Welcome to the May 2022 Maritime Heritage Trust e-newsletter.
As the only national membership organisation for the maritime preservation sector, we support our members – individual ship owners and small voluntary groups – in caring for the UK's rich maritime heritage and building a strong future for historic vessels.

We look forward to bringing you news from our members, our special events and all things maritime heritage in the UK and beyond.


To be held 2pm Saturday 11 June at Hermitage Community Moorings

Put the date in your diary

This an advance notice and a formal notice of the meeting will be issued shortly in line with our constitution. In accordance with Charity Commission guidelines, we are proposing to amend the constitution so that we can hold future board and general meetings online if needed and decisions from those meetings can be valid. Also, we are hopeful, that we will be able to appoint the new Trustees that we have been actively seeking following the review mentioned in the previous newsletter.

We hope to be able to make some exciting announcments about the future of Heritage Harbours project and some administration support at MHT.

It is our intention to arrange for this General Meeting to available online as a livestream so that those unable to be present at Hermitage Moorings can follow the meeting. It will not be possible to vote online and so members are encouraged to use proxy voting the procedure for which will be set out in the formal notice of the meeting.

Calling historic vessels visiting the Thames.
Free high profile weekend visitor berth for historic vessels in the Pool of London

Hermitage Community Moorings, just downstream from Tower Bridge www.hermitagemoorings.org is able to offer a free weekend visitor berth in connection with its quarterly Community Open Days - forthcoming dates are
18th & 19th June and 10th and 11th Sept 2022.
The berth is approx 40 metres and is supplied with power and water.
Hermitage are looking for distinctive, original vessels with heritage value, preferably suitable for visitors to go aboard with crew who can help show round. International vessels that offer this are welcome. Visiting vessels should be suitable for a Thames tidal berth. Expenses may be payable depending on circumstances.
If you think your vessel might be suitable, please contact: manager@hcmoorings.org

The Steam Boat Experience Ltd
The start of a new business using an old boat

Last year we decided we would set up a business offering unique experience days and private charters on Windermere using a Victorian steam launch and said ‘yes’ to buying Gallant, a late 19thC steam launch with a perfectly formed counter stern and enough beam to carry passengers safely - something she had done for the last 30 years in Fowey harbour, The yellow steamboat featuring in many holiday memories.

This left us the very proud owners of a vintage steam launch, 400 miles away from us in the Lake District and decisions such as the best way to transport her. Should the plant be left in for her transportation? Just what have we done? I decided to build a custom trailer for her- a somewhat nerve-wracking process given that I had to estimate keel length, condenser positioning, frame spacing and overall weight while keeping the trailer and boat weight to 3.5t or less to keep it within my towing capacity while having the boat in question several hours drive away.

A trip was made late 2021 to pick up the boiler, engine, lifesaving equipment etc and a date for craning the boat out was set. The new trailer was finished in March, and I drove south to pick her up. The craning went perfectly, the trailer fitted like a glove, and with more than a little relief she was strapped down and towed home.

We set to work on her restoration and in the few weeks she’s been in the yard, in between actual paying jobs, we’ve come up with a plan of attack, scraped her topsides back to bare timber, started to fit new grown oak frames, started replacing the gunwales, removed the stem so that a template for a new oak crook could be made and the endless task of scraping the paint from the insides continues.

Website design is going on behind the scenes and we are soon to embark on the inspections required to get her small boat passenger license
and our new business steaming along.

Greg Simpson

European Maritime Heritage gets moving

After a pandemic period with no in person open meetings, EMH (Maritime Heritage Trust is the UK representative) is now getting underway to put the case for maritime heritage in a variety of international settings. One of the most valuable of these is maintaining a dialogue with IMO (the International Maritime Organisation) the global body which sets the regulatory framework for vessels and safety at sea. Getting a fair recognition of traditional vessels within this framework is vital if we are to keep traditional vessels sailing.

Other EMH news includes:

  • The next meeting of the EMH General Council and the EMH Cultural Council will take place in Cesenatico (Italy) from 20 to 22 May. The agenda includes a debate about the future of the EMH and revision of the EMH Statutes.
  • The EMH will be represented at European Maritime Day taking place on
    19-20 May in Ravenna
  • The EMH will be speaking at a FIVA conference on coal and other fossil fuels for use in the cultural heritage of the future.
  • The EMH Annual General Assembly will most likely take place between
    29 September and 01 October in Piran/Slovenia.
  • The next "Maritime Heritage Talk" will be dedicated to the specific legislation adopted by Spain on traditional vessels, historic ships and classic boats and will probably take place in the last week of May or early June.

Wind Tide & Oar
Crowdfunder for film project

Wind, Tide & Oar is a film project that explores engineless sailing, and the lives of those seafarers prepared to go to sea whilst relying on the natural elements alone.
Working with seafarers, craftspeople, sailing charities, mental health experts and sail-trainees, the film will raise questions about ecology, resilience and wellbeing; looking at how sailing engineless can speak to our interaction with, and responsibility, to the natural world.
Engineless sailing goes against the norm that dictates that almost every sailing boat today has an engine, manoeuvring the vessel in tight spaces, pushing against the tide, and allowing travel even when there is no wind.
A vital part of the project is the use of 16mm analogue film rather than digital video.
The team making the film, Huw Wahl and his sister Rose Ravetz, are partnering with Sea-Change Sailing Trust, Shipshape Network/National Historic Ships and Cutty Sark/Royal Museum Greenwich.
Some funds have raised from Arts Council, but more is needed to pay for film and processing. Contributing via their Crowdfunder gives a wide range of rewards
Find more information at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/windtideandoar

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