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 March 2009

Adam Tulk Writes

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.