Julie Parker Art



The 'Gull' Lightship dates back to around 1860 and it is No. 38 on the Trinity house Ancient list, and was thought to be the second oldest surviving lightship in the world.

After serving at many places from Humberside to the Goodwin Sands, the lightship was rammed and sunk on March the 18th 1929 by the 'City of York', resulting in the death of Captain Williams of the Lightship. It was repaired and re-fitted before being withdrawn from service and moored at Gorleston.

In 1947 it was bought for £750 by Thurrock Yacht Club, and towed to Grays to become the club's Headquarters. It was last used as a club house in 1971. The Gull was then abandoned and suffered from regular vandalisim and degredation through river action.


The 75 foot mast is sadly the only vestige of the famous ship, the rest sold for scrap. The mast has been restored and was relocated to Thurrock Yacht Club grounds November 2012

I've Chosen this drawing of the Old Grays Lightship for my home page because of the connections it holds to my past.


The ship always stood out to me as a child growing up. It rested on Grays Beach, a grand old lady - neglected but still beautiful. When I was 15 I felt a real connection when looking at the ship and I wanted to express what the ship represented to me. I recognised the slow decay of what was a beautiful craft , and I wanted to capture the Lightship as it was a that moment, a memory of the childhood falling behind me.  I spent a long time on this drawing, quite a feat for a teen with very little patience. I'm now very glad that I did. This is the drawing (discovered in a dusty folio in the loft) that brought me back to art after a two decade break. Looking at the picture now, there are a few changes I might wish to make, but I've resisted, as I feel it's important to keep the drawing as a moment in time.


Heres a little information about the 'Gull' Lightship, gleaned from various local news publications....

I am based in Benfleet, Essex and I am constantly inspired by the Essex coast and countryside.

I Love old photos and the memories and stories they evoke.

The following pages are a little about me and my work. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the site.

This site includes my portfollio (and paintings currently for sale), information on commissioning, and future exhibitions and events.