Built in Connahs Quay in 1900 and named "Lizzie May". Sold to Martyn Fleming of Youghal Ireland in 1908 and re named after his daughters Kathleen & May". Working the ports of western England , Wales and the south and east ports of Ireland. Crewed by skipper, boy and four seamen, operating under sail only. Bought by Tommy Jewell in 1931 the ship had an auxilary engine fitted, the top masts taken down and the bowsprit reduced. She continued trading in this manner with now only a crew of four up to 1960, bringing her last cargo from Cardiff to Bideford. Bringing to an end centuraries of transporting cargo under sail. Eleven years later the Kathleen & May was partly restored by the Maritime trust and put on show first in Plymouth then in London.

By 1995 the ship was in a seriously distressed state and required major restoration work. Lacking the essential funds the ship was closed to the public and after having the masts & spars removed was taken round to Gloucester docks to await an uncertain end. Saved in time by Bideford businessman Steve Clarke and bought back to her home port for a full restoration. For his part in the restoration and contribution to our maritime heritage Mr Clarke received the OBE.
The full story of the Kathleen & May is available at only £3.00 plus postage.

The ship is of historic importance, and, as the last of her type, is part of the Core Collection of the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV).

Drawing of the ship

Drawing of the ship
This is how the Kathleen & May would have looked between 1900 and 1930. With with square sails to the fore topmast and gaff topsails to the main and mizzen.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Voyage Begins

The ship left Bideford (east) around 9:30 this morning (6th July). Moored west of the water for around 2 hours, to let water drop enough to fit under the new bridge. On arrival at Appledore the ship attempted to moor alongside Seawind. Unfortunately due to wind it was unsuccessful so headed for lifeboat buoy. During this, somehow we managed to moor stern too on the buoy unintentionally (got tangled up). Special thanks to the R.N.L.I as with their help we managed to sort out the situation and all is set to leave for Brest-France tomorrow morning on the am tide.

The Kathleen and may departed Brest over the weekend with a cargo of wine for a festival in Dublin. She will be spending a few days in Dublin then will be visiting other ports aroud Ireland.