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, 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.