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.


Anonymous said...

Bon Voyage!
Sorry I cant be with you. Have a great time you have all worked so hard preparing the ship for this trip. She looked good going out this morning. Hope the weather improves. See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi you guys let us know what is happening. Did you have a good crossing? how are things in France.

Anonymous said...

the trip across was quite ruff till we got to lands end then we stormed across the channel at 8kns
once a cross with wind and tide against uss we couldnt make it round ushant so we went through channel de fore plz leave ur names on the blogs so we know who we are talking to sacha

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. J espere you see again for BREST 2012 WARMLY See you soon

Anonymous said...

Hi All of you Bideford is not the same without the Kathleen & May I miss her when I cross the bridge giong to work every day.
Look after the ship and bring her back saftely Love Sandy.

Crew of Kathleen and May said...

Hey Sandy, its a shame you couldn't get to France with, sure you would have loved it. She'll be back in one piece ... promise

Barry said...

Thanks for your hospitality today in Dublin David and Wendy. It was good to see her moored in my hometown before she set off for Youghal, her home for many years and the place where my grandfather Joe, a former skipper, lived and is buried. I was about 10 when he passed away but I always remember how accurately he was able to forecast the weather each evening by just looking up at the sky, listen to the wind and observe the cloud formation in the sky. He seems to get it right every time. Seemingly, he was well known for that and he is supposed to have advised against a ship (might be the Nellie Fleming) sailing as a heavy storm was due. The skipper ignored his advice and the ship and crew were lost at sea.

Unknown said...

Missed Kathleen and May in Youghal but need your help!

Ahoy!. I need your assistance if possible. My Dad is a very capable modeller of R/C scale sailing ships. He has built a bermudan sloop, the Colin Archer and is just completing a scratch build of Joshua Slocum's Sloop. He was intending to build a Galway Hooker for his next model but has switched recently to the idea of building the Kathleen and May. The dilema is that we could get hold of her masting and rigging arrangements from the National Martime Trust but there appear to be no details available of her hull, deck lines and coachwork. He has been in contact with Steve Clarke but I believe owing to the pending sale he could not offer more information. I was wondering if you guys had any information that would be assist building an accurate model of the schooner?