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.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Return to Bideford August 8th 2010

After very successful visit to Whitehaven, Liverpool and Bristol, K&M returns home during the Water Festival on August the 8th mid afternoon.


piltonrocker said...

Just tried to send you a picture of the K&M coming into the estuary last summer but the e-mail bounced. Can you confirm your e-mail address?

I'll come and visit in the near future.

Archivist (Ballast Trust) said...

Hi there,

We've recently uploaded 3 pictures of the Kathleen & May taken by Dan McDonald to our flickr site. You can see them at:


I discovered your site while looking for information about who built her and thought you'd like to see the pictures but the email address bounced.


Ballast Trust

Garth Inns said...

She was bought by Jim Hole of Trading Post Ltd in the early to mid sixties and was berthed at Portsmouth. we spent about six weeks tidying, painting and preparing her to sail to Malta for use in a film. The sailing crew was going to be a hired captain and mate, Martin Gutteridge, Tommy Draper, Ted Hawkings and myself, Garth Inns. The picture fell through and it was sold on two years later.