Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Maritime Heritage Links. The Kathleen and May, The Maritime Trust and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

A look back at the Kathleen and May, “one of the UK’s last working wooden hulled three-masted topsail schooner”. 

In 1969 the HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who had been instrumental in the rescue and restoration of Cutty Sark, started the Maritime Trust as a means of preserving other significant British ships, with Kathleen and May, an early object of the Trust’s attention, as a national icon.  She was officially classified by the Arts Council as a National Treasure and at the HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s behest, took part in the 2012 River Pageant to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

The vessel was purchased by the late Bideford councillor and businessman, Steve Clarke in 1998. He spent 12 years lovingly restoring the then 100-year-old three-masted vessel, battling to keep her in Bideford where she was berthed at Brunswick Wharf. In 2008, Mr Clarke was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for his services to maritime heritage to the community in Bideford. “The Kathleen and May left Bideford in May 2011, after a 13-month struggle by Mr Clarke to keep her berthed at Brunswick Wharf…”

“The 110-year-old vessel, is one of the famous tall ships listed in the Core Collection on the UK National Historic Ships Register, alongside such vessels as the Cutty Sark and HMS Victory".

RIP HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 10June 1921-9 April 2021

First and Last: I took the photos below at the Bideford Water Festival in 2010 recording the first appearance of the new Tamar-class Appledore Lifeboat Mollie Hunt and the last for the Kathleen and May.

Kathleen and May at Bideford Water Festival 2010. Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved) Kathleen and May at Bideford Water Festival 2010. Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved)

Kathleen and May alongside Bideford Quay 2010. Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved)Kathleen and May alongside Bideford Quay 2010. Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved)

Kathleen and May alongside Bideford Quay 2010. Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved)Kathleen and May alongside Bideford Quay 2010. Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus (All Rights Reserved)
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**If you have any news updates on the Kathleen and May  do leave a comment.**
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 The above historical information on the Kathleen and May is attributed to various sources including:

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