The Broad Fourteens - Spitfires of the sea

A large crane can be seen here in Hooker's dock

In 1943 the Crown Film Unit produced a film illustrating the role of coastal forces in the Second World War. The Broad Fourteens is the name given to the waters off the coast of the Netherlands which are 14 fathoms (25 metres) deep. This was the site of a number running battles between British and German forces throughout WWII.

Weymouth in the film was the supposed to be a North Sea naval base HMS Terrier. Weymouth had been a training base until early 1943 for Coastal Forces known as HMS BEE and then became an operational base known as HMS Grasshopper.

The stills from the film show Vosper 70 foot MTBs (Spitfires of the sea) with the Clubhouse in the background. The yard slipway (now filled in) and original crane are both visible. Also the substantial building and many other temporary buildings which have all been demolished. There is a large crane in Hooker's dock more or less where the present one is.

The film is well worth a watch, if only for its views of the harbour; it can be viewed on the Imperial War Museum site at

Submitted on 15th June 2020