 643 was installed in Ireland.


1985 returned to England, North Devon, with a new owner.


The Miller moved to Worcester where she last traded until around 1990.


Purchased and lovingly restored using the original plans

Riveted steel hull Original Teak Wheelhouse

The original anchor winch has now been motorised.


Went to the Bristol Festival of the Sea.


She was in Wales and then Southern Ireland


1998 Bristol Channel, Glos/Sharpness Ship Canal


She saw a four months journey to South East and Northern Ireland, The Clyde,

Crinan Caledonian to Inverness Canals, Isles of Mull, Eigg, Rhum, Jura and Islam,

Isles of Man, Milford Haven, Lucy Island round Lands End to Falmouth


2000 Penzance, Brest, Doudrenenz, Plymouth,

Came to Rest in Restronguet Yacht Basin

She was then moved to morning at Compass Point further down the creek.


In 2020 the Marriott family were proud to become her new custodian and returned to her previous home in Restronguet Yacht Basin.


Arrived in Penzance Dry Dock and the restoration now continues to bring her up to date. It is important to retain many of her original features in reverence to her proud history and those whose lovingly endeavours have made it possible for such classic ships to be a symbol of our past.

The Miller in Penzance Dry Dock 2022

The first step of the project is high-pressure blasting of the hull to identify any areas of corrosion. Once the blasting is complete, the marine surveyor will inspect the vessel and inform us what work needs to be done, after which we will discuss the next steps with the client.

Whether it's routine maintenance, refit, a complete restoration project or emergency repairs, we've got you covered.

If you are thinking about your next marine project, or you have a vessel you would like to go back on the water, we can help you with the project and ensure you meet all the necessary regulations.

We have a highly-skilled workforce in-house, including marine engineers, designers, electricians, and specialist fabricators. As well an extensive network of partners means we can source anything you need for your project, from OEM parts to bespoke interiors.

Get in touch to find out more about our services or 01736 363838.


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