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.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Delayed return

There will be a 24 hr delay the Kathleen and May returning home to Bideford due to the bad weather in the Irish Sea and Lundy sea areas last night. She rode out an uncomfortable swell on Arklow quayside breaking mooring lines and losing fenders.  A Force 8 gale has passed though leaving a large swell across the start of the Bristol Channel. It is hoped that we will leave Arklow on Friday Morning after a fantastic welcome here.

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

Kathleen and May returns to Bideford

This Friday will see the triumphant return of Bideford's own tall ship the Kathleen and May. After a busy summer sailing the Bristol Channel and Irish Sea as well as across the Channel to France, where she picked up wine to deliver under sail to Dublin for a environment transport company.

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

Bristol to Whitehaven

The Kathleen and May is sailing from Bristol to Whitehaven in the company of the Irene.

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

Sutton Harbour Update

This week has seen the old girl return to Plymouth.  She was met by many an old friend.  People came down to see her in Sutton Harbour with stories of how they had helped repair this, rigged that, took her out for filming in the Onedin Line; the connections kept coming.  Even the next generation called in to regale us with the exploits of their fathers and grandfathers aboard her.
The warm summer’s evenings were ideal to open the ship for wine tastings aboard accompanied by music from a travelling window cleaner/accordion player called Andy who sang for his supper.
We had a great response to the wine tasting and managed to sell a good share of the wine we were carrying.  The glorious sunshine was only matched by the warmth of the people of Plymouth; along with the great setting of Sutton Harbour made the stay even more special for the crew and the ship.
After doing an afternoon sail round Plymouth Sound with a very friendly group of passengers we returned to an anchorage in Jennycliff Bay for the night.  Thursday we set out for Dartmouth for a day sail with another group.  By tomorrow evening we should be sitting on a buoy in Dartmouth.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Day Sail from Dartmouth to Plymouth

The Kathleen and May will be doing a day sail from Dartmouth to Plymouth on Monday the 6th July.

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

Kathleen and May in Sutton Harbour

The Kathleen and May is paying a visit to her old home port of Plymouth where she will be staying for the week in Sutton Harbour, where she stayed from 1971 till 1978 before going on to St Katharine Docks in London.

She will be open to the public between 12pm and 5pm and on Saturday and Sunday evening will be holding wine tastings onboard. 

So come try some of the first wine to be shipped into the West Country under sail for over 50 years.
Her next port of call will be Dartmouth for the Classic Channel Regatta.  She will leave Plymouth on Thursday 2nd July for a day sail around Start Point to Dartmouth.  

There will be a limited number of spaces available on board for the price of £95.00 a head.

Please call in at the ship for more details, or call the ship on 07741 009991.