ABOUT THE SHIP
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.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
The crew would like to thank the people of Arklow for the warm and heart felt welcome they received during their stay. They are hoping for a longer stay next year, when they’ll try to bring the sun to Arklow.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
This year has been a exciting time for both the ship and the crew visiting many new ports for the first time since her restoration including Padstow, an old haunt she once traded to, as well as Plymouth - her home in the 70’s when owned by the Maritime Trust. The people of Plymouth turned out in huge numbers to see the ship and come onboard, some for the first time, whilst others recalling stories from yesteryear.
"Dartmouth was a great place to visit" said Bill Hudson, ship’s bosun. "We opened to the public there and sold wine from the ship on warm music filled nights to the backdrop of vintage yachts."
Bristol to was a regular drop-off for the ship this year visiting 3 times, once for the Harbour Festival, in the centre of the city. As July became August the crew fought on through the best of British summers and round Wales, stopping off briefly in Milford Haven to take shelter from a passing storm. Once up the Irish Sea Whitehaven in Cumbria was a must-see place to go. The Maritime Festival there saw in excess of 110,000 people come to the town. Crew member Adam Tuck (14) said, "This is so cool I have seen so much this year and done so many new things."
Also on the agenda this year was a little port in Southern Ireland call Dundalk. "The welcome there was so warm from the people there was a large turn-out for such a small town." Charter passenger Lorraine Harris said, "To be involved in bringing this much history back to a schooner port like this means so much to these people."
This year has seen the Kathleen and May sail the Bristol Channel once more in the company of her old sister ship the "Irene," which was burned out in the Caribbean in 2002. She has since been rebuilt and is back to sailing condition. These two ships were once a familiar sight together in the westcountry ports. It was a emotional moment for Sacha Hall, Sail Master who has worked on both ships, when they met again for the first time in more than forty years in the Bristol Channel. “There was a tear in my eye when she rounded the headland and we passed down the welsh coast abeam of each other."
So come down to the town and welcome the ship back in this Friday. She will cross Bideford Bar about 5.30pm and be on the quay at 6.15, returning to her berth at the top of that tide.
She will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday in the yard from 1200 to 1700. Make the most of her return. We will have wine onboard to sell.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
She had to take shelter once she got to Milford Haven because of a sharp sea and strong winds for 12 hours, before pressing on.
She had a brisk sail up the the Irish Sea till Anglesey where the wind then dropped back to a F3-F2.
She arrived in Whitehaven at 1300 Thursday.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
Departs in the morning for a day sail round the beautiful Devon coast to Plymouth with a light lunch included arriving approx 17:30
Cost £95 a head. No children under 14. Contact 07741 009991.
Friday, 26 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Friday, 12 June 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
My name is Adam Tulk, I am 13 years old, and I began working at the Kathleen and May as a volunteer a month ago.
I have been doing all kinds things like servicing blocks which involves taking it apart oiling and greasing up the pin sanding it down and painting it with preservative. I have been able to show other people now how to do this.
We put the three masts back in last week and I was asked to place a coin under the main mast this is a very old tradition and I felt very lucky.
One of the other jobs I have done is to start the main engine, I have done a lot of sanding, painting and varnishing.
As well as working on the rigging. I used to watch a lot of day time television and I wasn't very happy now I get up early to start work at 8.00am all day till 5.30pm. At tea breaks I get taught knots and learn about the sea I have made lots of new friends and we have a laugh together and I am learning a lot.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
This week saw the scaffolding go up on the stern of the Kathleen and May. Simon, and the lads from Sid Little Scaffolding, arrived on Thursday morning, and in no time had something resembling a deck house and bridge rigged in no time. This was to allow for a clever bit of cantilevered scaffold over the stern.
"It’s not every day that you get to put up scaffolding on board a ship!" said Simon Little, Director of Sid Little Scaffolding.
Work can now begin on minor timber repairs to the bulwarks round the stern before painting begins.
Work is also well underway on the main masts, and the first will be out of the shed next week. There is still a lot of work to do on the standing rigging.
If you have some spare time why not call down at Brunswick Wharf and lend a hand? There’s lots to do, and always something happening.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Monday 2nd February saw the first art class held on board. There was a good turnout for the class which was held by tutor Fiona Balfour, a local artist.
“The students found the setting for the class inspirational with so many different things on board to see and draw. It really got the juices flowing” said Fiona.
Classes will be held every Monday throughout February, March and April, and are open to all whatever their level of experience.
For further information please contact Fiona on 01237 424494 or email email@example.com
Monday, 2 February 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
For those of you who have been through Bideford this week, it's just possible that you may have noticed something missing from the river. That's right, we have taken the masts off the old girl. But don't feel sorry for her. She's getting a good spruce up. They were taken down with help from Kas Crane Hire. We must have been doing something right because on Wednesday morning, as a soft mist rolled off the river, somewhere up above the sun was warming up for a glorious day.
Shortly after 8 in the morning, the working gang rolled into the yard, one-by-one, all geared up for a busy day. The last last few days had seen Rob and Bill making ready for the lifting of the masts, clearing away the standing rigging, slacking off the mast wedges, and generally making sure that there was as little delay as possible to the crane.
By 9 o'clock we were ready for our first lift. With careful positioning of the strops, to allow for the angle of the bowsprit, it eased its way out, not unlike a cork leaving the neck of a fine vintage wine.
Once down on the quayside, and with the sun cutting through the January chill, our attention turned to the foremast. We were all interested to see the state of the Queen Victoria Silver Sovereign (incidentally it is dated 1900 - the same age as the Ship), which Steve had placed under the foot of the mast some 7 years previously.
As the mast rose up through the deckhead, there, under the foot, lay the Sovereign shining as if it had only been placed there yesterday.
By now, John Crosby had pulled in with the North Devon College minibus and a group of young carpenter students. They were here to see how things were going, and whether they could become involved.
Once Sacha had given them a potted history of the ship they were soon put to work under Richard's direction, lifting of the shrouds and laying them out ready for inspection
The remaining mast followed quickly and by early afternoon all the spars were laid out for scraping, once a round of teas had been brewed. A revitalised crew set about stripping the ironwork off the mast. Meticulous effort was put into marking them up so as to ease their replacement later this Spring.
As the day drew to an end the gang looked at their day's toil from the deck of the topless old girl, and it didn't need stating that the task ahead is a huge one. But today has seen a large step taken forwards, and tomorrow will bring new problems to overcome.
Photos taken by the owner and local businessman, Cllr Stephen Clarke OBE, of S.E.L. Clarke Plant Hire, Bideford.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Thanks to everyone for the great turn out to the meeting, on Saturday night.
Monday, 5 January 2009
Work is well under way on the mast and rigging overhaul. They are getting an 8 coat treatment from a Coelan product, giving a clear hard-wearing finish.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
There will be an Open Meeting on board the Kathleen and May, at 7 p.m..