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.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Have You Been On The Kathleen And May??

This post is for you to share your stories of the Kathleen and May. Tell us where you saw her, if you sailed on her, who you met and what you thought.
please feel free to ask the crew any questions, we will do our best to answer them.
Look forward to hearing from you.


Unknown said...

Spent a few days at the shipyard doing odd jobs with Matt. Been good fun and I hope to join a trip sometime when I have a few spare weeks to rub together :) Keep up the good work guys!

Anonymous said...

What date was she put back in the water t Bideford during the restoration?

Crew of Kathleen and May said...

We had to look up the answer to that! She was launched on the 5th of may 2001, with a massive crowd of around 10,000. This was the second attempt at the launch with a special crane from Germany.The first crane broke down!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic logo, bought the poloshirt in the visitor centre. Every body likes it, can my friends buy one,
who should they contact? If it is not confidential how would our club have their own logo made?
Smashing ship family loved the tour. Definatly coming back again.
Visitor on holiday.

Anonymous said...

Glad you like the logo. Yes you can buy polos and other Kathleen & May garments from us direct just phone Wendy C on 10237420995 and she will take your order. Sorry can't take cards only personel cheque.
No problem if you want to have your own club logo embroidered on your kit just email geoff@instichesembroidery.co.uk
he will help with the design and give you a good deal.
Glad to be of help.

Crew of Kathleen and May said...

Sorry the number above is ment to be 01237-420995

Anonymous said...

nice blog isnt it?

berto xxx

Anonymous said...

`The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

Rime of the acient Mariner.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Read it! if you like old ships you will like this.

bill said...

Good morning to everything l crew j opportunity of Brest 2008 towards 17 HOO visited your ship in l yesterday evening and I held has thank you for your warm-hearted reception and one good morning for the young young lady who m made visit the boat and who spoke tres well francais there.The young frisee fair-haired woman in the engine room qu they see on the photograph J espere you see again for BREST 2012 WARMLY See you soon

Anonymous said...

Yes, we have been onboard Kathleen and May, and it was great !
Thanks to the ship and to all the crew for this fantastic trip !

Brian R Hannam said...

Hello every one concerned with the Kathleen & May
I would like to thank Steve & Maralyn for allowing me to sail again on the boat to Brest & Ireland. I would also like to thank David Hall & Wendy & Sacha & all other crew members for putting up with me including Bill who i will buy a pair of white socks for XMAS from the ships gentleman i,m only doing what i was told all the best every one back to Turkey monday see you some time in the future (imay go up the pig on the hill for a free pint)

Anonymous said...

Hello to all the volunteers, especially Wendy and David Hall, who made our wedding day so special on Saturday the 27th September. Not only was the Kathleen & May a most romantic venue, our guests were enthralled, especially the children.
The final 'hitch' with the sail getting stuck and someone having to climb the rigging, will surely yeild great photographs. John and I would like to wish the ship, and all who sail in her, every success in the future.
- Mags

mike said...

Found the web site after being told the K&M was at Bideford where I have relations.Spent time on her as a lad about 50 years ago when she was in the lower dry dock at Appledore.Had a lot of interest in her back then.Crew would visit my Grandmothers pub The Bell Inn near the dock..I think the then skipper was Harry Grundy..perhaps there are records still available?
I believe there was a sister ship..Kathleen & Mary. I wonder what happened to her ?

Anonymous said...

12 December 2009

I was fortunate to have been one of the "Mariners Away" shanty singers who performed on board recently.
We are based at South Zeal in Devon (just about as far as you can get from the sea in the County) and it is rumoured that we will be performing on board again in 2010.
Ian S.