LV21 // ART // CULTURE // EDUCATION // HERITAGE // PERFORMANCE // VENUE // doing things different

Former crew get onboard

Former crew get onboard

The first day of the new year and we were thrilled to meet Brian Packham, a former crew member of LV21 in the 1980’s when she was in service on the Varne station off the Kent coast nr Folkestone. Brian has some great archive images that we will upload soon. He also has some great stories to tell including when LV21 was struck by the vessel Ore Meteor in 1981. The accident has been described as the worst light vessel collision where the light vessel had survived. You can read Brian’s full account here. Brian has kindly offered to help us in the renovation of LV21 and we will be filming his accounts of life on board the ship soon into the new year.


Hi there,

Great to see work underway on lV21 and getting Brian along, not heard about the accident before, so lucky she survived. Hope to get along myself soon, although “danger” I know of getting down on those decks.


Hi All,

I wish I could put into words how I felt when I finally set foot on her decks again. The last time being 30th June 1981 when we left her in Southampton for repairs. I’m glad to see some of the original fixtures are still in place and how good the overall condition is in. It felt strange climbing the lantern again, and finding my old cabin. Some things seem unfamiliar, but that’s to be expected after so long.


Hi Brian,
Indeed, must have seemed odd after all these years, great that you are involved with the project, hope we might meet some day soon.

Thanks John,

Will try to get down again over this coming weekend. Can’t wait to get down to some serious chipping and painting


Hi Brian
Fascinated to read about your time on lv21. I have a duel interest, firstly in lightships and secondly my maiden name is Packham. I know that we have a history of men in the family involved in sea-faring activities – my grandfather worked at Hays Wharf for example. If you are interested in pursuing the Packham connection do please email, and you may also know more lightship contacts that may be of interest.